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Dealing with Noisy Neighbours

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 14 Jul 2019 | comments*Discuss
 
Dealing With Noisy Neighbours

Some of us will have had to deal with noisy neighbours at one time or another. Often, this might be simply because of the types of personality they have and not because they want to be disruptive.

Remember, we’re not all the same ‘types’ of people. You might prefer the quiet life or you’d much rather enjoy doing all of your socialising down at the pub. Others, however, might enjoy socialising at home and having parties, they might be DIY enthusiasts, or have a small tribe of children and we’re all aware of how much noise a group of kids can generate.

The problems arise when the noise becomes excessive and it can escalate even further over time if ignored. It can cause stress to those it affects as well as inflicting sleepless nights and can, in effect, completely ruin your enjoyment of your own life in your own home. However, you might be surprised to discover that many people who are considered ‘noisy’ and disruptive are often totally unaware of the effects they are having on others, and a simple polite conversation will often resolve the issue.

Speaking to your Neighbour First

No one should have to tolerate Excessive Noise Pollution, but it's not very neighbouring if you immediately call the police or your local Environmental Health Department at the first sign of any loud noise. Many noisy neighbours might consider this to be a bit like ‘going behind their back’ instead of speaking to them first and, if a complaint is made anonymously, it can often cause an even deeper sense of resentment. They may then become suspicious of everybody in their immediate neighbourhood, and their mistrust can sometimes lead to them becoming even more disruptive.

That doesn’t mean you, as the person under sufferance, should have to put up with their behaviour, but talking to them first about the situation can often nip in the bud a potential long-term noise problem. What is important, however, is the way in which you choose to speak to them and, quite often, the timing.

Choosing the Right Moment

Even if you’ve been tearing your hair out, it’s important that when you go to speak to your neighbour, you stay calm and remain polite. Simply point out to them what effects their behaviour has had on you and your family. You can be firm and get your point across in a polite manner. Most neighbours should be reasonable enough to understand and to take your views on board which should keep things harmonious between you, and also should ensure that they do not repeat the same mistake again.

If you’ve hardly spoken to them previously, you’ll naturally feel a little apprehensive about doing this, but it’s usually the best solution and stops the problem from escalating. However, the other crucial issue is the timing and not simply what you say and how you say it. A house party is a good example.

The Right Timing

If a party is in full swing yet the noise is excessive, it’ll be no doubt very tempting to go and confront your neighbours there and then. The best advice would be to leave it until the following day, as they may have had a few drinks too many and be right in the party spirit. So, if you confront them when the party’s in full flow, they may simply see you as a ‘killjoy’ and/or will simply not be in the frame of mind to give any thought to how their behaviour is affecting you. So, whether it’s a party or a DIY project that’s giving you grief, you’re much more likely to get your points across and produce the desired result if you wait a day or so.

The fact is that most excessive noise problems with neighbours can often be better resolved between neighbours themselves. Sometimes it’s even more effective if a few neighbours who have been affected go round together and state their case, as nobody likes to feel a social outcast within their own neighbourhood.

This all said, however, there may be several reasons why you might not wish to have a chat with your neighbour first to try to resolve matters. Perhaps they are renowned for making people’s lives difficult, or they might want to provoke you into a confrontation that might get out of hand. So, it may be a ‘judgement call’ depending upon the ‘personalities’ involved.

However, no one has the legal right to make someone else’s life a misery through excessive noise, so don't feel guilty about Contacting Your Local Environmental Health Department or even the police, if you strongly suspect that by confronting the issue directly yourself, you could be putting yourself at risk of harm in any way.

