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?

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.

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....

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.

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!

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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?

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.

elizaregina Sun 03-Feb-13 12:50:17

we share the same party walls as you do op.

i remeber another problem house on my road had party till 4 am or something - i couldnt sleep in my own bedroom and this house was about 7 away down the road!! I was on the phone to 101 and eventually got someone out.

the next day all the neighbours were saying how they were soo scared of claling 101 and they werent sure if they should.

i went to all of them and said CALL IT!!! If one lone voice is calling its harder for them to actually do something!!!! the more people call and dont sit and suffer in silence the more likely the police are likley to understand the nature of the problem.

the police can prioritse their own work - if they ahvea a stabbing to go to -= they will go there .

do diary - kick up a sttink try and stop it. even if those in spain didnt hear it - the ones next on thier side or yours may have heard it.

elizaregina Sun 03-Feb-13 12:41:53

it depends where you live as to what EH services you get - we certainly dont get a 24 hour service.

with the police you can call non emergency after midnight or even late - 11pm, and speak to them, if they have someone free they can send someone round.

its called a breach of the peace.

it depends how busy they are etc. Also if you can get another family to ring the police at night - then they should def come out. talk to other neighbours they must be getting disturbed also.

re council - hopefuly your eh will be good, ours was disgusting - I had to kick up a huge massive stink to do anything.

and when you do your official diary with them - they will let them know!

so thanks to this utterly bizzare procedure which favours the noise perpetrators is - they know youy are monitoring them, they go quiet. you have nothing tp put in your diary -and then they have nothing to complain about to them!!!

BumBiscuits Sun 03-Feb-13 12:27:06

I think the sporadic parties aren't so much of a problem as the other stuff.

BumBiscuits Sun 03-Feb-13 12:26:02

My neighbour used to jump up and down with rage if he came home and my car was parked in front of his house. It's a public highway. We were soooooooo happy when they moved.

BinksToEnlightenment Sun 03-Feb-13 12:22:32

I completely disagree that the OP should put up with it because she bought a terraced home. So did her neighbours. They should shut up and have some respect for other people.

YANBU!

Mia4 Sun 03-Feb-13 12:08:13

I've read the whole thing OP and it sounds like they have issues, here's what you can do:

1) Call environmental services at the council

2) Keep a log of all of this and any other antisocial incidents and call 101 when the noise is bad during 'unsociable hours' if it's that noisy then 101 will hear and have it recorded on their system. (this is what was suggested to us with our neighbour, hence why we didn't need to get recording equipment in).

3) Ignore them, have no contact with them from now except via letter if you are wanting to complain directly.

Keeping the log will tell you and council/Safer neighbourhoods if it's they will do investigating into OP.

I sympathise, my neighbours were awful, it was a hellish 2 years with daily and nightly harassment and noise- I was threatened with violence, more abuse and sexual violence by the man as was my friends. Visitors were also harrassed. They were cautioned multiple times and in the end we called 999 because we were scared and had been threatened/abused and kept awake 4 nights on the go. 999 were brilliant, e explained the situation, the pulled up around the corner and waled over hearing the abuse hurled at us. When the rung the buzzer the people must have thought it was us because the police got a mouth of abuse and threats of violence through the intercom, they arrested them there and then-went to court and the fuckers were given eviction notice and restraining order.

mablemurple Sun 03-Feb-13 12:08:08

I don't see why buying a terraced house automatically means that you can't complain about inconsiderate amounts of noise hmm. The neighbours also bought a terraced house, which means that they too need to act in a reasonable manner, which clearly they are not doing. And retaliation just does not work - you are not dealing with rational people here.

Mia4 Sun 03-Feb-13 12:00:36

carabos I would complain if i were you, chances are the others complaining don't have enough evidence and if direct neighbours seem ok with it the council put it on the back burner. You're already getting it in the neck because they think you've complained so any more complaints neighbours will come back on you anyway. Might as well at least have a word with Safer Neighbourhoods about the whole issue, might speed up getting them dealt with.

We had a bad neighbour and took him to court, he was evicted. After that all our neighbours in the street told us how great it was he was gone and how most of them didn't want to complain because they were scared of being his next target. The few that did complain used to blame it on us and he got worse to us. They wondered why we wanted nothing to do with them afterwards. The council and police told us that had the other direct neighbours complained as well then it would have happened quicker-very frustrating because we were subject to months more abuse then we would have been otherwise.

ReturnOfEmeraldGreen Sun 03-Feb-13 11:37:09

Sorry, but I also think you should move. Sell the house and get rid, even if it means moving to a house that isn't 100% what you want (but FGS don't buy another terraced!) or renting for a while. Even if you live in the South East, consider that the current market is likely unsustainable.

I do really sympathise, my neighbour problems were actually less bad than yours but it really messed with my head and affected my life majorly for the short time it went on. It's insidious and wears you down. ElizaRegina and I both posted about our experiences on this thread (I was CommunistMoon):

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/am_i_being_unreasonable/a1473153-to-be-concerned-scared-about-my-neighbours

Mimishimi Sun 03-Feb-13 11:26:12

Sorry, autocorrect. A bit of Wagner.

Mimishimi Sun 03-Feb-13 11:25:35

YABU in that you did buy a terraced house. We have a flat and our neighbors have frequent parties. I guess I tune it out ( or join in . That said, they are pretty considerate and turn the music down by eleven or so. If you are feeling standby about it, just wake up early the next morning and start playing some flamenco or. Bi of Wagner grin

mablemurple Sun 03-Feb-13 11:14:51

IMO and E you have two choices - either put up with it or move. They have no 'better nature' otherwise they wouldn't be playing silly games, and no-one with any consideration would let kids rampage around the house all night and start again early in the morning. Any action you take with the council will take time during which the noise and harrassment will continue (and may get worse) and there is no guarantee that you will be successful. Even if you were successful, you would still have to live next door to these people.
Only you can decide which path to follow, but if it starts to take over your whole life and you dread coming home, then my advice would be to move. I speak from experience, as you can probably tell, and moving was the best thing we ever did.
Sorry if this sounds really negative. It's a horrible situation to be in, and I really sympathise.

survivingwinter Sun 03-Feb-13 09:59:46

YANBU that sounds like a horrendous situation to me and I can imagine getting very stressed about it if it was me.

What about writing them a letter to try and appeal to (any) better nature they may have underneath all this silly game playing and retaliation they are doing?

Fwiw we have a detached house but still have problems with noise from a neighbour who plays loud music outside all through the summer so there's no getting away from it unless you're in the middle of nowhere!

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