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(27 Posts)
Gwoof Mon 28-Jul-14 12:09:16

I love being in my garden and when my grandchildren come to stay they love playing on the garden swing and having fun in the paddling pool. They do squeal sometimes like any children but their noise never goes on for long and they are happy sounds.
However my neighbours create a different sort of noise. They have their radio on continually and music all evening and sometimes late into the night, especially when they have had lots to drink. They open all their windows so they can hear all this loud music while they are in their garden. They never have normal conversations, they shout and scream at each other. These neighbours would not call themselves ignorant. They would like to think they are extremely respectable! They have their phone on loud ring and conduct their business in the garden too. This family consists of two parents and three daughters over 30. No teenagers there.
I am retired. I like to hear the birds sing. But no chance!
I have asked them gently not to have their music and radio on so they can be heard in our gardens but they took my request badly.
I do not want to get in touch with the council because it will make things even more unpleasant and the process will probably take a long time.
Am I being unreasonable to want a certain type of peace and quiet in my garden? I understand about 'live and let live' but I am not living very happily with this situation at present.
Any ideas on how I might stop this behaviour or learn to put up with it better?

rosesarered Mon 28-Jul-14 12:19:50

Hi Gwoof you are being reasonable, not unreasonable. That said, this is a common problem, especially in the Summer.I wouldn't go to the council though as that may escalate bad feeling between you all.If you never want to move house [or can't] then you have to live with it, make as much noise as you want to as well, don't worry about noisy children.The women over 30 will move out at some point and it may get quieter then.
It is a problem that's hard to resolve.

suebailey1 Mon 28-Jul-14 12:24:51

Oh dear I'm not even sure the Environmental Health dept would do anything. Could you ask them round for a drink and butter them up?

Gwoof Mon 28-Jul-14 12:39:14

Oh thank you Sue and Rosesarered! A problem shared is a problem halved.
It sounds weird but when someone tells me that I have to live with it, it actually helps.
If I did ask them round for a drink (or 20) they would not come. I have tried that. So I get on with my own drinking - in moderation, like the Queen!
This the first 'blog' I have ever done. And I am glad I did it.

Elegran Mon 28-Jul-14 12:54:48

Can you plant something along the boundary which is tall enough to baffle at least some of the noise? Thick curtains to muffle it when you are indoors?

Or you work from the other end - blocking the noise at your eardrums. You can get earphones that play white noise directly into your ears to counteract loud music. Not sure how you know when the phone rings or someone is at the door when you you use them

sunseeker Mon 28-Jul-14 13:11:41

Do you have any other neighbours who are also disturbed by all the noise? If so perhaps you could all get together, go round en masse, present a united front and ask that they keep the noise down. I hope you manage to sort something and are able to enjoy your garden again.

Gwoof Mon 28-Jul-14 13:14:01

Thanks Elegran,
I like the sound of those white noise earphones, must look them up.
I think what I have planted along the garden boundaries probably does help a little to baffle the noise. Clump forming contained bamboo is pretty and gives a lovely rustling in the wind sound. But none of this is as big as my neighbours noises!

Gwoof Mon 28-Jul-14 13:19:35

Thanks Sunseeker for your good wishes
I don't want to sound negative and defeatist - but one neighbour is ninety something and deaf and the others are afraid of the noisemakers who have lived in the area for a long time.

Tegan Mon 28-Jul-14 13:26:41

Oh I do feel sorry for you Gwoof. A couple of years ago one of my neighbours had a party outside and played loud music and just the one experience of it happening [it's never happened since] drove me mad. I do, quite often, play music very loud in the house but I know no one can hear it. You shouldn't have to wear earphones on your own property. Perhaps you could play something very loud yourself and give them a taste of their own medicine, or get a recording of someone hammering very loudly and play it for hours on end hmm but that would probably cause trouble.

Mishap Mon 28-Jul-14 13:39:40

You have all my sympathy - I cannot imagine how you bear it - it would drive me totally nuts.

We live in the middle of nowhere - there is a little cluster of houses by us, but all people who live quietly. One of the reasons we move here is that I am very very sensitive to noise pollution and get really wound up about it.

