To think the correct way to address a noise complaint should be...?

(69 Posts)
Bean89 Mon 12-May-14 14:50:40

To address it with the person you are complaining about before registering aforementioned complaint?

I have had one filed against me and I totally understand why (I would like to make this clear!) because my dog barks a lot. I've just moved from a detached house into a terraced house with very thin walls, I mean so thin I can hear the neighbours turning their bathroom light on and off.

So anyway, my dog barks and it's horrible, she's a little yappy knobhead who I love dearly, but she drives me mad. However, I wish the neighbours had spoken to me first purely because I'm trying really hard to train her out of it and in order to do this I need to know when they feel she barks the most. If I'm out of the house I obviously wouldn't have a clue. What I would prefer to have done would be to give them my contact number and ask them to get in touch when they feel it is particularly bad. I'm not happy for this to continue, especially when I have a baby on the way and I truly feel for my neighbours.

I'm in an awkward position now as the complaint was made anonymously so I'm unsure whether to go over, introduce myself and explain I'm doing my best and would appreciate their help?

Is it unreasonable that I really wish they had spoken to me first?

Nandocushion Mon 12-May-14 18:39:03

I can't speak for matilda, but I have three barky dogs next door, and their very nice owner is just SO sympathetic to her neighbours' suffering. She's tried the collars, she's tried this and that, she's tried everything, the silly things just kept barking, maybe that's just what dogs do, etc etc.

Funnily enough, after all us neighbours all getting together and making formal complaints to the city, she has been fined quite a lot of money. Lo and behold, the barking has all but stopped! Who knew dogs were so sensitive to financial deterrents?

OP, you sound like a nice person who really is trying, but as so many other barky dog owners are not like you and will just let the behaviour continue as long as they can get away with it, your neighbours decided to go straight to the top with their complaint. Good luck with the training.

Bean89 Mon 12-May-14 18:47:42

Nandocushion wow, as if by magic! I'd absolutely love to know what it is she did to finally get them to stop, sounds like I need to employ whatever it is myself!

However, this little horror has just done the most horrendous smelly trump right in my face and now I'm seriously considering the rehoming option...

mummymeister Mon 12-May-14 19:42:22

Bean89. I used to be an EHO and dealt with lots of noise cases. mostly people don't approach the person causing the nuisance. why? because too many people get defensive and some get very aggressive. why knock on the door to ask about the barking dog to be greeted by someone who says oh yes, I know it is a problem but it will get sorted eventually. or worse still thumps you for being an interfering idiot. and yes this did happen lots and lots of times. so, you know your dog is a nuisance. you need to sort it out asap or rehome the dog. it is unreasonable to expect your neighbours just to put up with it whilst you sort it out. I would give you a 28 day notice and if it were still barking all hours then I would get you into court. sorry, that's the reality of the law.

MissSoggyNist Mon 12-May-14 21:40:35

I used to be an EHO too quite a while ago and I agree with mummymeister The fact you are sympathetic to your neighbour and are trying to do something is encouraging but it's not much use if the dog is still incessantly barking.

BeyondRepair Mon 12-May-14 22:38:42

bean you sound lovely, a neighbour who knows there is an issue and is trying to resolve it, your neighbours should love you and the EH team.

I have skim read the thread, let your neighbours know you understand their upset, your trying to deal with it, and hope they can see improvement already.

I dont blame them for not coming to you...people are shy, scared....etc...

i am sure this will all resolve itself well.

BeyondRepair Mon 12-May-14 22:41:54

sorry, that's the reality of the law

Mummy I am staggered I would love to know where you worked, we have had awful, problems with neighbours noise and anti social behaviour for years and we have to fight tooth and nail just to get anyone at EH to listen to what we were saying let alone, quote the law at them confused

BeyondRepair Mon 12-May-14 22:43:47

it is unreasonable to expect your neighbours just to put up with it whilst you sort it out

really? but in a court, they would understand she cant just turn her dog off, some sort of training has to go on...

I mean there are so many brutes out there with dangerous and nasty dogs running riot, barking a danger,...do you really think the court would deal with op?

Bean89 Mon 12-May-14 23:15:07

Well, I ended up going to see the neighbours tonight to let them know that steps are being taken with the demon dog and that I'm really sorry about what it must be like for them.
Fortunately (I was quite nervous too after what some people have said about neighbours) she was very understanding. I mentioned that I had received a complaint, which I totally get and just wanted to discuss what I was doing to resolve the situation, and whilst she didn't say if she had made the complaint, she did say that she has seen, or rather heard, a huge improvement the last couple of weeks. I did give her my number and encouraged her to get in touch if she did need anything or had any concerns.
I feel much better knowing its not just me who has seen an improvement. Obviously miracles don't happen overnight and there's still work to be done, but it's a start! We're now having a lovely cuddle to reward her for an (almost) bark free day. The dog, not my neighbour.

