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Am I unlucky or am I the problem

Neighbour noise has always been an issue for me, a brief history:

1. Bought a flat in my late 20s - drug dealers upstairs with lots of loud music all night long and anti-social behaviour, sold after 18 months.
2. Bought a second flat - all fine for first few years until our downstairs neighbour moved out and was replaced with students, cue excessive noise at all hours. Unfortunately it got worse over time, despite us speaking with them, so we sold after 2 years of living above them and decided to try for a house.
3. We completed on a terraced house a couple of months ago and have been treated to almost constant music all day from our retiree neighbours who introduced themselves as 'the music people'. Can also hear both sides' dogs, tvs, laughing... everything. We have considered soundproofing but the main problem seems to be that 'the music people' have their windows open all day and the sound comes in from outside anyway, which is impossible to soundproof against. 

I'm upset that having moved to try to improve our situation we are back here again and am pretty desperate to get out as soon as I can. It's made me feel so anxious that I have sought therapy but the therapist was actually sympathetic and said that it was reasonable to feel disappointed by this situation.

Interested to hear other perspectives on my situation and possible next steps.
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Comments

  • MikeJXE
    MikeJXE Posts: 3,033
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    edited 28 November 2023 at 8:26PM
    Is it the place/town you live in thats the problem

    Move somewhere quieter, rent first till you know the area 

    I am in my 4th rented flat in 5 years and never had a problem with any, only move to better myself and this is probably my last 
  • Are you sound sensitive in other situations? Please note I'm not trying to point blame back at you, I'm 100% sympathetic. I'm sensitive to some noises and for us we literally moved into the middle of nowhere with very few houses around to escape it (highly recommend). Before that I played white noise (thunderstorm sounds) to mask the outside aural assault.

    Terraces and flats means people, and people are loud. Have you tried things like loop earplugs? They didn't do it for me, I could hear my blood swishing about and that was off-putting, but lots of people rave about them.
  • Have you tried speaking to the 'music people'? They probably don't realise the effect that their noise, which presumably they consider to be music rather than noise, has on you. One person's music is another person's noise though. If they took the trouble to introduce themselves it sounds as if they are friendly. If you had a polite word with them about the situation perhaps you could find an amicable solution. 

    Re the other noise, it's hard to say whether it is at a level that most people would consider acceptable but would soundproofing help with this perhaps? We sometimes get similar noise from one of our neighbours but they are away a lot so we put up with it knowing it's not going to be for long. I think that if they were there all the time we would have a friendly word with them about it. Unless you can afford a detached property in the middle of nowhere you are always likely to have neighbour noise of some sort.

     Re soundproofing, I dare say that others with technical knowledge of this sort of thing will be on soon to provide their perspective.
  • The problem with noise is that it's highly subjective and once you become sensitised to a particular kind of noise, whether it's dogs barking or road noise, it is almost impossible to tune it out.  You have my sympathy because I am also very aware of neighbour noise dating back to a very noisy couple who lived in the flat above us when we were renting.  I think you need to somehow learn to tune out some of the noise - white noise? meditation? - and also make your neighbours aware that sometimes their noise is disturbing you.  You can do this nicely and without giving offence if you choose your moment and your words carefully.  Good luck.
  • Grumpy_chap
    Grumpy_chap Posts: 14,454
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    Neighbour noise has always been an issue for me, a brief history:

    1. Bought a flat in my late 20s - drug dealers upstairs with lots of loud music all night long and anti-social behaviour, sold after 18 months.
    2. Bought a second flat - all fine for first few years until our downstairs neighbour moved out and was replaced with students, cue excessive noise at all hours. Unfortunately it got worse over time, despite us speaking with them, so we sold after 2 years of living above them and decided to try for a house.
    3. We completed on a terraced house a couple of months ago and have been treated to almost constant music all day from our retiree neighbours who introduced themselves as 'the music people'. Can also hear both sides' dogs, tvs, laughing... everything. We have considered soundproofing but the main problem seems to be that 'the music people' have their windows open all day and the sound comes in from outside anyway, which is impossible to soundproof against. 

    I'm upset that having moved to try to improve our situation we are back here again and am pretty desperate to get out as soon as I can. It's made me feel so anxious that I have sought therapy but the therapist was actually sympathetic and said that it was reasonable to feel disappointed by this situation.

    Interested to hear other perspectives on my situation and possible next steps.
    You need to focus on only the current situation as the others are all in the past and nothing can change what happened.  The future can be influenced for the better.

    How old are the retiree neighbours (AKA - 'the music people')?  
    Are they of an age whereby their hearing would be expected to be failing and they are unaware of the volume they have things set at?
  • Maybe reintroduce yourself to the "music people" as the "we like silence people"

    You do need to have a chat with them maybe over some cake and a cup of tea 
    "I can lead you to the money saving well but cannot make you drink from it"

    As mum always said "don't respond to imbeciles just ignore them" wise words mum 
  • Emily_Joy
    Emily_Joy Posts: 1,171
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    As far as I am aware contemporary windows can be very good for sound-proofing. They won't stop noise coming through the walls, though.
  • _Penny_Dreadful
    _Penny_Dreadful Posts: 986
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    edited 29 November 2023 at 7:42AM
    Introducing themselves as the music people makes me wonder if previous neighbours have commented on the volume of the music before. 

    I’ve had what I consider to be noisy neighbours in the past. It’s difficult when you can’t relax in your own home or even sleep due to the doof doof bass coming through the ceiling or wall. It has a cumulative effect. 

    You could try soundproofing your home. I’m not sure how effective soundproofing would be overall or if your money would be better spent moving to a detached property even if that means moving to the back of beyond. 
  • badmemory
    badmemory Posts: 7,527
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    My son wears earplugs covered by headphones all the time & our neighbours are not noisy.  It is one of the perennial problems of living in a terraced property.  When we win the lottery I will move to a detached place.  In good news one of our neighbours have moved their plug sockets as we no longer hear them unplugging their TV every night.  The thing is though I doubt that soundproofing would have sorted that noise or next door on the other sides open staircase, as in no carpet & sounds like a herd of elephants at times.
  • rigolith
    rigolith Posts: 2,574
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    Welcome to Britain, I'm afraid most of our housing stock is crap with little noise insulation to speak of.

    Basically anything attached is likely to have this problem, unless it's a very premium property.

    You aren't unlucky, it's just how we build them.
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