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To Request Elderly Neighbours to turn down TV as I'm working from home?

(63 Posts)
PinkyAndTheBump Mon 01-Sep-14 13:12:51

We live in a terraced house, which apparently has shit sound insulation between the houses. Our elderly neighbours tend to sit in their front room to watch TV. They have it on so loud, I needn't have the sound on if watching the same programme as them.

Our first solution was to swap dining room/lounge so that we sit at the back of the house and avoid the noise - but this meant my home office desk was in the front room, and I was getting annoyed with the noise with the crap US made-for-TV "dramas" that they seem to watch every afternoon. I don't have to work from home, but I chose to do so in order to save on commute time/cost and to get some peace & quiet!

Our second solution was to move my desk upstairs - not ideal, as it's in the front bay window, and there's too much glare from outside, but I can STILL hear the sodding TV from next door.

They also have a second TV in the back room - sometimes with the same programme playing as the front room, but just a little out of sync :¬(

So, would I be unreasonable to get them to turn down the volume, or atleast switch off the TV and go and do something more interesting instead?

I have to be a little careful about the noise, as although we are very quiet at the moment, we are expecting a baby in the New Year, which of course , will not be coming with any volume control!!

PestoSurfissimos Mon 01-Sep-14 13:15:30

I wouldn't, but I would invest in some sound-proofing instead. Sounds like it is definitely needed.

PenisesAreNotPink Mon 01-Sep-14 13:18:35

Yes, you would be unreasonable - you are going to make a lot more noise grin

It's normal household noise - maybe wear some headphones yourself ?

LuisSuarezTeeth Mon 01-Sep-14 13:19:08

They are probably hard of hearing and you will offend them massively by asking.

Pipbin Mon 01-Sep-14 13:20:00

Can you put the radio or some music on to drown it out.
My neighbours have their TV on loudly at night and I find having the radio on helps.
It might be worth mentioning it, they most likely don't realise how loud it is.

or atleast switch off the TV and go and do something more interesting instead?
That is a bit judgey, they can do what they like!

mixedpeel Mon 01-Sep-14 13:21:34

Don't envy you the noise, but you would be totally unreasonable, rude, and out of order to ask them to turn it down.

If it's unbearable you could always go back to working at the office.

HaroldLloyd Mon 01-Sep-14 13:23:10

I KNOW this is annoying as I had a lovely man downstairs from my flat with a penchant for war films and the ack-ack noises practically bounced me out of bed.

But I don't think it something you can solve, it's day time, It's classed as normal household noise.

So I would think about other solutions to be honest. Maybe low level radio in your house, earphones, something like that.

Beastofburden Mon 01-Sep-14 13:24:17

If they are hard of hearing, perhaps what they need is better equipment so they can hear the telly. This kind of thing, that shoots the sound directly into your hearing aid, for instance:

But you will need to get to know them quite well before you can have that conversation. OTOH if you are about to have a baby, you ought to make the effort anyway. Do they have family who visit? are they a close family, and do you know or get on with their kids? its the kind of thing that might come better from a member of their own family.

In the short term, you can always go into work. But once the baby comes, there will be other issues like waking baby up, so worth building up the kind of relationship where you can raise it, seems to me.

ExitPursuedByAKoalaBear Mon 01-Sep-14 13:25:56

My Dad has his tv on VERY LOUD as he is very hard of hearing. I would be shocked if a neighbour asked him to turn it down.

You need to find your own solution.

PinkyAndTheBump Mon 01-Sep-14 13:26:15

I couldn't think of any diplomatic way of bringing up the topic with them, so that's why I was asking. The responses so far have confirmed that this is a very touchy topic!

I think it's above "normal" household noise, as I am totally serious about being able to hear every single word in that crap US made-for-TV drama, but I do appreciate that they are elderly, and therefore most likely hard of hearing, but if I were in the actual room, I think I would find it a painful volume!

On the plus side, if they really are that hard of hearing, then they might not hear the baby crying smile

We've deliberately chosen to put our baby's room on the opposite party wall - as the neighbours on that side use the adjacent room for storage, and have bookcases lining that wall, which will aid with the sound absorption.

I think we will still have to look into some form of sound absorption/insulation on that entire wall that we share with the elderlies though. Any ideas??

