Frequently Asked Questions
First try to talk to your neighbour and tell them about the problem and ask if they are willing to take care of it. If you can’t talk to your neighbours or your neighbours refuse to do anything about it, you could try to solve the problem through mediation. In Winnipeg, Mediation Services will mediate issues like this. Outside of Winnipeg, look in the Yellow Pages for a mediator.
If the problem continues and your neighbours refuse to do anything about it, you could sue for damages. In the law, this kind of problem is called a nuisance. Remember that even if you did win against them in court, they would still be your neighbours, so it is best to try to work things out.
If it is your fence, you may tear it down and rebuild. If it is your neighbours’ fence, talk to them about it. They may agree to build a new fence, and may even agree to share costs and labour if you are rebuilding. If your neighbours don’t want to tear down their fence, it will stay there. Nothing prevents you from building a fence on your property.
If you have a good relationship with your neighbours, talk to them and ask them to keep it down. Many cities or towns have a Noise Control Bylaw that deals with noise issues. If the problem continues, you could phone the local police and ask them to handle it.
Yes. Tenants have an obligation not to interfere with the enjoyment of owners of their adjacent property. Contact the Residential Tenancies Branch for more information:
In Winnipeg, snow cannot be placed on the roadway or other public places such as a back lane. Individuals who do so can face a fine under The City of Winnipeg Sidewalk Cleaning By-law. Refer to your local by-laws outside of Winnipeg.
You can inform the local police or RCMP station. It is a crime to make harassing phone calls to another person under section 372(3) of the Criminal Code.
You can apply for a Peace Bond, which is a court order to protect you against the violent actions of another person. You can apply for a Peace Bond against anyone causing you fear – such as a neighbour. It can last up to one year. The court will give you a Peace Bond only if it is convinced that you have good reason to be afraid.
To get a Peace Bond, you must apply through the Provincial Court. In Winnipeg, the Provincial Court is downtown at 408 York Avenue. Outside Winnipeg, go to your nearest court office of RCMP Detachment. At the court office, ask to speak to a magistrate about a Peace Bond. The magistrate will listen to you and write down your reasons for wanting a Peace Bond. You will then be asked to sign a document called an information, which is your sworn statement about why you fear for your safety. This document will set a date for a court hearing.
Peace Bonds cannot be renewed but you can apply for a new one if you still have reason to fear the person.
You can sue the parents of a child who causes damage to your property for up to $10,000 in damages. The parent may not be held responsible under The Parental Responsibility Act if they can show that they were exercising reasonable supervision at the time of the incident and that they made reasonable efforts to discourage the child from engaging in that destructive activity.
When deciding if reasonable supervision over the child occurred, the court may consider:
CanLII (or The Canadian Legal Information Institute) is a not-for-profit organization managed by the Federation of Law Societies of Canada. CanLII has a free database of legal information, including cases from each province and territory in Canada. You can search court decisions of various levels of court, tribunals, and administrative and regulatory bodies. There are also statutes and regulations available on the website, and legal commentary.
The Manitoba section of CanLII has court cases from the Manitoba Court of Appeal, Court of King’s Bench, and Provincial Court. There are decisions available from the Manitoba Human Rights Commission, Manitoba Labour Board, Manitoba Securities Commission, Manitoba Health Appeal Board, Labour Arbitration Awards, College of Physicians & Surgeons of Manitoba Discipline Committee, and the Manitoba Law Society Discipline Committee.
The E.K. Williams Law Library at Robson Hall has a collection of legal resources available to the public. They are located at 224 Dysart Road at the University of Manitoba and can be reached at 204-474-9995.