Tips for speaking to your neighbours

It’s always best to try and talk to your neighbours before contacting the council or police. We know this can be daunting, so here are some tips for handling the conversation:

  • Talk to them in a relaxed and neutral setting, rather than making it a formal meeting – this will make everyone feel at ease
  • Make sure the time is right. Be considerate of their schedule – are they on their way to work? Or is it time to pick the kids up from school?
  • Be in the right headspace. Don’t try to have a conversation when you’re angry – make sure you’re feeling calm and know exactly what you want to say to them
  • Tell them how their behaviour is making you feel, and try not to blame them as this will make them defensive. Don’t make threats or give them an ultimatum
  • Stick to the key facts and main issue that’s bothering you. Don’t bring up other, irrelevant things to justify what you are saying
  • Give them the opportunity to respond to you and listen to what they have to say. Try not to interrupt them when they’re talking and be prepared to be reasonable
  • Reassure them that you want to resolve the issue directly with them, rather than involving other parties
  • Keep it friendly. They might not know that they have been causing you distress, so the conversation might come out of the blue for them. Give them the benefit of the doubt and give them time to reflect.
  • If you can't or don't want to approach your neighbour in person, download one of our ‘Hello Neighbour’ cards (add link) and write down your thoughts.