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After 15 years of what for a house away from bad neighbours council said they had got me a house to help me with my health and mental health bec of the building I lived in so thinking this is it a good area no such luck now I have a drunk neighbour that starts sings 10pm at the top of his vosie every night cleans and hoovers falls all about the floor my ceiling feels like is coming down this go's on till 3am then he get up for work at 7am still drunk then of to work then starts again at 6pm I feel like am stuck and need to move again and feel like another one 15 Yr of waiting I can't do it am done in and can't take this anymore and no one will help
Monmons - 14-Jul-19 @ 11:38 PM
I've lived in my detached house happily for 26 years, until a year ago the next door neighbours got themselves a loud barking dog, barking it's head off daily starting by waking me outside my bedroom. On top of this their 2 external doors, both outside my bedroom and living areas if my house, they slam shut up to 15 times a day, coming and going and letting the dog in and out. The main noise now, is not as much the dog, but them slamming these doors waking me day in day out. The council have been involved also the police, but these neighbours put on a caring front that they will adjust their doors, and they are trying their best, when they clearly don't. I am now thinking about getting cctv, purely to record their behaviour, I am 72 and was so looking forward to my retirement, but it's a living torture due to these couldn't care less neighbour.
Sharon - 11-Jul-19 @ 2:58 AM
Reply to Kay Jan 2019. Having faced directly the inept and incompetency of the EH understand the complaint when investigating Low Frequency Noise. Since late 2017 DEFRA have published new guidelines written by Professor Moorhouse, Salford University for Environmental Health when identifying LFN caused by external forces such as White Appliances, Central Heating and other mechanical devices. This actually reverses their initial techniques and regulations when communicating to people affected by LFN and vibrations. Firstly Tinnitus which the EH attempt to blame DOESN'T affect the ability to identify Low Frequency Noise and Vibrations, in fact studies show the opposite.Thus the guidelines were updated that a check up is not needed. Secondly the Environmental Health have to correctly calibrate their equipment C weighted to identify any low frequency noise below 50hz. Unfortunately their sound equipment is ill equipped to identify or register infrasound, thus the problem when identifying the source. Also many speakers or headgear have issues or unable to playback infrasound. Thus the difficulty of the officers replicating and identifying the sound and vibrations! Thirdly the government and local councils have updated the rules when interpreting building materials in flats and housing that could affect the transference and extrapolation of noise. There are guidelines on how low frequency noise can be transferred by laminated flooring. Hope this helps yourself or others fighting against LFN and vibrations. As currently I've seen or read hundreds of complaints, but not one successful prosecution or cease and desist.
John - 8-Jul-19 @ 6:40 AM
Sir.. My neighbours daily use alcohal and shout in their families.my study is disturbing..My family has been disturbed due to 2-3 people.In bihar,it is banned but they use taari..And they daily do the same act..I m unable to concentrate on my study due to it..Please help me
Shravan - 5-Jul-19 @ 4:01 PM
My neighbours clearly have an issue with volume control, several of them would make great town criers, they really are that loud.As children learn from what they observe, these people are raising loud children with no consideration for other neighbours.The loud children will grow up to be loud parents & so it goes on. Next door neighbour installed a monster trampoline so squealing, shouting, crying starts in earnest about 3:30 when the 3 young children return from school & continues all evening, I have never once heard the parent asking them to quieten down, even when the noise is earsplitting. When they're back indoors the tantrums proceed as the kids want to be outside on their trampoline. So, tantrums & screaming continue sometimes until the early hours, with banging against the walls that causes my pictures to vibrate & rattle against the walls, it's really affected my sleep & mental health. Property management agency who manage the estate & local council don't seem to want to help, even though there is a clause within the agreement of all residents that anything that causes a nuisance or annoyance is not allowed. Unfortunately my only solution is to move as I can't live with this continuous cacophony of noise and the most annoying thing is that a little consideration could really solve the issue but I have never once heard a parent asking their child to quieten down, not once,unfortunately consideration is in very short supply in my area......
LilyR - 5-Jul-19 @ 1:21 PM
New alcoholic woman neighbour Jackie and teenage daughter moved in to our area,constantly playing music,despite being in her 50s,the child has numerous boyfriends staying over,noises as you can imagine,all while the mother is comatose with drink,awful,since in Scotland age of consent is 16,police can only offer advice,proper knocking shop
scott.G - 16-Jun-19 @ 10:25 PM
My neibour above me is a alcoholic and he delibraly leaves his TV on full volume too keep me up all night and it is driving me crazy
Gats - 11-Jun-19 @ 2:39 AM
My neibour above me is a alcoholic and he delibraly leaves his TV on full volume too keep me up all night
Gats - 11-Jun-19 @ 2:37 AM
My next door neighbours’ teenage daughter is often left home on her own overnight, and whenever she is she has a party.These parties obviously include loud music, underage drinking and very often smoking illegal substances, and there is no adult supervision.I have asked them to keep the noise down to a more acceptable level, which they do for around an hour, then it’s turned back up.I have a heart condition and when the parties are taking place my heart rate and stress levels reach dangerous levels.....What can I do, should I call the police, an ambulance? Please help!!
Bigbad1964 - 19-May-19 @ 8:39 AM
My neighbour upstairs has her tv loud and I hate her for it. I actually hate the women more than I have hated anyone ever
Jessstone - 7-May-19 @ 10:20 PM
I live in a flat by myself the people downstairs are making a lot of noise I've to get up at 5am for work it's been a nightmare ever since she moved in no respect or consideration for others
Dragons - 20-Apr-19 @ 11:30 PM
We have a right of access at the back of our house we live in a row of cottages. My neighbour put a large picnic table outside which we complained about as it was directly looking into my kitchen. The table was moved slightly. Now it is being used as an extension oh their garden for their children to play. The noise level is really loud and we have to turn up tv, leave house as it's intolerable. We have spoken to them to no avail. They all have their own gardens at the back but choose this area as their own.
clare Farr - 14-Apr-19 @ 6:11 AM
People used to be under the impression that they could make as much noise as they like up too 10 pm, which if course is rubbish and excessive noise can be investigated at any time ,that camefrom a lawyer.
Roady - 17-Mar-19 @ 10:07 AM
My neighbours play loud music every Friday and Saturday night, and we can hear everything. I've been knocking at her house 3 times now around 00:00, at two points she wasnt even hearing the front door due to the loud noise. I feel like getting authorities involved, but I am unsure of what to do. Both me and my wife work alternated weekends and we get up at 5 AM. Last week I woke up after a very disruptive night and she was still playing music at 5...
