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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?

matildasquared Mon 12-May-14 15:59:10

So you've decided to stop using a collar which solved the problem (or get a replacement when it wore out). You haven't got a trainer in at all nor any concrete plans to schedule one. Your own efforts to train her haven't resolved the issue. Yes, you're being unreasonable and a terrible neighbour.

matildasquared Mon 12-May-14 16:00:41

I was even going to bring up those citronella collars earlier, but I thought, "Never mind, there'll be some excuse why she can't use those." And look!

maddening Mon 12-May-14 16:00:44

Maybe write a nice letter for environmental health to send to the complainant - apologising and reassuring that you are working on it and offering your contact details.

Perhaps the person is infirm and unable to go out, anxious and scared of confrontation etc

Tbh I have more sympathy for the person suffering your noise than for your issues with the way the complaint was made - at least they have gone down proper channels.

maddening Mon 12-May-14 16:00:55

Maybe write a nice letter for environmental health to send to the complainant - apologising and reassuring that you are working on it and offering your contact details.

Perhaps the person is infirm and unable to go out, anxious and scared of confrontation etc

Tbh I have more sympathy for the person suffering your noise than for your issues with the way the complaint was made - at least they have gone down proper channels.

Bean89 Mon 12-May-14 16:25:02

Sigh, matildasquared I'm sorry for offending you so horribly when I respond to your questions. I have already stated I was unreasonable to expect them to have come round, but I don't feel that asking if I should (and deciding that yes indeed I should) go round there myself to apologise, explain and tell them what steps I am taking makes me a 'terrible neighbour', nor does spending hundreds of pounds on resolving the issue.

If you would like a blood sacrifice by way of apology, I have a little dog here who is just begging for it grin

matildasquared Mon 12-May-14 16:32:15

No, you haven't spent hundreds of pounds resolving the issue. If you tell the neighbours that, you'll be lying.

I'm angry at your entitled attitude, that you somehow have a right to have this loud animal and your neighbours' right to peaceful lives is less important. Either get another citronella collar, get an effective trainer in, or re-home the dog.

I mean, I'd love to play my music loud and rock out at the end of a long, stressful day but until I can afford a nice isolated place in the country I can't do that.

Bean89 Mon 12-May-14 16:44:04

I thought it had been made obvious the trainer has been confirmed, my mistake. Or it may have been a bit wrong of you to jump to the conclusion that purely because they haven't been yet means I am making it up. They're coming this Saturday (which was when I was originally due to start my mat leave in case you would also like to know why they aren't here ^right now^) and I can't bloody wait.
I don't think I'm entitled to having a loud animal. I hate it. And especially given that I will soon have a newborn, you really think I want the dog waking her up whenever I get a minute to myself? Never mind driving me and my neighbours mad! You've made 3 entirely incorrect assumptions now. If there are any further questions you'd like to ask I'm more than willing. I do draw the line at my bank details though.

matildasquared Mon 12-May-14 16:53:03

No, earlier you said, "We're having a trainer in, we're spending lots of money resolving the problem" which when challenged changed to:

The trainer has not been yet, because as I said we have been trying to train her ourselves...Also, £300 is a lot to spend in one go...

...which means you were only considering getting a trainer in.

And now as it happens the trainer is scheduled for Saturday.

I only bring this up because you're clearly more interested in making excuses than resolving the issue. Your neighbours aren't dumb and they'll see this too. Good luck to you.

Bean89 Mon 12-May-14 16:59:35

No, it means that you construed that to mean we were only considering it. If I said 'the postman hasn't been yet' it doesn't mean he isn't coming ever again.

I wish he wouldn't. It'd help stop the dog barking.

matildasquared Mon 12-May-14 17:04:21

I'll eat my hat if a trainer shows up on Saturday. It'll be the same pack of excuses around the collars.

Do you realise the council will remove the dog if the problem persists?

bonkersLFDT20 Mon 12-May-14 17:05:15

I've been in your neighbours position, but it was handled much better.

She also moved from a detached to a terrace. When she moved she talked to everyone about the dog and that it would need to settle in and that we hoped we understood. Of course we did, there's no other way around the settling in period.

However, the dog failed to settle and as she resumed her normal life the dog was left for the odd afternoon and the poor thing barked and cried.

I work from home and it was driving me round the bend, so I dropped a note through her door. She then came to speak to me and gave me the complete low down on the situation, which quite frankly I didn't really care about. While I am sympathetic to her plight, I did not agree "that we are all in it together". I was careful to not say that I would be tolerant, because I don't want to hear a barking dog ever, thank you. And I didn't appreciate her suggestion that my garden office is not insulated enough.

Anyway, she's barely been able to leave the house and while again I do feel for her, it's not my problem.

Your dog, you stop the barking.

