The temperature’s up and so are noise nuisance complaints.
The borough council says it has seen an increase in complaints as people enjoy the heatwave.
A combination of spending more time in the garden, outdoor entertaining and having open windows in our homes to cool down in the heat has got some people hot under the collar, it says.
When it comes to the everyday sounds of a busy neighbourhood, we each have different lifestyles, different tastes and different tolerances. What is music to your ears could well be a noise nightmare to your neighbour.
The council’s cabinet member for environment Karen Shore (Lab) said: “The current good weather is glorious but our contact centre has seen an increase in complaints about noise nuisance.
“Everyone is spending more time outdoors and sometimes music and loud voices can carry through open windows.
“It’s always best to try to speak to the source of the noise before taking any official action. The council’s on-line toolkit contains sample letters plus hints and tips on how to approach your neighbours.
“In most cases this means problems can be resolved quickly. The majority of people making a noise are not aware they are causing a disturbance and, once they know, will reduce or stop the noise as soon as possible.”
Generally the council says it will investigate ongoing or regular noise problems. If the noise is a one-off or limited in duration, for example, a party, it is unlikely to be able to help. The only exception to this is problematic house or car alarms.
If, after speaking to your neighbour, the problem continues, the council says people should get in touch with evidence of your complaint.
Mobile smart phones can be used to create an on-line diary of noise incidents through apps like The Noise App.
The council’s website has more information on noise nuisance, along with links to download The Noise App, search for ‘noise’ from the homepage.
Council tips to avoid causing noise nuisance include:
- Consider your neighbours, particularly if you are planning a party or World Cup celebration at your home. Neighbours are generally tolerant if it’s not a frequent occurrence and they feel that you are taking reasonable steps to consider them.
- Inform your neighbours of the date, start and finish times and try to stick to them and remember neighbours may have children or have to go to work the following day.
- Be considerate when arranging the music, especially if the party is in the garden. Music carries a long way, particularly bass notes.
- If you can hear the music beyond the boundary of your home or upstairs, your neighbours may be able to hear it as well.
- Respond to any complaints, be prepared to turn the music down if asked to by neighbours, the police or the council.
- After 11pm reduce the music volume, take the party inside if in the garden, close windows and doors and check the noise level from the outside. If you can hear it outside it is probably too loud.
- Request that your guests leave quietly. Raised voices and slamming doors late at night are equally as disturbing as loud music.
- Don’t throw parties too often - holding a party every week is not neighbourly.