Barking dogs, DIY, slamming doors, loud TV, etc? Things like this can impact on our lives and spoil the enjoyment of our homes. The local authority can investigate and take action for unreasonable and excessive noise, but sometimes a friendly approach to your neighbour might be all that's needed. So before you involve the council, here's some tips on making contact with your neighbour (or if you prefer to write to your neighbour see below for suggested wording).
There's a chance your neighbour may not even be aware there's a problem if it happens when they're not at home. Try to avoid going round to your neighbour to complain about the noise when it's actually happening. Go around when it's quiet and plan your what you want to say beforehand. Sometimes it's helpful to suggest compromises. Remember, there are times when you might want to make noise yourself so a bit of 'live and let live' goes a long way. And if it works - thank them!
While we don't insist that you contact your neighbour before we take on an investigation, in a lot of cases it's the quickest way to resolve the problem and keep the peace. Sometimes involving the Council can make matters worse! However, we understand there are times when you should get the Council involved by completing a complaint of nuisance form.
If you prefer to make contact in writing, here's some suggested wording for a letter:
Your Name and Address
Neighbour's Name and Address
Dear Neighbour [or their name]
This is a friendly note to make you aware that I am being disturbed by noise from your property [state address]. The noise that disturbs me/us/my family is [describe noise that affects you]. You may not realise it, but the noise is affecting the enjoyment of my/our home. Please do not take this personally. I just wanted to let you know how your noise is affecting me/us and politely request that you [detail what you would like them to do i.e. turn the music down].
Please don't hesitate to contact me if you would like to discuss this [delete this option if not appropriate].
Thank you in anticipation of your help in this matter.
Please note the Council does not operate a noise call-out service. Out-of-hours monitoring visits are undertaken by prior arrangement
North Devon Community Mediation also provides an independent service to try to resolve neighbour disputes.