We all like to crank up the music on occasion and have a good time but when does the fun become a nuisance to those living next door and how, as the neighbour, do you deal with it?

It’s good practice to assume that your neighbours need to get a good night’s sleep, whether you live in Service Family Accommodation (SFA) or not. The Gateway Housing Association and many local authority websites have some good advice…

  • Limit loud noise between 11pm and 8am (if you know your neighbour is on night shifts, factor this in);
  • Don’t leave dogs out in the garden to bark – bring them in when you hear them;
  • Keep parties to weekends (not every weekend) and let your neighbours know – maybe invite them along;
  • If your neighbour approaches you, try to understand how it could be impacting them and see if you can come to a mutual understanding. You might not realise how much the sound travels.

What if you are affected?

  • Firstly, talk to your neighbour calmly and at a suitable time (don’t rock up half way through a party). Explain the impact it’s having on you and try to discuss a way to compromise;
  • Call the Pinnacle National Service Centre on 0800 031 8628 option 4 who will record the case and pass it to a local Housing Officer;
  • Contact your local welfare team who can act as mediator to help you sort it out;
  • Keep a record of nuisance behaviours – dates, times, duration and the effect on you;
  • Keep a record of who you have spoken to, a brief summary of what was said and copies of any letters, emails, texts etc;
  • If you feel that you’re being threatened or that illegal behaviour is happening you should call the police.

Patch provisos

Remember that under the terms of your licence to occupy SFA you have agreed:

  • You must not racially, sexually or in any other way harass your neighbours or cause a nuisance or annoyance or allow members of your household, invited guests or pets to cause a nuisance or annoyance to any neighbours.
  • You must not make or allow members of your household, invited guests or pets to make any noise that causes a nuisance to your neighbours between 11pm and 8am.

“A single soldier moved in next door and had a party in the first week which finally finished at 5.30am. The next afternoon we told her we didn’t mind the odd party, however, we also enjoy our sleep – she was really rude and started swearing in front of my daughter, it was clear she did not care about us or the other neighbours.” – Katie

“Our neighbour let us know that our dog was crying while we were at work. We had a dog walker going in later in the day, but the dog was getting upset at the same time each morning. We were so grateful they told us, and changed the time our dog walker collected him, which resolved the issue.” – Emma

“We had to be very careful about letting our children and dogs play in our garden as our neighbours’ child would often throw toys and other items over the fence. It wasn’t safe having all sorts of small plastic items just lying in the grass to find. Unfortunately, they were not a sympathetic couple. It only stopped when they moved away.” – James

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