PinkyAndTheBump Mon 01-Sep-14 13:27:52

@pipbin - that was a deliberate reference to the 80s kids prog "Why don't you" ;) - not meaning to be judgy towards their choice of what to do!

mixedpeel Mon 01-Sep-14 13:28:06

Telly noise from next door is unlikely to wake a sleeping baby, ime.

Beastofburden Mon 01-Sep-14 13:29:23

My Dad has his tv on VERY LOUD as he is very hard of hearing. I would be shocked if a neighbour asked him to turn it down.

I wouldn't be shocked, if they did it nicely and offered to pay for the equipment. The action on hearing loss website talks quite openly of trying not to have the telly on so loud it disturbs others.

Obviously your dad still has to be able to enjoy the telly, so the equipment has to work and be comfortable for him. But if so, what's wrong with suggesting it? he might actually hear the telly better with the right gear, and its not as if being a bit deaf is something unmentionable like having the clap grin

Pipbin Mon 01-Sep-14 13:30:04

Fair enough pinky, I missed the reference!

GimmeMySquash Mon 01-Sep-14 13:32:33

I think PigletJohn in Property/DIY will help you with selecting sound proofing OP, if you ask nicely.

Scholes34 Mon 01-Sep-14 13:34:57

If you have the TV on that loud that you're disturbing others, it's probably because you need a hearing aid and not that you need the sound from the TV shooting straight into your hearing aid.

ExitPursuedByAKoalaBear Mon 01-Sep-14 13:37:26

He has that as well.

redandyellowbits Mon 01-Sep-14 13:41:03

pinky that reference to Why Don't You bought back some great childhood memories smile

Congrats on your new baby to be.

RiverTam Mon 01-Sep-14 13:42:14

DH asked our elderly neighbour to turn his TV down - it helped that his own DD had pointed out to him how loud it was, so he bought himself some headphones and only had it on loud when he was watching the footie with a chum. And because he was pretty deaf he never heard a peep out of DD!

So, a positive outcome for us smile!

Beastofburden Mon 01-Sep-14 13:42:15

If you have the TV on that loud that you're disturbing others, it's probably because you need a hearing aid and not that you need the sound from the TV shooting straight into your hearing aid.

I think a lot depends on the type of hearing loss. Modern equipment is excellent and can improve things much more than oldfashioned just cranking up the volume, either at source or via a hearing aid. Exits dad might find its worth a look at the latest gear- its not just about being nice to the neighbours, you get a better result (and Christmas is coming up grin).

PinkyAndTheBump Mon 01-Sep-14 13:47:34

beastofburden that looks like a great resource and look into that. We get on ok with their son, so will maybe talk to him about it.

Thanks all for your comments!

PinkyAndTheBump Mon 01-Sep-14 13:49:09

You can tell I'm a newbie! I can't even tag another mumsnetter. Is it just asterisks either end of their name to embolden, or some other tag? /offtopic

Latara Mon 01-Sep-14 13:54:09

I do sympathise having had lots of noisy neighbours in the past. I have always dealt with it by asking very politely if they could keep the noise down and they have mostly agreed except when I had some unpleasant drug dealers for neighours.

I'm lucky so far because my current neighbours put their tv on another wall, not the party wall.
However one time they put the tv on the party wall & the noise was like being in a cinema! I could not get away from it in any room in the house! So I wrote a polite note (they could not hear the doorbell over the tv) and they moved the tv.

My nan is very deaf, refuses to use hearing aids, can't read subtitles and has her tv on full volume - luckily she lives in sheltered accommodation & her neighbours seem pretty deaf too.
Also luckily she switches it off when I visit as the noise actually hurts it's so loud.

It would be worth trying to speak nice & politely to the neighbours about the noise; well I would try it anyway.

lorriehearts Mon 01-Sep-14 13:59:42

I'm another one who thinks YANBU, OP. As long as you're sensitive about the situation, there are plenty of workable solutions your neighbours could try rather than you having to listen to their telly on full-blast every day. They're obviously not being selfish; they probably just have no idea.

Can't believe the posters saying YABU - wonder how long they'd last listening to Cash in the Attic at volume 30 all day... wink

ikeaismylocal Mon 01-Sep-14 14:01:11

Ear plugs?

I think you'd be unreasonable to mention it to them especially as your due to have a baby, very soon your baby will to a toddler who most probably will want to spend large parts of the day running around and practicing talking screaming you will think longingly back to days when TV noise from next door was what you worried about!

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