When asked ‘what is British spirit’, many of us automatically think of the wartime era when communities pulled together and helped one another during difficult times.
But in recent years, some might argue this spirit seems to have disappeared.
Everybody needs good neighbours?
There has been a rise in disputes between neighbours recently. One in five of us say we've been involved in a dispute with our neighbours in the last 12 months, with noise the biggest problem, according to research by Co-op Insurance.
More than two-fifths of Brits complain of their neighbours stomping around the house, having loud arguments or hosting late-night parties.
Nearly a quarter, meanwhile, have suffered rude or abusive neighbours and a further one in five have had problems with barking dogs or wars over parking spaces.
Cities are reported to be the least friendly areas, with London and Birmingham having by far the highest number of neighbour issues - a quarter of respondents here have had problems over the past year.
As for community spirit, just one in five respondents have ever popped round to a neighbour's house for a cup of tea – how very un-British of us!
But while the days of chatting over the garden wall may be over, what we want in a neighbour, according to the research, is somebody who treats us with respect, is tolerant, and respects other people's needs. Being considerate about noise and parking helps too!
Top neighbourly disputes
1. Excessive noise: 41%
2. Rudeness or abuse: 22%
3. Barking dogs: 21%
4. Parking wars: 19%
5. Nosey neighbours: 18%
6. Unruly kids: 15%
7. = Boundary disputes: 12%
7. = Gossipy neighbours: 12%
8. Messy gardens: 11%
9. Roaming pets: 7%
10. Not keeping shared facilities maintained: 6%
You can choose your house, you can choose the location of the property but unfortunately, just like family, you cannot choose your neighbours. They sort of come with the property.
Having said that, if you’re buying a home, you should do your best to visit at different times of the day and week to check noise levels. You can also check out how well-kept the neighbouring properties are – although this doesn’t always tell you everything.
Nuisance neighbours come in different shapes and fashions, but they can have an impact on your quality of life. If you have an irritating neighbour, check that you’re doing all you can do to be neighbourly.
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