Home > Respecting Neighbours > How Big a Problem Are Problem Neighbours?

How Big a Problem Are Problem Neighbours?

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 8 Nov 2020 | comments*Discuss
 
Neighbours Noise Disputes Anti-social

Everyone’s worst fear when moving into a new neighbourhood is that they could end up with the stereotypical neighbours from hell. That’s hardly surprising when figures released in early 2010 showed that not only did these problem neighbours force a staggering 360,000 people in the UK to relocate to a new home in the previous year, but in some cases the hellish neighbours also managed to knock some property values down by up £30,000.

Sobering Facts and Figures

According to a study of 2,000 homebuyers carried out by Halifax Home Insurance in March 2010:
  • Nearly 1 in 10 people claim to have moved house because of poor relations with their neighbours.
  • The number of neighbourhood disturbances has risen by a third in the last two years.
  • The people next door are a bigger influence on a decision to move house than schools.

The Biggest Complaints

The study also indicated that 1 in 3 neighbours have had some kind of a dispute.

The types of neighbourly behaviour which seem to generate the most complaints, and which are also behind most of the decisions to move house are:

The True Cost of Bad Neighbours

Frighteningly, it’s estimated that in some cases having Anti-Social Neighbours knocks thousands of pounds off the value of a house. As this is quite enough to stomach, it’s hardly surprising that people who are desperate to move away don’t admit that they have hideous neighbours when they put the place on the market, even though they are legally required to disclose any neighbourhood disputes to the buyers when selling a house. It costs just as much to stay put – around 20% of people said that a neighbour had actually damaged their property.

Noise Pollution

Further to all this, a survey by Which? Legal Service in April 2010 discovered that at least three million UK adults claimed to suffer with noisy neighbours - most of the noise being attributed to loud voices or arguing, music or television. Only 15% said that the problem was regular parties, and thankfully only 3% were troubled by the sound of their neighbours having sex.

General stomping around, noisy pets and DIY, occasional musical instruments and even ball games were rated annoying neighbourly rackets by some people. Only 7% of people who took part in this survey claimed that the noise had been so bad that it had made them move.

