Everyone should be able to enjoy peace and tranquility in their own home, but if you’re unfortunate enough to have a noisy neighbour disturbing you, then you don’t have to put up with it. Here are a few ways in which to tackle the issue.
1. Talk to Your Neighbour
It’s surprising how often a quiet word with your neighbour can quickly nip any issues in the bud.
Many people aren’t always aware of how much noise they’re making or how it affects people around them. When challenged on their behaviour, rather than becoming defensive or aggressive, they’re often mortified and apologetic, so a quick chat at the front door can be surprisingly effective.
Just ensure you choose your moment though. If it’s the middle of the night and there’s music blaring, you’re unlikely to be knocking on their door with a clear head. Wait until the following morning and have a quiet word with them in a calm, polite manner.
Being aggressive or threatening will only make the situation worse, so take a few deep breaths, think about what you’re going to say, and have a quiet chat with them at an appropriate time.
2. Keep a Noise Diary
If noise issues are persistent, then it’s worth keeping a diary of the times and dates of when it’s happening.
If the situation escalates and you find yourself having to contact a third party, then it’s likely that at some point you’ll be asked for details, so keeping a diary or even a sound recording will help your case if the disturbances continue.
3. Contact Their Landlord
If your neighbour is renting their property, then there will be a landlord who is ultimately responsible for the property, and the chances are they’ll be horrified to find out their tenants are causing problems.
It may be the council, a housing association or a private landlord, but regardless of who it is, there will be a clause in their contract which prohibits them from causing a nuisance to neighbours.
If you’ve spoken to your neighbours directly and the appeals have fallen on deaf ears, then a firm word from their landlord may be just the incentive they need to quieten down.
4. Contact the Local Council
If you’ve spoken to your neighbour directly and had no joy, and you’ve had no luck getting hold of their landlord if they’re tenants, then the next step is to contact the local council.
Councils have an obligation to investigate any reported nuisances, and they can issue your neighbour with an abatement notice, which will effectively mean they have to keep the noise down or face a fine of up to £5,000.
In the first instance though, the council are likely to suggest mediation. This is where you and your neighbours will sit down and discuss the issue while a neutral third party sits in on the discussion and acts as a mediator.
You may also consider arranging mediation yourself before contacting the council. Providing your neighbour agrees to this, then it’s definitely worth trying first, as any complaint you make to the council is kept on record, which could make your property harder to sell in future.
5. Contact the Police
If it’s just a noise complaint, then the police are unlikely to intervene. However, if your neighbour has become aggressive or violent or is harassing you, you should contact the police.
They can take much firmer action than your local council and bring criminal charges against your neighbour if necessary.
6. Take Legal Action Against Them
If the noise issues are persistent, then as a last resort, you can consider taking legal action against your neighbour.
You should contact a solicitor who specialises in disputes with neighbours to seek their advice and find out the costs and the process involved.
Your solicitor may initially send a letter to your neighbour, with the aim being that potential court action will be enough to stop them from continuing with their noisy behaviour.
If that fails, then taking them to court is the next step. Taking court action should be a last resort once you’ve exhausted all other avenues, and you should be aware that the costs can be extremely high.
7. Move Away
It sounds extreme and no one should be forced to leave their home, so this is far from being an ideal solution. However, if you’ve been battling your neighbours for months and the council haven’t been able to help, then it may be best for your health to consider a move.
Disputes with neighbours can cause huge amounts of stress and health problems, and even though a move may be your last resort, it could be the best thing for you.
Ashmore Residential are your local property experts for the London area. Call us on 020 8366 9777 or email email@example.com to chat with a member of our friendly and experienced team.