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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I have a problem with constant loud music from a neighbour,

Resolved Question:

I have a problem with constant loud music from a neighbour, mostly during my work hours. I've lost 4 days of work & I know she won't stop. We used to be friends, but when I was too ill (and after a lot of other trauma including my Father's death) to get some rubble removed from my garden, she began being abusive, shouting at me in the street, writing horrible emails, and when I then complained about noise in her garden at 2am one night, she swung her fists at my face, her daughter had to hold her back from actually hitting me. She told me she hoped I "had a heart attack & died early" ( like my mother did). She moved out for a few years but now her family is living next door again, and without apologising to me she expected me to agree to her knocking down a brick storage adjoining my property.When I refused (because yet more building/refurb would disturb my work days) she started playing loud music from radio for 4 hours a day. She usually stops it before neighbours come home, so they don't hear, and anyway most people in the area know her & they "don't have a problem with her", so I have no support not even someone to confirm it's happening. Council won't do anything unless 3 people complain. I'm going out of my mind. Questions please: 1. If I take her to court do I have any hope without 'independent' witnesses? If I tell her estate agent that I'll take legal action if she doesn't stop, (which she'll have to declare when selling, but that could be months!) or be foul to her viewers, I'm effectively saying I'll scupper her sale (I don't want to but have no other leverage)...can I be sued for 'deliberately scuppering her sale?). Help please, urgent. I'm ill, & urgently need to focus on work (from home) t get an income.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 6 months ago.

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.

For now please let me know whether you have reported this to anyone please?

Alex

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Hi Alex, thank you. If you mean 'officially' reported, I rang the council yesterday, and they took the details of the 'noise' which I said has happened on the last 4 week days. But they no longer have a 'responsive' servie i.e. they won't come out & even listen unless 2 other neighbours complain too. 'unofficially', I've told her boyfriend (who told me he wasn't going to get involved any more), her/my builder/decorator who had been sympathetic previously but when I sobbed down the phone to him yesterday he must have got 'cold feet' and didn't turn up to go & speak with her as he promised (he needs the work from her, so is in a difficult position). I've spoken to her estate agent & said I have no option/leverage other than to be foul to viewers, report her to the council or take her to court. I didn't tell him I've already told the council). Other than that, just the 'friend' who won't get involved.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I'm makng notes of times & dates, but am already exhausted with the whole thing. I'm also really unwell with sevearl health conditions, which is why I think she selected me for bulllying in teh first place because I can't "fight back". She knows I have ("no friends or family " which she pointed out to me years ago).
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Her estate agent is going to speak with her, but I'm already worried that a) there will be 'repurcussions' from that, (as we used to be friends she knows a lot of personal things about me) and b) that the agents / her could band together & sue me for the loss of the sale!
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Hi, this has been marked 'resolved' but obviously isn't yet, as so far I just given more information to Alex's question.I'll be patient in waiting for a response, as long as the Just Ask system knows that I'm awaiting one , and doesn't think this is 'resolved' already :-)
Expert:  Ash replied 6 months ago.

Sorry I was just in Court.
You need to speak with the Council, Environmental Health and ask them to install noise monitoring equipment.

That equipment will record noise levels and how often it is occurring. They should do this regardless of how many people complain.

If they refuse then you can complain to the Local Government Ombudsman. They offer a free, independent service and are located at: www.lgo.org.uk

But it only needs 1 person to complain.

Once you have that equipment you can see what the readings are and if it is above a permitted level. What that permitted level is depends on the Council. As you can imagine a quiet countryside authority will have a much lower level than an inner city one.

Then the Council can issue a noise abatement notice and/or prosecute.

Or if you want to go to to Court yourself you can. Clearly there is a cost to this as you would need to be represented.

You can bring a private action for a noise abatement in the Magistrates Court. However the only difficulty with this is, if it is denied you would need evidence.

This is why noise monitoring equipment is so useful.

But that is what you need to do. Yes you cant take them to Court, but you need evidence of not just the noise, but levels and duration

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Alex

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Hi Alex, thank you very much for the reply and sorry for chasing you. I just wasn't sure what would happen next because this question had been marked 'solved'.The other part of my question was that another option for me is to threaten to be less than welcoming to her viewers (she's trying to sell her house but Estate Agent said it may take months), and / or ask the Agent to tell her to stop the noise or I will take the matter to court (and she'll have to declare that to prospective buyers). I wanted to know where I stand with threatening to do those things, because it might effectively 'scupper' the sale of her house, and I'm worried that she/the Estate Agent might band together to sue me for causing loss of the sale. Am I at risk from that happening?Thanks in advance,
Regards
Ann
Expert:  Ash replied 6 months ago.

There is no claim against you whatsoever for causing the issues with the sale Ann.