The Good News

It’s not all bad though – government figures also showed that the percentage of people reporting a high level of anti-social behaviour in their neighbourhood fell from 17% to 15% in the past year. Six out of the seven indicators for anti-social behaviour have fallen in the past year, and it seems that it’s only noisy neighbours which are on the increase.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
I live alone in a small terraced house a couple moved in next door ok for a while she now uses the shared porch area to smoke and shout down her mobile phone at least 15 times a day sometimes socialising out therewith visitors as well going in and out slamming the front door continuously it's so.intrusive I am going to have to move she is not the type to bother about anyone but herself .the smoke comes into my house .my life is in tatters because of this loud objectionable woman ..
Vic - 27-Oct-20 @ 12:12 AM
I have lived next door to a student house for 9 years. The current residents are a nuisance doing drugs, banging on our walls for their own amusement,shouting over each other, and slamming doors, windows, cupboards etc over and over.It was hard enough getting to sleep but I kept waking up in the night and so began to put my phone on record. To my horror they were knocking on the party wall at night deliberately to wake us up. Now obviously I have gone to the letting agents, who after 3 letters say there is nothing more they can do. I have also asked the council to open a noise complaint, which they have but when I asked the police for help they have said there is nothing they can or will do. Tonight they woke myself up in my room and they were knocking on the wall next to my sons bed and woke him up too. These students are incredibly immature. They get so drunk and then do drugs that they are out of control. Does anyone know if there's any help or support we can get. It's really getting me down. I knocked on their door to complain but they just don't answer. It feels like harrassment and I need my sleep.
Bewildered - 23-Oct-20 @ 2:19 AM
I honestly feel sorry for anyone who’s dealing with neighbours from hell. We’ve lived in what was quite a desirable area for 25 years, most of the residents down our street were elderly, really good neighbours. However over the past 6 years, they’ve moved on to assisted living or sold up and moved to a smaller house elsewhere in the country. We happen to live in a semi detached house, so when our elderly neighbour moved out 5 years ago, we honestly thought a nice family would purchase the house next door, we were really wrong. The noisiest and most annoying family moved in, a family with no respect for others, mounting a TV to the party wall in which we can hear quite loudly (we’ve had to buy air purifiers to create background white noise), they slam the doors unlike normal people, their offspring feels it’s a great idea to have ridiculous music on loud when the parents go away on holiday and have their feral noisy friends round to annoy the whole street. A family of people with absolutely zero respect for others, and we’re just unlucky that we’ve had most of our lives here, only to end up winning the worst neighbour lottery, of all the people who could’ve moved into the house, we end up with this bunch. We’re in the process of moving away, I could never have dreamed of how badly nuisance neighbours would affect living standards, not to mention mental health. Will be really happy and relieved when we close the front door for the very last time.
MW1982 - 20-Oct-20 @ 12:13 AM
I have a family that live downstairs from me they slam and bang the doors everytime they come out of building, whole flat shakes, the husband steals my post from communal hall way. the husband stands outside my door when i’m having a bath,and bash’s the front door really loud to the point where i’m shaken up. had enough ive put up with it for 10 years and on my way to a mental breakdown.
brooke - 14-Sep-20 @ 1:01 PM
Have lived here for nearly 13 years and neighbours have been fine, up until 3 years ago! They already had 4 children, eldest one has Down Syndrome. They decided to have another child and then another one a year later! I forgot to mention they live in a two bed house, same as myself. So now there are 8 people in total in there, and all she does is scream at them like a woman possessed. They really are the neighbours from hell
Bobs - 30-Jul-20 @ 4:01 PM
I have an ongoing problem with my neighbours below me. I live in flat on the top floor (2nd) neighbours below me slam doors shout and swear at us. They have loud TV up in the bedroom which is right below our bedroom. They bang on to things on purpose and laugh. I’ve complained to the council just have trouble gathering the evidence as walls are thin they know when someone’s here. My neighbours are a bunch of bullies they won’t say anything to your face but in their flat they will do what they can to cause nuisance.I can’t wait to move out from here it’s only been 2 years here. They started making noise since we moved in
Mrs LB - 24-Jul-20 @ 11:13 PM
I have lived in my current home over 20 years & never had problems with neighbours. However, 3 years ago a new family moved in next door & have taken outdoor living to the extreme. They have built a canopied kitchen, bbq & bar area, complete with dartboard & outdoor TV, right up against our boundary fence. All weekend, every weekend & sometimes week nights from spring till autumn they party outside with up to 30 guests. Last September they installed a stove so they could continue into the autumn. The smoke comes into our garden & windows & makes the house smell. All day & late into the night we have to put up with loud music, sport radio & whatever they’re watching on TV. They take no notice of polite requests to quieten down & we don’t want to get into a formal dispute as it would have to be declared should we try to sell the house, which we can’t afford to do at the moment. I honestly don’t know what to do other than try to find somewhere to go every weekend. We can’t invite friends round anymore or even sit in the garden ourselves. It’s good to know we’re not alone in having these issues, but awful to think so many of us are being bullied & made miserable in our own homes this way!
