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How to know if neighbours are going to be noisy?(14 Posts)
This is possibly a stupid question but would welcome any thoughts!
I'm a first time house buyer, have lived in flats up until now. I've been a bit spooked by some threads lately asking for advice about noisy neighbours in terraced houses
Is there any way you could tell in advance if your future neighbours are midnight shouting, drum playing nightmares?
Presumably the vendors aren't going to volunteer this information, but is there another way to find out except happening to have a viewing when neighbours are noisy? Would you speak to neighbours before putting in an offer? The market where I am is moving very fast, so not much option to do multiple viewings.
When going to view a house knock on the neighbours doors and introduce yourself and politely ask them how they find living in the area and would they recommend it. This will give you a first impression of them at least, which can be useful. For this purpose its great to do your one of your viewings on a Saturday morning if possible as people are more likely to be home. Make sure any other viewings you have are on a completely different day of the week at a completely different time, so you get as broad an impression of the property as possible.
After your viewing if there is a corner shop, a pub or anything similar nearby go inside, buy something and get chatting with the person serving you. Be very friendly, play it very naively and say you've just been to view a property on the road. How do they like the area, are people friendly, is there any trouble, etc. They might not tell you everything but they might give you some valuable clues! Check the police crime statistics locally (available online). Has there been much anti-social behaviour reported in the last year or so? How long have the current owners owned the property (also available online!) if no-one stays there more than a few years that might also point to a problem with anti-social neighbours. Also check this for the immediate neighbours a couple of doors either side. If there's lots of people moving from the street after a short time I'd be very concerned. Other than that its sitting outside in a car and going past the house at lots of different times of day and night I'm afraid, I always worry I'll look at bit stalkerish but I've never been pulled up on it yet! Don't just drive past, walk slowly down the street, is there anything you can hear than concerns you? Maybe get some friends/family to go down the street at different times of day so that you can get some outside opinions of things you might not have picked up. I think if a house is a multi-occupancy property (a HMO) above a certain size, I think 5 tenants or more, than the landlord has to have a licence. Hopefully someone with a bit more knowledge than me will come along to advise, but I think you can ask your solicitor to check if any of the immediate neighbours have an HMO licence.
I’ve often wondered the same so this is great advice! Wonder what happens if there’s a yappy dog you can’t hear from the front of the house (as you lurk) or a music-playing neighbour who others have learned to live with? Those smaller but joy-sucking intrusions!
Look out the window and see if you can see a hot tub or outdoor "bar" in the garden!
This is great advice, and some interesting stuff in there which I'd never have thought of. I think it's a bit like starting a new job - you can't know it's going to be a nightmare until it's too late!
Remember that even if the current neighbours are quiet they may change! Unless it’s the kind of area people stay put for decades
I recently put an offer in for a lovely house. I talked to the next door neighbour who advised that the road was around 50% students who did tend to be noisy at times but nothing horrendous in her opinion. So I went back one Saturday evening, this was about a month ago when hardly any students are even around in our city. Windows were wide open, music blaring out of about five houses and people shouting out of windows across the road to other neighbours.
Its so subjective, the neighbour I'd talked to appeared to not find it a problem yet I found it unacceptable
I sadly pulled out of the sale
I think the advice to knock on a neighbours door to check things out is probably sensible on a second viewing. However, just putting myself in a neighbours position and with the market being quite buoyant at the moment, I would be slightly peed off if random people were knocking on my door asking about the area etc on my weekend having been at work all week. I like to think that I’m a good neighbour but if that was happening over a few weekends my accommodating way and general niceness would be tested
A colleague of mine when she was thinking of buying in Southend got an airbnb rental nearby during the weekend and made sure she spent two evenings walking around the area where the property was to check for noise/anti social behaviour....
It is always a good idea to come back to view the property during the weekend, in the evening when people at home to get an idea of how noisy it gets.
Also I would keep an eye on how the neighbours keep their garden and properties in general. Always a good idea of what type of people might live there...
Also, if an area is full of students and HMOs it might be a sign that you will have a lot of turnover and potentially noisy students. I would focus on areas where families live instead.
Getting an air b'n'b nearby is a great idea thanks! I think this has also made me consider whether going for a detached house further out of town might be the right option for us as well. Lots to think about!
I'm absolutely paranoid about this. I live with my mum and kids in a lovely, quiet village where there are abundant green spaces, v little anti-social behaviour and minimal crime (mostly 'rural' crime like theft from farms which obviously isn't great but also isn't being stabbed outside a chicken shop). I may have to move us all to a town and believe me I feel bad enough about it without making sure it's not going to be unbearable in terms of noise and nuisance neighbours ASBOs. So I'm going to be parking up outside any shortlisted house all bloody night for a week if I have to, to see what's up.
I don't know if this has been said already, but bear in mind people are now more savvy about noise/nuisance complaints in terms of disclosure, so unless the nuisance is completely unbearable they might not report. They might well in fact do what so many mumsnetters advise and 'Move, OP'. So I shan't be relying on anything other than my own
insane, neurotic, round-the-clock surveillance.
WE viewed a house last time round that already had an offer on it and had a really lovely viewing. Halfway through the owner told me all about the noisy neighbours on both sides - on purpose to warn me off.
It was a really nice thing for her to do.
Join the village/area Facebook page and have a nosey through there. Ours is very active and covers everything from complaints about bonfire smoke to accusing local teens of leaving litter. You can search in FB groups for key words too - do the road name and things like 'noise, party' etc!