Neighbourhood Disputes

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This booklet provides information for people who are moving to a new neighbourhood, moving out of the family home for the first time, renting in the private or public sector or are entering into a Community or Strata housing situation. It also provides information and advice for people who may be experiencing issues with their neighbours.

Neighbourhoods are becoming increasingly diverse and multi-cultural and include people from all sorts of backgrounds. Vibrant, harmonious neighbourhoods are achieved when we accept people for who they are and respect their right to have differing views or belief systems. It would make for a very dull world indeed, if everyone were identical and held the same views and beliefs as each other.

Sometimes, due to lack of understanding or fear of other cultures or lifestyles different to our own, conflicts and misunderstandings occur in ways that have not been experienced to such a degree in the past. Therefore, understanding and avoiding the triggers for neighbourhood conflicts is important to ensure that the process of moving to a new area or welcoming new people to the neighbourhood is a positive and rewarding experience for all concerned.

While most people live well together, some find that conflicts can arise from a number of issues. Experience has shown that trying to live in a neighbourhood where people are in dispute with their neighbour is very stressful and can cause people to leave their homes, or in some cases, generate heated arguments or even physical altercations.

This booklet is not intended to answer all the questions, or to provide answers to all situations. It is intended to help people identify and mitigate potential issues for conflict, approach neighbours in ways that are positive, respectful and insightful while working to reinforce the notion of a healthy and harmonious community.

Readers are encouraged to seek advice about mediation and their options from Mediation SA on 8350 0376 or visit the Mediation SA website at