Dee Dee - 19-Jul-20 @ 8:01 PM
I just want to say that I feel sympathetic towards Louise. I also endure persistent and tormenting antisocial behavior from my neighbors. In addition to that, the problems are made worse by living on an estate where everyone lives in close proximity without any soundproof insulation at all. Therefore it is often difficult to sit in my flat and enjoy a measure of peace without hearing doors slamming,children running back and forth with the sound of their feet pounding sometimes all day. My landlord is unhelpful and dismisses it as " household noise" rather than anti social behavior. To make matters worse, my landlord will publish a two page leaflet warning tenants about the " tenancy agreement" while mentioning a growing number of complaints from tenants about noise nusiance; and yet this problem is to a great extent, exacerbated by the poor quality of the flats,cramped conditions and a lack of soundproofing insulation, but they accept no responsibility and place the blame on the trouble making, self serving, woefully inept hypocrites more commonly known as the Government. I hope that you'll endure Louise and that to know that many other people are suffering in similar conditions will comfort you when you feel hopeless. Best wishes to you.
tirednfedupofnoise - 13-Jul-20 @ 6:33 AM
I am persistently having issues with my neighbours through loud music at all times, sometimes in proper hours, sometimes out of social hours.Slamming of doors to the point the tremors come through to my house.I am woken up by them every evening slamming their patio door, and this can go on unitl 3am in the morning.I have lived with this for 5 years with only speaking to them on one occasion when I had a finger pointed into my face telling me "we are from London, we are used to noise and its our house we can do as we please".I can find ways of trying to cope with it most times, but sometimes I feel excessively trapped as I cannot afford to move anywhere else.
Louise - 28-Jun-20 @ 11:43 AM
Homeowner of mid terraced property, stayed at this address for 10 years without any hassle. last year has been a nightmare, previous neighbours at either side of us moved to either bigger house or carehome due to old age. Local council have housed animals at each side of us. at one side we have a couple who were released from prison and do not work, they have alcohol drug addictions and stay up all night and shout and argue and bang doors. we started to report them to local council, we were told the reason they got house was that council cannot discriminate, we have had police out 10 times, council have warned them 20 times in last year yet we are still waiting for them to be evicted. in this time, our front door has been glued shut, we had an attempted break in when we were away on holiday and our car has been keyed. at other side are a young couple with kids who fight and argue at all hours of morning with kids screaming, again they do not work. at our wits end, My wife has MS and all this has hadhuge impact on our health.
steph - 16-Jan-20 @ 4:21 PM
Stayed at my property for 18 years, new elderly neighbours moved in 3 years ago, started of ok, then as the months went by showed there true colours, wanting to park right outside there door, gentleman hitting my bumper on car & not careing, slandering my name in street to other residents threating behaviour toward us when gentleman intoxicated,i have a bought flat which the neighbours informed me i should sell & move away,.. Help?
Bizzy - 11-Jan-20 @ 7:02 AM
We live a 3 bedroom semi detached house. Our neighbour's behind have a teenage son who has his friends round alot! Play such loud music it booms threw our whole house. I'm dreading summer because in the school holidays it's worse. I cant relax in my own garden. I hate how it is affecting my life.
Ricky3star - 9-Dec-19 @ 4:17 PM
I used to come on here all the time to complain about my antisocial neighbours for like several years. Nothing happened. I went to police, council and nothing was resolved. I moved at it all stopped, now I live a someWHAT normal life. Dear people, try moving house, it will solve all your problems.
Aggy - 7-Dec-19 @ 3:24 AM
I have a nasty neighbour, passes me in the street and always says something nasty. Best thing to do is to move to another house, once the problems start it never ends.
Smith - 3-Dec-19 @ 11:19 PM
We have lived in our family home for nearly 20 years and thankfully have some lovely neighbours.Sadly the house next door is owned by a property company and rented out.We have been lucky that so far all of the tennants have been okay.However a new person has started work for the landlord company and has demanded that we cut the trees to the border at the rear if our two properties down to 2 metres and that we remove the rubbish from their access which runs to the side of our home and that we pay £1700 for the repairs to their drain and patio.We have sought advice from the council about the trees which have nesting birds and have been at the property since it was built some 30 years ago and they said that nothing can be done until October after nesting season but in any case the landlord would have to submit a request.We spoke to the property developer and they confirmed that the access is the responsibility of the neighbours and we have informed the landlord of this several times and that the rubbish is not ours.We have also refused to pay the invoice they sent us for their patio and drain as we were not informed about it and strongly believe that it's nothing to do with us.However they have threatened us with solicitors and continue to harass and bully us making us feel uncomfortable in our own home and very distressed and we don't feel we have done anything wrong.However as we are not the tennants where do we go for help or to complain other than to have to go to the expenditure of employing our own solicitor.
