Noise!

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Thursday 12 June 2008 9.18pm
OK I have a couple of questions. I live on the western edge of the City Walk development in Long Lane (195/197), having moved here when i bought my flat in October. I love my flat (and the area!) but just can't enjoy it. Since I moved in I have had nothing but trouble from my neighbour. From the moment he enters his flat he has music on, no matter what time of day or night. Not just background music, but broadcasting to all of City Walk. And he must be a student with the unsociable hours he keeps as I am often woken at 2-3am with his music on any given day of the week. It's day in, day out and is relentless. Unfortunately for me my bedroom is adjacent to his living room where his music blares from. I should explain that we are also in separate buildings so it's not like I can go and bang on his door when it's bothering me. I'm no stick-in-the-mud who expects silence in the middle of London, however what I'm experiencing is intolerable. Oh, and also he has bongo drums as well, just for an added bonus...

First question, is there anyone else out there who's bothered by it (if you live @ 197 you should know what I'm talking about!)? I have spoken to him probably 3x since I moved in about it but I'm met with insolence and indifference. He is completely unreasonable so I feel that discussing it with him is impossible. I can't have my windows open in my flat, and have to sleep with earplugs because of the noise. Summer is here now and I can't live like this anymore. My last resort is Noise Team which leads to my 2nd question...

What are people's experiences with the Noise Team? I understand it's not a quick process but it appears to be the only option left.

Help! Thanks-
Thursday 12 June 2008 11.31pm
I feel sorry for you. There are some people out there who don't deserve our protection. I'm afraid you'll have to be patient and relentless to curb this kind of problem. Firstly keep a noise diary, back it up with video evidence if you can, talk to other neighbours. Call the council noise team, regularly. If they are in a flat run by the same management company as your flat is then badger that company into upholding the lease of the flat which will almost certainly have a clause that deals with noise. Try not to let it get you down on a personal level, don't let the neighbour drag you down to his level. Thank god earplug technology has moved on...Good Luck.
Friday 13 June 2008 12.24am
I'm going through a similar thing at the moment.

- Keep a noise diary of every incident. If you can get these incidents witnessed by other people all the better; therefore, try and get neighbours involved in your campaign
- Phone the Southwark Noise Team every time you experience noise. They generally will come out within an hour of your call
- The Noise Team are able to supply recording equipment where you can tape the noise yourself. This might work better rather than relying on them to come out and witness it
- Get the police involved. They will go round there and 'av a word. This might actually work!
- Go to one of those clinics that your local councillor holds. They can give the Noise Team a kick up the backside if necessary.

The main thing is make a nuisance of yourself. If you don't, nothing will get done. Don't be fobbed off, especially by the council. Be prepared for a long, hard slog. You will get there eventually, but it's going to take time and probably a lot of hard work.

I can't think of anything else at the moment but will add to the above if I do...
Friday 13 June 2008 8.49am
A couple of other things to consider:

If this person is an owner/occupier they may be in breach of the leasehold (disturbance, nuisance...) and you could pressure the managing agent/leaseholder to take action .

Ditto if the person is a tenant as they could also be in breach of their tenancy agreement. I had a similar situation in my previous flat (not in SE1 sadly) and the managing agent contacted the landlord and the tenant was given notice to vacate.

And certainly use the Noise Team too!
PKM
Friday 13 June 2008 9.07am
I live in City Walk too and had a noisy neighbour - music at night club volumes at 4am, crashing throught he corridors after nights out. We called the Noise team one night at 2am - they came out within 45 minutes and stopped it. They also sent the neighbour and us a letter to record that the noise was unreasonable.I also complained vehemently to our managing agents.They moved out shortly afterwards!

The City Walk development can be noisy generally, a combination of thoughtless people, open windows and the way the buildings are set out so that noise seems to bounce of walls.

Hope you get it sorted out because I understand how dreadful it can be.
Friday 13 June 2008 9.13am
Thanks for the replies!

I have done my research - I know which number he lives at (managed to get into building when the bongo drums were being played), and did a land registry search to find out who owns the flat. Then I contacted Galliard who manages the rental properties in the building, however they don't manage his flat. I was hoping to sort it out with them through breach of tenancy agreement, however I'm pretty sure he owns it. The lady at Galliard was quite helpful - she advised me that the managing agents of the building are White Druce & Brown. I googled them and discovered that people have had a lot of issues with them, ie not very good. They're frequently discussed both here and on the citywalk forum!

So my next port of call is to contact WD&B and discuss it with them, and advise them that I will get Noise Team involved to back up my claims. The Noise Team will be called out whenever I'm disturbed beyond 11pm.

I have kept a diary since I moved in, although it has been rather patchy until 2 weeks ago, when I finally decided that this can't go on. Now it is very detailed and I will endeavour to keep it up.

I have no problem with people listening to music in their own homes, but when it affects me it becomes my problem. My neighbour has a particular niche genre of music that he listens to, which unfortunately is not the sort of music I would listen to. When I last spoke to him I explained that if he enjoyed his music that loud he really should invest in headphones. Sadly he did not take heed of my advice.

Once again, thanks for everyone's input - I really appreciate it!
Friday 13 June 2008 9.33am
I know I'll get told off for this, but how about a very loud burst of "Ride of the Valkyries" at about 9.30 on a Sunday morning (or even earlier)when your inconsiderate neighbour is hoping to get some zeds. It will not only wake him up, but he'll think there is a mad nazi living there and it will scare him. It worked for me.
Friday 13 June 2008 9.47am
Jaybee - I know this is bad but I HAVE considered it! Unfortunately due to the layout of the flats the only people I would end up annoying would be my neighbours, not him. I would need to become best friends with his neighbour on the other side, mount enormous speakers on their bedroom wall (facing into his bedroom), then blast some classical, cheesy pop or country from about 8am onwards. It would give me great pleasure, but regrettably it is a mere fantasy... I have to stick to the proper channels.

Glad it worked for you though!
PKM
Friday 13 June 2008 10.06am
Foxton - I recommend you contact both James Donnelley (the guy who looks after City Walk) and Suzanne Nurse (his boss) at WDB.

Good luck!
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