Sometimes living in a quiet suburban cul-de-sac is not as quiet as it might appear at first glance. Neighbours doing their own thing and disregarding the others around them can cause huge disruption and bad blood between neighbours. It can be tricky approaching your neighbours to complain to them about their behaviour. In these awkward situations its all too easy for tempers to flare and a small issue to spiral out of control. This article looks at 5 ways you could respond to a noisy neighbour, depending on the severity of the situation.
Talk to your neighbour
Try to get this resolved informally without the situation escalating and becoming too awkward. Try meeting them in person and giving a brief explanation of the problem. Chances are your neighbour may not even realise their behaviour is annoying you. Try not to talk too much, just a short conversation to explain your case is enough.
It is better to talk to them in person and avoid writing a letter. It may seem easier to write a letter because you avoid the potentially uncomfortable conversation. Its difficult to convey the right tone in a letter and what was intended to be friendly may come across snarky or passive aggressive.
Contact your neighbour’s landlord or tenant association
If your neighbour’s thoughtless behaviour continues and they are a tenant, it might be a good idea to get in contact with their landlord. Explain to them the situation and they will be able to contact the tenant/neighbour and warn them of their unacceptable behaviour.
If your neighbour does not have a landlord and the problem persists the other option you have for resolving the problem informally is to use mediation. You will have to pay for mediation however, it is much cheaper than legal fees so it may be worthwhile. In mediation the two parties get together with a mediator who facilitates a conversation between the two sides and works towards an agreement.
Contact the Council
The council can help if the dispute involves a statutory nuisance, this includes:
- Artificial light
- Dust, steam, smell or insects from business premises
- Smoke, fumes or gases
- Build-up of rubbish
In the first instance the council will issue a noise abatement order. This informs our neighbour that they are making too much noise and they need to stop or more action will be taken. If the neighbour continues to be noisy, they can be fined up to £5,000 for individuals, and up to £20,000 for businesses.
If the situation escalates or your neighbour is still being noisy despite the action you have already taken you may now need to consider legal action. You can call the police if your neighbour is breaking the law in anyway through violent, abusive or harassing behaviour. Alternatively, if it is not a police matter you will need to instruct a solicitor and take action through the courts. If you decide to proceed down this route be aware that the court process is expensive and time consuming.