A recent Which? Survey found that almost 25% of people have had an issue with nuisance neighbours in the last year. This survey also found that 64% of people dealing with this problem had no idea where to find help and advice.
People are most likely to have disputes with their neighbours in the UK and the most common reason for this contention is noise.
There is only so much a property manager can do when it comes to noisy neighbours so it’s important to check your lease if you live in a block of flats.
So what do you do if you’re having an issue with noisy neighbours?
This guide aims to help and advise residents through all possible options and contingencies to ensure they have all the tools needed to get this issue resolved.
To residents – this is what you need to do
The first thing you should do is speak to your neighbours. One in three people find that this is the only step they need to take and often a chat will solve this problem immediately. Most noisy neighbours genuinely just don’t realise they’re being annoying! Very few people are actually unbothered about the people around them and most are simply unaware.Pick a good time to speak to your neighbour.
For example, avoid doing so if they’re having a party or approach it in a very careful manner. Try and catch them in a public place or have a casual chat over the garden fence or in your building’s landing. This can make it a loss less intimidating for you than knocking on the door and also helps your neighbour not feel attacked. Be reasonable when speaking to your neighbour rather than throwing accusations but have examples on hand to back up your points. It is also a good idea to have a solution in mind (for example, that you would appreciate if they kept their trombone practice before 8pm). If you do feel unsafe, have a friend or relative accompany you.
If talking to your neighbour doesn’t work, you might consider getting the local authority involved. Be aware that noise complaints will go on record and could make it more difficult to sell your property. Escalating the complaint may also escalate tensions. Your neighbour could end up in court so keep this in mind.
Your local authority may suggest mediation and this is something you should consider if you’re serious about reducing the noise. A trained mediator can help you and your neighbour understand each other better, it’s free and often very successful. Mediation is government funded but doesn’t involve the law, which can make it a great alternative to court if both parties are willing to go and get involved with resolving the issue. Court action should only be considered as a last resort.
If the neighbour is a leaseholder, their noisy ways could be in breach of their lease. It is very possible that they could potentially lose their property. Of course, we still recommend talking to your neighbours first!
This is a general letter and some of it may or may not apply to your property. If in doubt please refer to your lease or contact us for more information on 0345 652 0026.
Published: 25th September 2019