Anna Bibby, 19 March 2021
Unless you are lucky enough to live in the middle of nowhere, having neighbours is pretty much inevitable and it can become a huge source of stress for you if they have a habit of being noisy.
According to the regulated property buyers Good Move, one of the biggest causes of disputes between neighbours are noise complaints that include playing loud music and throwing parties. This is especially the case in bigger cities where people tend to live in close proximity to each other.
But where exactly are the noisiest places to live? In a survey carried out by the insurance company Confused.com, London was named as the city with the highest volume of noise complaints, which should come as no surprise considering it is the busiest and most densely populated part of the country. According to the survey, there were around 158,958 noise complaints within the last 12 months and an average of 515 noise complaints per 10,000 households. Other cities that appeared on the list included Southampton with 5,147 noise complaints, Bath with 3,288 complaints and Portsmouth with 3,490 complaints.
According to the survey, the biggest cause for noise complaints in the UK was loud music, which accounted for exactly half of the responses to the survey. While most excessive noise is only considered to be anti-social between the hours of 11pm and 7am, loud music is actually considered to be anti-social at all hours of the day. Other sources for noise complaints included neighbours throwing loud parties (43%), raised voices and shouting (29%) and barking dogs (24%).
It seems that a large portion of the UK population are reluctant to address their gripes with their neighbours. According to the survey, an overwhelming 64% said that they have never complained to their neighbours about their excessive noise and 26% said that they would not complain if the situation were to arise. The biggest reason why Brits were choosing to not complain was that they were afraid that complaining would cause them to fall out with their neighbours. A quarter of respondents also said that they were unsure what the procedure was when it came to complaints about neighbours.
So, what is the best way to deal with noisy neighbours? The first thing to do is informally address it with your neighbours if you feel comfortable and safe to do so. There’s a good chance that they’re not aware of how noisy they actually are, and, in most cases, they will be mindful of the noise they make going forward if you bring it up with them politely. However, if you’re not blessed with reasonable neighbours or you find that addressing it politely with them hasn’t worked, your next step is to bring it up with their landlord or the council if they own their home. You will need to tell them how often it happens, how it’s affecting you and what steps you have taken to solve it. It might be worth your while to make a note of each incident and what time it occurred so you will have evidence gathered should the situation escalate.
As the country becomes more populated, we are living in closer proximity to each other so it’s important that we’re considerate of those living around us and that we’re mindful of the amount of noise we make. After all, life is a lot more straight forward if we have a harmonious relationship with our neighbours.
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Anna Bibby, 19 March 2021