Pedro - 11-Jan-19 @ 9:16 PM
My next door and their upper neighbors have both toddlers (2-5 years old) kids, this is a poorly built (as it turned out late) block of 14 flats. One kid is just screaming constantly and of course loads of running around and dropping toys, etc. I have been in arguments with them for about 11 months now. Have talked to them directly, wrote a letter, kept a noise log for 3 weeks (as suggested by my landlord), then submitted it to my landlord and the building managers. The porters also talked to them several times. My next door neighbors seem to take it down, but their upper neighbors are still a nightmare to deal with. they pointed their fingers to the child,and saying they cannot do about it, instead of laying down floor carpet all around and actually taking the kids to the fresh air and a playhouse. i don’t hear them taking the kids out a lot, and when I went up to ask them to calm the domestic situation (they even let the child driving around in the flat in an electric car!), the woman looked down at the child and was just telling him: “look what you have done” . They have been asked by the building managers to lay down floor carpet but nothing happened ever since, and the carpet was of course not placed, and the building manager never officially replied to my complaints - actually they never replied to my email, my landlord was chasing them for 3 months, before I said it was enoughand I am now looking for another flat, in a Victorian house without families. I think this ignorance is to my rights for a healthy and relaxing life at home; is topped up with bad parenting, as toddlers are full ot energies and they need to run- but just not in a block of flats kind of place. In the end, I am moving to regain my sanity and to be able to sleep and not woken up every singl day at 7am.
Cristina - 24-Dec-18 @ 7:08 PM
This is the 3rd winter now I have been kept awake most of the night due to the tenants below.Their Central Heating Pump is running constantly making a vibrating, rumbling noise that is driving me insane.They go away weekends leaving it running, and it's running 24/7 - I have been driven suicidal by this noise, I have lost jobs as I have been irritable and tired and not concentrating. The EH have been out and I am still in contact with them as they deny it's them making the noise as they can't hear it.They accused me of hearing things and maybe I should have a hearing test!!! I purchased an iphone this year and could clearly see the needle moving, I wasn't going mad after all. I have seen a doctor for depression and anxiety.It's torture, the noise gets into your head, hurts your ears.I have tried everything to block out the noise but nothing works.All the EH ask me to do now is fill out their diary sheets, again.It was 5am and I had enough, put my washing machine on, not like me to retaliate but they will not listen to reason, and nothing is being done to help me.
Kay - 1-Dec-18 @ 5:43 AM
My neighbour comes home drunk then plays load music till 3in the morning, smashes up house, assaults family, the police have been called, we have spoken to him this just makes things worse, what can we do
Sugar - 27-Nov-18 @ 11:55 AM
I would like to see answerto Carla 12-09-18 about her getting complained about instead of people getting away with making people’s life a misery with lies ?
Kez - 20-Oct-18 @ 12:41 AM
I like to know why you answer to negative people complaining about noise etc but not people who are getting complained about I.e. Carla 12-09-18 ? It’s not always the negative people in the wrong. I would like to know advice on her comment ?
Kez - 20-Oct-18 @ 12:38 AM
Hi me any my family suver with an illness ournext door neighbours at number 3 in stokenchurch playing music at 7am from 3.50am and it's getting annoying naw have gone over their and asked fore them two turn it down nicely but the boy slamed door in my face soo I dunno what two doo but doo need this sorted asap please have written down when and what times they have music on and that but some think needs two b done about it wee can't keep putting up with their loud thumping music our walls are fin can hear everything even the mother off the house aswel but she dose loads off shutting at her kids and ex husband she has caused a problem fore us all
Ser - 16-Oct-18 @ 5:37 PM
What can I do? I have 3 children, 6 years old, 4 year old(recently been diagnosed with high functions autism), and 10 month old baby. My upstairs neighbour, is driving me up the wall. We go out she runs to her window to see, we talk in house can hear her turn off tv and run across room to listen (flats have terrible sound proffing,can hear everything, I know the sound goes both ways) heard her gossiping about us (had a neighbours child over she tormented my 4 year old calling him stupid. And stole few things from house child 8 years old) so I had a conversation with my daughter that she isn’t really a good friend if she is sterling from her, and with my child having autism I told her she has to stick up for her him(he starting main stream school next year and ima little worried he will be bullied as it’s happened quite a lot from older kids) anyway I over heard upstairs neighbour gossiping with her friend, my baby was sleeping and I was enoughing quiet time so no tv on, could hear her telling her friend all details of above, and how I shouldn’t have said to my child... we are noisy from 7.30-8.30am then 1pm-7.30 at night, after7.30 there is no noise. Due to my sons disability he often makes a lot of noise screaming, slamming doors, breaking things the list goes on. It is not his fault he has a neurological condition, and it’s not my fault either. It is very distressing that I can’t even have a privet conversation in flat I’m renting with out her going out of her way to listen in. She has bought her flat, we privet let. I’m not sure what to do, she is lovely to our faces give kids gifts at Easter Xmas Halloween, I don’t know what to do?! I would rather she kept her “gifts” to herself as I don’t want to assosate with her after hearing her and her friend discussing my family! Iv found out she talks to other people on the street about our noise! We are not noisy after 7.30 pm, I can’t make my son be quiet. We don’t make noise all night, it is very very stressful and is making me paranoid to even have a conversation in my home!
Carla - 12-Sep-18 @ 1:14 PM
My neighbour plays loud music and i asked him politely to turn it down but he said its his property and he doesn't think its loud and i have no clue on what to say now especially as he was rude to me can i just call the police about it?
haqz - 10-Sep-18 @ 3:05 PM
Loulou - Your Question:
Hi I need some advice.My new neighbours have been in about 5 weeks almost, I understood when you first move in there can be alot of noise obviously. but. They're loud constantly throughout the day (banging, shouting, slamming doors, loud music), my days off work I've been going out the house and not returning till late because I can't cope with the noise. I've started hating being in my house and I love my house.I've been woken up just after 6am every morning by their kids screaming and shouting and banging on the walls and slamming doors, closely followed by the parents shouting and screaming at them back.I work late shifts and it's wearing me down now the lack of sleep. I've taken to trying to sleep on the sofa in the room furthest away from next door and can still hear them through 2 walls. They're not the kind of people who are approachable and I'm scared if I do something will happen to my house or car if that makes sense. I've contacted the council (it's a council property) to make a report but didn't peruse it further. What's the laws on noise before a certain time? I'm worried that if the council come out it's going to be 10x worse but I can't keep up the way it's going either. Need some advice please , I'm desperate

