Step 1 - Informal Engagement
Many people have endured nuisance problems for some time and decide to contact the authorities as a last resort out of desperation or that they feel that they don't know how to deal with an escalating problem.
Successful resolution of nuisance problems in our experience are not necessarily achieved through the courts but via careful and considerate communication between two parities that we call informal engagement. This can be undertaken in a number of ways but all exclude WRS.
To assist members of the public in instigating successful neighbour engagement we have developed a toolkit to assist you in the process of communicating with your neighbours without causing unnecessary conflict:
The best form of communication initially is in person. WRS advocates such engagement as many problems are caused inadvertently of due to a incompatibility of lifestyles eg. your neighbour might be at work whilst their dog barks and may struggle to appreciate there is a problem. In our experience this is often the most successful means of resolving problems and preventing them recurring.
- Do not approach your neighbour in the heat of the moment or late at night concerning your problem. Try to engage them at times of the day such as the weekend to discuss your concern.
- Try to engage in casual conversation prior to raising your concerns as an ice breaker to introduce your problem this is less likely to instigate a defensive response.
- Do not tell your neighbour what they should do and do not threaten them with legal action at this stage. Ask them how they think they could resolve the problem. This will provide them with an opportunity to offer points for discussion.
- Listen to your neighbour try to be understand their circumstance also. By doing this it is likely to lead to common ground and an agreement of what will be done to ease the problem.
On occasions neighbourly communication may be unsuccessful due to a number of reasons and an alternative method of communicating may be through a friendly letter.
WRS have prepared 3 sample letters that you can copy and edit to suit your particular circumstance. They are graded in order from a friendly request to a final request prior to a formal complaint:
- Example Letter 1 - Initial friendly request
- Example Letter 2 - Intermediate request
- Example Letter 3 - Final request prior to formal complaint
At the same time begin keeping an accurate record of the problem using diary record form.
If all informal processes of engagement have failed then you can progress to Step 2 - Request WRS Assistance. You can only progress to Step 2 if you can demonstrate that you have made reasonable efforts to engage your neighbours in an attempt to resolve the problem that you are experiencing
Follow the link to go back to the 7 steps of nuisance investigation.