My neighbour keeps looking over my fence even after I planted 6ft trees – what can I do?

HOMEOWNERS can easily find themselves in a fence dispute with next door – but what do you do if your neighbour keeps looking over?

The question comes as one person was left frustrated with a neighbour who regularly looks into their home, even after they planted trees six feet high.

The homeowner wrote on the discussion platform Reddit: "Every now and then the dog barks like crazy and I look out the window to see my neighbour's face looking into my property."

They explained that the neighbour lives a six minute walk away and has to climb up a steep hill to reach their house.

The posted said that the road leading up to the house is public space but the fence is around 30cm within the boundary line, meaning the neighbour could be trespassing when they get too close to the house.

"This has been ongoing for perhaps 6 or so years now, I only realised how frequently they were peering over since we've had the dog, " the person added.

The anxious homeowner said they have tried talking to the neighbour, but it hadn't made a difference.

They even planted a row of trees to try to block the open view and make the area harder to climb up.

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They also claimed that the plants have been cut down by the neighbour.

A legal expert said that it might be time to consult a solicitor if talking to the neighbour hasn’t worked and the additional planting still hasn’t stopped them.

What to do about a neighbour dispute?

Mary Rouse, head of property litigation at Wright Hassall, said: "I’d suggest that a first step, would be to ask a solicitor to write to the neighbour, setting out the behaviour and asking them to stop if they want to avoid legal action against them. "

She said the next step would be mediation, if a strong letter doesn’t work.

This is when both parties discuss their disputes with an impartial mediator to try to agree on what is and isn’t reasonable behaviour.

Mediation is not free, but it’s considerably cheaper than going to court.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Property Litigation Association created a mediation service to help neighbours resolve boundary disputes.

RICS also provides a list of surveyors who could assist in boundary disputes.

Rouse says if the problem still isn't settled, you can take legal action and it might be possible to obtain a civil injunction to prohibit them from peering over the fence and mowing across your land.

This will require evidence so she recommends installing CCTV to monitor the fence line as it may help provide video footage of them in the act. 

"For a civil injunction, the court needs to be satisfied 'on the balance of probabilities' that your neighbour is causing a nuisance," she added.

"Going down the injunction route can be expensive but, if you win, you should also get an order for your neighbour to pay your costs."

More on issues with neighbours – a new mum was left stunned after her neighbour asked her to stop breastfeeding in her garden because it’s making him "uncomfortable".

Elsewhere, we've looked at what you should do if your neighbour won’t pay their half for a new garden fence.

Meanwhile, driveway disputes are another common type of neighbour argument – we reveal your rights if someone parks over your driveway.

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