Top tips on being a good neighbour
Below is some specific advice on things you can do, to help avoidable tensions and annoyance to your neighbours.
Everyday household living generates noise, whether that's the washing machine, doors closing or the TV. However, disputes can occur when people are inconsiderate to others in how much noise they create. It's important to acknowledge the noise your household creates and think about the impact it might have on your neighbours.
Consider the lifestyle of your neighbours, for example are they retired or do they have young children? With this in mind, be aware of the effects noise from your property may have on them, as well as the types of normal living noise you may hear from their property (from children playing, for example).
If you're approached or contacted by a neighbour and asked to keep your noise down, please react positively. Respect their right to enjoy their home without hearing all that is going on in yours.
Keep in mind the need to maintain a two-metre distance from any of your neighbours and take responsibility for the behaviour of your children.
Stereo's, TV and music
The noise from a TV or stereo are the most frequent causes for complaint. What is considered as entertainment for one person can be torture for someone else. Avoid playing music so loud that your neighbours can hear it and keep the bass level down.
Try to position any speakers away from adjoining walls, floors and ceilings. Placing speakers on an insulating material can also reduce the transmission of sound. Loud music in the garden is more likely to cause a problem to your neighbours - try to keep it at, or below, conversation level or wear headphones.
It's a common misunderstanding that anyone is allowed to play their music as much and as loudly as they like, up to 11pm. This is completely wrong, so don't make that mistake. Noise nuisance can be caused at any time of day or night.
If playing musical instruments, please keep practices short and at reasonable times. If you can, do it in a room the furthest away from your neighbours. If you're a neighbour who can hear someone practicing, be prepared to be patient.
Banging doors and stamping feet
Sound can travel quite easily through walls and floors, so be aware of what is next door. Avoid slamming doors and running up or down stairs, especially if you live in a flat or terraced house. Close doors gently and use the handle, don't push it closed.
If you have laminate or wood flooring, consider the use of rugs in areas with high footfall or where children play, to reduce noise.
Complaints about dog barking often happen because dogs are left at home alone for long periods of time. There are practical steps dog owners can take to minimise dog barking and prevent noise nuisance.
Some people may choose to complete DIY tasks that they've been meaning to get around to, during this period of restriction. Whilst you may enjoy putting your time at home to good use, your neighbours will not enjoy long periods of drilling, sawing or hammering.
Talking to your neighbours about the works you want to do and any parts of it that might be noisy. Most people will be understanding and accommodating, but you should be prepared to compromise if there are times that your neighbour asks you to avoid for a genuine reason.
In any situation, unless it's an emergency, avoid this sort of work in the evening or early in the morning, particularly over the weekend.
Report anti-social behaviour or neighbour issue
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