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Neighbour is complaining about noise

  • 21-12-2021 12:50pm
    Registered Users Posts: 1,051 ✭✭✭ pauliebdub

    My neighbour has called a couple of times to complain about noise coming from my house in the evening (after 7) that's waking her child.

    The thing is we are not making much noise at all that would be considered unreasonable - talking amongst ourselves, TV and music at a normal to low volume, Skype and zoom calls to friends etc. The real problem is the sound proofing is really poor between the two houses.

    My question is what would be considered reasonable in this instance - we are understanding of the issue but at the same time not a silent order of monks? Thanks



  • Registered Users Posts: 15,456 ✭✭✭✭ Spanish Eyes

    Has she specified what exactly the noise is that is waking the child?, music, laughter, banging, loud voices, doors banging, footsteps, TV what? Are you a family or a houseshare?

    Have you ever heard any noise from her property at all?

    Stay calm and do your best to understand her concerns, maybe ask if you could step inside her house to get an idea of the issues she is experiencing. Having said that, some people just like complaining, but then again the ordinary noises you think you are making could be driving her to distraction too!

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,051 ✭✭✭ pauliebdub

    Music, tv and talking mainly, there's no banging.

    We're a family here with children in late teens.

    They're actually quite noisy themselves but it's hasn't really bothered me and I haven't complained about it. As I said the sound proofing is very poor

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,500 ✭✭✭ Jequ0n

    How long have you been neighbours, and did she ever complain about noise in the past?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,051 ✭✭✭ pauliebdub

    They moved in six months ago. She's complained about once a month over the past few months.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,500 ✭✭✭ Jequ0n

    Well, I certainly would not be altering my behaviour to suit her if it was never a problem with previous neighbours.

    Worst case she calls the police and makes herself look like a tool in front of them.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,051 ✭✭✭ pauliebdub

    We're trying to be understanding but I'm not sure how to deal with it. We're a normal household. There were no issues at all with the previous residents over 20 years.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    No one here can say whether you're making too much noise or not. We can't hear it.

    It sounds like you're not doing anything unusual to cause the noise, but it's still waking up her kid

    Why not just humour her and try to keep it down a bit more after 7pm? If it's not enough for her, there's not much else you can do, but regardless of whether or not your noise is excessive, wouldn't it be nice to try to help her out?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,288 ✭✭✭ KildareP

    I don't think most people realise how much noise travels in either direction.

    If you were to ask I'd say they think they tip-toe around the place and you can't possibly hear a thing from them which means you must clearly be stampeding around in clogs and making completely obscene amounts of noise because they're able to hear you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,943 ✭✭✭ Deeec

    If its normal household noise and the issue is the structure of the house than she is being unreasonable. I think you need to start complaining about the noise coming from her house - she may get the message then.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,942 ✭✭✭ afatbollix

    Had this issue myself, on the other side. Our sound insulation is rubbish, I can hear someone on speakerphone in the house next door!

    Everyones level of noise is different from person to person, So you can't please everyone but do take it under consideration.

    The first family beside us had the TV so loud all the time, It was like it was in the same room, I just invited him into the sitting room and let him listen to how loud it came through the walls, It went down for a bit but thankfully they moved out and the new family are quiet enough except for the 4am alarms!

    Not much they can do tbh, your house is attached to each other. They will have to just get used to it. Ask them what the noise is that annoys them and maybe you can help dampen it. Otherwise, they can pay for soundproofing and tbh that's the best solution if they want quiet.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,943 ✭✭✭ Deeec

    Maybe ask her aswell what room the baby sleeps in. Maybe your family could avoid making noise as far as possible in the room that is connected to the babies bedroom. I dont see anything else you can do.

  • Registered Users Posts: 287 ✭✭ Jmc25

    I've been on the wrong side of the combo of terrible build quality and obnoxious neighbours but none of what you're doing sounds unreasonable to me.

    If the sound proofing is poor then noises are gonna be heard no matter what - even when neighbours are just living normal generally quiet lives.

    For the sake of keeping decent relations I wouldn't be telling your neighbour to get lost (yet). But perhaps invite them in to listen to the noises they're complaining about so they can see it's really not over the top. Then maybe consider splitting the costs of sound proofing, which will benefit you both ultimately (even if the main benefit for you is being left to live your life in peace!)

  • Registered Users Posts: 459 ✭✭ TheWonderLlama

    its not up to you to prove you're not noisy or that the building is not soundproof. Let her do the running.

    If its a structural problem,. then you both might need to contibute to soundproofing a party wall. If agreed between the two of you.