Bean89 Mon 12-May-14 17:14:15

Crikey Moses Matilda, you've caught me out. I admit it. I absolutely love the barking, it improves every aspect of my day, and especially my big fat pregnant lady naps. In fact, the whole point of this post was to tell people how much I love making my neighbours lives a misery and how I've done absolutely nothing about it, because I am a horrible dog owner and neighbour. You truly are a super-sleuth!

bonkers she really suggested you insulate better? That's like me asking my neighbours to put egg boxes on all their walls! It is no fun when you feel you can't leave the house because of a dog, but you're totally right, it's the choice of the dog-owner and our responsibility alone. It's like someone else mentioned, I have an emotional attachment to mine so I can deal with it much better than someone who doesn't and it still drives me mad.

RiverTam Mon 12-May-14 17:18:18

the thing is, you keep saying 'but £300 is a lot when there's a baby coming' or 'we tried that but the batteries were so expensive' - it is not your neighbours problem that your finances are stretched by your dog and your baby - both your choices to have and I'm afraid, certainly as far as the dog is concerned, that you will have to spend however much it takes to get the barking sorted, and pronto.

ApoqA Mon 12-May-14 17:21:40

Back to your original question, I think that it's usually best to try to deal with things face to face and I am sure that your nieghbours will have been advised of this when they called the council. However, you should realise that it's unlikely that the council will have simply sent you a letter without trying to establish some of the facts from the complainant. They may well have had to keep a noise diary.

Complaining directly to a neighbour can be a huge deal to some people. People can be too nervous to do it.

I would find a barking dog extremely irritating and my sympathies would lie with your neighbour. confused

Can you leave you dog in a different room when you go out so that it's not a noisy for your neighbour?

Bean89 Mon 12-May-14 17:24:31

RiverTam no it's absolutely not their problem. We're fortunate enough that it's something we have been able to budget for without too much of an issue but it has taken longer than I would have liked, and part of that was probably me being properly Yorkshire and not wanting to spend money on something I could definitely not do myself! Had I known what I know now, I would have been a lot less cocky and got someone in when she was a pup.

matildasquared Mon 12-May-14 17:27:40

Except of course it is, hence the letter.

BurdenedWithGloriousPurpose Mon 12-May-14 17:28:52

My new neighbours have a barky dog. I've felt like making an official complaint. I haven't complained to them personally as I assumed that anyone who lets their dog bark lots is an arsehole and I'd just get abuse.

Now I see you aren't an arse and are trying to stop this but maybe your neighbours assumed the same as me? I'd go explain and apologise, or send a note to them all.

If my neighbour did that I'd maybe stop shouting "shut up dog" every time it started.

Bean89 Mon 12-May-14 17:32:02

Oh my word Matilda, calm down! I was agreeing that my finances aren't their problem.

Wait a minute...are you my neighbour?!

MakeMineaMartina Mon 12-May-14 17:34:18

do they still sell those muzzle things? or is that a form of cruelty?

at least to put on the dog when you go out.

we had a neighbour in the past with a big black Doberman (in a tiny flat) and theyd be out all day and most of the night and the poor dog drove us -no pun intended- barking mad.

when I had a kind word they hurled not only abuse but their dogs (and prob their own) turd at us, our windows, our door, everywhere.

we ended up moving out.

you're not a turd thrower Op but sometimes neighbours cant talk to another for fear of the abuse, .

matildasquared Mon 12-May-14 17:36:02

I have been!

Bean89 Mon 12-May-14 17:39:00

MakeMineaMartina what the Hell?! That's dreadful! The last thing I want is for my neighbours to think I'm one of those 'orrible dog owners that just don't give a fuck and they can't speak to me about their issues, so there would certainly be no poo-flinging on my behalf. I'm considering buying them a nice bottle of completely shit-free wine to be honest!

Bean89 Mon 12-May-14 17:43:43

Well then I can understand your rage Matilda, but genuinely not all owners of barky dogs don't give a fuck, some of us really really want to get it sorted and whatever you may think I do sit in that camp.

MakeMineaMartina Mon 12-May-14 17:46:19

I o agree with the other posters in that you should have maybe talked to your immediate neighbours whn you moved in and explained the situation. im sure they would have been understanding- to a certain point.

Bean89 Mon 12-May-14 17:50:13

Definitely should have. I feel a bit embarrassed for not doing so and then expecting them to come to me to be honest!

CrazyPuppy Mon 12-May-14 17:53:24

Hmm. I agree it is not very nice to learn that neighbours have complained without any attempt at a polite resolution. It must be very stressful for you if the dog is barking all the time and you are hyper-aware of every sound.

OTOH, I'm not sure why you need to know whether the barking gets worse when you are out. You already know it is a big problem. Whether it is worse at certain times is just a red herring. No shortcuts I'm afraid - some good advice above on how to address this before things escalate further.

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