Monday, 30 May 2005

Noisy Neighbours (a long rant!)

Monday, 30 May 2005
Okay so it was 10.00am but I was fast asleep after a night of ups and downs due to a very active baby and The Twitches so being woken up by extremely loud music from the guy next door was particulary unwelcome this morning.

We live in a terraced house that we bought six years ago and it's pretty much perfect in every way for us at this time of our lives EXCEPT for the neighbours. It wasn't always like that, for the first six months it was nice and peaceful with only the smell of strong curry drifting through the walls every night being a minor issue. Then the family moved out and started renting the house to a series of the world's worst tennants and we've spent five years or so battling noise polution and generally crappy behaviour.

Along the way we've encountered:

Big Scary Guy who had a penchant for Abba and The Corrs which, whilst vaguely falling into the category of music, is not exactly pleasant when listened to at top volume accompanied by seriously off-key singing. He was also slightly deaf and so had three alarm clocks that would start at 6.15am and go off alternately for about an hour.

Drunk Guy who would come home off his head most nights, stick something on to cook and then pass out. Even the smoke alarm wouldn't wake him so we had to pray that there was someone else in the house that would eventually go see what was going on (thankfully it never got bad enough for us to have to phone the fire brigade).

The Two Couples who shared one room and periodically would have sex in the garden as they couldn't all be doing it in the room at the same time.

The Spanish Girls who would come home at 2.00am and proceed to spend a couple of hours drunkenly screeching at each other.

The Screamer who would row constantly with her Italian boyfriend and when she wasn't getting her own way would scream like she was being murdered. They left shortly after I called the police at 3.00am and they arrested the guy because he got narked that they were interfering and started having a go at them.

Mr DIY who would start sawing and banging at 10.00pm and was so loud that the people on the other side of us complained to us about the noise we were making!

Various Interchangable Eastern Europeans who get louder and louder in direct proportion to the amount of alcohol they consume.

I could go on and on and on with the list, we've endured seriously loud music at all hours of the day and night, bonfires in the tiny back garden, debt collectors and other unsavoury characters knocking on our door asking about people in the house, screaming rows and general abuse when we request they be a bit more considerate.

They've also disturbed half the street with the noise from the house and various car stereos, etc. and we're definitely not the only ones who have complained.

We've complained to the landlord and the council and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. The problem is that there's four rooms in the house that are rented out individually and so there is a constant turn over of tennants. We can never be sure of who is in there, where they're from and generally whether it's safe to be causing a fuss. DBF occasionally gets worried at me going round and having a go because he's convinced at some point they'll retaliate and damage us or our property.

To be honest, I'm pretty sure none of them would go that far as most of them don't want to draw attention to themselves and the one time another neighbour got mad enough to mention calling the police three of the four tennants vacated within a week. Mainly they don't stay because the house is a dump but I like to think that our moaning at them encourages them to move on as well. The only downside with that is that pretty much every new tennant is as bad as the last so once a new one moves in the whole process starts over.

So this morning I did what I'd said I wouldn't do in my condition and went round to try and talk to the guy making all the noise. I thought that maybe he'd take pity on a 39 weeks pregnant woman and realise he was out of order.

He didn't even answer the door.

He did however turn the music down.

A victory of sorts I suppose but he turned it up again later and we'd endured similar on and off all day yesterday so it's not a victory really. Still, once there's a baby in the house that's it as far as I'm concerned, if there's a continuing problem and he won't even speak to us then it's back to the landlord and if that doesn't work, the council. I can be reduced to tears of despair now but if I'm dealing with a new baby and our lives continue to be disturbed then I think I'll end up cracking up.

We're hoping to move house sometime in the next 12 months and the main reason for doing so is the noise. We've spent six years basically rebuilding our house and we've got more than enough room for this baby and another (should we be brave enough) but we've been worn down so much by the neighbours that I can't face the idea of any longer here.

Next house is definitely going to be in the middle of a field where the only noise pollution is the dawn chorus......


Little Grey Cat said...


Sorry to hear about your neighbour trouble. I lived in a flat for 2 years and over that time the flats were bought up by one person one by one and he rented them out to a bunch of miscreants so I know exactly what you're going through. At one point I was threatened with a hammer and it took the police 8 hours to come round!


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