Neighbours survey reveals surprising results

One in six Brits are currently not talking to at least one neighbour a study conducted by Swinton has revealed.

Of those, the average person is not talking to two neighbours and 46 per cent of those said they look the other way if they bump in to them. A more antagonising 10 per cent said they simply give their neighbour a ‘frosty look’ if their paths cross.

Neighbour image

Researchers found that feuds over noisy kids, overflowing wheelie bins, parking spaces and out of control trees and shrubs are just some of the reasons for feuding families. Other grumbles included overhearing neighbours swearing and rowing when out in the garden and barking dogs.

The poll by Swinton, which they commissioned to coincide with the launch of their Great Britain’s Greatest Neighbour campaign, found the most common reason to fall out with neighbours was due to them blocking their drive.

But nearly one in ten simply said they ‘don’t like the look’ of their neighbours so never stop and chat to them.

Although a tenth of the 2000 adults polled said they have a ‘long running feud’ with their neighbour which has lasted more than four years. Of those, 43 per cent described it as a big bust up, although 14 per cent said it was more of a petty squabble which dragged on.

However, Jim Maddan, the Neighbourhood and Home Watch Networks Chairman commented: “There are still lots of examples of neighbours getting along and working together for the benefit of their community. One such example is Neighbourhood Watch. People join Neighborhood Watch to make the areas where they live safe, friendly and pleasant places to be – and it works.”

Steve Chelton from Swinton said: ’’The poll has shed light on how many feel about immediate and surrounding neighbours, this is why our campaign is centred around finding the Greatest Neighbours in our nation.

‘’Regardless of the day to day disagreements, it is important to try and keep good relationships with neighbours as you may be living next to them for some time and you never know when an emergency might occur.

One in ten adults said their neighbours aren’t important in their everyday life and 28 per cent said they would never socialise with them. The poll found that 17 per cent of those polled said they were guilty of annoying their neighbours from time to time. But a third of anti-social adults said it was easier to just snub their neighbours than make polite conversation and 12 per cent said they just weren’t important to their day to day life.

Furthermore just over a quarter avoid going in their own garden so they aren’t forced to make idle chitchat over the fence. In fact more than one in ten people said they have moved at least once to escape certain neighbours. In contrast a more upbeat 57 per cent said it’s better if you get on with everyone.

And it’s not all bad news, 11 per cent said their neighbours have helped them cut down trees and 71 per cent rely on their nearest neighbours to take in parcels for them when they’re out. More than a third have a mutual agreement with their neighbours where they bring in each other’s wheelie bins after they have been emptied. And 78 per cent have said they would call on neighbours in an emergency. But nearly two thirds of the adults polled said they wouldn’t dream of leaving a house key with a neighbour. And 26 per cent of the adults polled said they didn’t know the names of both their next door neighbours.

Swinton’s Steve Chelton added:  “Our campaign encourages people to nominate people in their community who really do demonstrate the best of neighbourly spirit, as we are sure there are many out there who epitomise what it means to be a great neighbour in Britain today.

“Be it looking after the house during a holiday, watching next door’s kids or someone who goes the extra mile to be an outstanding member of the community, we believe Britain has great neighbours and they deserve to be celebrated and that’s why we have started a campaign to find Great Britain’s Greatest Neighbour.”


  1. They block my drive
  2. They park in my space
  3. Their dog barks all day
  4. Their garden is a tip
  5. You can hear them swearing when they are in the garden
  6. They are always rowing
  7. They host too many late night parties
  8. Their cats do their business in my garden
  9. Their kids are constantly loud when in the garden
  10. I just can’t be bothered to speak to them
  11. They have let their house go to wrack and ruin
  12. They light bonfires
  13. They let their wheelie bin overflow
  14. Their trees are blocking my light
  15. Their kids constantly kick a ball against my house
  16. They are always showing off and it winds me up
  17. Their kids peer over my fence all the time
  18. I just don’t like the look of them
  19. They got annoyed when I threw a party
  20. They don’t bring parcels around to my house when the postman leaves them at their house

For more information please contact Geraldine Vesey or Tom Carlin at SKV Communications on 0161 838 7770 or email

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