We’ve all had to cope with noisy neighbours at some point in our lives, whether it’s the occasional party that runs late or near constant noise when you’re trying to sleep or just do your routine daily activities.
While it may be an irritating and frustrating situation, remember to be polite when you first talk to your neighbour – chances are that they have no idea that they’re bothering you or anyone else.
The first step is to take some notes. How often does the noise happen? Is it an occasional thing, or does it happen frequently, even daily? Is the noise loud music or TV, power tools or something else altogether? How is this noise disrupting your life? When does it tend to happen? All of these are important details.
Have A Friendly Chat
Once you’ve had time to gather your thoughts, the next step is to have a polite, calm conversation with your neighbour. Explain to them how the noise is disrupting your life and tell them specifically what you’d like them to do about it – try suggesting a compromise, such as limiting the noise to certain hours. Whatever you do, don’t lose your temper or accuse your neighbour of intentionally bothering you. It’s likely to backfire and if you can keep your cool, this friendly talk may be all you need to resolve the problem.
Immediately after you return home following this talk with your neighbour, take notes about what happened. If you end up having to make a noise complaint at a later date, having as much information as possible will help. It’s also good to have something documenting the fact that you’ve made a good faith effort to get your neighbour to quiet down.
Keep A Record
Every time your noisy neighbour disturbs you, write it down. Keep track of what kind of noise it was, what time it happened and how long it went on.
Put It In Writing
If the noise continues to be an issue, it may be time to write a letter to your neighbour. Take your time and put your thoughts into writing. Be polite and cordial and again, tell your neighbour how the situation can be resolved. Keep a copy – again, documenting your attempts to resolve the matter are key if you need to make a complaint later.
If all of your efforts to get your neighbour to pipe down haven’t gotten you the result you wanted, it may be time to find a mediator to facilitate a meeting between you (and any other neighbours who have been disturbed) and your noisy neighbour. The mediator should be a third party who neither you or any of your neighbours know who can help everyone involved to reach an amicable agreement. Your local Council may be able to assist with this.
Call The Police Or Other Authorities
If nothing else has worked to quiet things down, you may have to resort to calling the authorities. Depending on where you live, this may be a homeowner’s association, a city agency or your local police department (use the non-emergency number, please). Keep in mind that in most municipalities, you can only make formal complaints about noise during certain hours, most often after 10 pm. Calling the police should be the last resort, but if all of your efforts to resolve things in a friendlier way have failed, then this may be the only way to get the message across to your noisy neighbour.