Our homes are a place where we can relax, unwind and enjoy a little time to ourselves. However, sometimes noisy neighbours can make our homes feel a little less sweet, leading to stress and tension that we just don’t need.
In fact, one in four people have had to deal with issues with their neighbours according to a survey by Which?.
When faced with constant nuisances, it can be all too easy to jump straight to confrontation and let the situation escalate. While this may be a tempting knee-jerk reaction, it is far from ideal, as it will only lead to frayed relationships and leave you with an even worse living situation.
With that in mind, we’ve compiled a guide to help you know how best to deal with everything from barking to blaring music coming from next door.
It’s important to know when to pick your battles. Sure, you may want to head round at the first sign of a raucous party, but it’s best to try and keep relations civil. Constantly complaining to them isn’t going to put you in their good books.
The Noise Act 1996 says that hours of night fall between 11pm and 7am, so let things go outside of these times as often as you can.
As much as it may keep you from a good night’s sleep, it may also be worth letting things slide when you don’t have work or university commitments the following day.
This way, when they do go that bit too far and you need to complain, they should be more receptive than if it’s the 50th time you’re knocking on their door.
Before you take any action against them, it is always worth speaking to your neighbour face to face. Avoid writing them letters or notes as, even with the best of intentions, these can be misinterpreted as a passive -aggressive move.
When talking to them about noise problems, be as diplomatic as possible.
Don’t point the figure of blame but instead explain that the noise coming from their property is having an effect on you and request that they take measures to help. Hopefully, this should be enough to reach a resolution.
If they seem reluctant to try and reach an agreement with you, then it may be worth keeping a record of all the noise incidents that occur. This should include what type of noise it was, when it happened and how long it lasted for.
This could be helpful evidence should you need to take any further action.
Unfortunately, some people are just not that considerate and sometimes, neighbours can continue to keep the volume up despite your politest of efforts.
If this is the case and attempts to speak to them informally have failed, then there are a number of steps you can take.
Mediation services are available to help both you and your neighbours communicate more effectively.
If this fall through, or your neighbour refuses to participate in the first place, you can always consider contacting their landlord or their letting agent to let them know about the problems if they are a tenant.
The local council can also assist with statutory noise nuisances, such as dogs barking or loud music playing frequently during unsociable hours. When all else fails, you may be able to take legal action through the courts.
More information on these steps is available through the government website and remember, if your neighbours become confrontational or threatening at any point, you should contact the police.
While you and your neighbour may not be the best of friends, you should always treat others the way that you wish to be treated.
This means that if you want to have a party or play music late, let them know beforehand.
Often giving them just a bit of notice will make them more accepting and if they ask you to turn it down, make sure you do. Sometimes just a few small considerate steps can really help to keep the peace.