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Neighbours Doing Building Work?

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  • Neighbours Doing Building Work?

    One of my neighbours has been doing some building work (banging, drilling, knocking down walls etc.) on his house constantly since about may. We've spoke to him several times, and each time he says that he's almost finished and that there's just painting left to do, but it still goes on.

    About a week ago, we went to the council, and asked them what to do, they told us to fill in this neighbour nuiscance form, so we did, and we've sent it off. But i'm just wondering what happens when the council recieve this form, will anything actually be done about his constant building work, can they issue an order to make him stop?

    Also, does anyone know if you need planning permission before you knock down, and move walls around inside your house?

  • #2
    Hi InsaneLampshade and welcome to the forum

    Sorry to hear about your DIY addicted NFH. I don't know for sure what the council will do about your NFH and I'm also unsure about whether planning permission is need to remove walls inside a house. I'm sure other members will have more advice about this.

    So, all I can offer you is sympathy

    "Almost anything you do will seem insignificant, but it is very important that you do it. You must be the change that you wish to see in the world." Gandhi


    • #3
      hi there and welcome

      sorry to hear that you have to hear them!!

      I am not sure about planning permission for internal walls coming down, I think it depends on the age of the house

      but watching a lot of DIY programmes I am aware of structral enginneers needed to check out the saftey of walls being moved coming down etc.

      the best thing for you to do is to contact your own planning office and make enquiries,

      as for the log sheets, contact the EHO and ask them what the next step is as all councils operate in a slightly different way from other councils,

      they might suggest recording equipment, to me a week of logs doesnt seem to be a lot, we had to do it for several months, check to see if you have been informed correctly,

      and dont let the EHO forget you

      good luck!


      • #4
        Ask the council to send round a building inspector to inspect your house. This way you can insure that the work your neighbour has been doing has not caused any damage to your home.

        A while ago there was a case when a man had employed a proper building company to modernise his house. But something went wrong and the front of both of the houses collapsed. So if that can happen to a skilled builder, it can happen to a man with a DIY handbook picked up from a boot sale and some of his dad's old tools.

        It took ages for the houses to be put right, and this by a team of qualified builders, not a DIYer.

        Should you be genuinely concerned you could contact your building insurance company and ask them to send a building inspector.


        • #5
          When we spoke to the council they said they would send someone over there to see what he's been doing, and to see wether he needed planning permission for any of it. But, seeing as our council is pretty slow, it could be months before anyone comes out.

          As for the houses falling down, everything seems solid enough, i'd rather enjoy it actually if his house fell down around him :P


          • #6
            Welcome to the NFHiB forum IL

            Glad you found us, sorry to hear about the nuisance you're living with, it must be very stressful and disturbing.

            Have you had a look through our help articles?

            They will help you and inform you of things you may not be aware of:

            The index is here:


            In particular the noise article you should find handy - as with DIY will come lots of unwanted/intrusive noise I have no doubt.

            Unfortunately, much depends on where you live and your LA/their response - some will act faster than others - there is currently not set limit as to when something like noise becomes a 'statutory nuisance' and your LA will ultimately make this decision. Do you have a particular contact with the EHO? If so, get their e-mail address too, this is very handy.

            As boring as it is, record, record, record on your log sheets - it builds up evidence - the most important part of this is saying how it affected you - this is crucial. Record everything, even if it lasts for only a minute. The patterns can be seen and built up that way.

            When was the last time you spoke to your neighbour and what was their response? Have you written to them formally and have a copy?



            • #7
              PS: Intrigued at your nickname - how did you settle on that?!


              • #8
                The last time we spoke to him was about a week and a half ago, we told him we were getting fed up, and all he could say was that he was getting fed up with us complaining to him, and told us that we were being childish.

                And my name...i can't quite remember how it started, but i've been using it a while now, i think it started when i was trying to make an account for something, it said my username was already in use, and it gave me a list of randomly generated names to choose from, and that was one of them.


                • #9
                  Hi IL and welcome to the Forum

                  Just to clarify, do you and your neighbour own your homes or rent?

                  Does your neighbour do the DIY work during unsocial hours? Are they very loud during the daytime? If so, then it may be a "statutory nuisance" in which case, your EH department should be able to help.

                  Regarding the walls, if you own your homes, then have you checked in your deeds to see if there's any covenants about this? Especially if you are a leaseholder, there may be very clear guidelines for what alterations you can and can't do, as it would affect the structure of the property/neighbouring properties.

                  The other option, if you are sick of their noise and they don't like you complaining, is to consider mediation. You can see if there's a local one here:

                  I'll just reiterate what everyone else has said, record record record...

                  Good luck


                  • #10
                    We rent from the council, and his home used to be a council rented house, but i think he bought it.

                    The earliest he usually starts work is around 9.30am, and finishes at about 8-9pm with a break somewhere in-between. I don't really have a problem with the times he's doing it, it's just the length, and the loudness. For example today, he was using a circular saw to cut something, and it sounded like someone was using a chainsaw to cut through steel! It was so bad that even with double glazing we still couldn't hear each other speak, he was doing this from 9.30 this morning to 4.00 in the afternoon.


                    • #11
                      Hi IL and thanks for your response

                      I think you need a two pronged "attack" in your situation:

                      - Get in touch with your Environmental Health department (not your local Housing Office) about the noise, start a complaint off with them. They will advise you on the next steps, but most of that will be writing down when the noise is taking place and what affect it had on you (i.e. couldn't hold a conversation...)

                      - Speak to your local Housing Office Manager about your concerns about damage to your property caused by possible structural alterations next door.

                      Hopefully that should start balls rolling in the right direction


                      • #12
                        Well, after phoning the council today, we found out that he still does rent his property, and the man on the end of the phone said that because he rents from the council, he needs permission if he's to make any alterations to the structure of the house. He also said that he'd be sending someone out to see what he's done tomorrow.

                        Isn't it strange that the council work fast when it's something that bothers them or their property, but they couldn't care less about the noise he's making. Well, at least progress is being made.


                        • #13
                          Hi IL

                          Get on to the Environmental Health department about the noise issues - not your Housing Office.

                          Although now that the Housing Office are aware that he is making alterations to his home, they should stop him - which hopefully in a round-a-bout way will stop the incessant DIY and noise.


                          • #14
                            Hi IL

                            And a belated welcome to the forum from me

                            Excellent suggestion by Holly, and it sounds like this might actually help kick-start dealing with the incessant noise . Do keep logging though, it's all ammunition, and will help emphasise the duration, frequency and intensity of the disturbance you're experiencing




                            • #15
                              He is causing a nuisance. This is ilegal. Perhaps you should seek legal advice.

                              Also, ask the council if there are any restricitons in the deeds of the house as to what he can or cant do.