We do indeed listen to the birds, and the cattle, and the sheep - the noisiest thing that has happened recently is my GC in the paddling pool, and I spoke to those who might hear it and they were delighted that the children were having fun. And it only happens rarely.

I have no idea whatsoever why people think we might want to listen to their music or conversations - I am at a loss to imagine what must be going on in their heads.

I really do not know what you can do, as getting into a dispute about anything with neighbours can make life a misery - but you do have every ounce of my sympathy.

shysal Mon 28-Jul-14 13:55:22

If they play loud music late into the night, does this mean they are late risers? If so, some early morning noise from you might make them think!
It must be awful, you have my sympathy.

Elegran Mon 28-Jul-14 14:03:02

Can you record their late night noise and play it back to them in the early morning? Warn your other neighbours first though.

Gwoof Mon 28-Jul-14 14:21:30

Thanks Tegan. What I am tempted to do and will actually do are two very different things. I would like to blast back at them some ferocious noises - but I know that would only make things worse. And it would stress me out.
I think they got used to doing exactly what they like (and that includes throwing beer bottle tops into my garden along with slices of fruit from cocktail drinks!) and they do not want to make any changes.
Last weekend and the two before they, they partied until 4am.
I have now ordered some white noise earphones.
And I am hoping for some sort of miracle....

Gwoof Mon 28-Jul-14 14:49:16

Thanks all!
Mishap, I have copied your msg and sent it to myself in an email as it expresses all my sentiments.
Maybe I will print it off and drop it in their letterbox with a covering note from me, reminding them that I am not alone in not liking this sort of behaviour.

Charleygirl Mon 28-Jul-14 15:15:17

I would be inclined to tip whatever they threw over the fence back into their garden- that is unacceptable behaviour.

I put up with teenagers who grew into their early twenties and were playing loud music with windows open during the day and evenings for 10 years! The few times I had peace were early mornings until they surfaced from their beds at midday, mainly on Sundays. This went on during the week as the older ones did not work. Eventually they all left home except one and peace and quiet has reigned for many years now.

It is a very difficult situation and not easily resolved. I never wanted to complain officially as that would be a black mark against me if I wanted to sell but I do apppreciate that I would have had to mention that I did have noisy neighbours. Now it is a haven of tranquility.

Eloethan Mon 28-Jul-14 16:10:50

Gwoof When living in close proximity to other people, there has to be a degree of tolerance of things that are quite annoying. Various of our neighbours occasionally have fairly noisy parties, which don't particularly bother me but even if they did, I wouldn't complain.

However, I think it is unreasonable for people to regularly have noisy parties until 4 a.m. in the morning and to be generally creating noise all the time.

I'm not quite sure how you can handle the general noise that they create - loud voices, telephone ringing etc. - other than take up the suggestions other gransnetters have made.

On the point of parties, though. I believe that loud noise that persists into the early hours of the morning can be dealt with by the police. I think that if you ring the police and complain, they will go round and tell your neighbours to turn the noise down. I don't think the police have to say who has made the complaint (perhaps some other Gransnetters know?). If you have mentioned the noise fairly recently to your neighbours, it might be better not to complain to the police until some time has elapsed.

Joelise Mon 28-Jul-14 16:41:40

Gwoof I suggest that you write down all the times/ dates that these parties occur, then report them to the police. I do sympathise with you, it must be so frustrating as well as annoying. Good luck.

Joelise Mon 28-Jul-14 17:07:48

I meant to say, make a list of all their antics to report to the police .

Gwoof Mon 28-Jul-14 17:33:16

Many thanks to all of you who took the time and trouble to put your thoughts down to help me with my dilemma.
As I said this was my first blog ever.
I am very glad that I did it because it got me out of a feeling of being stuck with a problem (minor though it may appear in comparison to the Middle East issues) and made me realise that I did not have to do certain things: Like calling the police, calling the Council Environmental Health, shouting at my neighbours, playing noise back at them or throwing something or even moaning. Although I am expecting my noise eliminating earphones tomorrow!
I have just written to my noisy neighbours telling them that I wrote a blog (did not say where) and on it asked for comments and suggestions on the continual noise from loud conversations, radio and music players etc. I printed off one response - anonymously. (Mishap, thanks again) which expressed my sentiments and told them that there was no support for their behaviour. I then asked them to reconsider and allow us peace in our homes in gardens.
As Mrs Noisy Neighbour is very keen to appear a 'lady, front of house' I hoped that she would hate the idea of being considered anything less and be influenced by seeking good opinions instead.
I will let you know what happens next. Could get worse, could get better...tbsmile

