For most of you, simply reading the title of this article may well send shivers down your spine. How many of us, at one time or another, have had to put up with excessive noise from their neighbours?
For those who are lucky, it can perhaps just be an occasional problem, such as a party being thrown every couple of months where everyone who attends seems totally oblivious to the fact that there are neighbours.
If you are genuinely fortunate, you may even have a neighbour who pays you the courtesy of letting you know that they are going to be throwing a party on a specific date and that you may want to go away for the night. They know fine well that no matter how hard they try, there is no way that the noise level will not disturb most, if not all their neighbours.
However, there is also the situation where you have a neighbour who seems almost intent to make the lives of their neighbours as intolerable and uncomfortable as possible. Whether it is revving car engines late at night, or the continual thud, thud of loud music either coming through the walls, the ceiling if you are in a flat or through the windows because, beyond playing loud music, your neighbour likes to do it at three o’clock in the morning with their own windows wide open.
So, how do you deal with the problem of a noisy neighbour?
First of all, your actions will be dictated by the type of noise and disturbance, and its frequency. Is the noise someone playing the drums, or is it kids just playing and, as kids do, making a noise? At what time of the day is the disturbance? Is it during the daytime, or is it late at night when you are trying to sleep? Do you know anything about these neighbours? Are they tenants and have they been evicted from their previous accommodation for similar antisocial behaviour?
Let us look at some scenarios. If the noise is coming from kids playing in the street and it is not late at night, do you want to create a potential problem simply because kids are kids? It is not reasonable to expect children to play in silence and, chances are, you were not unusually quiet when you were their age. However, if the noise goes on into the late evening, you could amicably approach your neighbour, explain that you understand that kids need to let off steam, and ask if there is any chance there could be a cut-off time because you have a young child who is struggling to sleep, or you have to work shifts and are in bed early in the evening.
Suppose you approach your neighbour in a friendly manner; they are more likely to feel less threatened and will be more likely to be understanding of the situation.
Who to contact if you need help with noisy neighbours?
If your neighbour has a constantly barking dog, this can be a very tricky problem to resolve, especially if the dog is also displaying aggressive behaviour. If you approach your neighbour, they are likely to say they cannot do anything about it. It is just the way the dog is.
If you then report your neighbour to the Environmental Health department of your local authority, and soon after you ask your neighbour to shut their dog up, local authority officials turn up; you will become an instant target for your neighbour if they feel particularly aggrieved with your actions.
Where noise is being created by antisocial behaviour, your best bet is to contact the Environmental Health department, and while you will have to give them your details, they will not be revealed to the people you are complaining about. The only time when you will be better to call the police is when the noise involves cars, such as excessive revving of engines at night, ‘boy racers’ driving up and down the road at dangerously high speeds, and general rowdiness.
Beyond that, noises such as your neighbour doing DIY should not be made before 7 am. and after 11 pm. Often, the lack of consideration may not be deliberate but just as a consequence of a lack of thought and consideration. They may even believe that the noise they are making will not disturb anyone so that they will be shocked, and apologetic, to find out that they have been disturbing you.
One area where you may struggle to succeed, by going through all the appropriate channels, is to reduce the noise made my a neighbour who is suffering from mental health problems. By that, we are not referring to those who are suffering from depression, but individuals who have learning difficulties. There is a reluctance for agencies to become involved, but if you use a ‘Community Trigger’ this can often be effective.
One thing to bear in mind with any action you take is that the idea is to stop the noise, not have the individual evicted.
What should you do before reporting noisy neighbours?
Directly contacting your local authority to complain that your neighbour is making noise will not get you very far. There is an emergency number for instances where the noise is particularly antisocial and very late at night, but otherwise, you need to keep a diary of events, noting down the dates, times, duration and nature of noise that is causing a problem.
It would be best if you make a note of how the noise affects you and makes you feel. If you are suffering from lack of sleep and that is making you over-anxious, then make a note of that.
Having an expert law firm of neighbour disputes solicitors on your side when tackling anti-social behaviour can help you feel more positive about being able to tackle the problem before it escalates further – or having to deal with the matter on your own.
If you have noisy neighbours, but you are unsure of your rights, and what you can do to try and solve the problem, here at Qredible.co.uk, our solicitors would be delighted to use their many years of mediation and deployment of local authority services to help you improve your quality of life. We are all entitled to live in our home and enjoy a certain level of peace and quiet, so do get in touch.
Do you need a Lawyer?
Find Solicitors, Lawyers and Law Firms in the UK with QredibleFind a Lawyer near me