Noisy neighbours can really be a disruption, disturbing your sleep and regular activities. They may not even know they’re bothering you, so it’s usually best to start by being polite. If that doesn’t work after the first few tries, you might have to move on to stronger measures.
1. Talk to your neighbour. Your neighbour may not be aware of the problem or of how much it is bothering you.
- Be courteous and polite. Explain the situation factually. One way to approach the problem gently is to ask why they are being so loud.
- Mention specifically what outcome or result you would like.
- Suggest an alternative or compromise. Could they use headphones? Could they keep it down after or before certain times of day?
- Keep your safety in mind. If you are at all concerned about your safety or you do not know your neighbours, take a friend or neighbour along. Walk away if you feel at all threatened.
- Don’t bother banging on a shared wall or hollering back. Even if it is heard, it may not communicate what you intend, and it may disturb others. Go knock on the door, instead.
- Do not blame or accuse, and definitely do not threaten your neighbour. If you are confrontational toward them, they are far more likely to respond by being confrontational toward you. Remember that you’re seeking a solution, not a hostile standoff.
2. Take notes. Record the outcome of the conversation with as many facts and details as you can recall, and do so immediately. Careful notes of your actions can help your case if the problem becomes an ongoing one or you need to make a formal complaint later. You will be able to demonstrate that you tried to resolve the problem yourself.
3. Write a letter. If the problem continues, try writing your neighbour a letter. While it may seem formal, it may also be a clear and effective way of communicating your complaint.
- Take time to compose the letter. As with your initial contact, be polite and factual. State the result you want.
- Keep a copy of the letter as part of your written record of the actions you have taken to resolve the problem.
4. Try a mediator or getting other neighbours together. A mediator facilitates a conversation between two people or groups and can help you and your neighbour to reach an agreement.
Write a letter saying that a group of you are getting together to ask the noisy neighbour to respect their community. Make it clear how the noise affects you; for instance, several of you have responsible jobs involving shift work
5. Contact the local authorities. If other approaches have failed, call the appropriate authority. Call the appropriate agency where you live (check out the government pages in the front of your phone book) or the non-emergency number of your police department.
Your other neighbours will thank you!