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Noise pollution

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16/05/2006

Everybody needs good neighbours but not noisy ones. Christina Jordan reports

The most common reason for a dispute with neighbours is noise, according to research from Halifax Estate Agents, with well over half of us (64%) stating it as a reason why we have fallen out with our neighbours. Men are more likely to get into an argument with the neighbours over noise with 72% having experienced this sort of dispute.

The second most common reason for them to fall out with neighbours is ‘on-street parking spaces’. Despite the fact that residents do not have the automatic right to park on the street outside their house, 37% of men have argued with neighbours about where they park.

Noise and parking were also the top two niggles for women, but to a lesser degree with 61% having fallen out with their neighbours over noise, and less than a third (30%) rowing over car parking spaces.

The research also highlights that nearly half (46%) of 18 to 24 year olds have had disagreements with their neighbours over noise.

Residents in the South recorded a well above national average of 80% of people falling out with neighbours over noise compared their quieter counterparts in the North, where just 56% have had fall-outs with noisy neighbours.

Garden-proud homeowners in the North were more likely to argue with neighbours over pets leaving mess on the lawn (30%) compared with just 21% of those in the South.

The Citizen’s Advice Bureau recommends a number of steps to take to resolve noise disputes with neighbours. In the first instance, try talking to your neighbour about the problem. If they are a tenant, contact their landlord and keep a record of all occasions of excess noise and disturbances.

Request that an Environmental Health Officer (EHO) investigates the noise and if they do find a noise nuisance, and it cannot be resolved through discussion, they may serve notice to the person making the noise, or their landlord.

If they do not comply, the local authority can prosecute or put an injunction in place. Alternatively, get in touch with a mediation service in an attempt to solve the matter without legal proceedings.

Colin Kemp, managing director of Halifax Estate Agency, said
“Clearly, excessive noise is something we are just not prepared to tolerate from our neighbours.

“In order to make life more enjoyable for everybody, we would recommend having some consideration for our neighbours in the first place. If an issue should arise, try to talk about it calmly wherever possible. Otherwise, it could spiral into an unpleasant situation for everybody involved.”

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