There are always those noisy neighbours who disturb the peace in a community. They either play their music or television loudly all the time, constantly build or repair something, argue and fight over nothing on a regular basis, own a dog that barks nonstop all day and night or have the loudest children in the neighbourhood.
What do you do when you have noisy neighbours? You probably think about giving them a piece of your mind, becoming their enemy and then living uneasy in your community for the rest of your life.
A simpler action may be to ignore them, get ear plugs and let time pass. None of these are solutions to your problem so you need strategies that will work. Here are 5 peaceful ways for you to deal with noisy neighbours that should be done in the suggested order.
5 ways to deal with noisy neighbours peacefully
1. Kindly ask noisy neighbours to be quiet
Being kind is very important when dealing with noisy neighbours. When loud people are being inconsiderate, they are already prepared for confrontation. Then, there are people who are not even aware of disturbing others.
A person may be pounding and drilling at odd hours to complete a nursery before a baby is born. A hearing-impaired neighbour may have the radio or television on the loudest volume and not even consider how it affects others.
Noisy children and dogs may actually be a problem for the family who is struggling to deal with the issue themselves. Your peaceful approach will help you to understand if the behaviour is one that is deliberate or not.
Go over to your neighbours’ house, gently knock on the door and greet them in a calming tone. Kindly inform them that the music, the pounding and drilling, the screaming children or barking dog is too loud.
Give reasons that allow them to understand the importance of being quiet. Explain that your children need to study, the elderly folks are having trouble sleeping or that you have an early morning and would appreciate some peace.
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2. Make compromises
Offer suggestions to your neighbours that will make it a win-win situation for everybody. You may throw out the available times during the day when people in the apartment building or community would be least disturbed.
Suggest the use of headphones for your neighbours to play their music or television at their preferred volume. Offer tips on how to make their children play quieter or strategies to stop the dog from barking all night. If you feel to get interactive, stir up a conversation about the genre of music that they play and ask them to mix it up a bit for other neighbours to enjoy.
If you are capable of assisting them with the completion of a noisy project, offer your help to speed up the work.
Take over some board games for their children to explore quieter ways to have fun. Ask them if you can take the dog for a walk during the day to see if it helps tire him out at night.
Remember, your ideas should be suggested and not demanded because noisy neighbours are already prepared for hostility. When they respond, it is very important that you listen carefully to what they have to say about your suggestions and maintain a calm tone and positive face expression.
As much as you would love them to say sorry and just stop making noise, you have to be ready to make compromises with your noisy neighbours.
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3. Give a warning
Sometimes being nice with noisy neighbours does not always work out in your favour so that is when you have to get stern and take your matter to higher authority.
It is best to give a warning first as this disciplinary procedure gives them a chance to appeal your decision. In many instances, after being warned, noisy neighbours feel obliged to cooperate.
To avoid the issue of it being your word against the word of your noisy neighbours, consult with the other tenants or neighbours about the disturbance in the apartment building or community.
Write up your complaint and take it to a considerable number of neighbours depending on the size of your community. Explain that you intend to file a complaint and you would like their signature for support.
Once you have the support of the other neighbours, your case would be strong enough to be taken seriously. Make several copies of the signed letter to give to the necessary authorities.
Then, visit your noisy neighbours’ house again. Calmly remind them that you have asked them nicely to be quiet and tried to make negotiations for everybody to be happy but to no avail.
Give the warning that they leave you no other choice but to address the matter with the landlord or environmental authorities.
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4. File the complaint
If you receive an unfavourable response from your neighbours, then it is time to file your complaint. The simplest way to complain is to make a phone call and wait to see when something happens.
Some people may post or hand deliver the letter to the landlord or environmental authorities. Others may visit the office as a group of disgruntled citizens looking for justice.
Once you have taken this step, you must hope for the best and expect the worst. You can hope that your matter is handled immediately and efficiently with you being able to move on with your life without disturbances.
You can expect that your complaint will take months to be sorted out with the given reason that it is on a very long waiting list and you are not the only person with problems.
Also, there is the “who you know” situation which can work for or against you. If you and the landlord are friends or you know someone important working at the office of the environmental organisation, then your problem can be dealt with effectively.
However, this can also be the case for your noisy neighbours who may know people as well. Your complaint may be pushed back or disappear and you are left bewildered.
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5. Call the police
When all other strategies to bring peace to your community have failed, you call the police. This is supposed to be your last resort and you should let the officers know the attempts you have made to resolve the matter peacefully.
At this time, you should present your copy of the letter of complaint with the signatures of the neighbours to the police. This information will help the law enforcement understand better the mentality of the perpetrators and the frustration that you and your neighbours feel.
According to ASBhelp, when you call to report anti-social behaviour, be prepared. You will probably be asked the following questions so have your answers ready: Who is doing it? Does it injure health or be likely to injure health? When did it happen (date and time)? Is this the first instance? If not, how often has it happened?
The police will suggest early intervention techniques which the article states include “measures such as verbal and written warnings, mediation and Acceptable Behaviour Contracts (also called ABCs, or Acceptable Behaviour Agreements) which are voluntary written agreements between a perpetrator who is under 18 and the local authority and police, agreeing not to be involved with certain anti-social acts (witnessed also by their parents)”.
You will definitely restore peace to you community after this except for those few dissatisfied neighbours.
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