Our Response:
It's environmental health you should contact. The laws on noise usually refer to 11pm throuhg to 7am but other excessive noise that affect your enjoyment of your property will still be investigated.
ProblemNeighbours - 13-Aug-18 @ 11:58 AM
Hi I need some advice. My new neighbours have been in about 5 weeks almost, I understood when you first move in there can be alot of noise obviously ... but. They're loud constantly throughout the day (banging, shouting, slamming doors, loud music), my days off work I've been going out the house and not returning till late because I can't cope with the noise. I've started hating being in my house and I love my house. I've been woken up just after 6am every morning by their kids screaming and shouting and banging on the walls and slamming doors, closely followed by the parents shouting and screaming at them back .I work late shifts and it's wearing me down now the lack of sleep. I've taken to trying to sleep on the sofa in the room furthest away from next door and can still hear them through 2 walls . They're not the kind of people who are approachable and I'm scared if I do something will happen to my house or car if that makes sense . I've contacted the council (it's a council property) to make a report but didn't peruse it further. What's the laws on noise before a certain time? I'm worried that if the council come out it's going to be 10x worse but I can't keep up the way it's going either.Need some advice please , I'm desperate
Loulou - 12-Aug-18 @ 7:34 AM
hi this is in regards to my neighbours washing machine constantly banging on our walls I spoke to environmental health and they said it's a difficult situation as they can not stop her putting her machine on but late at night they could speak to her about that.and that the law does not cover persons who work at night and maybe my husband could change hours he works and he didn't know if a mental health issue should even come into this so still in the same situation it's as if some one is hammering on the wall from morning till night on and off everyday for over the past year now
fed up! - 11-Aug-18 @ 8:55 PM
fed up! - Your Question:
Hi I'm hoping for some advise re my neighbour,I have had problems many years from them and always reported them ie noise! a year ago I asked her to not put her washing machine on in the night as it's like someone banging a hammer on my wall for hours! She stopped for awhile but it's back again not so much in early hours but 3-4 from 6am till midnight my husband works shifts and son so we get no rest from constant banging from the machine I called council today and even told her my husband has just been diagnosed with bipolar and had been sectioned a few months ago she seems to think there is nothing there can do as she has to use her washing machine any advice would be grateful I just don't know what to do.

