Keep it down over there! – Dealing with noisy neighbours during the summer

The first sign of summer weather sends everyone to the shops to pick up barbecues, outdoor entertainment, and supplies for parties that make the most of those late, lazy summer evenings. Nobody wants to be the killjoy that puts a stop to their neighbour’s summer celebrations, but if things get out of hand, what rights do you have? Here’s a quick guide to dealing with noisy neighbours over the summer.

  • Avoid direct confrontation

As angry as you may get, a doorstep confrontation situation at 2am has a high chance of escalating, especially if alcohol is involved. The best way to deal with a one-off situation is to have a calm conversation with them the next day. Avoid passive aggressive notes through the door, they are more likely to have a detrimental effect rather than providing a solution.

  • Choose a non-aggressive approach

Rather than reprimanding your neighbour over a past event, try and turn it around and ask them to let you know ahead of time if they are planning to have a party in future. Even better, ask for an invitation, and build a better relationship with them so they will be more considerate of you in future.

  • Call in reinforcements

If you’re not the only person who is having problems, then it may be time to ask other neighbours to back you up if you decide to approach your local noise abatement officer or council department. A group of people making the same complaint are more likely to be listened to than an individual.

  • Use some tech to record the noise

The council can only respond to a noisy neighbour complaint if there is sufficient evidence that the person is causing a disturbance. Use a recording device to get some evidence, or if there is a problem with rowdy behaviour then take video evidence. Bear in mind, though, that under the Human Rights legislation, individuals do have a right to privacy. If you are planning on getting video evidence of a problem neighbour, then talk to a solicitor first to make sure you don’t end up on the wrong side of the law yourself by violating an individual’s privacy rights.

  • Kicking up a stink

Overpowering smells can be regarded as a nuisance, and not everyone loves the smell of a summer BBQ, especially if their house is filling with fumes from the neighbour’s cook-out next door. It’s especially unpleasant if a person has a respiratory condition such as asthma, which can be triggered by smoke. If your neighbour is firing up the barby every day, then you may have a case to take to the local council.

  • Children’s playtime

Kids love playing in the garden during the summer, and if the whole family is outside having a barbeque then there’s a good chance the kids are going to get excited. If they do get noisy then be patient – we were all kids once! However, if it carries on incessantly then it may be time to have a quiet word with the parents in the first instance.

  • Light nuisances

If a security light is shining directly into your property then it can be regarded as an artificial light nuisance. Again, talking to the neighbour direct in the first instance is the preferable way of resolving the situation.

If you are still finding that your neighbour’s summertime parties are causing a problem and disturbing your peace, talk to a legal expert who will be able to advise you on what course of action to take.

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