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How Big a Problem Are Problem Neighbours?

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 30 Dec 2016 | 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.

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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
4 months ago after having issues with sexual noise nusiance I realised that the tenant who is Renting the property above Is not living there a young couple are living there constant making a nusiance I confronted my housing officer she stated the tenant denied and that he is living in the property when I know he's not every time I say this she diverts to it's a nouse complaint nothing to do with the tenant she filed a report and messed it all up I have beeN told the young person is a family member she says they are monitoring it but when I say how dose my complaint stand if the tenant isn't there ? What legal advice can I reach out too I am tired of it to a point I'm on medication and it's making my life a misery
Bex1993 - 27-Dec-16 @ 9:46 PM
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
Becca- Your Question:
I have commented about noise issues with sexual Intercourse & made complaints to my housing office turns out the situation has become more complicated the tenant to the property hasn't been their two months but according to the housing office he has the flat in his name but I can hear a women & sometimes a man's voice they go at it 8 times a day I can't be sure but it could be other men it seems something more complicated is going on which needs to be investigated which I believe is being dealt with but I need to know my Rights if it turns out someone else has been living up above me without permission from housing etc and they've not declared it & it's made me ill I'm not antidepressants it's made my life a misery lack of sleep etc iv been crying all hours because noN stop in out the door / what are my Rights when it comes to making aN official complaint and they've allowed this to happen and made me ill

Our Response:
Your housing association will be able to tell you whether a tenancy agreement has been breached or not, and should be able to take action if it has. Your council's environmental health office will be able to investigate if the noise is excessive and takes place between 11pm and 7am.
ProblemNeighbours - 26-Oct-16 @ 2:38 PM
I have commented about noise issues with sexual Intercourse & made complaints to my housing office turns out the situation has become more complicated the tenant to the property hasn't been their two months but according to the housing office he has the flat in his name but I can hear a women & sometimes a man's voice they go at it 8 times a day I can't be sure but it could be other men it seems something more complicated is going on which needs to be investigated which I believe is being dealt with but I need to know my Rights if it turns out someone else has been living up above me without permission from housing etc and they've not declared it & it's made me ill I'm not antidepressants it's made my life a misery lack of sleep etc iv been crying all hours because noN stop in out the door / what are my Rights when it comes to making aN official complaint and they've allowed this to happen and made me ill
Becca - 25-Oct-16 @ 1:44 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
Becca- Your Question:
Please can someone help I live in Rented accommodation on a Ground Floor Flat with someone above me - I have a disability & get sleepless nights which effects me mentally they have Sex so Loud to a point I thought once when I woke up my door was being smashed in by a burglar they once decided to have Sex at 7 am on a Sunday morning then literally again at 8 am it's absaloute vile can hear everything I told my housing officer she commented (they've got carpets) I put in a compliant but when I called up reception they've not known of anything please help it's driving me out my Home

Our Response:
Have you reported this in writing to environmental health? Does it occur after 11pm and before 7am? These are generally the times when your council will be able to act - outside of these times it might be more difficult. If you share a landlord you also could ask them if they can do anything about it.
ProblemNeighbours - 26-Sep-16 @ 2:41 PM
Please can someone help I live in Rented accommodation on a Ground Floor Flat with someone above me - I have a disability & get sleepless nights which effects me mentally they have Sex so Loud to a point I thought once when I woke up my door was being smashed in by a burglar they once decided to have Sex at 7 am on a Sunday morning then literally again at 8 am it's absaloute vile can hear everything I told my housing officer she commented(they've got carpets) I put in a compliant but when I called up reception they've not known of anything please help it's driving me out my Home
Becca - 25-Sep-16 @ 8:40 AM
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
My next door neighbour has a wall dividing off my drive from theirs.Its along the shared boundary which I have no problem with.However, if I go near the edge of my boundary or brush by their wall she comes out and screams at me to stay clear of her wall although it is running along our shared boundary line. What are my rights?
JayJay - 23-Jul-16 @ 9:42 PM
Hi I have mild learning disabilities and problems with anxiety and depression and don't like my next door neighbors as at the weekends their daughters and their children come around all they do is shout and scream at each other and thier grandchildren esp 2 young girls about aged 8 to 10 yrs old stare and laugh at me and often throw toys and balls at my dog which is the only company I have as my parents died and only have help from support workers twice a week I feel uneasy with them not sure how to handle them next door they scream and shout from 9am to 6pm then the man and woman argue at 2am when they been drinking.
Cat - 2-Jul-16 @ 8:04 PM
Kate - Your Question:
Please delete my comment. I sent you an inbox message on Facebook.

