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To feel like I’m losing the plot with neighbour noise during lockdown?

(49 Posts)
ThursdayPLaine Fri 10-Apr-20 12:26:28

I live in a first floor maisonette with my husband, just turned one year old and dog. We bought the flat four years ago and discovered that the sound insulation is terrible upstairs and downstairs. Our previous downstairs neighbours had two (later three) small children and we could hear everything - we never complained as you expect to hear daily living in a flat. They moved out two years ago and our current neighbours (a couple, no children) moved in. They have always been noisy (music blaring, television turned up to full blast, shouting and arguing) but as they both worked full time then we tried to ignore it, to avoid bad feeling. Ironically, they seem to be noise averse themselves and the noise has increased since our daughter was born - turning on music if she cried, for example. They have also been aggressive and threatening to us - once coming around to scream that our dog (elderly, mostly sleeps, hardly ever makes any noise) needed to be put down. He had barked because their music was so loud that it was bothering him. As I’ve been on maternity leave and here all the time then it has caused me a lot of stress and really affected my mental health living here - I feel constantly on my edge and anxious. I feel like a terrible mum because if my daughter makes any noise then I’m always worried about the neighbours sad

I was getting through because we have saved really hard for the last four years and had managed to find a beautiful house to move to. We’ve really struggled to sell our flat - it has taken us 18 months (including a sale that fell through) to find a solid buyer. We were due to exchange and move within the next few weeks when lockdown happened sad Our neighbours are not working and the noise problems are now happening for hours everyday. It is really affecting me - sometimes I feel like I can’t breathe. My husband is a key worker and working long hours, so I have the worry about him on top of being on my own looking after my daughter. Our daily exercise needs to be a dog walk so for the rest of the time we are stuck indoors and I’m really struggling with the noise. I don’t feel we can approach them due to their past behaviour and I worry that escalating it to their landlord will make the situation even more worse. They know how bad the insulation is and they know that I am mostly on my own with a baby but they don’t care. I know lockdown is the right thing and I will obviously stick to the rules but I feel like I’m losing the plot - I can’t bear the thought of months more of this.

How can I get through this? Not sure how to cope at the moment sad

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OhhhPeee Fri 10-Apr-20 12:32:44

This is so hard OP. Could you order ear plugs or noise cancelling headphones? Do you have a car you could sit in when things get really bad? It is really cruel that the end was in sight but now it’s gone. What’s happening with your sale?

MorganKitten Fri 10-Apr-20 12:35:37

If it’s between 11pm and 7am it’s noise pollution and they can be fined or moved on.
We have the same issue with our upstairs neighbor who just took a delivery of 6ft high speakers and I’ll have no issues contacting the noise pollution/council about them

SouthsideOwl Fri 10-Apr-20 12:43:41

Just wanted to sympathise. I had neighbours like this and it's just awful. Here's hoping when lockdown is over and they're back at work, and tempers are less frayed things will calm down...and you can move.

HarrietTheShy Fri 10-Apr-20 12:48:56

All I can say is you aren't the only one going through this, OP. My neighbours are inconsiderate at the best of times, but being home 24/7 is pushing everyone to the limits. flowers

Aloe6 Fri 10-Apr-20 12:50:05

They sound like NFH. I know it’s hard but please don’t worry about your daughter making normal baby/ playing noise. You’re doing nothing wrong and the council wouldn’t be interested in a complaint about normal household noise.

Soon enough you will be out of there, try to hold on to that. flowers

ThursdayPLaine Fri 10-Apr-20 13:03:57

Thanks everyone and so sorry for anyone in the same situation, it’s awful. It’s made worse by not knowing how long this will go on for, I think.

Thought about ear plugs / headphones but can’t use them when my daughter is awake and I worry about using them when she is asleep, in case I don’t hear her if she wakes up. We only have one car, which my husband takes to work, so can’t escape in there.

Our sale and purchase is hopefully still going ahead, keeping absolutely everything crossed 🤞🏻 We need the government restrictions to lift first and removals companies to be working. Everyone in the chain seems to be happy to go ahead but obviously the longer this goes on for then the more chance there is for someone to get cold feet. Can’t bear the thought of that happening.

The noise is largely during the afternoon and evening, not overnight, so I don’t think would be considered noise pollution. But it’s long enough and loud enough to be really affecting me as we are effectively confined indoors hearing it.

Feel terrible as I don’t want to wish the time with my daughter away, she’s at a lovely age and will only be this little once sad

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bestbefore Fri 10-Apr-20 13:11:37

What do you have on your floor? Can you add lots of rugs or carpet to provide more of an insulation between the floors?

Ariela Fri 10-Apr-20 13:15:48

Under the circumstances, I doubt anyone would mind, social distancing observed, if you walked the dog twice a day

Ariela Fri 10-Apr-20 13:17:10

Or walked the dog once, then went for a walk with baby for your exercise later

LittleLittleLittle Fri 10-Apr-20 13:22:33

OP you are allowed to walk the dog once a day and then walk the baby presuming you can leave the dog home alone.

dontdisturbmenow Fri 10-Apr-20 13:27:10

I sympathise but it sounds like it goes both ways, they too are disturbed and it's down to the poor insulation. Just hold on to the fact that it's almost over and you'll soon get the quietness you are craving.

ilovedjerrymore Fri 10-Apr-20 13:46:38

Noisy neighbours Can be horrible. I have suffered and still suffer now! Next move for us is going to be a detached house in the middle of no where!grin

Sorry you are having a horrible time on top of all that’s going on at the moment. Maybe go for a
Walk without the dog just to stretch your legs and for a change of scenery.

