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Noisy neighbours - acoustic barrier fencing - AIBU to ask them to pay half?

(76 Posts)
angelos02 Mon 14-Mar-16 15:23:42

Our neighbours seem lovely enough but are elderly and they have their radio on, all day every day, at a volume so loud we can hear it across 2 driveways plus the width of our garden away. I know I should be more easy-going due to their age but surely this is not on?

DH and I have asked them time and again to turn their music down - just at the weekends when we are not at work (as a compromise) and they are fine for a day or so then it creeps back up again.

We have looked into acoustic fencing but I don't know whether or not it will work and it will cost alot of money that we will struggle to find.

Any suggestions or recommendations would be appreciated. I was out of work and suffered from depression last summer and this made it so much worse as I was stuck in the house every day.

mummymeister Mon 14-Mar-16 15:34:04

Acoustic fencing doesn't work. you might get a slight attenuation of the sound but not to such a great extent.

go and see them. tell them how loud it is in your property and try and get them to investigate alternatives. Move the radio to another room, wireless headphones etc. there are a whole host of things that they could try.

if they wont then your only option is to go down the route of noise nuisance with your local Env Health dept. I really wouldn't do this unless it is unbearable because taking action like this has ramifications. not only in how it affects your relationship with your neighbours but also, if you try to sell your property, you have to disclose this information.

I am an ex EHO so know a bit about this.

Heyheyheygoodbye Mon 14-Mar-16 15:36:05

Are your houses attached? Or do they have their windows open?

You have my sympathy - we had to move when we were in a similar situation. Didn't feel I could be too strident as they were elderly, but it drove me mad!

angelos02 Mon 14-Mar-16 15:40:22

Thanks mummymeister

We have told them on a number of occassions how loud it is but it doesn't seem to register. I think they consider us to be a nuisance now which is ironic given the impact they had making my mental health worse last year.

It isn't unbearable, just incredibly inconsiderate. Every time I open the back door to my home, I can hear exactly what they are listening to. If it was now and again, I wouldn't mind but it is literally all day, every day. It got so bad last year, I was literally sobbing. I know that sounds over the top but when you have depression, things like this become a huge issue. I'm dreading the Summer already as I know it will be worse as they have the door open all day too.

Witchend Mon 14-Mar-16 15:42:26

It's possibly they're hard of hearing, so they think it's on quiet so taken them round to hear could backfire dramatically if they're saying"can't hear it at all. Whatever are you moaning about?"

angelos02 Mon 14-Mar-16 15:43:49

Witchend 'whatever am I moaning about'. I assume you wouldn't mind hearing someone else's noise, all day everyday?

mummymeister Mon 14-Mar-16 15:44:01

sorry to sound harsh but being elderly is no excuse in my experience and neither does the law take this into account.

I know that the OP is trying to be nice and fair but really if their radio is that loud that it is clearly audible from that distance then it must be almost deafening in the house.

another suggestion is to speak to any children or carers that they have and set out the problem.

they have the radio on like that all day out of habit and as they get older and deafer it is just going to get louder and louder.

AdrenalineFudge Mon 14-Mar-16 15:45:26

I think you mis-read Witchends comment.

angelos02 Mon 14-Mar-16 15:50:47

I don't think I mis-read Witchend's comments.

Being elderly is no excuse for such lack of consideration. I would be mortified if I thought I was making so much racket that a neighbour could hear it so far away.

Fooshufflewickbannanapants Mon 14-Mar-16 15:53:02

witchendmeant THEY might say that as they are hard of hearing....I think? !

JanetOfTheApes Mon 14-Mar-16 15:53:35

You really did misread her comments. Try again and then apologise!

mummymeister Mon 14-Mar-16 15:56:28

Witchend was quoting what she thought the old people would be saying. not what she thinks.

she/he is right. if you ask them to come and listen then they wont be able to hear it.

you are on a much stickier wicket from an Env health point of view if the noise is audible in your garden but not audible within your house.

For this reason then, I would try and work with them or their families or their carers to find a solution rather than going to Env health.

also the law on noise nuisance is concerned with what the average person would find a nuisance. no account would be taken of your mental health issues even though, I and anyone else, can fully understand and accept that because of them you will have a sensitivity to noise.

