Home maintenance causes more legal disputes between neighbours

Photo: DutchNews.nl

Noisy heat pumps and annoying reflections from solar panels are just two of the problems which turned into legal fights between neighbours last year, according to legal aid insurance group Stichting Achmea Rechtsbijstand.

In total Achmea said it dealt with a record 11,1000 disputes about home renovations last year, a rise of 36% on 2022. 

Disputes with contractors accounted for a large part of the cases, as companies passed on higher labour and material costs to their clients. One common problem is that contractors try to break open a fixed price contract and then fail to show up when the customer refuses to pay more, Achmea said.  

Problems involving solar panels were up 28%, having already doubled in 2022. In total, 2432 people registered a legal issue about solar panels.

In addition, work to make homes more energy efficient is also causing problems between neighbours, with an increase of 5% this year. Apart from shiny solar panels and noisy heating systems, water damage caused by work on a property also led to more court cases.

“We see that people are becoming more entrenched in their positions,” Achmea said. “People are less likely to accept the other’s standpoint and try to solve it together.” 

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