If you are struggling with excessive noise from your neighbours then talking to them can be the perfect solution, but often it's not that simple.
To help resolve the situation, try talking to your neighbours when the time is right, if this doesn't work consider talking to the council and keeping notes whenever you are disturbed by noise from next door. Be open to mediation to come up with a solution that both you and your neighbour will be happy with.
To learn more about how to deal with noisy neighbours, read our guide in full now.
Talking to your neighbours
It’s very much the modern mentality to not interact with the people living close by and to just get on with our own lives at home. But you’ll be surprised what a little contact with your neighbours can do for you in times of need.
If you are experiencing issues with noisy neighbours the best first step to take is to talk to them about the problem. It may even be the case that they are not aware they are disturbing you and would happily change their behaviour.
When should you talk to your neighbour?
- When the noise has become a consistent problem. You shouldn’t speak to your neighbour about noise if you were bothered by a one-off instance. However, if they are repeatedly disturbing your sleep or you can’t hear the television over their music, then it is a good time to talk.
- If you have tried turning up your TV or distracting yourself from the noise, but it is really starting to get you down then it’s time to ask your neighbours to keep the noise down.
- The best time to approach your neighbour is during the day, rather than when you are at the point of losing your temper at night or on an evening. Broach the subject the next day, once you are calm.
How should you approach them?
- If you both have back gardens, strike up a conversation there, or if you see them in the front yard or leaving their house at the same time as you, bring the topic up casually and in a friendly manner.
- As a last resort you can always knock on their front door during a quieter period, making sure you are in a calm and controlled mood.
- Be calm and polite about your request because being angry and confrontational will only ensure you get the same response back.
- Offer some examples of when their noise interrupted you at home and the effect it had on you. Don’t be aggressive or accusatory. Simply state the facts so they can clearly understand the problem.
- Tell them what you would like them to do to resolve the issue. Suggest that the TV or music they are playing too loudly is turned down after a certain time. That creates a middle ground that doesn’t make them feel they can’t do the things they enjoy in the comfort of their own home.
- If you are worried the conversation could escalate into an argument, or even something worse, approach your neighbour with a family member or friend.
Complaining to the council about noisy neighbours
For some, this can be the first action, but complaining to the council should only really happen if you have tried to speak with your neighbour about the problem. You don’t have to do that, of course, but trying to have a conversation is often the fairest course of action to take in the first instance.
If you have attempted to talk with your neighbour and nothing has been resolved then getting in touch with the local authority may be your next step. You should be aware that any complaints will go on record and if you are planning on selling the property in the future, buyers will be able to see this information. There is also the possibility that the dispute could also go to court in the end, although every effort should be made to avoid that occurring.
What happens after you complain to the council?
- The first stage involves a letter being sent to your neighbour by the council stating a complaint has been made, but not mentioning who was responsible for lodging it.
- You will be asked by the council to create a log of the times, dates and places you heard the noise. They will also want to get a clear idea of how it is impacting your life. In some cases a council representative could visit to hear the noise pollution for themselves, or in more extreme cases, even install equipment to monitor the noise levels.
- After the council have warned the neighbours, mediation might be suggested if the noise continues. If this option is not taken up, or the council believes it will not work in this case, other official action may be taken.
- Based on their assessment of the situation, the council could class the noise as a “statutory nuisance” and the neighbour is issued with an “abatement notice”. This effectively informs them that they will be prosecuted unless the noise stops and can face a fine of up to £5,000. If the property involved is used for industrial or commercial purposes, the fine could be anywhere up to £20,000.
Keeping a record of the times and dates the noise impacts on your home life is important. You should also make note of the type of noise being made (music, TV etc) how loud it was, how long it lasted and how it affected you.
When speaking or writing a letter to your neighbour this will help them get a clearer understanding of the effect the noise is having and how often it may be taking place. Having a clear record to hand will also act as evidence if you decide to complain to the council.
This could play a vital role in the council making an official decision that works in your favour, as without any real evidence, it can remain a case of your word versus your neighbours.
If you have attempted to speak with your neighbour and have not been able to come to an agreement over the situation, then after the council has issued a warning letter, mediation will probably be the next suggested step.
There is no legal requirement for your neighbour to attend a mediation session as it is voluntary, so you have to hope they want to attend.
Mediation involves meeting with a professional mediator who has been designated by the council, who will try to arrange a suitable time to meet with you both at a neutral location. The point of this meeting is for both parties to air their point of view and to understand each other’s perspective.
It is the mediator’s job to listen to both sides and suggest a middle ground that will satisfy both parties to find a resolution. There is no cost involved and if both parties attend, in many cases it does lead to a successful solution.
Writing a letter
If speaking with your neighbour hasn’t helped you to resolve the issue, you may be considering going to the council to complain. However, before you take that next step, consider writing a letter to your neighbour explaining the issues and explaining how you would like the problem to be fixed.
You can even consider this as the first step, rather than approaching them in person, if you believe speaking to them directly might antagonise and inflame the situation.
Keep hold of a copy of the letter as proof that you attempted to communicate and resolve the problem with your neighbour, if you decide to go to the council to lodge a formal complaint.
How soundproofing can help
If you are living next door to noisy neighbours and want to find a quick resolution that is completely under your control, soundproofing is the ideal answer.
Soundproofing enables you to lower the noise pollution that has been interfering with your home life and regain a sense of normality once again. There are a whole range of solutions available, from soundproofing walls, ceilings, floor and doors.
There are a lot of soundproofing myths around that can prove to be unhelpful but by addressing some of the most common soundproofing insulation questions you can quickly find a way to block out the noise quickly and at an affordable price.