One minute you’re at home enjoying a nice cup of coffee or tea, the next your peace and quiet is shattered by a loud noise coming from outside. Unless you stay in a bungalow with plenty of surrounding land and no neighbours, noise pollution is just one of the many property issues you have to deal with when renting property. Loud neighbors can affect your sleep, disrupt your study time or working hours, and frustrate even the most patient people – even more so during this pandemic when most people are advised to stay home and work from home.
These are the most common sources of noise you will hear in residential areas:
- Construction or renovation
- Busy streets with heavy traffic
- Street vendors
- People (events, party, arguments, etc)
- Pets and children
Now, while the Landlord123 app may not be able to directly stop or prevent the source of noise that is bothering you, what you can do is use it to submit an issue via the app whenever such disturbances occur. Not only will it alert the landlord to the problem and get them to intervene if necessary, it also serves as a record of every interaction. Careful notes can help your case if the problem becomes an ongoing one or you need to make a formal complaint later.
Here are some ways to deal with noisy neighbours (or situations):
Talk To Them Directly
If your neighbours are being extra noisy, especially at night, try to approach them calmly and politely with your complaint. Calmly explain why their loud music, screaming baby, barking dog, furniture-moving, or click-clacking heels are driving you mental. Initiate the conversation telling them that what they are doing (parties, playing the drums, rearranging furniture) is cool with you, but tell them that the time to do such things is not okay. Ask that they quiet down and come up with a plan together of how to solve noise problems, or come to a compromise.
Talk To Their Landlord
If you get one of these inconsiderate people as a neighbour, then you might want to have a talk with their landlord instead. In the UK, tenants normally have a clause in their tenancy agreement prohibiting them from actions and/or behaviours that cause a nuisance to their neighbours. Talk to their landlord and explain the situation. The risk of losing their homes normally scares the loud tenants and often solves the matter.
Third Party or Local Authorities
If talking to your neighbour and your neighbour’s landlord doesn’t sort anything, don’t give up – you can still seek out resolution with the help of a third party. Sometimes a board member or apartment manager (if you live in a strata building or gated-and-guarded community) can help facilitate the conversation and avoid fueling the conflict between you and the neighbour. If that fails, you might have to get the local authorities involved, especially if the noise problem affects multiple residences in the area.
Taking Legal Action
Legal action should be your last resort as a result of trying every possible way to reach a solution and not finding one. Use the notes you have taken during past indiscretions with your neighbours as supporting documents to build your civil case for small claims court. It might be difficult to sue for noise damage because determining damages is pretty subjective, but you can give it a try in small claims court, using your Landlord123 issue management history as proof.
If none of the above work, you probably have to discuss with your landlord on how to soundproof your room/house… or if that doesn’t work out either, as a last resort you might have to start searching for a new place to rent instead.
Just kidding! (But not really. Sorta.)