Mrs C - 18-Oct-19 @ 2:38 PM
Lived in our 3 bedroom mid terrace property for 7 years now,. Spent over 20 grand doing it up. Next door sold up, someone else bought it to rent out, fair enough. 1st couple were fine but they moved out after a year as they couldn't afford the rent. A couple have just moved in back beginning of February with 2 aggressive dogs. They are fairly quiet but a couple of weeks back they started chewing away at our closeboard fence. My wife went to have a word with them, asked them if they could do something to stop the dogs chewing the fence. They didn't seem bothered about the damage and have just left the dogs to carry on doing their thing. This week they've chewed a hole big enough to get their heads through now. These dogs are never walked and seem to be very annoyed whenever our cat is in our garden. What do we do now?? This closeboard fence cost over £700 back in 2013 and was in good condition until this happened ??
Paulb - 1-Apr-19 @ 12:50 PM
Lived in our semi for 16 years now. Neighbours before were great. New ones moved in 6 years ago and are a different story all together. Family of 4, mum works p/t the husband seems yo work p/t also and he is very anti-social and rude. They had a parrot that made lots of noise, that died so they replaced it was two very happy Jack rusells who bark all day at everything and anything !. They have 2 children, one who is now a teenager with special needs.We've always taken that into account as the kids were growing up but lately the shouting and screaming that comes through the walls is unbearable . The whole family seem to be unable to communicate without shouting loudly at one another. I have mentioned to her about the dogs and she said she would check it but if anything the barking has increased . I'm trying to be a good neighbour and try to ignore the noise but I'm really struggling with it. It's constant and I'm so fed up with them
Folder - 25-Feb-19 @ 2:43 PM
We live in a caravan on a park. Our neighbour has three dogs, she leaves these dogs up to nine hours a day whilst she works. The dogs howl when she leaves them even though she puts music on loud for them so that they can’t hear outside activities. These dogs can hear as when I’m out in the garden they start barking and jumping up at the windows. I think it’s a criminal offence she is committing. I’m up early in the morning because the radio wakens me up. This problem has been going on now for some time. She tells a couple of neighbors that her daughter comes to see to the dogs but I have never seen her. This woman is lying. I just don’t know what to do. Because of this I do not speak to her as she knows I know what she’s doing and it’s wrong. I’m not a person to complain or report but this is making me so unhappy. I’m now seventy year old and I need peace and quiet
Mal - 24-Feb-19 @ 7:52 AM
We moved into a new home 13yrs ago, initially the neighbours were great, then winter came and their smoke was thick, nasty and coming into our home. We approached them to inform them so they could rectify the situation. Their response was to become the Neighbours from Hell. They constantly smoke us out and have told the whole neighbourhood we are terrible neighbours. We kept a diary and had the EPA travel blanket for several weeks collecting the data to prove what was hapenning. The Council took no action, the neighbour increased the smoke output. We now have to bear the cost either the excess smoke or move. We have never had neighbours like this before.
Rob - 23-Nov-18 @ 2:06 AM
We move to our new home in 2013. My neighbour has installed a sercuity system that intrudes on our privacy constantly when operated the security light shines into our home and the cameras are always change position when we're in the garden or move room to room. How do l prove that our privacy is being breached..?
Benji - 20-Aug-18 @ 12:29 AM
Bobbles - Your Question:
We moved into our mid terrace two years ago and got on with the neighbours fine. Last Easter, the couple on one side split up and she moved out, leaving her two boys and two dogs behind. Since then, we had nearly 6 months of the dogs howling every time they were left, even for ten minutes ( I work from home so was able to keep a noise diary) one night it was so bad I recorded it through the walls and sent it on a message to her ex who still lives there with the kids. He didn’t respond but the week after the dogs were removed. Since November, she is now back during the day to look after the kids when they finish at lunchtime and mid afternoon as he can no longer afford childcare. She now has 3 dogs which get kicked out the yard in all weathers and constantly bark, howl and throw themselves at the back door wanting to be let back in. In addition to that, their yard is full of dog poo for weeks on end and the 4 year old plays amongst it. She arrives at 6.45am every morning now, slamming back door about 10/15 times in space of half hour and leaves dogs out as soon as she gets there. Were up at 7.15 and can’t eat breakfast in the kitchen due to the noise. Also, their 11 year old has one of these scooters and is out sometimes on back steps or front path till 11.30pm bouncing up and down. Sometimes she leaves the dogs behind when she goes back to her new place and he leaves the, out from about 6-7.30pm meaning we can no longer eat in the kitchen as they are constantly barking. They rent from a private landlord whom we are going to see this evening with recordings and picture of the state of the yard. We are considering bringing our seaside retirement plans forward by 10 years and putting the house up for sale. We didn’t want to move again after only a couple of years but we don’t see any other option.

