It’s not necessarily a topic that we like to share frequently on the Australian Heritage Homes blog, but it’s a bit of necessary evil. We’re talking of course, about potential feuds with a neighbour and how to avoid them. In a picture-perfect world, you’d be close friends with everyone on your street. You could pop by for a drink after work, all of your children would have frequently playdates, and you would never want for milk or sugar. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. But at the root of the vast majority of disagreements, is miscommunication. A lot of this can be circumvented from the get-go, with early and often awareness. This pertains specifically to designing and building your dream home. Let’s take a look at some examples of frequently occurring issues, and how they can be avoided.
Your neighbour(s) can see directly into your house
Privacy is a big concern for almost anyone who is a homeowner or renting a property. Your home should feel safe and secure, not like anyone can see anything that you’re doing. There are many laws in place, that place specifications around distance from property. In Victoria, for instance, a planning guideline states that if you can look into your neighbour’s home from less than nine metres away, additional security measures will need to be put in place. These provisions shift from state to state, so we recommend that you reach out to experts like those on the Australian Heritage Homes team, to confirm.
Disagreements over the foliage
Sounds comical, but in reality- it can cause long and drawn-out legal problems. Example? A beautiful willow tree was planted on your new property more than a hundred years ago. While the roots lie on your side of the property line, its extensive blanket of leaves bends far into your neighbour’s yard. By law in many states, it is your responsibility to prune the tree so that it does not interfere with the design of your neighbour’s yard. Sounds like a harsh solution? This is where that early and often awareness comes into play. Try having a civil conversation with your neighbour, even before you decide to move on to the property. They’ll appreciate your transparency.
The neighbours who party
A re-occurring theme, but an important one, nonetheless. There is safe and respectful socializing, and then there are the parties that carry on, far into the night. (most likely on the nights that you have a new baby and big meeting first thing in the morning, right?) This is another opportunity to create dialogue, especially if you’re the one throwing the soiree. Alert your neighbours that you are having people over, even invite them if you’re feeling up to it. Create boundaries and discuss them with your neighbours—what time will the music go off? What time is everyone heading home? Should you expect to see extra cars on your street into the next morning? All of these are important details to share in order to maintain respect.