How to deal with Noisy Neighbours!
As part of Noise Action Week 21-25 May 2007,(www.noiseactionweek,org.uk), Mary-Anne Bowring, creator of www.leaseholdersupport.co.uk explains how to deal with noisy neighbours when living in a shared block.
We all make allowances for a little noise from our neighbours now and then. Whether you can do anything about noisy neighbours depends on the individual situation. Before you can act, the noise must be so loud that you can't use your home in the normal way. This might be the case if you are woken up by the noise or you can't hear your own TV above the noise. The action you can take depends upon various factors: The type of noise, the time of day or night the noise happens, how often it happens, how long it goes on for, how it affects you and the type of building you live in (older homes often have less sound insulation.
What rules and procedures cover stopping nuisance in a residential block of flats?
If you are suffering from noise pollution, rules and procedures to tackle noise and other nuisances are found in the following places:
The lease, the specific covenants which the lessee agreed to adhere to
Any estate rules imposed/drawn up by a management company
Any rules as set out in the constitution of any management company (i.e, within the Memorandum & Articles of Association)
Common Law, i.e, the law of nuisance (passed by central government)
Every local authority has a department set up to deal with noise and nuisance issues. It's usually called the Environment Department (or similar) and should offer a 24-hour service.
Enforcement officers can be called out to serve a formal notice on the person making the noise or nuisance. They can be busy and over-worked though, so your patience may be required.
Negotiating with your neighbour
The first step in dealing with noise is negotiation. Talk to the person causing the noise. You should explain how the noise is affecting you. Try to reach a compromise. Do this as early as possible before the problem gets too serious. There may be agencies in your area that could help you negotiate, these are often called mediation services.
Talking to us!
If your neighbours are co-tenants and talking to them directly doesn't work, it may be worth talking to us! They may be breaking the terms of their tenancy agreement by making the noise. We may be able to deal with the problem or warn them that continuing to make the noise could leave them open to being evicted.
Taking action with other people
If other people are being affected by the problems your neighbours are causing, you may be able to take action together. There may be other tenants in your block that can help you to do this.
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