Our Response:
See what their landlord says but a few other things to try are:
- Contact RSPCA about the state of the dogs and their environment
- Contact environmental health about the noise/mess/neighbour nuisance
- If the children are really playing outside around unremoved dog faeces perhaps you could contacta heath visitor or social services
- Consider mediation to see if you can come to some agreement with the family on what they can do to help this situation. Clearly they're struggling but keeping three dogs is probably something that's exacerbating their problems etc.
ProblemNeighbours - 21-Feb-18 @ 10:50 AM
We moved into our mid terrace two years ago and got on with the neighbours fine. Last Easter, the couple on one side split up and she moved out, leaving her two boys and two dogs behind. Since then, we had nearly 6 months of the dogs howling every time they were left, even for ten minutes ( I work from home so was able to keep a noise diary) one night it was so bad I recorded it through the walls and sent it on a message to her ex who still lives there with the kids. He didn’t respond but the week after the dogs were removed. Since November, she is now back during the day to look after the kids when they finish at lunchtime and mid afternoon as he can no longer afford childcare. She now has 3 dogs which get kicked out the yard in all weathers and constantly bark, howl and throw themselves at the back door wanting to be let back in. In addition to that, their yard is full of dog poo for weeks on end and the 4 year old plays amongst it. She arrives at 6.45am every morning now, slamming back door about 10/15 times in space of half hour and leaves dogs out as soon as she gets there. Were up at 7.15 and can’t eat breakfast in the kitchen due to the noise. Also, their 11 year old has one of these scooters and is out sometimes on back steps or front path till 11.30pm bouncing up and down. Sometimes she leaves the dogs behind when she goes back to her new place and he leaves the, out from about 6-7.30pm meaning we can no longer eat in the kitchen as they are constantly barking. They rent from a private landlord whom we are going to see this evening with recordings and picture of the state of the yard. We are considering bringing our seaside retirement plans forward by 10 years and putting the house up for sale. We didn’t want to move again after only a couple of years but we don’t see any other option.
Bobbles - 20-Feb-18 @ 9:45 AM
Old spark - Your Question:
My wife and I bought a bungalow 14 years ago and have got on with most of the neighbours except for next door who live in a three storey house with a loft conversion, they can see the rear of some of the properties, they are constantly lighting jos-stick or scented candles when we have BBQ's or friends over and we sit in our garden, They start up their petrol lawn mower without cutting the grass, they have complained about our decking, my garden lighting, my wind chimes, (which are tied up when its very windy),my gazebos, and generally anything that they do not like, the final straw? came when we erected a flag pole and the said neighbour threatened me with physical violence if I did not remove it. I am over 70 years old and the neighbours are in there late 50's? They have now started to do the same with the new neighbours who moved into the other side of them, I started to treat it all as a joke but it is now wearing me down and have a lot of sleepless nights, what can I do please I am at my wits end and we are too old and infirm to move. they have planted a lot of high trees which over hang our garden, which need constant cutting back (all down to me). The police were called over the flag pole incident but the rest has just got worse.

