Quick 'what would you do' answer needed to a neighbour noise problem.

(62 Posts)
alabasterangel Sun 03-Feb-13 00:20:33

Sorry.

Saturday night I'm probably asking for trouble. I hope this isn't just another crap neighbour noise thing but need an instant answer as to what to do.

Victorian terraced house, been here 4 years. Had minor problems with noise from neighbours since day 1, spoke with them about it asked the DH in for a drink and he acknowledged noise travels easily and even said he'd had to speak with previous owner of our house as at the time (4+ years ago) when their kids were small and the lady had had some parties which had caused him some problems. Abated for a while but not long, when it started again and we asked again, (radio noise all day every day mainly) he got quite aggressive and DH backed down, we both just want a peaceful existence. At the time we did investigate with the council but made the decision not to pursue as we don't want to be here forever and don't want hassle of declaring the problem when selling (bad I know, sorry).

But tonight, for the third month running, it appears to be 'their turn' to have a dinner party with their friends. I would guess 10-12 adults (can see into their kitchen window!) - they have 3 kids and sounds like lots invited so guessing 15 kids too. It's really disruptive. Been going on since 7pm. My two (3yo and 18 months) have been woken several times. No sign of abating, sounds like some sort of games going on lots of shrieking, jumping and thumping, slamming doors, howling and shouting. I can't sleep through it. DH has decamped to DS's floor (tiny room so I can't join him, plus I insisted he went as he has to get up earlier tomorrow).

Last time and the time before they had these gatherings it was 3am before it stopped.

Do I call the police? Is that trivial? "Sorry but these numpties are stopping me sleeping with their partying"..... Sounds so crap. Sure they've got better things to deal with on a Saturday night? But it's really annoying and more worryingly I don't want it to keep happening on a monthly basis. Don't suggest speaking to them again; they are not very reasonable people.

Any ideas?

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Sun 03-Feb-13 13:01:34

Have you looked at sound proofing between the houses?

soundstop.co.uk/solutions/wall_solutions/

Disclaimer, I have no connection with that company, it just came up in google.

Even when you come to move you will struggle to sell with poor sound insulation.

MooseyFate Sun 03-Feb-13 13:06:08

I second the sound-proofing idea. Money well spent IMO. Really good wax ear-plugs, with a baby-monitor right next to the bed so that you will hear it despite the plugs?

alabasterangel Sun 03-Feb-13 13:07:07

Thank you all. Agreed, it's their overall unreasonable behaviour. We have no issues with the other side; we hear them, I'm sure they hear us. I often ask her if she can hear our kids and say she must say if there is ever anything which is annoying. We hear her little dog when she is out, she constantly makes apology for this too which she doesn't need to do and i dismiss it when she tries to say sorry; it's not all day every day and its not deliberate, but we are both 'reasonable' adults and know we could have an adult conversation. I do appreciate that living in a house which is joined to another house is going to mean you hear them a bit, but being kept awake till the early hours, woken up at a ridiculous time, being unable to even approach them and have an adult conversation (not to mention the stupid parking thing) is beyond acceptable boundaries.

I've tried to speak to her, I've tried to be friendly, I always say hello or smile if we are coming/going at the same time. My DD always says hello to her DDs and I always do the same. The only time she's talked to us (when we first moved in) was to tell me she wasn't intending to live round here for long, that her parents have 'lots of land' and they wanted to build on it, and that 'people round here' weren't her type of people and she wouldn't be here forever. She was very curt then, and since we approached them about their radio noise years ago, she won't acknowledge us at all.

The parking is quite astonishing. I come home to an empty street, and obviously park in front of our house taking great care not to encroach on her frontage at all. She comes home, much bigger car than mine, and still an otherwise empty street will park her car and inch, inch, inch, inch her bumper to mine until you can't get a piece of paper between the two. Other neighbours have commented on it and asked us what she is up to! There have been several times when another car visiting theirs then does the same the other side and I can't get out. Luckily there never HAS been an emergency, but what if there was?

My lovely old chimney sweep called the other week and dared to park in front of her house. She came home while he was unloading, screamed at him to move his car, told him that 'people like him don't belong round here' and that he was 'in her parking space' (public road, no spaces!) he told her to get stuffed.

We would loose a lot of money that we can't afford to loose if we moved, we don't have it. We brought at a bad time, would have to sell for less than we brought it for, and we'd struggle to find even the 'expenses' of moving and would never be able to afford detached anyway, so a bit stuck there!