Our Response:
We can't find it sorry...what name was it under?
ProblemNeighbours - 30-Jun-16 @ 2:09 PM
Kate - Your Question:
I have terrible neighbours. Three months after we moved in, the wife came banging on our door covered in blood and screaming. Her husband had beaten her up and was strangling her when she escaped to our house. We hid her inside and called the police, had to go to court as witnesses, etc. She ended up telling us we ruined her family and to retract our statement from the police. Anyway, we didn't but he got off and they continue to live together next door with their 3 teenaged boys. Somehow we managed to move past this incident, it was 3 years ago and we were civil again until a month ago. We put a gate out the side of our yard into the park behind (we live on a ravine) with city permission. Turns out, they think they have rights to that property because they cut the grass a few times and they boarded up our gate and verbally harassed my husband and I for over an hour. The police were called after their oldest son threatened to damage our property, the whole family was calling me a "greedy b**ch" and other worse names. The City was also called and told them to remove their stuff from the park that was blocking my gate. Instead, they planted trees in front of my gate and started a petition against me and trash talked me to the entire neighbourhood. Luckily everyone else likes me so it didn't go far. Anyway, the city told them the next step is court so they removed everything. The park is destroyed because of them and their nonsense. But now they've sworn to be the worst neighbours and they're being successful so far. Noise, foreign music, dirty looks from the kids, junk everywhere. I'm scared for myself, my pets and my property. Any advice? We just finished renovating our house and planned on staying 20 years. I'm doing my best to ignore them but I need some support. Does it get easier with time? I want to feel at home again.

