How do I resolve conflict with neighbours?

Question from Bryce updated on 3rd June 2008:

Hello, my 86 year old mother, who owns her home, has a person living next door in a rental property who threatens her and is making life a misery. What can I do to resolve this problem? I have tried talking to this person but I must say she is a neighbour from hell.

Our expert Jeff Montgomery responded:

The Residential Tenancies Act 1986 prohibits a tenant from disturbing the peace, comfort and privacy of their neighbours. I recommend that you discuss the problems your mother is experiencing with the neighbour’s landlord. If the neighbour is not willing to tell you who their landlord is, you may be able to obtain the name of the property owner from your local council or Land Information New Zealand. If the landlord is not willing to address the behaviour of the neighbours, then you may want to seek independent legal advice from your local Community Law Centre or Citizens Advice Bureau. Depending on the types of behaviour causing concern, it may also be appropriate to discuss the problem with your local police.

The Department of Building and Housing provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.

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