All very stressful! Long, sorry!

mummymeister Sun 03-Feb-13 13:07:31

i used to be an EHo for 20+ years specialising in noise pollution. a couple of points. never retaliate. tit for tat noise always, always gets out of hand and gets really nasty. i have known it escalate to stabbings, killing pets, nervous breakdowns. please dont go down this road. you have two choices: either you put up with it and find strategies to cope either within your home or you move elsewhere or you make a formal complaint to your local Councils env. health dept. the definition of what is a statutory noise nuisance is broad so something disturbing once a month could fall under this definition. If it does you will be into keeping noise diaries, possibly using a late night call out service if your council has one on the night of the parties or monitoring equipment that you self use. whether this is disturbing enough to go down this route is entirely up to you and how much it gets on your nerves. The police do not deal with noise nuisance. it is not a breach of the peace they will only get involved if it escalates to threats etc so dont waste your time calling them out when the parties are in full swing. ultimately you have to weigh these things up but please please dont go down the retaliation route as you could find yourself being complained about as a noise nuisance by either these neighbours or others.

Cornycabernet Sun 03-Feb-13 13:08:08

This sounds awful but I think you're probably best to ignore the noise as they seem the type to seek revenge if you complain to the council. Then move when you can.

alabasterangel Sun 03-Feb-13 13:12:52

Thank you mummymesiter, noted. No I never have retaliated. So many time I would have loved to thump on the walls or play loud music back, but it never gets anywhere I know. Your advice is helpful, thank you.

Lynned Sun 03-Feb-13 13:20:13

My sympathy. Our neighbours are the same, and the parties are more frequent in summer, and kids screaming in the garden, as well as loud music. I once phoned at 3 asking them to turn music down, they did and then had a loud discussion over whether they would get a letter from the council. I also retaliated by calling them at 7am from a mobile, and then put the phone down.

PessaryPam Sun 03-Feb-13 16:35:04

ReturnOfEmeraldGreen Sun 03-Feb-13 11:37:09 Sorry, but I also think you should move.

Indeed you should move and sell to the worst possible neighbours for them grin

FannyBazaar Sun 03-Feb-13 20:19:08

The soundproofing works best when installed in the house with the noise! We had an extra panel installed in our living room when the house was renovated and put back the cupboard under the stairs (the space had been open) this helped to some extent but probably helps more with keeping my noise in. Even the builders commented on finding the neighbours noisy. Carpets in the noisy house also help to reduce noise. Cavity wall insulation may be a possibility if there is a cavity.

I think I did have a complaint from my previous noisy neighbours about parking in front of the house, but Mr Noisy complained to my ex (man to man like) and not me despite the fact that I was the only one who drives!

elizaregina Sun 03-Feb-13 20:28:05

OP

The police will come out - if its bad and past a certain time. I know this because I have had to call them several times one for a party at 8pm!! The operator could hear how loud it was and said she would do her best to get them out - and SHE DID,they came out and closed it down.

Another time for the party described before and for one or two other things.

alabasterangel Sun 03-Feb-13 21:17:07

I've dug out the local cpo's email. Ironically I've met her a few times, I used to help out with events at the park at the end of the road, and the CPO used to be there, so I might just email her in a friendly way and ask for her opinion. Don't suppose it would hurt?

It's gone on too long. It's getting insane. Our car hasn't moved since Friday (went out on foot yesterday!) but their huge beasty vehicle has moved several times and despite again an otherwise empty street, she has parked so close to my car (would guess, without exaggerating that its less than 2 inches gap!) that I can't get the buggy out to use for our DS for the walk to DDs school tomorrow without moving my car first.

It's so purile, and I'm shattered. I've thought of not much else today, and have been so tired from lack of sleep that I really snapped at dd earlier for something that wasn't fully warranted. How is it fair that I'm so worn out from them and getting anxious about stuff that it affects how I behave with our children? That it itself makes me so sad......

We inevitably leave our houses at much the same time in the mornings. I'm not sure i can't say something, not vile or rude or aggressive, but i feel such a wimp letting it just slide....

Mia4 Mon 04-Feb-13 20:24:33

OP, you aren't a wimp at all and actually it will piss them off more not to get a reaction out of you. That's why they are dong this, to get one and in a sense to feel that ego boost and sense of control. Sick but that's how it is with cunts like this.

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