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How Big a Problem Are Problem Neighbours?

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 1 Apr 2019 | 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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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
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
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
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