MaidOfStars Mon 12-May-14 23:38:29

I don't want to live next door to you.

Just a couple of points, OP. Firstly, please throw the citronella collar in the bin, and don't use it again. It's a cruel, aversive technique that is not as effective as positive training methods. Secondly, ensure the trainer you use is preferably a member of the APDT or a behaviourist who is a member of APBC. If the trainer you have suggested mentions anything about being a pack leader or dominating your dog, then run for the hills. You've already mentioned your dog has separation anxiety which is causing the barking - if you resolve the root of hte problem by dealing with that, then you will make progress. Simply dealing with symptoms won't get to the source of the problem - all you will have is a stressed, miserable dog that will probably show its stress in other, potentially difficult behaviours. sad

Your dog's insurance will often cover behavioural consultations - it's worth checking this.

Finally, since you are now the subject of an official complaint, this could escalate into a court situation. I would strongly recommend having a look at the DogLaw website which provides specialist advice on dog legal matters (again, it's possible your insurance may help to cover this).

GiveTwoSheets Mon 12-May-14 23:46:20

Just so you know your neighbours will be keeping a diary of times/dates your dog is barking, I am having to do so with my next door neighbours, they are fully aware its me that complained.

I did go round but they didnt answer the door I had reached end of my tether the constant barking of 3dogs no matter which room in my house go into or even garden, the yapping really grinds you down. So maybe same has happened with your neighbours.

mummymeister Mon 12-May-14 23:48:12

beyondrepair if you do not feel that the council have acted properly on your behalf then go to the ombudsman and make a full complaint. you also have the power to take action yourself against the person causing the nuisance. it used to be under S99 of the PHA but is now I think under the EPA s84 but have been out of it so long that cannot quite remember. proving stat nuisance from noisy neighbours is nowhere near as easy as proving it with a barking dog. you know the owner is out at work all day, you go around, you knock on the complainants door and if they are the neighbour the dog will bark. you can also of course keep a noise diary plus take noise recordings. eh depts. don't all do it but they should. the biggest issue is getting neighbours to agree to go to court to act as witnesses. it often comes down to this and a huge number of people despite telling you it is the biggest problem in their life, when it comes down to it wont give evidence. I guess this is why they wait, to see how persistent you are.

cutefluffybunnes Tue 13-May-14 00:19:36

Good news that the neighbour sees some improvement, OP! And I bet the fact that you went round and offered sympathy and hope will buy you time with the training.

PowerPants Tue 13-May-14 00:30:36

Why did you move into a terraced house with a dog that barks incessantly? Why didn't you think of the effect this would have on your neighbours before moving there?

PowerPants Tue 13-May-14 00:31:56

Sorry posted too soon - I am not asking in an aggressive way - it just seems as though this may not have been the best place to move to!

Bean89 Tue 13-May-14 11:41:18

PowerPants haha it's ok, without wanting to sound entitled, the house we now live in was bought for us by my parents and I don't think any of us realised just how thin the walls would be!
The good news is that a few months after the baby is here we are hoping to be doing a house swap kind of situation with my brother who lives in a semi detached with lovely thick walls and a room not conjoined onto any other house to put the dog if she won't stop. Plus the upwards trend the dog has been on lately makes me very hopeful it's not just going to be a different set of neighbours to piss off and that we can get it sorted.

ScuttleButter I had heard this about the collars actually which is another reason I was reluctant to use it again, especially when I saw how stressed she was when it wouldn't stop, it was very off-putting.
That's great advice too, thank you. I didn't know I might be able to claim some back on insurance!

BeyondRepair Tue 13-May-14 13:43:43

I don't think any of us realised just how thin the walls would be a surveryor should have told you.
you can remedy that you know, buy panels to put up.

I bet your neighbour is relieved...and I am sure this will go a long way in your future relationship.

I bet they too were scared of approaching you....and now feel much more comfortable that there is some control and solution for the problem.

mummy myself and my other neighbours were very very badly let down. The guy in the dept was not fit for purpose.

Its all over now, but there are still massive anti social issues on the road that go on and on.

One of our problems was, the neighbours were temporary, so one bad lot moved on, another bad lot moved in, on and on and on....

PowerPants Tue 13-May-14 13:57:22

Ah, OK, I get it bean. I do think you sound lovely and absolutely trying to do your best, which will go a long way to settle the neighbours.

MakeMineaMartina Tue 13-May-14 17:20:37

Mummy you haven't worked for my EHD. mine are useless and do NOTHING. (noisy ndns with their loud parties and domestics etc etc) and yet again WE have to move.

ombudsman etc were also completely useless.

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