Guide to noisy neighbours
Much like they say about family members, you cannot choose your neighbours when moving into rental homes.
While it would be nice to get on with those who live either side of you, this is not always possible and one of the reasons for this could be because of the amount of noise they make.
The UK is expanding at a steady rate and people are living closer to each other as apartments and houses spring up around the country.
This means that noises are likely to be heard from next door, be it loud music, shouting, barking dogs or the sound of someone undertaking DIY jobs at inconvenient hours of the day.
Noisy neighbours could lead to disrupted nights of sleep, which in turn could have a negative effect on a person's normal working day.
Therefore it is important to know that steps can be taken in order to tackle this problem, with an amicable ending in everyone's best interests.
The first suggestion is to talk directly to the noisy neighbour in question, letting them know that they are causing a headache with their activities. It could well be that they do not know that they are the root of a problem and a quick word with them might help to iron things out.
When doing this, it is important to choose neutral ground to talk, such as when they are out in their backyard, instead of approaching them when the noise is occurring and tempers might be frayed.
Staying calm is the key in this situation and you should explain to them how their behaviour is having an effect on you. You should also not accuse them of deliberately trying to upset you.
There might be a reason for their noise and you should listen to their point of view and show them the same respect as you would like to be shown to you.
If this is not viable, then Citizens Advice Bureau is on hand to offer some practical advice and they could even provide a mediator to help bring an end to the quarrel.
If these issues persist in the property to rent then it could be of use to keep a diary of all the events which are causing problems. If it is regular parties or late-night drilling then these should be noted down, along with the date, time and effect it is having on you.
Furthermore, any conversations which have been had with the noisy neighbour should be written in this diary, as well as anything which has been agreed between the two parties.
The local Environmental Health Department is also available to use and it must take "all reasonable steps" to investigate any complaints which it receives. Most councils will only investigate noise if it is deemed to be a statutory nuisance, and a one-off party, argument or crying baby would not class as this type of offence.
Finally, legal action is an option but this should be viewed as a last resort as it can turn out to be expensive, time consuming and damage relationships between the two parties even further.
Posted at 01:30 14/09/2011