Our Response:
What have the council said? Was it environmental health you spoke to?
ProblemNeighbours - 10-Aug-18 @ 11:09 AM
hi I'm hoping for some advise re my neighbour,I have had problems many years from them and always reported them ie noise! a year ago I asked her to not put her washing machine on in the night as it's like someone banging a hammer on my wall for hours! She stopped for awhile but it's back again not so much in early hours but 3-4 from 6am till midnight my husband works shifts and son so we get no rest from constant banging from the machine I called council today and even told her my husband has just been diagnosed with bipolar and had been sectioned a few months ago she seems to think there is nothing there can do as she has to use her washing machine any advice would be grateful I just don't know what to do.
fed up! - 8-Aug-18 @ 3:55 PM
Hi everyone I was wondering if you could help. I live in a reasonable quiet street, our neighbours a few doors down keep putting in complaints about my barking puppy. Now my pup only barks when there’s stuff going on, such as the kids jumping on the trampolines, the screaming kids next door and the odd bird that’s comes into the garden (which is not often) but each time I bring the pup in. Where do I stand, it’s been 30c and it’s got to the point where our dog is not even allowed to go out because the minute he goes out we get another letter through the door (even when it’s not even him barking). We have spoken to the neighbours and they just don’t care. What do I do?
Amz - 7-Aug-18 @ 8:12 AM
Hi, I need advice how to deal with noisy neighbor, he play live band music in semiattached house evenings. Thank you for advice.
Larry - 31-Jul-18 @ 2:12 AM
@Bob0404 Hi Bob Not sure where you live, but I'd try contacting the local council. Ask them about noise officers / noise police. They're not real police, they wear plain clothes and unmarked vehicles. They first arrive to your flat, measure the noise level in your flat and if it exceeds the acceptable level they go to the neighbour and ask to turn it down. After this repeats maybe a couple of times they can take further action (e.g. letter to housing association, informing the police, etc.). You must check what hours they work though. Could be e.g. 5pm till 4am etc. All the best!
Alice - 4-Jul-18 @ 1:15 AM
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