Do the people buying your place know about the noise issue? Do they have kids?sad

ThursdayPLaine Fri 10-Apr-20 14:50:01

Yes, I think we might need to start having a think about how we can get out of the house more / for longer. Started today at 2pm - floors shaking and music blasting out sad We have thick carpets with insulation underneath everywhere but the bathroom and kitchen (where we have rugs), plus extra rugs. Can’t imagine what it would be like without 😬

Completely appreciate that the sounds of daily living goes both ways - that’s just a fact of living in a flat, unfortunately. We do our absolute best to keep our noise to a minimum, including our one year old. Part of the reason we are moving is that we don’t want her to spend her childhood on edge and creeping about. It’s the incessant thumping music that really bothers me - it would make the lockdown easier if we could all be considerate of each other and try to make life easier where we can.

Our buyer absolutely knows about the noise! I think you have to legally declare it, which we made sure to do. No kids, so hopefully they will have an easier time of it 🤞🏻

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EggBaconBeans Fri 10-Apr-20 14:53:54

Oh you poor thing.

I think unless you've experienced noisy neighbours and how awful it is, then you can't really understand how it makes you feel.

My goodness, we've had our fair share. Feel so fortunate that these current neighbours are lovely and quiet and don't dictate the times we go to sleep and the times we wake up.

Please do contact your environmental health if it's between 11-7 am. They aren't allowed to do that.

ilovepuggies Fri 10-Apr-20 15:02:19

is there a quieter room in the flat that you could set up camp in?
Could you put some music on not at full blast but just to take the edge off?
Could you make your daily activity at the time you find it the hardest? You could always put the dog out for the toilet earlier.
I really hope your sale goes through. I lived in a horrendous ground floor flat with no sound insulation it was horrible I can understand how it negatively effects your mental health.
I hope you can come up with some solutions that will help a little.

ThursdayPLaine Fri 10-Apr-20 20:19:19

Thanks everyone for the kind words and sympathy - today has been a really low day so I really appreciate it. Going to try to take it one day at a time, attempt to not let it get on top of me and focus on the future house move. I know we are luckier than a lot of people but it is a struggle to stay positive at the moment.

flowers for anyone going through the same thing. Hoping everyone comes out of this with their mental (and physical) health intact!

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ProfessorPollington Fri 10-Apr-20 20:25:15

I just wanted to say i have been there and I really really feel for you. For us it was a group of sharers who partied 24/7 and told us that they did "not give a fuck" that we had kids. Took noise control and police to put them back in a box (one of them was a graduate at Royal Bank of Scotland but spent most of his time out of his head at home). After a year of this I was broken. I really hope your sale goes through. Selfish neighbours are life ruining. You can't get away and you are always on edge.

Malvinaa81 Fri 10-Apr-20 20:26:26

I am so sorry and wish I could ease your situation- but I can't.

All I can do is wish you well, and offer understanding of how bad noise problems are, I know, I have lived through it.

Please stay strong and well. There will be an end.

Dizzygirl00 Fri 10-Apr-20 21:00:04

I’m so sorry but you are not alone, if it’s any consolation. Upstairs neighbours are noisy, the kids bang about constantly, they did this before lockdown now it’s just constant of course. Slamming doors, I could go on. I’m so sorry Thinking of you, I sympathise. People can be so selfish flowers

Dizzygirl00 Fri 10-Apr-20 21:01:15

In fact they are crashing about right now 😬😩😡😢

NathanNathan Fri 10-Apr-20 21:05:30

Also sympathy from here. Neighbours across the way blasted music all day, now next door neighbours are shrieking karaoke which is becoming a weekly thing. sad

safariboot Fri 10-Apr-20 21:08:36


If they are renting, I wouldn't hesitate to hassle their landlord about it.

Unfortunately if your council's anything like mine, they're as much use as a chocolate teapot about noise complaints at the best of times. Right now you'll get absolutely nothing.

Only think I can think of is to get a friend who's not afraid of a fight to go and intimidate them into behaving.

fringeandtrainers Fri 10-Apr-20 21:13:53

Sympathy from me too, we’ve only
Just moved in 7 months ago and we’ve got neighbours who play music every afternoon in their garden. Urgh! Already considering moving again! Fingers crossed for you

ThursdayPLaine Fri 10-Apr-20 22:40:52

Unfortunately, I don’t think our friends look intimidating enough! grin

My worry with involving their landlord is that they are just going to retaliate with even more noise because, as loud as it is, it could still be even louder and I worry about it disturbing the baby and the dog. At the moment, it only really bothers them when it is at its loudest. Really worried about it getting even worse but can’t carry on like this sad

I just find it stunning that in such difficult times that people are behaving so selfishly - surely we should all be being even more considerate of others, not less? Our neighbours are outside clapping away at 8pm on Thursdays - my husband, a key worker, says it would mean more to him if he knew he could go to work and not have to worry about us being left in this situation at home. It’s an added worry for him, on top of the everyday worries of catching the virus and bringing it home to us, that is just adding to the ongoing stress of the whole situation.

It makes me so sad because I’ve taken additional leave to spend time with my daughter whilst she is still so little and I feel like it is being ruined. I’ll never get this time with her again and I’m trying so hard to focus on making the most of it but it is not easy sad

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