Our Response:
You might want to consider asking the police and council to work together on this to issue an Antisocial Behaviour Order
ProblemNeighbours - 30-Jun-16 @ 10:44 AM
Please delete my comment. I sent you an inbox message on Facebook.
Kate - 29-Jun-16 @ 11:29 AM
We moved into our property at Christmas. We had to sign a year tenancy with a letting agent as they do not do six months, It is what we thought a quiet country property with just one couple and a young family living next door with two dogs. The father is a farm labourer and works 14 hours a day. His wife stays at home. Their employer was able to secure the property for them while we had to go through all the proper checks. Within a couple of weeks of living next door to Bonnie And Clyde and no that is not the dogs names but my nickname for my neighbours it was apparent that they were no normal family. Very quickly the young mother when the husband was out would terrorise my partner viciously with bangs of every descriptions, screams, loud shouting , setting the dog on us, spying constantly on us both that is almost like stalking, spreadinghateful lies around what is a small farming village community so that now we are intimidated by the what again I have termed the local farming mafia of young farmers who go past our property honking their horns all the time. Weekends are a joy to behold. If is not the wife taunting, stalking and harassing us by shouting and screaming or showing her bizarre and erratic behaviour while we hide from her in our caravan for safety to escape her evil clutches its the farm labouring husband from hell with his power tools of every description as he saws down every tree, hedge, and shrub in his vicinity for twelve hours a day in what is actually a rented property and if that is not enough we have to stand by and see his so called dodgy illegal activities and be too scared to do anything. We have informed the agent who now knows but to add insult to injury we are going to have to pay thousands to escape Bonnie and Clyde but I think its well worth it as I am prepared to prepared to pay the ransom asked and escape the Wild West Of The Local Village And So Called Nice Farming Community and escape back over the border into normality again.
Happy - 13-Jun-16 @ 9:24 PM
just wanted to say having nasty nosey neighbours is a nightmare. I live in an area that when I first moved in thought it wasn't too bad. However I quickly realised that the 'neighbours' were only nice if they had right of way. I won't discuss the kids because it would take too long. I'll tell you a bit about my neighbours on either side. At one point I went in hospital to have an emergency op and finally when I came home I had friends and teachers taking my daughter to and from school.The old couple at one side made a point of asking my friends who were on the drive for less than five minutes to move their cars. When on the third or fourth occasion this happened I refused to comply and got a load of abusive language. Further altercations occurred after that , more abuse when a shuttlecock landed on their car , further abusive language at any opportunity after which I began informing police of all conversations and got them to log everything. Neighbours at the otherside she is a disgusting loudmouthed person who shouted abuse out of window at me , told me shed been writing nasty things about me on facebook and began complaining about my dog. My sister was diagnosed as terminally ill and sadly died last year , not before i'd had to have a ' mediation ' meeting with the housing regarding disputes with this neighbour. I sat in an office listening to my neighbour tell the housing of all the jobs she had reported at my address trying to make me look like a ' bad tenant' and demanding to know why I had not put my bin out, and why I cut my hedge with 'scissors'. This neighbour while spouting all this rubbish to the housing robbed me of precious time i should have been spending with my sister. The fact of the matter is that she went home having a good laugh about it all whereas I went home to a call from the paramedics asking meto meet them at my sister's property whereby I accompanied them with her to hospital to be resusitated. Sadly , my sister did not live much longer. I've had this neighbour , a cleaner , shouting at me to get off my fat arse and get a job while I was caring for my terminally ill sister and not claiming a carers' allowance I might add. I am a post graduate , not someone with limited work skills.Unfortuately, we still live at this address but are planning to move. My daughter hates them all, as do I but pray one day when they have family crises horrible, selfish spiteful neighbours like these finally get their comeuppance.
cathy - 10-Jun-16 @ 1:50 AM
My next door neighbour garden is full of weeds and brambles it is now 6/8ft high some where in there is a shed. She has her telly and radio on at same time very loud. Hovers walls at 2am. My son hardly sleeps because of the noise we have shouted at her to turn it down especially when we going to bed. Is there any thing we can do
Lou - 21-May-16 @ 10:18 AM
Marty - Your Question:
Hi, I am in desperate need of advice please! I have neighbours from hell who put several steel beams right through the party wall of our properties and cased other damage as well. They did not serve any form of notice and it was down to me to call in a surveyor to find out the extant of the damage. A party wall agreement was drawn up and I wasgiven the run around by the neighbours. They have not rectified any damage on our side even though they were supposed to have done and now they have put their house up for sale! They are running away! What can I do?

Our Response:
This is something you will have to pursue via the small claims courts - make an application quickly before their house is sold.
ProblemNeighbours - 3-May-16 @ 10:08 AM
Hi, I am in desperate need of advice please!I have neighbours from hell who put several steel beams right through the party wall of our properties and cased other damage as well.They did not serve any form of notice and it was down to me to call in a surveyor to find out the extant of the damage.A party wall agreement was drawn up and I wasgiven the run around by the neighbours.They have not rectified any damage on our side even though they were supposed to have done and now they have put their house up for sale!They are running away!What can I do?
Marty - 2-May-16 @ 12:09 AM
S - Your Question:
What can be done about neighbours from another street where our rear gardens meet they constantly put their rubbish over the dividing fence into our garden, rubbish includes mattress, general rubbish,old chairs and garden rubbish. What course of action can be taken, speaking to them isn't advisable as very anti social people ?

