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  • Advice on what to do next

    Backround info : Our house has a shared drive with our next door neighbour. Basically we own the land in front of our house but the neighbour has a right of access to his driveway. However, all his visitors started parking behind his car (on our land) making it awkward for access for us. This went on for a bit and now seems to be sorted out.

    Recently, however, our neighbour bought his son a drum kit which is in his garage. So, usually when his parents are out the lads in there hammering hell out of the drums...

    Last night I tried to have a polite word with the neighbour (I could;nt have been more polite and nice) and he basically told me that although he would speak to his son about it, that he had enough of my complaining and slammed the door in my face.

    I'm dubious as the whether this will fix the problem but I'm not sure what to do next? To be honest, they;re the type of neighbours who are pretty inconsiderate and we're never going to be the best of friends, but neither do I want a neighbourhood war ?

    Any views on what my next step should be ? I was considering writing them a polite letter explaining that I've no wish to argue with them, and explaining a few points etc. Knocking on their door again is probably not the best idea !!!

    We have discussed our options with the council in case things get worse. However, I'm not keen to go down that route because of the implications of making an official complain if we ever wanted to move house. Also, I feel that this would, obivously, sour relations even more between us and the neighbours and could lead to more unsociable acts from them.

    To be honest, looking at some of the posts, they're not as bad as some. For instance, we get no noise at night, just annoying drumming for an hour or two every few days which means we need to turn the TV up louder....

    Another problem is that my wife is pregant (our first child) and getting a little upset about it. She wants to meet fire with fire and stick the car stereo on loud or something to teach them a lesson. Personally, I think this would just cause things to escalate and turn it into an all-out war !!

    Any views would be greatly appreciated....

  • #2
    Hi Paulfoel and welcome to the Forum, it's nice to have you with us, but sad that you have had to join us.

    We often find ourselves asking the question "are we being unreasonable?". This is from your post about the noise issue.

    My answer would be, that if the noise is bothering you so much that you are discussing it as a family and have felt the need to join this Forum, then the noise is a nuisance, if you are having to alter your daily routine, i.e. turning up the telly, then your concerns are real and you are being reasonable in complaining.

    You also asked about selling your home and the issue of making a complaint. If you make an official complaint to the Environmental Health Department (EH), then you would have to disclose this if and when you came to selling your house. There is a form which you complete at the conveyancing stage which asks about neighbour disputes. If you had made a complaint, then you would have to disclose: otherwise, the purchasers could sue you for lying on the form and not divulging the neighbour dispute (there have been cases reported in the news, if you look on the main nfh site at recent news stories, you will find some there).

    You have joined the Forum with similar problems like we have: parking and noise.

    The first thing that you must do, is to start logging everything down. If you go to the main site and look under Resources, you will see some blank sheets (one for noise, one for other issues). You need to print these of and start writing everything down. It can be very boring, but you must do it.

    I would also suggest that you either speak to your neighbour or write to them, outlining your issues: parking (and how the behaviour of the nfh (neighbour from hell) and his visitors is causing an obstruction for you) and regarding the drumming and what effetc this is having on you. See if you can sort it out like that, you may be able to reach compromises on both sides. Eg. perhaps if the son is learning drums, then you could offer a time when you wouldn't mind them being played?

    If you can't come to an agreement, then you need to think about what your long term plan with your home is. If you are staying and don't want to put up with the nfh behaviour any more, then you need to go down the legal avenue of involving the EH - they will want copies of your diary sheets (nb. they won't deal with the parking issue). The EH will have wanted you to have had some contact with the nfh before they get involved.

    If you are considering moving, then best not to complain so you would have no problems with disclosure.

    The other option you could consider is to contact your local Mediation Service, who would act as a go-between to try and resolve the issues.

    If it were me, I would write to your neighbour, try and get into some dialogue (however difficult it may be) and see how far you get with that. Say that you are trying to be reasonable about these problems, but they can't continue as they are.

    Fighting fire with fire? Hmmm, in my opinion this does not work. It will only exacerbate the whole situation and end up a bigger mess. They are loud and obnoxious, you start to behave like them, they get louder etc. etc. and as soon as you know it, you have become the nfh. By all means have your fantasies about what you would like to do, discuss it in depth and laugh about it, but don't do it. That will just bring you down to their level and, believe me, it won't make you feel very good about yourself.

    It really can't be an easy situation for you both to be in, especially as your wife is expecting your first child. You need a safe haven where you can retreat and feel comfortable, when there's nfh about, there's not much chance of that.

    I hope that the above informaiton helps, I'm sure that other members will be along soon to offer further advice and support.

    Wishing you all the best and welcome again!


    • #3
      Hi Paul,

      Sorry to hear about your situation. I don't think there's much I can add to what holly has already said.

      What possesses parents to buy drum kits for their kids? They must realise it will annoy the neighbours but they obviously don't give a hoot! Typical NFH.

      I agree, fighting fire with fire very rarely works and also, if you decide to make it official it wouldn't look too good.

      Whatever you decide to do, good luck Come back and let us know how things are going or if you want to have a rant - we do enjoy a good rant (although no the reason behind it )

      "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


      • #4
        Thanks for the help everyone.

        Yep. I can't really understand the thinking of why parents would buy their kids drum kits ! Surely they must appreciate that the noise would upset the neighbours...

        The noise is'nt so bad and does'nt go on so long when the parents are at home (it must get on their nerves too !), but when they go all hell breaks lose !


        • #5
          Originally posted by hollygolightly@Jun 2 2003, 12:26 PM

          We often find ourselves asking the question "are we being unreasonable?". This is from your post about the noise issue.

          My answer would be, that if the noise is bothering you so much that you are discussing it as a family and have felt the need to join this Forum, then the noise is a nuisance, if you are having to alter your daily routine, i.e. turning up the telly, then your concerns are real and you are being reasonable in complaining.
          Hi Holly,

          With regards to your comments about being unreasonable, what I meant was : Should I accept that its perfectly OK for the lad to play the drums at reasonable times and for reasonable lengths of time ?

          To be honest, I'd be happy if my NFH even considered our feelings and got his lad to make some attempt at playing at time a little more convenuient for us. For instance, teatime till around 7pm at night, Friday evenings when we're usually out, Sunday afternoons when we're pretty much always out !!!

          As for whether these times are suitable for the other neighbours - well thats up to them ! I seem to be the only person in the street who ever complains about them...


          • #6
            Thumping drums would drive me up the wall !

            Part of me might think that it's OK for a youngish lad to play the drums, but I would have liked the neighbour to let me know and reach a compromise on when was OK for them to play.

            I think that if you have thought about when you wouldn't mind him playing, then you just approach the nfh and make these suggestions to see if they are acceptable. That is being reasonable and considerate, and trying to stp the problem from escalating.

            What do the other people in the street say about the noise? Do they complain to you about it? If so, you may be able to write a collective letter which may have more clout than one from you alone.


            • #7
              Exactly, if the neighbour had showed some consideration it would have made me 1000% happier !!!

              No-one else in my street seems too bothered. My house is the closest but there are others which are not much further away !!!

              Either they dont mind or they're less bothered about it than me...

              Although, past history shows that these people seem happy to put their head in the sand and not get involved...


              • #8
                It would be nice wouldn't it if all us reasonable and considerate folk lived near one another!

                I think once you have suffered from noise nuisance, you do become quite sensitive to it. If your other neighbours haven't reached that point yet, they probably will sooner or later and then they will find it difficult to continue their ostrich behaviour.