Love thy neighbour: nearly half a million complaints made about next door's animals, mess, and noise

Fife, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Westminster top the disputes list while Isles of Scilly almost universally harmonious

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The Independent Online

More than 460,000  complaints were made to local councils in Britain in 2013 about neighbours and their behaviour, pets and property.

According to figures from Churchill Home Insurance 104,000 of these made about messy homes and gardens, a further 93,579 about the accumulation of rubbish, 46,539 about pets causing a disturbance and 21,090 about parked vehicles causing a disruption.

Fife council received the most complaints per head of population, averaging 53 complaints per 1,000 people, followed by Newcastle (45 per 1,000) and Westminster (40 per 1,000).

Noisy neighbours are the major cause of residential issues nationally and local authorities issued 4,283 noise abatement notices to persistently loud residents.

Martin Scott, head of Churchill home insurance, said: "These findings present a worrying picture. It’s a reminder to all of us to consider that our parties, pets and general property maintenance may be causing our neighbours undue amounts of stress."

Complaints were spread all over the UK, with Belfast, Lewes, Stockton-On-Tees and Basildon also in the top ten .

London boroughs appear to be the noisiest places to live with the councils in Westminster, Tower Hamlets, Southwark and Wandsworth all receiving around 5,000 residential noise complaints.

Nottinghamshire, Worcestershire and Gwynedd  seem particularly peaceful, with less than one complaint per 1000 people, while the Isles of Scilly recorded only a single nuisance complaint to the council.