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AIBU?

Noisy neighbours

5 replies

Serenaxerox · 20/01/2024 22:20

We currently moved houses a few months ago . We been in our new place for 6 months. We still have not settled here due to our neighbours . One side is lovely an older couple a man and lady . We hear them occasionally the odd bang here and there . But the other side we did not hear them that much when we first moved in was a man living with his teenage son . But now since the man has moved in two other adults . The noise at night it's unbearable .
We have two children one is three years old and the other is 2 years old . It's waking my children up at night and the noise it's becoming a serious issue . They talk in very loud voices you can hear there conversations word to word and the loud music all day long is deafening too . I reported them
to the council but they have been useless . Any advice would be helpful .
I have been round there politely no avail and I have written two notes but they don't seem to care . They are always in , they do not seem to go out at all or work !! We feel stuck S
Would you report them to the police ? Or is that unreasonable .

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

15 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
60%
You are NOT being unreasonable
40%
ChrisPPancake · 20/01/2024 23:08

Police won't/can't do anything about your neighbours talking too loudly.

CumoTow · 20/01/2024 23:10

I have suffered noisy neighbour trouble and tried all the advised routes i.e. contacting the local council and/or landlord (in my case, Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing). All these supposed correct channels for resolving such problems were useless. MTVH doesn't care about ANYTHING its tenants do unless it threatens their rent. I once wrote to it a Freedom of Information request to see how many tenants it had evicted for antisocial behaviour compared to tenants it had evicted for non-payment of rent (I expected the answer to be 'never' for ASB and 'every time within a few months' for non-payment of rent). It refused to comply with my FOI request.

Your Local Environmental Health MAY be helpful but again, in my experience, they are utter shite (and especially so if the accused person is in any way intimidating as 9 times out of 10, the officers are women who are afraid to get tough on such a person). The law on the matter is that they can ONLY serve a noise abatement order IF they determine if the noise is "of a statutory level" which means that the noise has to be loud enough, and persistent enough to constitute an annoyance TO THEM - not you i.e. they consider themselves the experts in what is normal day-to-day noises and levels of noise, not you. This is, in my opinion, a gigantic flaw in the system as it's very easy for them to listen to a few recordings and dismiss them as 'not all that bad' because they don't have to live with it.

Moreover, any ill-health you may have that is worsened by the noise, or that makes the noises seem worse, will not be taken into consideration because, so the officers insist, this is how their rules work i.e. they 'must' judge the noise nuisance from the perspective of a 'normal person' NOT an ill person. In my case, I was getting to the point of wanting to kill either the neighbour or myself but this just meant that I was 'over-sensitive' and not being reasonable.

The EH officers will instal some recording equipment and get you to record 10 second examples of the nuisance noise over a week (the equipment has a buffer that enables it to capture any noise as long as you press the record button within 10 seconds of some noise disturbance happening). In my case, the recordings I made, which I was certain would seal the guy's fate, turned out not to have worked in some way. I had to try again three times i.e. go through another 3 weeks of recording, before they finally decided that what I was hearing was not a statutory offence. I believed that their equipment was faulty and/or they didn't know how to use it properly. I recall one time when, during setting it up, one of them said to the other, "What's that red light for?" The other one replied, "I don't know." and then, "Oh, it's gone off now." while I was watching.

In the end, furious, I telephoned the office of Environmental Health and complained and I was advised that I would be more likely to get satisfaction if I took private legal action because then, the judges are allowed to take ill-health into consideration and have much more latitude in making their judgement. Of course, this is the expensive route that one shouldn't have to take.

I couldn't afford a solicitor but the problem was serious enough that I prosecuted the man myself. To do this, just ask the customer services people at the court to explain to you how to do it. It is cheap and, while quite a bit of a drag in an administerial sense e.g. things have to be done in triplicate for the court, it's better (and cheaper) than moving home because of some antisocial assholes - or committing murder or suicide from being driven out of your mind.

My neighbour moved out 4 days before the trial. It is particularly pleasurable posting the notice of prosecution papers through the letter box of the noisy neighbour/s. NB. You will have to get your own evidence and you will have to provide copies of this evidence to the accused (this is a requirement of the legal process). It is especially good if the evidence you get is embarrassing to the neighbour in some way. In my case, I recorded my neighbour making disparaging sexual comments about women which showed him up as the utter dickwad he was. I knew he wouldn't want to have to attempt to defend himself about those comments in front of a judge.

SD1978 · 20/01/2024 23:22

Are they renting or owned? If renting, can complain to the landlord, if he owns, there is not much recourse

CumoTow · 20/01/2024 23:58

I really do wish you the best of luck because, after my experience of it, I know it to be a life-destroying nightmare. If it goes on long enough, you will get drawn into a heightened state of anxiousness in anticipation of what you know is coming. Then your life becomes a terrible cycle of listening out for the next disturbance. This then ruins your ability to enjoy whatever peaceful periods you get.

I forgot to mention that Environmental Health and/or your landlord may ask, or advise you, to keep a 'diary of incidents'. Do NOT do this. I did this for 10 months while both my landlord and EH assured me that they were 'doing their best to resolve the issue'. Just imagine how long you would wait, waiting for their 'best' to show results. I suffered ZERO improvement during those 10 months when I wrote so many log sheets it was like half a telephone directory thick. Then, in a 'multi-agency meeting' with EH, my landlord, and the police, I was told that, "He denies it all" regarding my log sheets! When I learned they were prepared to dismiss all my recorded incidents because he denied it all, I nearly blew my lid and then collapsed weeping in a heap. I had screamed at them that they might take it seriously if I hanged myself, and then there'd be an investigation, and they'd see all my log sheets on which I had recorded that it was making me feel like murder or suicide - and then THEY, the housing officer and EH officer, would be asked why they hadn't acted - but I would be dead.

Don't allow yourself to be put through this. The log sheets they gave me asked me to log down the time, date, what happened, how long it went on for, and how it made me feel. I swear, doing this every time something happens, takes time; and you do not want to be sitting up night after night into the small hours - for weeks (let alone 10 months) - and then having the same thing to do during the day, each time explaining how angry and depressed it is making you feel. I spent hours sitting outdoors with my dog (not working because of disability) out of fear of what I knew I would suffer when I got home. It is a living nightmare.

Yet we make programmes for entertainment, such as 'My Nightmare Neighbour' out of these cases instead of taking the matter seriously. The authorities do not protect anyone. Do you know, I was repeatedly asked why I didn't just move? Can you believe that? I couldn't. I asked why I should be the one to move when I'm a law-abiding person not bothering anyone and it's a basic human right to be allowed to "enjoy one's property in peace"?

This attitude of deference towards the imagined right of antisocial people to be noisy has got to stop.

Praying for you.

TimeFlysWhenYoureHavingRum · 21/01/2024 00:30

Police won't do anything unless a crime is being committed (and probably won't do anything even then).

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