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Neighbours DIY at weekends

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Tuesday 30 October 2012 7.00pm
Hi all - does anyone know what rules (if any) Southwark Council has in regard to neighbours carrying out DIY activities at weekends (including drilling and hammering)?

The noise team are not interested on a Saturday "unless it carries on past 7pm mate". Nice.
Wednesday 31 October 2012 10.19am
Don't know about Southwark, but generally speaking many of the old by-laws have now disappeared because there's neither the money nor, it must be said, the willingness on the part of certain local authorities to enforce them.
My lot, Southend Borough Council, is a prime example of this. Here's just a few examples.
1/ The habit of some residents of putting their rubbish bags out the day before collection day. This used to be against local by-laws, but is now ignored. The problem this causes is that the bags are scavenged overnight by urban foxes, leaving an unsightly mess which remains for days.
2/ My wife had a full line of washing out one Saturday afternoon in the summer when we suddenly got the strong whiff of woodsmoke through an open window. By the time we'd got the washing in it smelt like a basket of old kippers. She had to wash it all again. The Council said they no longer enforced the by-law about bonfires during daylight hours and left it to the courtesy of individuals. In this day and age? What a joke!
3/Parking on double yellow lines is no longer enforced after 6 pm. There's a white Transit van that parks regularly overnight right on the corner of a T-junction round the corner from me. On a dark winter's night you take your life in your hands when trying to edge out on to the next road, which is often quite busy.

I wish you luck with the hammering and drilling, Boss St Bloke, but I reckon you're stuck with it until the work's done.
Wednesday 31 October 2012 3.58pm
You need to check if the neighbours are really doing this themselves. I think if it really is DIY, they can unfortunately do it. If it is a company doing it for them I think they have to stick to more traditional working hours.
Wednesday 31 October 2012 6.17pm
Boss, it seems you've already had an answer from the Noise Team, unhelpful though it was (I assume you're being driven nuts throughout the day).

With regard to noise nuisance caused by construction work, the councils guidance is to limit it to 8am - 1pm Saturdays, and none at all on Sundays. Imo, it doesn't seem unreasonable to apply this rule to neighbours undertaking diy, but it seems that doesn't happen. In any event, I would hope that neighbours would at least notify each other about noisy work ahead of it happening, maybe even agree the working hours. Dream on...

Sorry you're suffering - is there any chance of having a polite word with them before you reach breaking point?
Wednesday 31 October 2012 7.56pm
Thanks all - the neighbours have some cowboy builders doing the work who are behind in their schedule and decided weekend work is a good idea to catch up.

Spartacus is correct - I have the answer from the "noise team" - they are not interested.

This has been going on since mid August. My conclusion is that I have no say in building noise nuisance in the adjacent flat.

Ah well!
Thursday 1 November 2012 12.42am
If you live in a leasehold building you could check your head lease as there should be a clause in there about noise audible outside the property as there may be restrictions on that. If so try a friendly word first and if that doesn't work you could ask your building manager to intervene. There's usually a clause about not causing a nuisance to neighbours and I would consider that having this since August is a nuisance! Some buildings also have a clause about no contractors working outside specific hours so have a look for that.
Good luck
Thursday 1 November 2012 1.10am
LelB wrote:
If you live in a leasehold building you could check your head lease as there should be a clause in there about noise audible outside the property as there may be restrictions on that.

Useful suggestion. Approaching your neighbours, invoking lease clauses and the getting the managing agents involved rather depends on how proactive the agents are, and how much you value future 'good neighbourly' relations!

Bear with me, the following anecdote is relevant: My neighbour's flat has a front door that was fitted with heavy duty electronically controlled locks and a door closer by the previous owner. The result being that every time it is closed (or rather, was left to slam shut) it sounds like something from Fort Knox and it can be heard (and felt) throughout my flat. So, for the last 5 years I have flinched in anticipation each time I hear anyone arrive or leave next door, and each time regret being too timid to ask them to please close the door gently.

Don't suffer in silence!
Thursday 1 November 2012 7.45am
Thanks again!
Thursday 1 November 2012 8.21am
With today being the first of November, I can't help but wonder what your neighbours are having done to the interior, with constant drilling and hammering involved, that would take this long to complete. Even allowing for the fact the builders only work weekends. It must surely equate to at least twenty working days.
Thursday 1 November 2012 11.59am
I sympathise with you Boss Street, when we lived a nice new block of flats the neighbour directly above my head decided she would pine clad her kitchen, for every pine piece she put up there were 8 struts to support it. The whole structure was concrete with brick cladding, she was on the 9th floor, it was carried out every evening from 8 until midnight, I went up and asked her to restrict the times as I was working and had to get up at 6am. she then decided to clad the living room as well, very popular in the late sixties cladding...
I phoned
to complain and was told in a very sneering tone that people have a right to carry out internal decs...I wont say what I said to that.

The problem only solved itself when she did a moonlight flit when her husband went to jail..
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