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    I'm living in a house of students and the house next door is divided into flats. The person in the flat next to my bedroom is ridiculously noisy. She plays music constantly and it's so loud I can't listen to my own. She also has really noisy conversations all the time, shouts a lot and basically makes so much noise it amazes me. She's really abusive, I have heard her yelling and swearing at a number of people, her little kid and on the phone. Yesterday my friend was over and my neighbour was shouting and swearing and my friend banged on the wall with a book and the woman went mental for about 10 minutes, shouting 'why you f***ing banging on my wall, who you f***ing think you are, f*** off banging on my f***ing wall' etc.

    The problem is I cannot concentrate on working and I have so much to do all the time but Beyonce droning through the wall and the bass of her stereo stop me from being able to think most of the time.

    I would go and talk to her but having heard her have arguments I feel a bit intimidated. I looked on the local council website and they will only interfere if it's after 11pm and don't care if she's being noisy with her mouth, only TV/music basically.

    I just wondered if anyone has some ideas on how to deal with this, either how to approach the problem, if there's anyone I can contact or just how to deal with the noise?
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    This might sound like a stupid idea, but you could always try the following:

    1) Get a camcorder, and document all her bs for a few weeks or so; record the times etc.

    2) Put together a petition for her eviction. If she's as loud and obnoxious as you say she is, then she's no doubt pissing everyone off in the entire block and it won't be difficult to get signatures. Collect statements too about how much of a **** she is.

    3) Go find whoever at the council is responsible for your particular block of flats in person if possible, and show them the petition along with the carefully documented video evidence, statements from other residents etc etc.

    4) ???

    5) Profit.

    If you make it impossible for the council to ignore, then they'll do something about it. Just phoning them up and saying that some woman is being loud; they probably get loads of these kinds of complaints every day, and have no way of knowing if it's just some nutter complaining because the guy upstairs accidentally dropped his kettle onto the floor on his way to make a cup of tea.

    But just because I'm curious - can't you study somewhere else? I know I could study in my room, but I much prefer studying in the university library. Comfortable chairs, big tables, vending machines nearby... studying in my room is just depressing half the time. I mean I appreciate that it isn't the point and it's still annoying having to deal with it, but yeah.
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    (Original post by Truce)
    But just because I'm curious - can't you study somewhere else? I know I could study in my room, but I much prefer studying in the university library. Comfortable chairs, big tables, vending machines nearby... studying in my room is just depressing half the time. I mean I appreciate that it isn't the point and it's still annoying having to deal with it, but yeah.

    Thanks, would be a good idea except I live in a house, not flats. They're really big houses, which is why next door is divided into 4 flats. I was thinking about taping it but don't know how much that would really help.
    As for studying elsewhere, I could but I spend about 6-7 hours a day reading/writing essays (Have 6 a month) so I don't really want to spend that long at the library. Also, it's about 45 mins from where I live and I don't fancy lugging up to 10 books + laptop every day. I just like the comfort of my room I suppose, and there's nowhere else in the house I can study because we have 9 people living here so there's always someone in the kitchen/lounge.
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    Keep a noise diary for a couple of weeks and document EVERY noisy episode, and then confront the Environmental Health Department with that. A noise can be a nuisance before 11pm, and it doesn't just have to come from music and tv. Be persistant with the council, some EHOs are worse than useless but if you keep going higher (ie, if x doesn't help you, then find out who x's boss is and go to them) then they WILL do something. Ususally though the first thing they ask you to do is keep a noise diary, so if you go with it already done then you're one step closer. Recording people (especially with a camera) can be a bit dodgy legally, so I'd do the diary first and then see what the EHO can do. Keeping a diary will also help you work out whether it is an 'unreasonable' noise or not.
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    (Original post by Paeony)
    Ususally though the first thing they ask you to do is keep a noise diary
    Actually, I imagine the first thing they'll suggest is that the person concerned go and address the issue with their neighbour first, which is the rather obvious step the OP seems to have neglected to do.

    Realistically, local authorities don't have a great deal of power or willingness to use it in these situations. They certainly can't have the person evicted, as someone above seems to suggest. Assuming also the house is only let short-term, by the time they actually do anything, the OP may well have moved on.
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    (Original post by L i b)
    Actually, I imagine the first thing they'll suggest is that the person concerned go and address the issue with their neighbour first, which is the rather obvious step the OP seems to have neglected to do.
    Oh I agree, you should try to deal with the neighbour first. However, from the first post it sounds like the neighbour isn't likely to want to negotiate or be particularly reasonable, so I can quite understand why the OP isn't willing to do that. Of course the EHO will ask you if you've spoken to the neighbour (usually because they don't want to get involved) but as soon as you say you have or you're not willing or able to do that, then they will ask you to keep a noise diary and send it to them. This has to happen before they'll even begin to investigate a complaint.

    No, there isn't a great deal they can do, and it can take months to reach any kind of solution. Noise abatement orders take a LONG time to be issued. However, once someone knows that they're being investigated for a noise complaint it can, if they're not completely insane, sometimes bring about a remarkable improvement in their behaviour. It's generally impossible to get noise 'stopped', but most people are happy with a compromise and an EHO investigation can often bring that about.
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    (Original post by L i b)
    Actually, I imagine the first thing they'll suggest is that the person concerned go and address the issue with their neighbour first, which is the rather obvious step the OP seems to have neglected to do.

    .

    I haven't neglected to do it - I am too scared to! She is really abusive towards her friends and kid so what's she going to be like if I go knocking on her door? Plus after the way she acted when my mate banged on the wall once there's no way I'm trying that.
    But thanks so much for your helpful advice.
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    (Original post by Paeony)
    Oh I agree, you should try to deal with the neighbour first. However, from the first post it sounds like the neighbour isn't likely to want to negotiate or be particularly reasonable, so I can quite understand why the OP isn't willing to do that.
    I hardly think the OP is in any position to take the moral high ground here. Banging on someone's wall is hardly the civilised approach to take (yes, yes, it was their friend, but the point remains) - and is the sort of unpleasantness which will only elicit confrontation.

