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Neighbour Disputes: how a lawyer can help.

A neighbourhood dispute with your neighbour or local council can occur for a variety of reasons. Noise complaints, parking, trees, building works and fencing are common causes of a dispute. Handling these issues may be difficult especially if things escalate quickly and there is a violent altercation or threats are made.

Neighbour disputes can make you uncomfortable in your own home and they are best sorted quickly. If you do have a dispute with a neighbour, you have a variety of legal options.

There are generally two paths to settling a dispute: either settle via private negotiation or going to court. Going to court is sometimes unavoidable, especially if the relationship is hostile.

However, if both parties are sensible and conciliatory almost every dispute can be resolved without a Magistrate. Getting legal advice on your neighbourly dispute can help both parties to reach a suitable agreement without the expense of going to court.

Like all disputes it is helpful to find out your legal rights and where you stand BEFORE the dispute escalates. Knowing your legal rights and position early will ensure you get to a reasonable settlement cost-effectively.

Resolving Neighbour Disputes

Between neighbours the two most common issues are fence disputes and tree disputes. Building works or noise complaints are also common issues we have assisted clients with.

These disputes between neighbours can be resolved by private negotiations or via a formal court process. A court process can often be more costly. However, the decision is usually final and there is a clear decision to end the matter and may be preferable.

Our lawyers can help you with a neighbourhood dispute by quickly assessing the issues and providing options and assistance in resolving the dispute. They will inform you of your legal rights and legal processes.

Disputes with Local Councils

Disputes can often arise with councils where they may require you to rectify or repair property or issue a notice.

We can also assist and provide advice if required.

Dispute Resolution Processes & Methods

Depending on the outcome you desire, we tailor our legal service to suit. Most people want the dispute to be resolved quickly and cost-effectively.

Often, disputes are resolved through private negotiations such as a letter from a lawyer outlining your case and position. After neighbours have had a chance to cool off and get their own legal advice, they are often more willing to be reasonable and settle. If they don’t have a strong case, and need to spend needless money to defend it, they are more likely to resolve the dispute faster.

From the outset if your case is presented clearly and articulately, the dispute will typically resolve faster. This can be difficult to achieve just talking with your neighbour especially if the discussions lead to an argument. A lawyer will be able to clearly outline your legal position and assert your rights with facts and not emotion.

Our lawyers look to resolve the issue quickly in any mediation or dispute resolution process.

Getting an early agreement to end the dispute typically salvages the long-term neighbourly relationship.

Intervention Orders against neighbours

If the dispute has reached the point of violence or threats of violence, you may consider an intervention order, which is otherwise known as a personal safety order.

We find that intervention orders are increasingly more commonly being sought in neighbourhood disputes.

They can be quite effective and obtained quickly if you have a legitimate cause. Safety is paramount and when the threats revolve around your home you should act quickly to ensure that you feel safe and protected.

If you have immediate fears for your safety, please call Victoria Police on 000.

How Lawyers can assist with Intervention Orders for Neighbours

Our experienced intervention order lawyers can guide you through the process of both applying for a Personal Safety Intervention Order in your local Magistrates Court and appearing for you at the hearing.

Intervention orders between neighbours differ in that the court will consider:

  • what recent incident has occurred;
  • who the relevant parties are;
  • what level of protection is required; and
  • whether mediation is a suitable option.

Having a lawyer give legal advice about preparing or defending an intervention order is wise, particularly if you are defending an application.

Getting the Right Advice

If you don’t get legal advice on your intervention order application, you could be unnecessarily subject to restrictions or denied an intervention order for your protection altogether. If you don’t comply with an intervention order you can be charged with a criminal offence.

A lawyer who understands intervention orders will give you the right advice on how to prepare or defend a claim and represent you on your day in court. We routinely assist clients with intervention orders and understand the process well. We have a practical working knowledge and sound legal understanding on how the court will perceive and consider your claim.

Having legal advice from lawyers who understand and routinely act in these matters means the advice is up to date and relevant.

Intervention orders can have a variety of different conditions and impact individual’s lives in many ways. If you have been served with an order you should seek legal advice.

The team at PCL Lawyers will ensure that your claim or defence is clearly articulated and a full version of events and context is relayed to the court. We also can make recommendations on how to improve your chances of success.

To speak to one of our lawyers about intervention orders or neighbour disputes contact us on 1300 907 335 or complete an online enquiry form.

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