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

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


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?

Cosmosim Sun 03-Feb-13 07:19:08

Sorry but police will tell you to ring council for a noise problem. Council will send a team out (mine woke me up at 4am, the party stopped at 3am.) who have to witness the noise and measure it. Or they may leave the little device for you to take readings with (doubt for once a month). Then if they agree it's unreasonable / unacceptable - they send letters. Or knock on door (but can't do anything if no answer of course). The grand finale? A fine. One friend went through this withe upstairs tenants. The fine was £50, upstairs laughed and had a noisy party to celebrate. hmm

alabasterangel Sun 03-Feb-13 07:40:11

So if I contact the local cpo (as someone suggested) then they won't do anything or speak to them? My nagging mind is saying we shouldn't just let it go; otherwise it'll keep happening. This isn't the first time and I doubt it'll be the last.

HollyBerryBush Sun 03-Feb-13 07:52:58

The police will tell you to call the council (enviro health) but they will come out with a council officer to tell them to keep the noise down. This is a 24 hour service - but be mindful if you are phoning at 1am/2am etc this is when the city centres chuck out and the police will be scooping up drunks and breaking up brawls.

they don't tell them who called - although it would be fairly obvious from the noise you describe, that it isn't going to be heard anywhere other than next door - ie you.

HollyBerryBush Sun 03-Feb-13 07:53:51

The plastic plod however are able to call in and have a nice chat, but have absolutely no power whatsoever - therefore it could exacerbate the situation

alabasterangel Sun 03-Feb-13 08:27:54

I feel so stuck. I feel ridiculous on one hand because its not ACDC 24 hours a day on high volume, but it's obviously very disturbing and comes without warning. It's not a birthday or whatever (she puts loads of banners and stuff up for anyone's birthday and has the cards on the windowsill, there are none of those going on now). As I say you can see into their kitchen from our bedroom, and I can count now 12 kids round the table and more elsewhere in the house as there is still piano etc elsewhere. There are various adults standing about and 4 cars outside I don't recognise, so in a terraced house it's a considerable amount of people. This exact same scenario happened once in early December, once between Xmas and new year (both of which we said we should just suck up as they may have been Xmas festivities) and then again now.

I do totally appreciate that there are people who have a hellish time with neighbours, but what can you do about this moderate stuff which is non the less really intrusive? I can go to the council and they won't do anything much, or I can go to the police who won't have the power to do anything. That sucks!!!

HollyBerryBush Sun 03-Feb-13 08:37:40

Some people are naturally gregarious - to them that is part and parcel of 'normal' life - our neighbours are a lovely young couple, they often have quite loud BBQs in the summer - but they all move into the conservatory at about 9.30.

It doesn't bother me other than I want to be invited however a few doors down has a teenage boy who have rip roaring parties everytime his parents go away for the weekend. I have to stop myself storming in at 1am with a pair off scissors and cutting the plug off his equipment!

I have called enviro on the then teenage girls over the road who used to hire a DJ and have bloody raves till stupid o'clock when I wanted to sleep. Fortunately they have moved out now grin

No sign of abating, sounds like some sort of games going on lots of shrieking, jumping and thumping, slamming doors, howling and shouting with that and the bottle breaking, I might be tempted to do a 999 call and report a possible DV ..... I mean, you aren't to know its a party are you? you think it's a fight ....

FannyBazaar Sun 03-Feb-13 08:37:40

Keep a noise diary to send to the council, write any noise you hear and the date and the time ie children running inside, alarm clock, door slamming, parties. If it is persistent noise, even if not loud it is still worth recording. When the neighbours on the other side get back, ask them how they feel and if it is also a problem for them encourage them to also keep a noise diary.

Do the noisy neighbours own the house?

carabos Sun 03-Feb-13 08:40:50

I have neighbours exactly like yours. Their thing is drumming and playing the guitar all hours of the day and night. If that wasn't bad enough, the only thing he can play on either instrument is the first few bars of Smoke on the Water.

They also have three dogs which bark almost constantly, usually set off by the DW shrieking at the kids to be quiet! I have truly never come across people who make so much noise.

We don't complain, mainly because the husband is a vicious, violent piece of shit who loves a fight. Unfortunately because we are in a terrace, other people do com

carabos Sun 03-Feb-13 08:41:54

Oops - do complain and we get the retaliation because for some reason he thinks it must be us.

cupcake78 Sun 03-Feb-13 08:58:26

Buy earplugs for night time! We have erratically noisy neighbours and have learned its earplugs or limited sleep. We have teenagers who inhabit the garage of their house near us and have parties. I can understand why the parents have put the kids in the garage sad. The summer holidays are hell, parents out all day, kids think its Ibiza time. If it continues in excess this year I will be saying something to them especially as baby due in summer.

Our other neighbours are known for getting drunk in an afternoon and MR becomes very vocal and argumentative outside his house once darkness comeshmm. His Teenagers love to play loud music when mum and dad are out. People drive up to the house beep their horn 4-5 times a day regardless of time and they sit outside in the cars, playing musicconfused.

The police are aware if him but its not due to us. His older daughter actually reported him one nightblush. I don't blame her!

We have been known to get up early and not keep the noise downwink. Particularly after a late nightgrin

It's what comes with having neighbours, it could be an old deaf couple with the TV too loud or a barking dog etc. It's a risk you take with neighbours. We are trying to move house smile

comingintomyown Sun 03-Feb-13 09:00:13

Oh god this is sending shudders down my spine as I think I would get quite obsessive about noise like that

Not sure what you can do as they sound wholly unreasonable , so depressing there are so many vile people around from all these posts from those experiencing similar problems

alabasterangel Sun 03-Feb-13 09:16:24

Fanny - they own. So do we. The other neighbours are away 50% of the time (place abroad) and I have asked in the past. They say they don't hear 'as much' because their rooms that join are the hallway and landing, whereas our joining rooms are the living room, front room, two of the bedrooms and partially the kitchen.

I do get obsessive, and I get very anxious about it too. I hadn't been for ages but this morning, sleep deprived and frustrated, I can't think about anything else (and I've got a storming headache).

Cupcake; earplugs are not an option with a baby to listen out for!

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!

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.

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

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

Sorry, autocorrect. A bit of Wagner.

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):

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.

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 12:08:13

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.

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.


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.

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

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

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!!!

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.

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