    If the OP believes this will be a sticking point with their neighbour then the obvious first thing to do is to apologise for it. It is not excused by the neighbour's behaviour; just as two wrongs do not make a right, responding to rudeness with rudeness does not solve a problem. Then the OP will be in a position to expect reasonableness.
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    (Original post by Sugar_Puff_Fairy)
    I haven't neglected to do it - I am too scared to! She is really abusive towards her friends and kid so what's she going to be like if I go knocking on her door?
    Someone else's concerns, and how someone speaks to other people, is no business of yours. For one, you have absolutely no knowledge of what or how this state of affairs came about, so you're essentially pre-judging someone based on something you do not and cannot understand.

    Plus after the way she acted when my mate banged on the wall once there's no way I'm trying that.
    Where you and your friend were very clearly at fault and behaving rudely yourselves...

    So you can either continue behaving like a rude little coward, expecting someone else to come along and solve your problems, or actually raise yourself up a level on the great ladder of civilisation, apologise and try to seek and agreeable outcome by talking to the other person.
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    (Original post by L i b)
    Someone else's concerns, and how someone speaks to other people, is no business of yours. For one, you have absolutely no knowledge of what or how this state of affairs came about, so you're essentially pre-judging someone based on something you do not and cannot understand.



    Where you and your friend were very clearly at fault and behaving rudely yourselves...

    So you can either continue behaving like a rude little coward, expecting someone else to come along and solve your problems, or actually raise yourself up a level on the great ladder of civilisation, apologise and try to seek and agreeable outcome by talking to the other person.

    Well first of all, me and my friend? It wasn't me who ws banging on the wall. If I thought that was how to deal with the situation then I wouldn't be here asking for help would I? I didn't ask my friend to do it, and was really pissed off that she did, so please don't assume that I am a rude person as I am really not.
    I'm not judging her anyway, she has screamed at council workers in the street because they put her bin in front of her gate. All I said is I know how abusive she can be towards her toddler and her friends; I am a stranger and don't know how she will react to me, but seeing as the only part of her I know is her yelling and swearing I am too worried to put myself in that kind of situation. I can hardly be blamed for being scared to go and bang on her door and ask her to shut up. I don't think there was any need to be so insulting towards me. I do not want to argue with my neighbour, and I don't want to put myself at risk. I don't think that makes me uncivilised at all.
    I don't understand why you had to be quite so rude. This is affecting my life a huge amount and I just want it sorted with as little conflict as possible.
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    You have the right to complain, call the police on him with a noise complaint and he'll get the picture. No why they shouldn't respect your right to not have to hear his television. The police are supposed to measure the noise with a decibel meter. If its above a certain range on the edge of your property the noise is unreasonable.

    or install sound proofing. Get some of those tiles they use in offices and put them up on your walls...
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    (Original post by Sugar_Puff_Fairy)
    I don't understand why you had to be quite so rude. This is affecting my life a huge amount and I just want it sorted with as little conflict as possible.
    There is a difference between someone being rude, and someone telling you something you don't want to hear. It might be wise to learn that subtle distinction.
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    Hi Sugar Puff Fairy,

    Did you manage to resolve your problem with the noisy neighbour?

    I've been having the same problem with my neighbours who live in the flat below who has been a constant nuisance for months now.

    I made a complaint to the council and they were very helpful and sent me a noise nuisance info pack. The Environmental Health dept of the local council contacted me as it is they who deal with noise disturbances.

    Basically the procedure for dealing with this type of situation involves recording details of regular noise disturbance over a period of 2 weeks using diary sheets. The noise disturbance must be amplified music, loud tv, machinery or similar (i.e. not shouting or loud voices or banging noises, that would be classed as an anti-social issue).

    Keeping a noise diary in itself is quite a useful exercise as it provides a detailed picture of the problem and what times it mostly occurs etc. Nuisance neighbours and loud noise can be quite stressful so it's good to be able to write everything down and get it off your chest.

    If the officers after having viewed the diary sheets are satisfied there's a problem the next stage is to gather evidence to demonstrate a "statutory noise disturbance" which basically means an actual breach of the law. This involves having a recording device setup in your home by an environmental health technician (in my case this was a little mp3 recorder sealed in a briefcase type box with a remote control on the outside).

    If sufficient evidence is gathered, (usually 2 or 3 recordings each of 20 minutes or more will be enough) then a "noise abatement notice" is issued by the council to the offenders. This is a legal notice telling them to stop the noise disturbance else face legal action.

    In my case, after the notice was issued the level of noise dropped considerably but not completely and now a couple of months on things are slowly getting worse.

    When there's a breach of the abatement notice the next stage is for Environmental Health to witness a breach of the notice and that requires 2 officers from Environmental Health to visit your home while the noise is occurring. Usually this will be out of office hours, between 8pm and 1am. An emergency number is provided to call the officers out of hours if you experience a noise problem.

    Once the noise has been witnessed by the two officers they will be able to prosecute and then the offender will have their equipment seized and/or face a fine, a criminal record and a court order may be made to stop further noise disturbances.

    I'm now at the stage where I'm trying to catch the buggers and get the abatement breach notice witnessed but it's providing very difficult as they don't usually play loud music at the right time, or if they do it's only for very short durations. It's annoying that the "witnesses" will only come out between 8pm and 1am!

    Good luck with solving your own noisy neighbour problem anyway if you haven't solved it already!

    Morphix
 
 
 

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