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At the end of my tether - noisy neighbours

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  • At the end of my tether - noisy neighbours

    Same old story I guess.

    We live in a middle-terrace back-to-back property (e.g. the back wall in our house is somebody elses back wall.) We've owned the property for nearly four years now, and all in all its a nice place to live. Except - just after Christmas a couple moved in (private tenants), and they played loud music all day most days. Occasionally they would argue at the top of their voices, and we would hear the full glory and expletives of their sexual infedilities and habits. I complained to them when it just got too much, my girlfriend was in tears because she felt threatened by the constant noise.

    About 2 weeks ago, the property was sold by the owner and another set of tenants moved in - 2 lads in their late 20's, apparently "young professionals". The first weekend they played music so lound we couldn't hear our television over it - and I got so rattled that I went round and told the guy that was there in no uncertain terms that he was to keep the noise down. He had actually shut himself in his hallway so he could talk on his mobile phone because the music was too loud in the front room. I also dropped a letter through the old landlords door (because at the time I didn't know he'd sold the property.)

    On top of this music playing, there is constant banging and thudding around the house, they seem incapable of keeping their voices below a bellow, and generally just make a lot of racket all the time. The majority of which we can put up with - but the music is just too much.

    That evening the landlord came round and told me that he no longer owned the property and that the tenants weren't his - but that he knew the lads and had been round to have a chat with them, and they had insisted that they weren't playing any music, or making any noise. Then, with the landlord and his partner in our front room - the music kicked in. The look on the landlords and his partners face was a picture - they were disgusted and amazed.

    The landlord then went round to the lads, said he had been in our property and heard the noise, and told them to keep it down. (Technically they were trespassing until 3 days time when the property sale was completed). They were blissfully quiet for those 3 days, then on the 4th day started making loads of noise again, shouting at the top of their voice, inviting people round, playing music, shouting to each other over the music. Constant noise - there is never a quiet 10 minutes in our house any more...

    Last night the music went up REALLY loud , so I went round and knocked on the door. No answer. So I knocked hard (assuming they couldn't hear me knocking over the noise.) The interior door opened and then shut again. The music was cranked up louder, and the guy in their started singing at the top of his voice, and a female voice let out the most idiotic sounding laugh I've ever heard.

    I then REALLY knocked on the door, nearly splintering the wood. And still no-one came to the door. A couple of minutes later the music went down to a near tolerable level, and then later it went off. The bumping and stomping up un-carpeted stairs (their stairs are on the opposite side of a wall to ours), the banging and slamming around on the wooden floor in their main room (which turns their lounge into a speaker box) continued until 2am. We couldn't sleep because the noise is so loud that it sounds like someone is in OUR house.

    My girlfriend is threatening to move back in with her parents, because it causes her so much stress. I can't afford to move house (south-east of england, earning enough for 110k mortgage, but the property we're in (which is small and modest) is worth 140k. My stress levels are through the roof, I can't work properly because I can never relax. It's ruining our lives.

    I've asked the new landlord to get in touch with me (through the old landlord who's been told not to give out the new landlords details) and he hasn't yet (2 weeks have passed, and he dropped a letter through the door, without contact details, saying he would talk to the tenants and come and see us.)

    I see my options as being two-fold: 1, I pursue this with the necessary authorities - who will probably not be able to do much as the level of disturbance is minimal but constant. Or 2, I take it in to my hands to give these two little scrotes a good kicking - which seems to me to be the only real option that's going to save my sanity, relationship and job in the near-term.

    I understand that in these types of properties you should expect SOME noise from your neighbours - but until the last 2-8 weeks we've never had any problems like this. I'm under the firm impression that the only thing that will teach these socially irresponsible scu*bags any respect is a good beating. Not something I'd ever do normally, but I feel that it's the only thing that will work.

    I've heard from the old landlord that these two yobs (who insist they are not scu*bags and they would be horrified if anyone thought that way of them) have wrecked the property they are in (gouged out walls, broken plaster, scraped wordwork) so I'm living in hope that the current landlord will get rid of them!

    Online Noise Log[/url]

  • #2
    Hi aNiceGuyReally

    A big welcome to the Forum Board, to you.

    Firstly, I really know where you're coming from with this, we lived with this kind of thing with two different sets of NFH, the noise, especially the music can be unbearable, it's so intrusive and so disturbing/stressful. Also to hear about your NFH's personal details, conversations and the fact that they are almost 'mocking' you through the walls is really dreadful (e.g. the woman's laugh you mentioned).

    Firstly, you may be able to find out through the land registry who currently owns the property, this costs you a small fee.

    Info is available here to read.

    Once armed with this information, you can then hopefully approach the new owner (who is also hopefully the new landlord) and complain.

    Can I ask, what has happened so far?

