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Talking about noisy neighbours

(65 Posts)
Cava Mon 22-Jun-20 18:37:37

I have lived here for about 14 years the first 11 quietly apart from odd party or barbecue... two years ago owners changed in house opposite my garden and they had builders there for around four months before they moved in. They played radio all day long every day. It wasn’t illegally loud but it drove me mad. I see they are planning more renovations. Next door to them (also opposite my garden) new people are having extensive renovations and same thing... radio on from around 8am to 6 pm. Totally ruins my enjoyment of my garden where I would like to go and read. Anyone else feel like this?

B9exchange Thu 25-Jun-20 15:05:51

Jess20 you have my sympathy. We have a young couple in the house next to us which is a semi with a horrible man next door. They have just had a baby, so will be up in the night, but they are not noisy types at all. Their grump of a neighbour sends them letters, two sides of A4, complaining about hearing them walking about, opening and shutting doors, and getting up too early!!

I feel so sorry for them, having a new baby is stressful enough without receiving threatening letters from someone the other side of the wall. The grump's wife has just left him, but before that this couple were subjected to their frequent full on rows and the wife's constant hacking cough.

Is it possible to claim harassment from unreasonable complaints about noise? Anyone know? He has 'forbidden' them to get up before 8.00am on weekdays and 9.00am at weekends, and the husband has to go to work at 6.30am!!

moorlikeit Thu 25-Jun-20 12:45:58

Exactly, Granny3Rose!

It should be the people listening to music etc who wear the headphones or equivalent.!

BelindaB Wed 24-Jun-20 14:55:07

I live at the back of a primary school and over the past 40+ years, the noise has got worse and worse. As was mentioned in a different post recently, children these days scream like banshees and so playtimes are a nightmare. We used to look forward to the summer holidays but every year for 4 years - they had the builders in...

....and I haven't even got to the idiot teacher who used a microphone/amplifier for the gym lessons in the rear playground facing my house, even though it is the smallest playground and she could be heard four streets away!

Constant complaints from myself and other local residents has, however , meant they now keep decent hours for the annual school fair. This used to go on until 10-11'ish and the awful, thumping music was accompanied by the screeching of over tired kids....

A nightmare.

Granny3Rose Tue 23-Jun-20 20:51:03

There are plenty of posts advising those of us who don't want to hear other people's music to wear ear plugs or noise cancelling earphones. But that wouldn't solve the problem for me. One of the wonderful things about being in my garden is the birdsong. I wouldn't be able to hear that if my ears were plugged. confused

flowersfromheaven Tue 23-Jun-20 19:00:01

I have got neighbours from hell at side of me but I keep hoping that they will go soon, Music was loud but now they have been told it's not bad, Fires , dogs barking, smoking wacky backy from 8.30 in the mornings, They have no respect for anyone but I am a believer that what comes round goes round, I think people should not inflict there music on others as not everyone likes the same music .

Naty Tue 23-Jun-20 18:51:25

I'd buy the guys some pints and make them ice cold. Bring them over and explain how you appreciate how consuderate they are being with keeping the construction noises to a minimum and glance over at the radio "would you mind turning the radio down a bit? I suffer from chronic headaches. Thanks, everyone!"

Shizam Tue 23-Jun-20 18:42:06

Was just talking about the small petrol grass mowers from back in the day. It was a rather lulling summer sound. Conversation prompted by two hours of leaf blower action around me. I’m a hypocrite, though, as have a gardener who does the same!

GreenGran78 Tue 23-Jun-20 17:40:18

If the builders have a noisy radio in your house, ask them to turn it off, or mute it. You are the one who is paying their wages, after all.
If you are too much of a wimp to do that, here's an alternative idea. Get hold of some dud batteries. When they turn their backs switch the good batteries for the old ones, and hope that they don't have any spares with them!

Saggi Tue 23-Jun-20 16:08:00

Come to think of it I recently had new garage roof .... the roofers were there for three days with constant blaring music! Luckily I could shut myself in the house so not too bad ( apart from taking cups of tea out to them) husband is blissfully deaf .... I think die to playing too much loud rock music ...of which he’s still fond.