Our Response:
Report them to your environmental health department. See more information in this article
ProblemNeighbours - 21-Apr-16 @ 12:12 PM
What can be done about neighbours from another street where our rear gardens meet they constantly put their rubbish over the dividing fence into our garden, rubbish includes mattress, general rubbish,old chairs and garden rubbish. What course of action can be taken, speaking to them isn't advisable as very anti social people ?
S - 20-Apr-16 @ 1:44 PM
We live in an end terrace of 8 where all the properties except our adjoining neighbours' are bought. This Council tenant couple have maybe 8-10 motorbike chassis' strewn throughout their rear garden, apparently stored. There are also pallets, barrels, timber and bric-a-brac all over the rear, their house inside is a similar mess, unkempt and in a comparatively poor state of décor. One of them is at home all the time, and does nothing at all, so time is not an issue. They're just like this psychologically; TV watchers; council housing system, which we, in the end, as tax payers, are partially funding. We have our house on the market and the estate agents have said it will affect a purchase, but there's little the neighbours would do. To them, none of it is scrap, and they have no storage options. There doesn't seem to be any real suitable answer, beyond us buying them a shed, which might have to happen I think, offset against the thousands in question
HomeOwners2012 - 18-Mar-16 @ 1:50 PM
I live in a neighbourhood I hate,neighbours are dirty n noisy and vulgar.I have to cross the ferry every day to work which takes 1hour n get to work sweaty and tired.My hubby has a 30mins commute to work,he has it easy coz he doesn't cross the ferry .I am the one to always hurry back to get toddler from school and get home at 6:30pm tired and still have to prepare dinner while he just sits watching tv..I tried telling him to move so I can be nearer to work and not get so tired n be home early to pick toddler...but he refuses Becoz we dnt pay rent (we bought the house )..I cant tske it anymore...I will just move and if he wants to follow us..he can
mum to twoboys - 10-Mar-16 @ 3:10 PM
Call tom smith soundproofing of DIY SOS saved our lives it's like being in a detached house now.
sincs - 23-Feb-16 @ 12:30 PM
I live in a very peaceful neighborhood built on a nature preserve.Everyone is very respectful, for the most part, of one another's privacy and lifestyle.However, my next door neighbor moved unexpectedly six months ago and rented his house to a family with four children--three of them teens, one a very loud grade schooler.We know when they are awake and when they go to bed, when they take piano lessons, practice the drums and guitar, watch tv and every time they close a door. Why? They are EXTREMELY LOUD about everything.I can lay in bed, windows closed, and hear their tv.The drum playing is so loud I can record it in my house and pick it up clearly. Every time a door closes, it is a loud slam that shakes our house.I finally complained to the home owner's association and now they seem to go out of their way to make even more noise.They have the nerve to act like I am doing something wrong.Any tips on dealing with them are appreciated. It's taking a toll on my nerves, and yes, I own my home.
LS - 2-Feb-16 @ 6:10 PM
I have been having trouble with my neighbour. It's be going on for about 3 years.I can't go outside without him coming out and having a go. I tried 7 months ago we should sort this out. He says he hates me. Not sure why. But I am single and 50 live life to the full. Then he stars. Every 2 months kicking off at me. I'm now staying away from my home to avoid it. This can't be right
MG - 24-Jan-16 @ 1:17 PM
My neighbor stamps over me and my kids from 2am every day till 6am.he has his dog ran up and down too.I have high blood pressure and it is causing me to be sick.I have asked him nicely to keep the noise down but it became worse.I feel like I would be in jail soon .what to do.
E - 24-Jan-16 @ 11:20 AM
Miserable - Your Question:
My neighbour has just hung Christmas lights off my guttering,we are a detached bungalow,she also has other things against my bedroom wall which bang when used or if its windy.Both my husband and myself are disabled and we tend to nap in the day but with this noise it is really getting to us.She has no regard that it is our wall and guttering.What are we to do?

Our Response:
Attaching anything to someone else's property without their permission amounts to criminal damage - and as such you are entitled to ask the neighbour to remove the items. If she refuses, you may need to take further action via the courts/legal system. We imagine however, that the threat of legal action for criminal damage would be sufficient, without actually have to proceed with it.
ProblemNeighbours - 14-Dec-15 @ 10:36 AM
My neighbour has just hung Christmas lights off my guttering,we are a detached bungalow,she also has other things against my bedroom wall which bang when used or if its windy. Both my husband and myself are disabled and we tend to nap in the day but with this noise it is really getting to us. She has no regard that it is our wall and guttering. What are we to do?
Miserable - 13-Dec-15 @ 10:59 AM
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