    • - Have you contacted your local Council's Environmental Health Dept and asked for advice by tel, e-mail, letter, etc?

      - Are you keeping noise logs? You must start these now if you haven't already and fill in the details of what happens, when it happens and how it affects you (very important). See the NFH Resources Section for blank diary sheets you can use.

      - Have you tried to complain/make your neighbours aware of the noise when it's not happening? (e.g. go round and explain what they are doing is really disturbing you and affects you). I know it's when it happens you want to go round and tell them to stop it, but it's at those times, people are less likely to respond positively (e.g. because they are drunk, or just couldn't care less at the time, or the noise is just physically too loud to make yourself heard!). It's hard to go and talk to someone too you really can't stand and try and be reasonable, but it's worth a try.

      - Have you written to your neighbours telling them what they are doing is disturbing you? Always a good idea to write, especially if they are ignoring you in other ways. Essential also, to prove to the Local Council you have tried to resolve this yourself - some LA's won't even get involved until you try to 'resolve it' yourself first. See the Resources NFH section (as above) again for a 'Basic Template Noise/Disturbance Letter (to use/edit) to use as initial letter to Neighbour's' - it may be helpful.

      - What do the other neighbours think? Are they being disturbed too? Ask around, find out what the general consensus is, if more than one of you can complain, so much the better here.
    It's really up to you, what you decide to do - some NFH sufferers 'fight fire with fire', other's don't and prefer to go the legislative route. It's what suits you really - retaliating (e.g. blasting them back again with music!) will make you feel better for sure, but you may give your NFH some 'ammunition' to get back at you (e.g. via the LA Env Health), or in their warped minds, you may give them signals that the noise they are making is OK and it may in fact make it worse. All things to weigh up really and consider on a personal basis.

    In the meantime, try and get out when you can, don't feel like a prisoner in your house, but don't feel you can't go home either. It's your home, don't be pushed out of it, you have a right to enjoy your house peacefully.

    It's hard, we all understand that - but stay with it, don't let these people get the better of you, there are things you can do about it. These won't happen overnight as we all know, but try and keep a cool, calculating head about it, approach the NFH again (if you can and indeed want to) and then take it from there ok.

    Why don't you both come and join us later in the live chat this evening? It's at 8pm, you need to sign up to the chat first, but come and get some 'live' support and help from us all ok. The link is here.

    Come back and post often, it will make you feel better, you really are not alone in this problem ok


    • #3
      Have you contacted your local Council's Environmental Health Dept and asked for advice by tel, e-mail, letter, etc?[/b]
      No, not yet. Feedback I've had from others who have dealt with our local department is that it's a waste of time - but I will go through the motions if the new landlord fails to get in contact with me this week.

      Are you keeping noise logs?[/b]
      Yes, after the first time we complained and the landlord came to our place, we've started to keep logs.

      Have you tried to complain/make your neighbours aware of the noise when it's not happening?[/b]
      It's a lovely idea, but you know when they are home because the noise starts - they are never quiet and in at the same time.

      Have you written to your neighbours telling them what they are doing is disturbing you?[/b]
      I sent them a copy of the letter I sent the landlord, due to the fact that when I asked the guy to turn the music down - quite politely - he just grunted at me and shut the door. The music did not get turned down. Unfortunately these two have proved they can conciously be quiet, and have since decided not to. We could hear the first conversation with the old landlord through our walls, and their opinion is that it's our tough luck, and that they "shouldn't have to be quiet".

      What do the other neighbours think? Are they being disturbed too?[/b]
      I've only met one of the sets of neighbours who live on one side of the troublesome property, and they say they do get noise coming through (but not as bad because they have a kitchen to buffer the noise) and they just turn their own TV or Stereo up louder. They are also not in very much, and only really stay there during the week. I've never met the occupants of the other house, or seen anyone coming/going from there.

      Thank you for your support and advice - I really do appreciate it. It's truly embarrassing when we have friends or family round - we've done up our place so its nice enough to have guests, and then this starts off which makes it a horrible place to live.

      Thanks again.
      Online Noise Log[/url]


      • #4
        Hi NiceGuy,

        Welcome to the board. I can't really add anything to the advice that Matthew has given you but you have my sympathy. Two young louts are turning your lives into living hell and it's just not acceptable.

        As for bashing them, well, personally I think that although they both seem to deserve it, you might be the one who ends up in court. These bullies don't give a damn about how they treat people, but try getting your own back and they run whimpering to the law. Just another example of people who know all about their rights but conveniently forget about their responsibilities. They're just not worth the risk.

        Hopefully your EHO might be able to help, or maybe the landlord will kick them out when he finds out about the damage they've caused. It seems a bit suspect that the landlord doesn't want anybody to know who he is. Maybe he's had a lot of complaints from neighbours of his other properties because he doesn't vet his tenants adequately. I don't suppose he cares as long as the rent rolls in.

