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Quiz: Are You a Neighbour from Hell?

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 8 Mar 2022 | comments*Discuss
Neighbour Property Noise Bonfire Kids

We all read about neighbours from hell, and see countless television programmes that make us cringe, laugh or watch from behind our hands.

Nobody thinks that they are ever guilty of being a bad neighbour themselves, but it’s time to find out whether you qualify for your own TV show – or whether you are the kind of neighbour that we all aspire to have and be.

1.It’s Bonfire Night in Two Weeks' Time. What’s Your Approach to the Thorny Issue of Fireworks?
  • A. I love to share the fun, and I’ll be having a few fireworks and a party in the back garden. The kids have already started letting some off, but they’re just having a laugh.
  • B. I’m going to ask the neighbours around to see if they’d like to come to my party. I’ll warn everyone just in case they have animals, babies or are elderly.
  • C. I’m going out to a fireworks display but won’t be having any at home.

If you answered A, your neighbours are probably dreading 5th November. Although they have probably had enough of the noise already. You should consider either option B or C – there’s nothing wrong with having fun but just be aware that animals hate bonfire night, and some people are frightened of loud fireworks.

It’s perfectly legal to have a bonfire on your property at any time of the day, although it's advisable to warn the neighbours out of courtesy. You don't want to Become A Nuisance and do have to make sure that it complies with the law – the Environmental Protection Act states that you shouldn’t burn anything that could produce excessive or pungent smoke, for example.

2. You’ve Got a New Sofa – But Now You Have Nowhere to Put the Old One. What’s the Solution?
  • A. I’ll just leave the old one outside the back of the neighbours house. It’s not dangerous, and I’ll deal with it when I get around to it.
  • B. I’ll get the council/a charity shop to come and pick it up, but will have to leave it outside for now.
  • C. I’ll take it to the tip.

Ideally, you should try to remove the sofa as soon as possible. It could cause problems, and block your neighbours' access to their own property. It’s also not nice to have a smelly old sofa in the street or in full view in the front garden. Realistically, we can’t all manage that, so if you opt for option B, just be aware that while you’re waiting for it to be taken away, you could be unpopular with some of your neighbours. Make sure that you don’t block any access to people’s property, and that you’re not inconveniencing anybody.

3. You Have Teenage Children, and They Like to Play Their Music Loudly and Invite Friends Over. Do You:
  • A. Let them stay up with their friends until all hours – they are only young once after all. You secretly quite like rap music, and it’s not as if it’s every night.
  • B. Allow them to have friends over as long as they keep the music reasonably low, and insist they don’t make too much noise, especially after about 10pm. You have taught them to think of the neighbours, even if they forget at times.
  • C. Don’t let the friends come over unless it’s a weekend, and insist that any music is kept down.

If you let the kids run riot, you could end up being labelled an Anti-Social Behaviour Neighbour or, even worse, have a visit from your local anti-social behaviour coordinator. Kids do make noise, and most neighbours are willing to tolerate a little music or the occasional party, but if you’re accepting that as the norm, you need to rethink whether your actions are causing your neighbours discomfort and stress.Most people would be happy with options B or C. It’s reasonable to expect teenagers to want to be sociable and have fun – just not every night and until the early hours!

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We have new neighbours who have lived next door for six months. We share a terrace. We had to put up with DIY repairs for several weeks and one night,after drilling and hammering,we made a request to them that they tell us when a lot of noise was to be made. They coldly told us that they don't care,and had been warned about us. We did have an issue with another neighbour whose father damaged a fence with his car,so I guess it is that neighbour who has been talking about us. We also have another neighbour who suddenly stopped speaking,asked for her keys back and took us off her Facebook page. This was before our new neighbours moved in. We are at a loss to know why she stopped talking but she has ignored us ever since,and this after 17 years of minding her house when she went away,taking her parcels in,exchanging Christmas and birthday cards and presents,and being a caring neighbour. We both have health issues. Next door is now constructing a shed in his garden which has been ongoing for several weeks,and we are amazed that local folks have not complained about the noise (all day sundays etc) Relations with three out of four neighbours are chilly to say the least. Maybe there is a touch of homophobia towards us. We have lived here for just over 22 years and have no intention of moving. But what to do? We have tried talking and there is the suspicion that we are being talked about unfairly by someone.There is also the question of a relative of our neighbour who parks his car on the forecourt across our driveway some times. What can we do without causing a row and being blamed for something else? We are both over 60. Several of our neighbours are half our age.Thanks
Marco - 19-Jun-18 @ 9:29 PM
We have been living in this street since 1972 (45years).Being a rural village was one of the most important reasons why we moved here. The children have been very happy here but of course they have now Flown the nest. The rot started to set in when letting began in the street about 7 years ago. People who let do Have the same respect for someone else's property and gardens are ignored and fairly soon the street starts to get interest from the 1st time buyers market. Having said that it's our immediate neighbour who is causing me the most angst and they have been our neighbours for around 20 years. A pink mini-skip appeared on the drive about 6/7 months ago and has been there ever since. This skip is filled with waste materials And is a real eyesore. My wife and I have health issues and wish to move home. I feel that the appearance of the house is prejudiced for selling. How do I stand regarding the removal of the skip?
Jimmy - 8-Nov-17 @ 4:04 PM
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