How To Deal With Noisy Neighbours
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How To Deal With Noisy Neighbours

01 November 2016, by Design A House Sign Noisy neighbour

Unless you're lucky enough to live in idyllic isolation in the middle of the countryside, then neighbours are just another aspect of life which most of us have to accept. It has been suggested that you are more likely to have a dispute with one of your neighbours than anyone else you may encounter throughout your life. The most common cause for dispute is, as you may imagine, noise.

Noisy neighbours can cause real discomfort at home; whether it be dogs barking, shouting or loud music, continuous screaming and banging of doors across every hour of every day, it really can make your home feel uninhabitable. Though if this is the case, rest assured you’re not alone. Many people at one stage or another have to deal with noisy neighbours. Legal redress is an option, though this should probably be treated as your last option.

Try To Begin A Conversation

If you are trying to come to an agreement with a loud neighbour, then the best thing you can do is pay them a visit and try and calmly speak to them and explain that their music, shouting, stomping etc. is troubling you when you are in your own home.

It is important to pick the right time when going round to speak to a neighbour, for example if you're going around to knock on their door at 3am whilst a party is still on, there’s a good chance the occupants may not be in the right mood to have a level-headed discussion with you. Therefore it is best if you leave it until the following day, and share your worries when everyone is calm and their minds are clear.

Often a quick talk can open the eyes of the noisy neighbour, and that will result in them being more considerate with noise in the future. However, make sure you’re rational and keep an open mind, as your neighbours are entitled to enjoy their home how they want. Try to meet them in the middle- for example, ask them to make you aware beforehand if they plan to have a party. This way you're able to make your own plans for the evening and maybe go out, or simply request that the music is off by midnight.

Speak To Their Landlord

If your noisy neighbour happens to be a tenant; then the next step for you, if they fail to comply with your requests, could be to contact their landlord. In most cases many tenants will have some kind of section within their own
Tenancy Agreement in which it prohibits them from partaking in any actions or conduct that causes disturbance to their neighbours. If this is a path you wish to take then a solicitor could be needed, in order to help you locate the required details of their landlord.

Contact The Local Council

Once you have made an official complaint against your neighbours, they will then receive a letter from the council notifying them of the complaint. They will not include who it was that complained. Whilst this is being done, the council will also request you to fill out a ‘noise diary’, in which to log the exact time and place you heard the noise. They will then use the diary as a way to establish the best way to investigate; whether that be a simple phone call, or someone coming round to install noise monitoring equipment.

Within the
Noise Act 1996 , the local council is obligated to investigate any noise which is reported and seen as a nuisance to those around; therefore if your neighbours continue to bother you with their racket and can be said to be a nuisance then the council will have an option to then provide your neighbour with an Abatement Notice.  This notice will instruct that any noise is stopped completely, lowered to an agreed level or only acceptable during specific hours. Failing to comply with this notice, then they can be fined for a sum up to £5,000. Depending whether or not your neighbour is a person or a business can alter the amount, for example businesses could be a fined up to a total of £20,000.

Taking Part In Mediation

If you've spoken to your neighbours previously about any noise and still nothing has changed, then the council may well recommend mediation to you. This will involve a professionally trained mediator setting up a meeting for you with your neighbour; this is often in a completely neutral environment. These meetings are aimed to help resolve the issue and allow your neighbour to understand your point of view, and you to listen to theirs.

Mediation is government funded, does not involve the law and is often very successful; however the only potential drawback is it's not a compulsory meeting. It is all voluntary, so your neighbour needs to want to go.

Request Your Solicitor To Compose And Send Out A Letter

This can be a stronger way for you to communicate your point to your neighbour. A letter that has been sent from a solicitor can frequently be enough for your neighbour to accept your complaint and take it more seriously than before.

Writing a letter is a method that works well, especially if your neighbour happens to be a tenant, with the letter pointing out that should the noise continue following this complaint then they could potentially face eviction from the property.

If each of these methods fails you have the option to file a legal case against your neighbour. This is something that your solicitor can then recommend to and advise you with, particularly in regards to the costs & process involved.
Throughout the process of dealing with a noisy neighbour, should it  become more than just incidental noise and you begin to feel threatened, or are in fear of violence and harassed then your next step should be to call the police rather than deal with it yourself.   

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