        Good luck with trying to get your problem sorted. If you ever need a shoulder to cry on or a rant you are always welcome here.

        "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


        • #5
          welcome Nice guy!!

          It was dreadful to read your story as it reminded me so much what happened to Matthew and myself (yes I am his better half!!)

          my stomach sank knowing what you are going through.

          try to get your other neighbours involved with the complaint, strength in numbers and all,

          you might have a hard slog ahead of you but in the long run it will be worth it, it is hard work making the complaints to every one, keeping logs, writing letters etc,

          in the end though who knows.....we complained so much about of NFH to the landlord he actually changed the tenancy agreement and showed me a copy to prove he was taking us seriously, he added extra bits about noise and damage to neighbouring and adjoining proprties.

          our new neighbours are more respectful and have music on at reasonable times, maybe it is because they are more mature or what I don't know,

          even now we still listen out for the slightest sounds.

          we are here to support you with this c**p you are going through,

          I wish you lots of luck and hope you have peace and quiet soon!!


          • #6
            Hi NiceGuy,

            I haven't posted here for a little while here but felt an immediate empathy with your situation.

            What is it about private landlords that seems to give them carte-blanche to dump problems on other people with no sense of responsibility.....?Do any of them still 'vet' tenants? Do any of them really care what goes on as long as the rent rolls in?

            Every time a landlord allows his tenants to run riot and does nothing to curb them he is simply re-inforcing the scu*bags conviction that they can simply behave as they please.

            I rented properties for many years and can remember that we had a thing called a tenancy agreement that seemed to suggest that our tenency could be terminated if the landlord recieved complaints about anti-social behaviour yet judging by the behaviour of the last two residents of the house next to mine these appear to either no longer exist or are unenforcable. In fact ..the last time I spoke to next doors landlord he said he 'simply didn't bother' about things like that!!

            I'm afraid I don't know the answers to any of these questions and am here ,like you ,just stunned by societies carelessness in these matters. My new neighbours seem to neither realise nor care that anything they do could possibly affect anyone living 8 inches away from them but I think the first battle for you is to try to get the landlord to accept responsibility for HIS tenants in HIS property..........God this makes me so angry

            Feeling for you and know ...!



            • #7
              Hi Niceguy,

              The others have given you some tip top advice so get cracking!!

              I am one of the "fight fire with fire" members that Matthew mentioned but I really think that in this case you are dealing with twits who would throw it back at you.

              My advice is get hold of a solicitor TODAY! stop mucking about and stop taking c**p off these idiots!!

              Wouldnt advice giving them a kicking- would make you feel better but you wont feel so good whenthe police come and take you away for "questioning"- really not worth getting a ppolice record for.

              So, get your finger out and find out who their landlord is and get a solicitor to start making his life a misery!!

              Be like a dog wi a burst ba' !!

              keep in touch


              "Take off and nuke the site from orbit- it's the only way to be sure!"

              apologies if you are an "Aliens" fan

              Posh Noodle - NOT for the likes of YOU!!


              • #8
                It's still going on

                Last night it got too much for and I went round and had a go at them. I'm not a violent person, but they don't know that so it was easy to act intimidating - especially when you're 6" 2', broad and weigh 16 stone

                I've managed to put up with it for the past 6 weeks - but the music woke me up at 00.40 - when they got home, presumably from a night out.

                I was very angry , probably said some unkind things - but that's not really surprising. I've probably also opening myself up for potential legal charges - trespassing etc. But to be honest - I was at the end of my tether a month ago - now I'm so far off then end I don't care anymore.

                Full account can be see on my online noise log.


                Online Noise Log[/url]


                • #9
                  NiceGuy, I just read your noiselog and you have my sympathy. It's disgusting that these people can intrude into your life like that. Not just intrude but cause you act in a manner that even you don't like. Noise can be a powerful psychological weapon and it's effects can be devastating but I don't need to tell you that.

                  Then the morons wonder why you act as you do!!! I'm not really into modern day music but we get the odd moron around here who, in the summer, like to 'pump up the volume' and all it seems to be is a strong repetative beat. It's been proved that music can affect the functionings of your body and mind. Listen to some music sometime and take your pulse at the same time, you'll find that your heartbeat is beating in time to the music. So is it any wonder that young people exposed to a trance inducing strong beat become zombified, unable to comprehend the effect their antisocial behaviour is having on other people?

                  I think it's time to get the EHO involved despite the fact that you've been told they're ineffective; you never know they might have improved. You cannot go on being tortured (and that is what it is) as you are at present. Good luck.

                  "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


                  • #10
                    Well - I'm probably getting way ahead of myself here, but it's been quiet for two days now. Which is very good considering it's the weekend and that's when the music is worst.