Jess20 Tue 23-Jun-20 14:43:54

You've got me started now - rant alert - I'm in a flat. I have had the people at the top of the building doing a kitchen and bathroom, workmen passing our front door every time they go upstairs, and ruining the stair coverings. Then another flat upstairs did a total DIY renovation at the weekends and their holidays for a year. Then downstairs tore up floors with jackhammers to lay underfloor heating and relaid wooden block floor very noisily over several weeks. Then they sold that flat and the next lot ripped it all out and hammered the tiles off two bathrooms and a kitchen, and built a fully insulated studio in their garage behind the house - more than four months of multiple workmen, builders vans and lorries in all. Now that's done, we get complaints from downstairs that we walk across the floors too loudly and they can't bear the noise, it's ruining their lives because we're decorating, renovating our windows and laying a new floor. They display very negative body language when they see us, and they know we are trying to help by putting soundproofing down and changing a lot of other things - all at their request! They even complained at 9pm at night when I was tapping ice out of an ice tray. I've been invited downstairs to witness the 'terrible noise' while my son deliberately ran and stamped round slamming doors and shouting, I could barely hear him and it's nothing like as much as we get from upstairs because they have wooden floors! The downstairs neighbours say they can't hear our radio, music or TV but they can hear us talking, opening drawers (we have no ideas which drawers). I've always been able to turn off from noise, otherwise I'd not live in a flat in an old building, but not the constant criticism of our normal living. The previous occupants of the flat below us are shocked and say we really weren't noisy (they moved for more space, not because we were too loud, in fact, we get on fine with all the other neighbours). But, now I have to leave music on low in every room as background sound, just so we feel we can have a normal conversation that isn't overheard. After almost two years of complaints we are so fed up with having to creep around wondering when the next irate text will arrive that we're trying to move house now. We plan to keep our flat and rent it out for a few years, hoping the flat downstairs changes hands so we can move back in to ours. I almost feel I've been gaslighted over all this. Not sure how that responds to the OP, if at all, except to say there's really no absolute right to a quiet environment and yes, noise is a real health problem; at the same time people have to do work to buildings and by nature, it's noisy.

Samaromo Tue 23-Jun-20 14:41:21

Our next door neighbours have been having their house painted. The radio was really loud and as it was a hot sunny day we had windows open making it worse. My husband went round and asked them to turn it off which they did. He was trying to work from home as a lot of people are at the moment and just could not concentrate with all the noise.

Grandmafrench Tue 23-Jun-20 14:23:54

I've read most of the posts here and I don't think I have seen a post which puts the onus firmly on those employing builders/contractors and making it clear to them that their arrival in the neighbourhood is not an excuse for "muzak" all day long. They often have to do really noisy jobs and you don't then need to create other noise with which you are going to irritate the hell out of all around, whilst you do it.

It's often said that noise is a form of violence : it can cause so much stress and unhappiness and ruin the peace and quiet enjoyment of our homes to which we are all entitled.

It should not be necessary for anyone to have to buy ear plugs or similar or just to tolerate something quite unnecessary. Building and extending requires machinery and disruption for a finite period. Can't be avoided. But during that time, any of the contractors who cannot survive without Rap or Rock just need to use one of the many many devices on the market which simply plays their choice of music directly into their ears - thus never annoying or disrupting life for anyone else. However, stick a boom box in the middle of a site and everyone will shout around it

I would never allow music to be played by anyone I employed to do work in my home or garden and I make that clear before they start. I pay, so my house, my rules. They get tea and coffee and sometimes even lunch but "musical entertainment" is off the menu unless piped into their own ears! A radio - even played quietly in a garden - means that the sound travels over all the surrounding gardens. If we are sitting outside with a book, we don't need DJ's or news broadcasts or weather forecasts transmitted on the breeze, up and down the road from other gardens. People can be totally selfish. Do the job, do it properly and considerately and leave.

4allweknow Tue 23-Jun-20 14:05:23

For some of the GNs who have neighbour noise from music I too have this. One I mentioned the noise to and they too said they didn't appreciate the noise travelled so far! I suggested they stand in their garden and if they can hear the noise then most other neighbours can too. The next door one who had music blaring so loudly I couldn't hear conversation in my house. Her 9 year old child was in garden yelling so loudly at Alexa to change the tune that she activated my system even with my windows and doors closed. I was just waved off and door closed on me when I went round to ask if she would turn noise down. However no noisy music since.

SynchroSwimmer Tue 23-Jun-20 14:04:46

Could you have a pleasant word with the house owners, (rather than the builders) get them on side and ask if their builders could be “considerate of noise levels” for the neighbours?

Linnana Tue 23-Jun-20 14:01:26

The only advantage of being hard of hearing and having to wear hearing hearing aids is that you can switch them off if there is a lot of noise, shouting, shrieking, music etc! When I shopped in supermarkets or any shops with loud music, etc, I used to turn my hearing aids off and shop in peace being able to concentrate more on what I was doing. I would think that ear plugs could work in a similar way to cut out noisy neighbours.

moggie57 Tue 23-Jun-20 14:00:30

you could ask them to lower the volume .or maybe its just while they build....if its really a bother .or you could contact enviromental services .they have a person to deal with loud music.

kwest Tue 23-Jun-20 13:55:30

When we employed men in our building firm(when it was a much bigger business) we always had as part of our advertising that our men would never play radios, never ask for cups of tea, never swear and a few other things that I forget now.
This was based on what might annoy me if people were working in or around my house. Many clients said how reassuring they found this and how polite our men were.

