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Two thirds of Spaniards have neighbourhood disputes
ThinkSpain , Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Relations with neighbours are often delicate. When people are forced to live together, problems often arise. The most common neighbourhood disputes relate to noise and non-payment of community charges.

Specifically, two thirds of Spanish people have had a dispute with their neighbours for reasons such as noise, non-payment of community charges, or pets, among other issues.

Cleanliness, watering systems and bad smells are some of the other causes of neighbourhood disputes, but for the Spanish in particular, noise is by far and away the most common cause of conflicts between neighbours.

These latest findings in a study by CPP indicate that excessive noise is a problem specific to Spain. The same study showed that in Britain, for example, there are only half as many disputes over noise.

According to the report, many of the disputes between neighbours remain unresolved and more than half of respondents said that they have occurred over the past year.

Legal costs are, together with damages, the biggest sources of economic loss when solving a neighborhood dispute in Spain. Only one in ten people are likely to take legal action.

The study shows that the consequences of these conflicts include having to deal with unexpected expenses and lost time, having to take legal action, having to cope with stressful arguments, and even health problems, especially in those over 65.

Another consequence of neighbourhood conflicts, which generates substantial costs, is having to move house, which 8% of people surveyed claim to have done or are thinking of doing, with young people between 26 and 35 the most willing to do so.

Many highlighted the psychological rather than economic cost of the disputes with their neighbours, which two out of ten respondents reported having suffered. 10% of respondents said the dispute had resulted in the total breakdown of relations with their neighbour.

Region by region, Murcia had the highest number of neighbourhood disputes, with 77% of people surveyed saying they had at some time been, or were currently involved in one, followed by Madrid (72%) and Valencia (70%); whereas Navarre (40%), Galicia (51%) and Asturias (52%) were all below average.

Young people aged between 18 and 35 are the most likely to be involved in a neighbourhood conflict - 73% claim to have had disputes with their neighbours; while nearly half of those over 65 years (45%) say they have never encountered this kind of situation.

People living in flats suffer more disputes (72%) than those living in detached villas (63%) or semi-detached housing (63%).

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