After a busy day, everyone loves going home. This is your own safe space where you can relax, spend time with family and retreat from the outside world. This means that when you have noisy neighbours, it can be a nightmare. They can disturb your day or night and make you feel anxious in your own home.
Unfortunately, noisy neighbours are common. But excessive noise is anti-social behaviour and this means that it is not something you have to tolerate. If your neighbour is making noise that is affecting your quality of life, there are various options you can explore. Let’s take a look at some.
The first thing you should do is try to speak to your neighbour. Perhaps they simply do not know how noisy they are being. Speaking to them calmly and discussing the situation means they can lower their music, make changes to their lifestyle or be more considerate at that time of day. Explain how this is impacting your life and what they can do to help. It is possible to reach a compromise that suits you both without having to escalate the matter further.
Only speak to your neighbour if you feel confident and safe to do so. Do not attempt to contact your neighbour if you feel threatened in any way or are worried about how they may react. If you would rather not speak face to face, you can always send them a letter. You do not have to state your name if you do not want to. Alternatively, you can take a friend or family neighbour with you for support.
If the noise is consistent and continues even after you have spoken to your neighbour about it, consider keeping a record. Note down every time you are disturbed by the noise and this can be used later on if the complaint goes further. Write down what the noises are that are disturbing you, when they are occurring and how long they last for. If there are any other important details, do not be afraid to keep a note. This is going to paint a picture for authorities later on and act as evidence of the noise disturbances.
If you and your neighbour do not agree about the noise disturbance, you can always try mediation to solve the problem. This involves discussing the dispute with a third party. They will give unbiased advice to help solve the issue and hopefully a resolution can be reached between you and your neighbour. You will have to pay for a mediator, but if it can solve the problem, it is cheaper than going to court. You can find a mediator for your local area with help from the Civil Mediation Council. Having somebody there that does not take sides can be just what you both need to reach a compromise.
If you are at the stage that you are ready to escalate your complaint, you can contact the appropriate local authority. In particular, this is true if you think that your neighbour is committing a statutory nuisance. That can be noise that is affecting the use and enjoyment of your home, as stated by the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Important to remember that not all noise will be classed as anti-social behaviour. For example, a neighbour that has a crying baby or the use of a lawnmower every now and then. But other noise will fall under this category, such as a dog that barks a lot or loud music.
If your neighbour is a tenant and they are renting, you can contact their landlord to report the noise. A warning from their landlord may be enough for them to stop. If they have accommodation through a housing association, you can also contact them.
The council are obliged to investigate statutory nuisances and you can submit a noise complaint here. They will find out more about what is going on and they can issue a noise abatement order. In other words, your neighbour is required to stop the loud noise. If they ignore this abatement order, they may have to pay a large fine.
If you are still not satisfied with the action taken against your neighbour, it is possible to take your neighbour to court. It is important to seek legal advice before going down this route to ensure it is the best thing you can do. It can take time and money to take your neighbour court and these should be considerations before rushing to find a solicitor. This is where keeping records is going to help your case.