You’ve just moved into your dream home but noisy neighbours are destroying your peace of mind. Whether it’s backyard arguments, barking dogs or parties, the next-door clamour is a common issue and can quickly descend into aggressive quarrels and worse if not resolved.
As with family, we can’t choose ideal neighbours. We’re stuck with them long term so, while it takes courage to do so, speak one-on-one to them, rather than sending a letter or email. Remain calm and rational, avoid blame games, and listen to their side of the story. They may not realise the extent of their noise and how it’s affecting you. It might take several over-the-fence discussions to organise a resolution but aim for a considerate, respectful one that will suit you both.
Council and police assistance
Calling police and local council should always be a last resort and only be done after several unsuccessful attempts to resolve the problem. Council or police officers arriving without warning can result in nasty paybacks and retaliation, as neighbours often guess who’s accused them despite your anonymity.
There’s always a chance that noise problems could be from your side of the fence. To alleviate this, ensure neighbours know about party plans, and any possible rowdiness, in advance. Give them your contact details so they can phone you, rather than the police, if disputes arise. Keep outdoor noise, especially music, to a minimum later in the evening and ask guests to leave quietly.
Advice and assistance
Council and government websites include helpful information on how to deal with neighbourhood noise including mediation advice, community justice and the best people to call for specific issues such as barking dogs.
We don’t have to be best buddies with neighbours but we do have to live close to these people, at least for a while, so sensitivity and kindness are crucial.