Heyheyheygoodbye Mon 14-Mar-16 15:56:56

I'm sure witchend was imaging what they might say...she just forgot to put the last speech mark on!

MrsNoraCharles Mon 14-Mar-16 15:57:42

I'm hugely sensitive to noise and really used to struggle when I had similar neighbours, so I know a bit about how you're feeling. People always used to tell me to make my own noise, but the point of being outside, for me, was being able to hear birds and "outdoorsy" sounds, which I couldn't if I had headphones and/or my own radio.

I can't really offer a solution except to talk to them, although I tend to agree with Witchend that they may, quite literally, not get what the problem is. Some people, even those who are not hard of hearing, have absolutely no issue with the sounds of others. In fact some people like it, so I think they find people like you and me hard to understand.

angelos02 Mon 14-Mar-16 16:00:08

Is it the police or environmental health I should ring first if this gets really bad again this Summer? I'm certainly not putting up with it again.

angelos02 Mon 14-Mar-16 16:01:29

the point of being outside, for me, was being able to hear birds and "outdoorsy" sounds

yy to this.

Also, I can drown out the music if I blast my own radio full pelt but I, unlike them, have consideration for my other neighbours.

JanetOfTheApes Mon 14-Mar-16 16:01:32

It's not a police matter. Having a radio on during the day is not a crime, however annoying it may be.

angelos02 Mon 14-Mar-16 16:03:06

Having a radio on during the day is not a crime

I hope you never have to put up with such volume for 12 hours a day.

Notonthestairs Mon 14-Mar-16 16:03:26

It sounds like they need hearing aids. My PIL listen to the television at terrifyingly high volumes (I switched on their tv once and thought my ears were going to bleed!) but it has got better since their doctor has given them hearing aids. Difficult to broach with them - do they have any family that visit that maybe you could have a quiet word with?

JanetOfTheApes Mon 14-Mar-16 16:04:20

I have done, actually, but like I said, it still isn't a crime.

Are you this rude when you talk to the auld dears? The might be more amenable to you if you weren't.

mummymeister Mon 14-Mar-16 16:06:02

The police don't deal with noise nuisance. Environmental health does.

in the first instance they will ask you to keep a diary with dates, times etc and state how the noise is affecting you. they will ask you to do this before they come out and listen so you need to put the time and effort in to do it (even though its a pain) then once they have your log/noise diary they should send an eho out to listen.

they will use the reasonableness test I outlined above. it has to be noisy enough for the average person to be disturbed they wont take your mental health into account.

plus - do be very very sure before you do this. it will blight your property when you try to sell it in the future so make absolutely certain you have exhausted all other avenues first.

the eho should ask you what you have done to try and resolve it yourself and again it would be better if you could try a few of the things that I suggest.

no one has the right to peace and quiet - not in law any way - just the right to put up with a reasonable amount of noise in terms of level and duration.

Witchend Mon 14-Mar-16 16:08:53

You did totally misread my comments. I had a family member who had huge volumes in tv/radio, which turned out to be hearing issues. They simply couldn't see (hear!) the problem as to them the volume was ridiculously quiet.
If you take them round to hear how noisy it is and they due to lack of hearing cannot hear the volume at all they are going to wonder what you are complaining about.
Hope you understand now.

angelos02 Mon 14-Mar-16 16:27:10

Hope you understand now. How patronising.

I know they wouldn't be able to hear it if I took them to my back garden. But surely knowing that their music can be heard so far away would jolt them into thinking, 'maybe we should put the radio somewhere else in the house'.

I haven't been telling them their radio is noisy just for shits and giggles. I can genuinely hear the point of knowing exactly which radio station they are listening to...from the other side of my garden.

JanetOfTheApes Mon 14-Mar-16 16:29:59

It's not patronising. You read the comment wrong and then were really rude. And you're still being rude. And I still don't think you've fully understood the comment!

Sympathy for you is rapidly waning.

Nicky333 Mon 14-Mar-16 16:31:09

How rude you're being, OP. First you misread Witchend's comment, then when someone suggests that you did, you snap. Then Witchend explains herself and you accuse her of being patronising! With no apology for the mis-reading of the first comment!

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