harrigran Mon 28-Jul-14 17:52:32

Keep a diary of unsociable behaviour, volume of noise and duration. If it comes to reporting you need the evidence.
I ended up in hospital after a neighbour's antics sent my blood pressure through the ceiling. The man was deaf and he took his hearing aids out and left the radio on full volume for 24 hours. No point on banging on the door because he couldn't hear me. For years I could hear every word of his telephone conversations. I am sorry he was deaf but I thought I was having a heart attack I was so stressed. Another neighbour had a dog that lived 17 years and howled every day of those 17 years, DH wouldn't complain, he lived away for all of those years, he didn't want bad feeling between neighbours. I was planning to divorce him and move away when the dog died and I got my life back even though by then I was on a cocktail of drugs.
You have my sympathy Gwoof.

Gwoof Mon 28-Jul-14 20:00:30

I am very sorry that you had to endure all that for so long harrigran.

rubylady Tue 29-Jul-14 07:13:23

Harrigran That sounds terrible what you have had to endure. No one should end up in hospital due to noise in their neighbourhood.

In saying that I was a terrible neighbour when I first landed in this house. I'd just divorced and partied nearly every month for at least two years. It must have driven the neighbours mad. blush Although no one said anything to me.

Now that I am older I get frustrated by other noise. Neighbours mowing their lawns really annoys me. Why can't they all pick a day and do it all together? it's like living in Kensington Gardens sometimes. There is other noise too so when it is noisy and I want to go out in the garden then I choose some lovely music to play, brass bands or My Fair Lady cd. Not the type of music my neighbours would choose. On the whole though, if others are out in their garden say tea time, then I choose to go out later, at dusk or in the morning, like around now time, 7am to listen to the birds and enjoy the garden without it being too hot.

If you do wear your headphones Gwoof then I think you can get both telephone (landline) and doorbell where you can see a light if they ring. Check them out.

On the subject of telling the council, they do absolutely nothing anyway. We've had a problem and nothing was done. Same with police really but it is logged I suppose for any future reference but like you said, it looks like you are the trouble maker then when that is not the case at all.

Good luck with your problem and let us know how the headphones are. We might all get some! smile X

Marelli Tue 29-Jul-14 09:44:28

I try to pacify DH by reminding him that we could have much worse next-door-neighbours than we do have hmm. A family of 6 live in a small cottage (next to our even smaller cottage) and we both have quite large gardens. Their 11-year-old twin boys play football for long periods during the day and the ball whacks powerfully against the fence dividing the gardens. Obviously we have the balls coming over - on one day 5 came over in an evening (they do have a lot of balls...).
It's not something that really bothers me, apart from the afternoon when a football came sailing over and hit me on the head while I was sitting reading - a bit like that advert of the middle-aged couple who don't go out much grin.
My problem is how to deal with DH as he gets so annoyed.

Aka Tue 29-Jul-14 10:06:28

I would not report the problem for two reasons. Firstly it will get you nowhere. We had an even worse situation where we lived once. Not just us, all the neighbours up and down our street were up in arms at this family. We were even issued with a machine by the local council to monitor the noise levels and even though they exceeded acceptable levels no prosecution was instigated. But it did cause a lot of bad feeling all round.
Secondly when we came to sell the house this had to be declared. So that caused additional problems.
So I really sympathise with you Gwoof (love the name incidentally)

There are lots of good alternative suggestions which I think you will take up and also rejoice in the thought that if your GC come and have a noisy play session then you can grin and enjoy the revenge!!!

Gwoof Tue 29-Jul-14 10:42:22

Thanks again for all your support and suggestions.
All is quiet today so far and that is almost unheard of (no pun).
We do have footballing children at the bottom of the garden, but I accept this as it goes under the category of children playing - and children must be able to play.
What gets to me most is a radio on very loud all day. I can even hear it inside my house, not through the walls but through the windows. Their choice of station is not even mine. And TV is the same.
But not today....
Have I had a result - or is something terrible going to happen?