Who has never dealt with a noisy neighbour? Loud music, high heels that hit the floor in the middle of your dreams, til-the-morning parties on a Tuesday night. Well, it's happened to me and it's probably happening to you, too, if you are here. Keep reading to find out how to deal with noisy neighbours, once and for all.
First of all, keep calm. You have a number of non-legal and legal options available to you so that you can enjoy peace and tranquillity in your own Spotahome home.
Let them know through the Walls
Most people think that the noise they make in their homes remain within their walls and ceiling. I made this mistake once too. I lived in a two storey house in north London and with my flatmates had a few parties. We thought the walls were thick enough to hold the loud screaming and noise. They didn't. Our neighbours, a lovely family from Greece, knocked on the wall to let us know we were making too much noice. We turned out the music and the matter was solved.
Talk to them
The best way to deal with a noisy neighbour is to talk to them and, while keeping super calm, explain why their music, screaming baby, dog or heels are driving you mental. Initiate the conversation telling them that what they are doing (parties, playing the drums, wild loud sex) is cool with you, but tell them that the time of the day to do such things isn't really cool with you. Make sure to choose the right moment though. You probably want to stop that party right now, but put your earplugs in and go to bed instead, you'd have better chances at solving the matter with a calm conversation once the music and alcohol are over.
99% of the times, a quick, nice chat solves the problem. Even if the kids downstairs look like they don't give a damn, they will probably feel mortified once you tell them you can't sleep at night. Most likely, they do not know that the walls are so thin that you could hear everything happening in their homes. You can even try and get out the real Italian inside you and resolve this matter in full Italian style: wine. Yes, seriously, go to the offender's door with a bottle of wine/beer, cheese or a cake and rest your present in their hands to set the tone of the conversation as the beginning of a new friendship rather than the start of a war. You might even find out they are actually amazing neighbours after all!
If you are unlucky and you get someone who doesn't want to hear reason, take the high road and simply ask them to give you notice before their next big party - if you fancy, you can even joke to get invited too. If you set some peaceful rules, you can maybe also request that loud music and extreme noise end around midnight or 1 am.
Talk to the Landlord
If you get one of the 1% a$^holes as a neighbour, then I suggest taking step number 2: talk to their landlord. In the UK, tenants normally have a clause in their Tenancy Agreement prohibiting them from actions and/or behaviours that cause a nuisance to their neighbours. Talk to their landlord and explain the situation. The risk of losing their homes normally scares the loud tenants and often solves the matter.
Contact the Local Council
If talking to your neighbour and your neighbour's landlord doesn't sort anything, don't despair - you can still make a complaint to your local authority.
The Noise Act 1996 states that your local council must investigate any noise that is deemed to be a ‘nuisance’. If your neighbour’s noise is deemed a nuisance, then the Council can issue an Abatement Notice which can involve that the noise must stop completely or is only permitted during certain hours of the day. If your neighbour fails to comply, they can be fined up to £5,000.
In other circumstances, your local authority may suggest you attend mediation along with your neighbour. During this process, a third, independent party will help you and your neighbour to stipulate an agreement to resolve the issue.
Get your solicitor involved
One thing is sure. Any letter sent by a lawyer is a scary letter. If this letter states that if they do not cease in their noisy activities, they could face eviction, I bet they would stop the party right away. It's the power of law, innit?
If even this fails, that you can take legal action against your neighbour through the court. You should ask for advice from your Solicitor about the process and the attached costs.
Yes, I know. No one really wants to move because of somebody else, but sometimes we have to do it for our own sake. You want to go home and be able to say home sweet home, right? So maybe moving somewhere else will help give you peace of mind (and ears).
In fact, if you are struggling with your noisy neighbours and you tried all of these steps but nothing really worked, we are here to help your house search with some of the best properties in London.
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