Jillybird Tue 23-Jun-20 13:52:45

Yes, I know EXACTLY how you feel and sympathise. I used to get on well with all my neighbours but since lockdown the nearest has had parties with his adult daughters twice until 4:30 am. After the first he apologised. Abjectly. I said, OK forget it. So he did and on Saturday they had another - again until 4:30. I had my breakfast at five and then slept until 10:30. As I write another two neighbours (I'm on a corner so lots of close neighbours - there is no road, only a walkway between us) are having massive building works done. They say they have to take advantage of the lockdown. One has apologised but it doesn't make it any easier to live with and I can't sit in the garden. The noise is excruciating. The owner of one has himself has just gone home as he can't stand it! Another neighbour who claims to have mental health problems (and is therefore giving them to us) uses the communal lawn to do her daily morning exercises, which would not be a problem if it were not for the boom box which accompanies her antics. Several people have asked her to turn down the noise which results in abuse from herself. The feral family who were supposed to be evicted four days before Christmas due to non-payment of rent have just returned to 'their' house and are squatting. The landlord took pity on them over Christmas but then didn't act fast enough so now can't evict them due to lockdown regulations. They went to stay with a relative but presumably have fallen out with them and have returned to squat in the house(they have been offered council accommodation but it's in the next town). They are not squatting quietly - a very noisy barbecue with lots of visitors and a great deal of alcohol and screaming children shattered our peace on Sunday - all afternoon and evening. Their immediate next-door neighbour (we are next but one) is a nurse doing horrible shifts. She is tearing her hair out...
Please don't think we are being horrible to poor people - we have given them so much, particularly in money but also in household necessities and food over the last seven years, but we were ecstatic to see the back of them. (A brief example - mum was tearful on my doorstep. I gave her £6 as it was the only cash I had. She brightened up and said "I'll buy myself a bottle of wine to cheer myself up").
I feel sorry for their landlord too.
Thank you Cava for your original post - it has enabled me to vent here. xxx

4allweknow Tue 23-Jun-20 13:51:34

It seems builders and noisy radios go hand in hand, amazed they aren't covering you in cigarette smoke too as this also seems the normal. Had builders next door last summer and the most annoying thing I had to endure from them was the lack of dust extraction equipment when they were cutting concrete. Couldn't even see next door when that was happening. Wore no masks either. Dread to think about their health, dust and nicotine, not a good combination. Silicone ear plugs do work.

NanaPlenty Tue 23-Jun-20 13:45:56

Noise is annoying when you like peace and quiet - I think we just have to accept that it can’t be quiet all the time . Builders are the worst, I used to turn our builder radio down frequently when they werent looking!

Kim19 Tue 23-Jun-20 13:38:12

Gosh, eleven years of peace and quiet. How lucky were you?! I fully remember the people backing on to me being seriously unhappy at the noise my children made at three in the afternoon. Fact is, their children were up and away and they had enjoyed silence in a very unbalanced community ever since. I've been here 45 years now and never baulk at neighbourghly noise. Inconvenient sometimes, agreed, but how about a bit of live and let live? Being grumpy only adds to personal aggro methinks and we certainly don't need any help with that at the moment.

HannahLoisLuke Tue 23-Jun-20 13:30:49

I'm guilty of having my radio on in the garden but I have the volume low and walk a few yards away to see if I can hear it.
I've also trimmed a shrub today, I waited until neighbours at work.
I used to have a young family next door who would kick their footballs into my garden every few minutes. Throwing them back was a chore so sometimes I'd "forget" then they'd be ringing my doorbell to ask for their balls. I often asked them to try and keep their balls in their own garden and I'm sure they tried but their garden was small so not really big enough for a game of football. Dad was the worst and would boot the ball so hard it cleared three gardens.
They've moved now and a few months later while trimming a bush I found two deflated footballs and a bedraggled teddy bear in the middle. He went into the washing machine and now sits on my bed.
I've seen them since and we've had a lovely chat but I didn't mention the teddy!

Newatthis Tue 23-Jun-20 13:10:24

The thing is, if you don't mention it to them then they don't know it's bothering you. Perhaps a word in their ear might help.

HAZBEEN Tue 23-Jun-20 13:07:28

You think building work is bad, at least its time limited! We live beside a pub with a beer garden, Lockdown has been bliss but now we are told pubs will open up again. All summer long we have shouting (the F word is very popular), fighting, kids screaming as of course no-one stops them. Police are often called. Then there is the constant taxis beeping or the drug deliveries. Last year we thought at least when the cold weather comes that will all stop but no. Some bright spark thought it would be great to have patio heaters and a roofed seating area, so it went on.
Dont say report it because we have but nothing gets done.

Stella14 Tue 23-Jun-20 13:02:55

It would seriously get on my nerves too, but I believe tolerance is called for in these circumstances. This is after all people who are working and the jobs rarely last more than a few weeks. I find it more annoying when neighbours themselves are consistently noisy. That problem doesn’t usually go away after a few weeks.