If you have followed me on Twitter for the last couple of years, then you may have read tweets about my noisy neighbours. I was told that the area I lived in was lovely and quiet and, for the most part, it was. Except for the two sets of neighbours downstairs.
The people down below me were alcoholics and their neighbours were drug addicts.
You can imagine some of the fun I had with them. From loud music until midnight to windows being smashed and constant daily yelling matches. My mental health really took a massive down turn especially when lockdown started. Not being able to escape the noise was a nightmare!!
That’s why I needed to find ways to stay sane.
Purchase noise-cancelling headphones
This might seem a tad over the top but I literally would have snapped if I didn’t have my headphones/ear protectors. Whenever the yelling started or went on for too long, I just grabbed these and distracted myself. I popped on my ‘Music That Makes Me Feel Better’ playlist on Spotify and prayed that they would eventually stop.
I’ll be honest and say that these didn’t always work.
Sometimes I just didn’t want to put them on and ended up in tears. Why did I have to put up with 6 hours of music blaring through my floor?
Knowing I wouldn’t be escaping them for a long time, I bought myself some BEATS Studio 3 Noise-Cancelling Earphones. These were pretty expensive but I needed them to work!
Keep a diary
This was a tip given to me by my local council.
If I was to have any chance of complaining about my noisy neighbours in future, I had to keep evidence of what they did and when they did it. The things they told me to jot down were:
- How loud is the noise? Is it annoying?
- When does the noise occur? Is it early morning or late at night?
- How long does the noise occur?
- How often does it happen?
- Would an average person find the noise disruptive? Do you have a sensitivity to noise?
It was irritating that I had to jot down these since it happened so often but I needed proof. The most annoying thing was that you could only just hear it on recordings I took. You had to be there to hear how loud they were being.
Talk to your neighbours
The first thing your local council will probably get you to do is chat to your neighbours first.
As someone who hates any kind of confrontation, this was extremely difficult. I didn’t want to be the one causing a problem to them. It sounds dumb but that’s just me. If your noisy neighbours are generally okay to chat to, then just chat with them about it. You’d be surprised how many people don’t even realise that their music/TV is that loud, especially if they have hearing problems.
Only do this if it’s safe to do though.
There was no chance in hell of talking to the addicts. They were too violitile and honestly terrified me! A lot of the people on my street are elderly and were too scared to report in fear of retaliation.
Related post: 5 Frustrating Habits I’ve Developed While In Lockdown
Call the police
I lost count the amount of times I secretly called the police on the addicts. You know when you see clips of people crouched in a ball and whispering into their phone in case they were heard? That was me at least 5 times this year. You literally can hear everything through my walls and floors. Since I knew the people below me chatted with the people next door, I was scared that they would tell them who called.
Thankfully the 101/999 call handlers were really understanding.
Never be scared to call the police if you feel like a situation is getting out-of-hand and/or dangerous. When I heard full-on yelling outside, I didn’t immediately react because it wasn’t new to me. However I did get scared when they started banging on windows, doors and then smashing the window.
I found out recently that these calls helped in getting them evicted.
Talk to someone
Everyone in lockdown has felt trapped in their own homes.
It doesn’t matter if you live alone or with family, you’re still dealing with the same problem. As much as we’d love empathy to be real, people don’t always know what you’re feeling unless you tell them. If you’re living alone, chat to friends or family you feel close to about the situation. They might not have experience of what you’re going through but they might be able to give advice you didn’t think about.
What advice would you give for surviving noisy neighbours?