Our Response:
From what you've said, the police should have dealt with the violent incident. There is no offence in lighting scented candles or planting trees unfortunately so there's not a great deal you can do. A tree owner is not obliged to cut back any branches that overhang a neighbour's garden but your are entitled to do so yourself if you choose. Incidentally a flag pole often required planning permission, so your neighbour should have been consulted about this and objected via official processes. Just ignore the complaining, that's all we can really advise, sorry. Maybe once your neighbour's trees have grown, they will not be so easily affected by anything you choose to do in your garden.
ProblemNeighbours - 27-Jul-17 @ 12:02 PM
My wife and I bought a bungalow 14 years ago and have got on with most of the neighbours except for next door who live in a three storey house with a loft conversion, they can see the rear of some of the properties, they are constantly lighting jos-stick or scented candles when we have BBQ's or friends over and we sit in our garden, They start up their petrol lawn mower without cutting the grass, they have complained about our decking, my garden lighting, my wind chimes, (which are tied up when its very windy),my gazebos, and generally anything that they do not like, the final straw? came when we erected a flag pole and the said neighbour threatened me with physical violence if I did not remove it. I am over 70 years old and the neighbours are in there late 50's? They have now started to do the same with the new neighbours who moved into the other side of them, I started to treat it all as a joke but it is now wearing me down and have a lot of sleepless nights, what can I do please I am at my wits end and we are too old and infirm to move. they have planted a lot of high trees which over hang our garden, which need constant cutting back (all down to me). The police were called over the flag pole incident but the rest has just got worse.
Old spark - 23-Jul-17 @ 1:08 PM
I'd like People Who Have issues to may consider This after so many issues above Me for a Year I Finally Got the outcome I wanted I tried all Routes From working with my Housing officer to environmental Health and Installing Noise Equipment it causes me pychological Issues & Problems with my Nerves To The Point I had Enough I contacted my local police none emergency explained my situation I did state that I may do something I Regret Because it's caused my life a misery to the point I never wanted to stay in my Own Home no one should have to feel like this at all Anyway my local police were understanding they busted my Home saying they'd contact my Housing after 2 weeks These people up above were leaving they had a Week it was the best outcome ever for me I've had so much peace although it's caused me Nerve issues and my noise sensetivity has Gone up
Becca - 28-Apr-17 @ 3:04 AM
Hi We moved into our mid terraced house nearly 2 years ago now as we had 2 young children. When we arrived we started to notice after 3 months that our neighbours were changing very frequently. We found out this was because they were using the flat next door as housing for foster children aged 17 as a stop gap for when they turned 18. We have been through hell with 3 of these neighbours the 3rd currently ongoing now. Every time we try and contact the council they just say they will send a letter to the carers and let them know and still nothing gets done. The young boy will constantly have groups of friends around every night making loud noise shouting banging and smoking cannabis. Is there any other route I can go down in this battle otherwise I think we are going to have to move property
Brent - 30-Dec-16 @ 1:58 AM
Hi I am experiencing the same problems with the neighbours above me. It has been going on for over a year and feel that no one is helping me. When O contact the council they just tell me without proof there is nothing they can do and that I should contact the noise team who never do a thing, I wonder what they get paid for. Anyway can anyone advise me its driving me insane and having an impact on my health and wellbeing I would rather live on the streets it thst bad!
Ace - 15-Dec-16 @ 9:18 PM
I am Not sure it I'm commenting on my post But Yes I have complained to my landlord they've advised me They'd Give Warnings But The Noise hasn't stopped just worse I'm getting sleepless nights I'm distressed very depressed constant feeling upset and anexity I suffer with mental Health problems I take medication it's come to a point I can't eat Right because it's Horrible Hearing it - Housing officer has advised me to move if it's making me That Bad I can't believe I feel forced out my Home I have tried to Knocking neighbours to explain but I'm ignored - environmentAl still haven't responded to my call I made 4 Days I'm Thinking of taking to my solicitor my Home is not in Livable conditions and iv had no hot water for 9 months
Becca - 1-Oct-16 @ 8:57 PM
Hi, we've been in our first semi-detached Victorian house for a week. So far I have had to make a social care referral and call the police to the address. The volume of Children in despair amongst screaming arguing is causing me to have panic attacks. There is not one room in our home that isn't filled by her shrieking. We have had a estimation for soundproofing but as the bangs are through safety gates, kids running I don't feel that wall insulation will help. We just want to sell and move on as realistically what will change? Please can someone give me some good news or support?
Indespair - 21-Aug-16 @ 8:19 PM
live with my parents everything was fine till we got new neighbours next door two years ago everyone makes noise at sometime just having to listen to banging and slamming doors and shouting through two walls at 7 or 8am every morning drove us mad and was the parents doing it to. their kids kept deliberately throwing things into garden and at our window just to get our attention. we've had a word the throwing things has stopped the shouting and banging still goes on if we run a tap in the bathroom or put shower on sometimes kids keep banging on the wall it's really annoying. is awkward if we see them now as just ignor us or give you a look. I suffer from depression and anxiety so ain't helping just wish i could move. this house is boughtand didn't want to phone council because it could affect the selling of it what should we do. help
laulau - 17-Aug-16 @ 5:13 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments