So you finally moved into your dream home, unpacked and settled in.
Then the noise begins.
Unless you live in a relatively isolated area in the countryside, neighbours are a common presence in most people’s lives.
While some neighbours can be fantastic and even become lifelong friends, others are not so great. Noisy neighbours can be a huge nuisance and really impact your quality of life – a lack of sleep because of excessive noise can leave you stressed and exhausted, affecting other areas of your life. It can get to the point where you don’t even want to live in your dream home anymore, which isn’t fair.
So, if you’re dealing with noisy neighbours, we have the guide to help you approach them and, if the problem persists, give you advice on the next steps you need to take.
Dealing With Noisy Neighbours
• Talk to them without being passive aggressive • Contact their landlord • Contact the police • Use meditation to relax • Call the local council • Take legal action
Talk to Them But Don’t be Passive-Aggressive
We know it can be awkward to address an issue like this, but if you talk to your neighbours in a polite manner, it will make things much easier.
Don’t immediately assume your neighbours are obnoxious and don’t care about how loud they are. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell how much noise you’re making or how far noise can travel.
So, even though it might be uncomfortable, you will feel worse if you don’t say anything and the problem persists.
If the noise they are making is necessary, for example if they are musicians and need to practise, try and suggest a time that they can rehearse, while you are out of the house or won’t be asleep and bothered by the noise.
Be polite and friendly, and avoid sounding accusatory or confrontational. In most cases, people feel embarrassed to have caused a problem and usually make sure they stop.
However, if the problem persists…
Contact Their Landlord
If you find that politely asking them to keep the noise down doesn’t work, you can try contacting their landlord to complain. Many tenancy agreements contain conditions about noise pollution and not disturbing the peace, so if they get a warning from their landlord, they may have more of an incentive to keep the noise down.
Call the Police
If you have tried to be polite and spoken to your neighbour’s landlord but found no peace from the noise, you can call the police. Excessive noise is considered a breach of the peace, so you are perfectly within your rights to do so. Hopefully, a visit from the police will encourage them to stop.
Use a Mediation Service
If you feel like the dispute can’t be settled between both of you, it might be worth hiring a professional mediator.
This is a government-funded, free option, and the mediators are trained to deal with disputes such as these to help you reach some kind of agreement. The meeting between both of you will be set in a neutral location.
Mediations are often successful, but they are entirely voluntary, so your neighbour has the choice to decline the option.
Call Your Local Council
If the noise still doesn’t stop, it may be time to get the local council involved. Under the Noise Act of 1996, your local authority is obligated to take action with any noise that is considered a ‘nuisance’.
However, you should be aware that taking it to the council may inevitably lead to more tension between you and the noisy neighbour. If the dispute gets out of hand, it could end up in court.
Your council will send a letter to the noisy neighbours saying a complaint has been made, but they will not name you.
The council will then send you a ‘noise diary’ for you to fill out. Keep records of all the times your neighbours are noisy, as the council will need these to investigate the issue.
If the council concludes that the noise level is a ‘statutory nuisance’, they can issue a ‘noise abatement’ order, which will force the neighbours to stop, or face legal action.
If your neighbour ignores the abatement order and continues to be disruptive with noise, legal action can be taken and they can be fined up to £5000.
This should be an absolute last resort for you, as taking someone to court will be expensive due to court fees and paying a solicitor.
So, if you have to deal with noisy neighbours for whatever reason, make sure the first thing you do is politely ask them to stop. In most cases, they will be unaware of the noise and feel guilty for being a nuisance.
However, if the problem isn’t resolved, you can always hire a mediator or contact your local council or police. As a very last resort, going to court may be the only option left, but will probably settle the issue.