26 March 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Dealing with Noisy Neighbors in your London Apartment

There is no doubt about it – noisy neighbours can make life a misery. Heavy metal music playing late into the night, screaming marital fights , barking dogs, faulty smoke alarms, the DIY enthusiast endlessly hammering nails into his latest project – any of these can mean sleepless nights and discomfort for the people who have to live nearby.

dealing with noisy neighboursAnd constantly disrupted sleep is not a small problem. It can spoil your performance at work or college and could even damage your health. Daytime noise can also be a problem for mothers at home with young children, or telecommuters.

If you suffer from noisy neighbours in your London rental apartment then here are some suggestions for tackling the problem

  1. As long as you have some knowledge of the offenders and you live in a safe neighborhood in London, you can approach them directly.  Ask them politely to stop the noisy activity or, if appropriate, to only do it at a time when it will not disrupt sleep.
  2. If the people are reasonable, you may be able to work out a compromise. For example, a stereo could be moved away from a shared wall, carpets could used to lessen the noise of heavy footsteps on a wooden floor, the DIY enthusiast could be persuaded to stop work at a reasonable hour and a keep-fit obsessive may agree not to go on the treadmill at 4.am.
  3. If you feel uneasy about a direct approach, you may need to take someone with you or ask a landlord or apartment manager to intervene. Another option is to put an anonymous, but polite request through their letter box.
  4. If a measured approach doesn’t work, or the argument becomes heated, end it, document it and make sure you tell your London apartment landlord (if he/she is not present). If you feel threatened, contact the local authorities at once. London has some new tough by-laws to deal with noise problems (see below).

The London by-laws, introduced in 2009, prohibit any form of unreasonable noise which is a nuisance to others. The by-laws apply to any noise which can be heard from “any point outside of the premises from where the noise originates”. Most of the noise restrictions apply 24 hours a day, and are subject to no upper limit in decibels for how loud the noise must be before it is caught by the by-law.

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