    If its not, then she has to prove that your noise is excessive. Unless you're using a hilti at midnight, she's going to be up against it.

    ignore unless she escalates it. It really isn't your problem.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,196 ✭✭✭ UsBus

    Semi-detached houses can be a nightmare. The sound proofing is usually terrible. Doors banging, different routines etc, i've gotten used to with my neighbours. Then they purchased a drum kit during lockdown. I mentioned it, levels reduced a bit so I put up with it for a year and then had to say it again. Its awkward now as we were very friendly, but what can you do; I was really stressed with it. I was ready to sell and still am if it starts up again.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,774 ✭✭✭ coolisin

    The one part of Living in an apartment block I do not miss.

    Had to do the complaining once or twice to people having parties during the week. I never complained about the footsteps or doors opening and closing.

    I used to work weekends a good bit and I couldn't really say anything there!

    Now if its just day to day moving talking, radio/tv nothing you can do, thats what happens. Maybe the baby/child in a light sleeper and they are taking frustrations out on you and blaming you because their child wont sleep. I wouldn't be adjusting my behaviour too much, I would just be civil when they call around.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,500 ✭✭✭ Jequ0n

    I assume her child is always sleeping in the same room, so there is no need to keep as quiet as possible in your whole home.

    Most semis follow the same or at least similar lay-out plan, so the child will hardly be sleeping in the room next to your living room. Surely it will be one room in your house that causes the child to allegedly wake?

    I think you are being very understanding OP, because I would have told her to **** off the first time she came around to complain about nothing.

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,156 ✭✭✭✭ Cyrus

    if she is having issues with her baby waking she should look into white noise to be honest,

    we used it for both our kids so that we dont have to tip toe around our own house.

    If the level of noise from your house is normal family noise then she has the issue not you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 997 ✭✭✭ dublin49

    The problem here is you don't think your household is noisy and your neighbour thinks its so bad they have to say something.If you are convinced theres nothing untoward your side of the wall I would continue as before ,otherwise your neighbour will have a hold over you you may regret in the future.My stance would be ,you are not responsible for the poor sound proofing ,previous neighbours never had an issue but if your neighbour is super sensitive let them sort the sound proofing on their side.Worryingly is the speed your new neighbour was knocking to complain,hopefully a one off but not a good sign.

  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 3,971 Mod ✭✭✭✭ HildaOgdenx

    You really have to wonder how someone thinks it reasonable to play drums in a semidetached house.

    I don't know what to suggest, OP, that hasn't already been suggested. I know I have read on here, and elsewhere that trying to appease someone like that, is not always the best way to go. Give an inch and they take a mile kind of thing. I also had a neighbour at one time who apparently believed noise only travelled one way, funny, that.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 24,338 ✭✭✭✭ Mrs OBumble

    Are you, and they, tenants or owners?

  • Registered Users Posts: 634 ✭✭✭ houseyhouse

    I’ve had similar problems with a neighbour in the past. Some people just are not reasonable. In my case I know from others that the neighbour had caused several other families to move out over the years due to her excessive complaining and, later, retaliations. But if this woman is new she may just not realise how easily sound transfers in your particular houses. I would give examples of the types of things you hear from them so she understands the issue is the building not you being uncommonly loud. The more specific the examples the better, e.g. we could hear you calling the child to dinner at x o’clock, or we heard the child crying at y o’clock.

    Post edited by houseyhouse on

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,051 ✭✭✭ pauliebdub

    I'm not sure about inviting them into the house to hear the noise from their side, I want to keep a distance from them if I'm honest. I'm leaning towards telling her there's nothing we can do the next time she calls.

    I am also looking at soundproofing for a couple of the rooms at least, it does seem very expensive but could be a solution for us.

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,156 ✭✭✭✭ Cyrus

    a baby not sleeping is incredibly stressful, but if she understood that it was a build quality issue rather than any excessive noise your side she might look into solutions herself rather than projecting blame where it doesnt belong.

  • Registered Users Posts: 74,356 ✭✭✭✭ Atlantic Dawn

    I'd be conscioius of my noise after 9pm with neighbours, before that I will live enjoying my space, that's not to be said that I will be having a rave or practicing on a drum kit before that time. She is being unreasonable if she expects you to lower the TV below a useable level at 7pm.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,671 ✭✭✭ tscul32

    When we moved into our current house I could hear conversations in the bedroom backing on to ours. We had to get some work done so I got new soundproofing plaster board in the two bedrooms that adjoined with theirs as we have loud kids. It really helped a lot although we can still hear the squeaky tap in their ensuite as that room wasn't done. We can hear them play downstairs and I'm sure they can hear us, but none of it is outside of the bounds of normal living so thankfully there have been no complaints on either side.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,241 ✭✭✭✭ Mad_maxx

    Only one way to deal with a Karen

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,051 ✭✭✭ pauliebdub

    Thinking of doing this but only in the bedrooms. Did it cost a lot of money to do? Were you able to do this yourselves or did you get someone in to do it. Thanks