                    There have been the usual running up and down stairs (can't they just walk? like normal people? or at least carpet the stairs!) and lots of loud voices (they don't seem able to just talk at a normal level of sound, perhaps because their eardrums are damaged from all the music they listen to.) but that's tolerable, it's not constant and you can block it out to a certain degree.

                    Although it's nice to have the music down (and they have been playing music, but it's been at a level which we can still hear, but doesn't stop us from talking, or listening to our own TV) the psychological effects are showing through now. Because it's now more peaceful - we're terrified to do anything that might give our NFH the go ahead to make more racket.

                    I couldn't even keep the hoover on earler, because I just freaked out over the level of noise.

                    Last night, I ended up turning a movie down so low that I couldn't hear it, so I went and got some headphones and plugged them into the TV.

                    People keep asking me why I'm whispering when I talk to them on the phone, and I keep asking guests to keep their voices down - even when they are probably not talking very loudly.

                    It's most distressing - it feels like - on a psychological level - we've been a victim of assault, we had no control over them, we asked many times for them to be considerate towards others (not MORE considerate, just to show SOME consideration), and it continued.

                    Both my partner and I are on edge because we wonder whether these individuals will try and retaliate some way, because I went round and had a hell of a go at them.

                    We're living in fear and tension in our own home. This is not the way it should be.

                    I hope as time goes on - I hope that the effects will fade. I hope the landlord sees fit not to renew their tenancy in 4 months time - but as he refuses to even contact us, and the land registry do not have his details yet - what can be done?
                    Online Noise Log[/url]


                    • #11
                      These landlords are only bothered about their rent, if they miss paying he would be down fast. My advice is move, your relationship is under stress, she is worth more surely.


                      • #12
                        I wish we could move - but we have no capital, and have just started saving for a new house. Also, advice from IFAs and colleagues in Investment companies is to wait until August before doing anything with properties or mortgages.

                        And, of course, being in the South East of England, property is extortionately expensive, and we would not be able to afford a property of even close calibre somewhere else.

                        Also, at a moral level, I don't think anyone should be forced out of their home. We've been here for nearly 4 years now - and never had a problem with any of the neighbours until the last 3 months.
                        Online Noise Log[/url]


                        • #13
                          We haven't communicated before - but I'm Scooby (as in Doo) and I have the habit of being the boards bigot from time to time.

                          I have had a read through your problem and unfortunately because of the suffering that you have had to endure with this noise it is indeed having a psychological effect on you.

                          You see as you have been and continue to be living in this state of fear you are psychologically thinking if I creep around my own home like a mouse then I'm not antagonising NFH and they will keep the noise down even further. Creeping round your home is not going to make NFH keep the noise down that is a fact !

                          I wish in reality it worked like that. It's a bit like when you are watching the TV and you think the phone is ringing - what do you do, you turn the volume down and listen - that is what you are doing but listening for NFH. It's not that you really want to creep around your own home but in effect you are waiting for the balance to shift again.

                          It is a kind of safety mechanism in your brain so that if the noise pollution was to happen again it would not come as such a shock (it would actually) and that you are back to where you started from.

                          I personally would take time to enjoy the quiet that you have at the moment. It could well be that NFH have got the message that playing music and banging around is not doing them any favours either. It could be that they have simply got fed up with all the noise they are making. There could be any reason at all why they have decided to quieten down a bit.

                          From what you are saying that when you had a "Hell of a go at them" it could well be that you put the fear of God into them so much that they just decided to turn down the volume button and see what trying to be peaceful is like.

                          In your earlier part of your posting you say that the noise is "tolerable, it's not constant and you can block it out to a certain degree". Carry on doing just that and enjoy the moment, the right here and now moment. Don't try and think about the next couple of hours the next week or month even. Live for the moment. You have control over that. When you start thinking for the moment and enjoying it then you can think about tomorrow and so on.

                          Don't let them distress you. You are making yourself a prisoner - you have the ability and the key to break free all you have to do is unlock your minds - take away the fear and just live for the moment !!!


                          • #14
                            Thanks for your post Scooby - I agree wholehearted with you.

                            I think the reason we are trying so hard to be quiet, is because I had such a go at them - forced my way into their house, pushed them around and told them if there was any more of it I would be straight back round. We don't want them to think "oh - they make a lot of noise, but it's not OK for us to."

                            The whole situation has just sent our normal thinking into FUBAR mode. We've had to tolerate so much that we don't want to give them any indication that it's ok to play their music loud again.

                            We will try and enjoy the moment, but you can't help but have this nagging feeling in your head that it's all going to end soon, and life will be hell again.

                            Hopefully, if this peace and quiet keeps up - that nagging feeling will disappear all together.
                            Online Noise Log[/url]


                            • #15
                              I just realised how ironic it is that I care so much what these scu*bags think! Ironic or moronic - I don't know
                              Online Noise Log[/url]