Some of you ask me about issues we deal with. This is one. We have an ongoing dispute between two neighbours about a tree between their two properties. W asked us to help. We have been trying to mediate, reaching out to X but they aren’t responding.

This email pops up from W:
“I would like to register my disappointment with the non response from your office.
My support of you and your office has greatly diminished as a result of the ill effort provided to my call for help.”

I was surprised as we had kept her in the loop on what was happening. Perhaps she wanted a personal email from me. I sent an email:
“I am surprised by your response. This is a dispute between neighbours and my colleagues have tried several times to address the issue by reaching out to your neighbour. They have refused to respond to our overtures. I myself had gone down to view the situation from another neighbour’s house. My colleagues have also emailed to let you know of the situation. They went down to your place once but I believe you were away. We continue to try and reach out to them.”

W then responded:
“If you and your office can’t be any help except to do what I have done, i.e. call their agent, then say so.
All I get are holding statements which are useless to me.
Anyway your statement says it all. A dispute between neighbours that you and your office cannot be of any help.”

Some disputes, when it doesn’t violate particular laws or regulations, are civil in nature. If you don’t want to engage lawyers, we try to mediate and outreach in various ways. My volunteers put in time to do this. Sometimes it works out well. Sometimes we can’t make much headway.

I hope our residents understand. Most do and have been appreciative, and to those who have been so, thanks for your understanding and appreciation.

(P.S. Add on in response to your comments:
A tree has grown that has caused some damage to the walls. The tenant of the unresponsive owner had also indicated that fault may lie with other side for damage. Who is right and wrong? As with all things, there would be a need to mediate. I understand the frustration which is why they asked us to help and why we have been trying.

This is not the first instance where we have to manage disputing neighbours. When we raise an issue with another, we can get an earful from them for taking sides, or be told another side of the story, et al. It takes time and not always easy I’m afraid.)

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