Vesteda offers neighbourhood mediation via BeterBuren

Most people enjoy their homes. However, they may sometimes be bothered by their neighbours and minor irritations can escalate into major disputes. Highly emotional situations can often make it difficult to speak to each other reasonably. To make this easier, Vesteda has teamed up with the BeterBuren (better neighbours) organisation, a neutral party and mediator for neighbours involved in disputes.

Since the Covid-19 outbreak in 2020, people have been spending more time at home and they are working more frequently from home. Vesteda wanted to know more about the living experience of its tenants in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic and sent 5,000 tenants a number of questions on this subject. The response rate was 22%. What emerged from this survey? Tenants were indeed spending more time at home, appreciated having outside space and supermarkets in the neighbourhood, but their neighbours were irritating them more. More than 17% of the respondents said their neighbours were annoying them more than they had previously. Vesteda has launched a number of initiatives to prevent rows between neighbours or to resolve disputes, including the collaboration with BeterBuren.

Collaboration with BeterBuren

BeterBuren’s neighbourhood mediators are trained to resolve conflicts between neighbours by talking to everyone involved. Vesteda tenants in and around Amsterdam can now contact BeterBuren if they are involved in disputes about noise, rubbish, bad smells, problems with animals or children or a breakdown in relations.

What is neighbourhood mediation?

When someone opts for neighbourhood mediation via BeterBuren, the neighbours involved meet up with two mediators to look at how they can resolve their dispute. The mediators first talk to the neighbours separately. Then if both parties agree, the mediators organise a joint discussion on neutral ground. The mediators help the neighbours to find solutions and resolve their dispute.

Preventing problems is better

Obviously, it is always much better to prevent disputes with your neighbours. We give our tenants a number of tips on how to do this in our video on problems with neighbours. But if neighbours cannot agree on how to resolve their differences, they can now call on BeterBuren for support.