They should disclose there is a dispute in any event

Does that clarify? Alex

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
One last related question please Alex.....Even if I manage to get the Council to install equipment to measure the sound level, I'm worried that might actually go against me, because I have an illness (M.E./ChronicFatigueSyndrome) which makes me more 'noise-sensitive' than other people because it gives me problems with concentration & focus - so if there is noise I can't think straight or focus on my work. (ME/CFS is classed as a disability, but I've never been diagnosed as actually 'disabled').
Another neighbour pointed out that she wouldn't find the noise too loud and would 'put up with it'. Also although it was very loud I don't think its likely to register over the 'official' decibel level. Would the court therefore dismiss my case out of hand, or would they consider my circumstances and be understanding about my lack of noise-tolerance, even if not over the 'official' level ?
Expert:  Ash replied 6 months ago.

No, the law is quite clear sadly. There is a permitted level, if its below this they wont take action.

Does that clarify? Alex

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Oh gosh, then it's pointless wasting my energy trying to pursuade the council I think! That's really disheartening.Anyway, thank you for your advice. You have been brilliant.I'll review now.
Regards
Ann
Expert:  Ash replied 6 months ago.

Get the equipment and see Ann, it may be above the permitted level.

If I could invite you to rate my answer before you go today please, otherwise the site does not credit me for the time spent with you today. Thanks and good luck. Alex

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thanks Alex,Absolutely, I was just about to submit a review :-)Rgds
Ann
Expert:  Ash replied 6 months ago.

Thanks! Alex

Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
Ash and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Hi Alex, I'm sorry to bother you again, (would you like me to select the "request me again" link so that you get paid for another job? I'm not sure how the system works & which is bestIt is actually a follow-up question about the above scenario.I am still certain that the level of music which I can hear inside my house from next door will not be loud enough to be confirmed 'too loud' by the Council equipment (if I can pursuade them) and would in fact make me look stupid / confirm to my neighbour that she is doing nothing wrong, and it would be on file at the Council that she isn't, so she would be even more hell to live with then!!I am wondering instead - how viable would it be to get a letter sent to her from a Solicitor, in view of the fact that there has been a history of verbal & written abuse & physical threats from her in the past, and that she knows that the noise distresses me. I've heard her say to workmen this week "don't worry about the noise, make as much as you want, it's only her (me) who's home during the day and I'll deal with her". In other words, I am certain that she's deliberately playing music as loud as she likes, and encouraging her workmen to do so too, in order to distress me and disrupt my life as much as possible.To recap:
The incidents in the past have included her sending me an email complaining about the rubble in my garden when I was too ill to get it moved after the death of my Father and a relapse of a severe fatigue illness, telling me my (recently deceased) Dad had "been ashamed of me & that's why he never told me he loved me". Also an email signed off with "R.I.P." when I wouldn't agree to something she wanted. She has told me verbally that she "hoped I have a heart attack and die early " like my mother did, and that I looked "pathetic on my crutches" when I had a hip fracture & was shuffling about in agony. When I visited her to ask her not to invite herself into my house without my permission (she had enticed my builders to let her in to 'have a look round' ) she swung her fists in my face and told me she wanted to smash my face in. Her daughter had to hold her back from actually hitting me. When they moved back to this house recently her daughter (at her instigation I'm sure) hung out of the front top window all the time and called out to me every time I went in or out of my gate.I know I've mentioned most of these things to you before, but I am wondering if a letter could say to her that the above shows a pattern of bullying/harrassment and that I perceive the loud music to be part of that continuing scenario, and that if it continues I would 'pursue action through the courts'Would that sort of letter hold weight?Would it be 'true' enough to come from a Solicitor, (or should I just write something as from myself, saying I will take court action if it doesn't stop) ?She's trying to sell the house so she probably wouldn't want it on her record as (as we've discussed) it would have to be declared to buyers.But I'm not sure if my (threat) to do so would hold weight.What do you think please?As mentioned, I'd be happy to start another 'topic' / job if you would rather.
Thank you in advance
Regards
Ann
Expert:  Ash replied 6 months ago.

I would get a letter from a Solicitor if you are going to do this.
Does that clarify? Alex

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Hi Alex,
Thank you so much.Actually in the meantime I've drafted this attached letter, because I thought I'd start by *thanking* her (because the music was turned off about 1.30pm today although I can hear that she is in).What do you think?And if I went down the 'solicitor letter' route, what would you quote to do it please?
Expert:  Ash replied 6 months ago.

Sadly I cant act for you. A cost would be about £200 for a high street solicitor.

Alex

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I understand, thank you for the reply Alex, and your help. Much appreciated.Do you definitely think I would be best using that route, rather than sending my letter as attached?Regards
Ann
Expert:  Ash replied 6 months ago.

Yes I think you would. Unless you are on good terms with your neighbours so you can try your letter. Alex

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
my concern is that if I start straight away with actually going down the 'legal' route it might escalate things even more, rather than just 'threatening' to do so which might make her stop & think... ??
Expert:  Ash replied 6 months ago.

Indeed. Try the friendly friendly approach.

ALex

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thank you Alex, for all your help.Regards
Ann
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
just one final quick question.............is there anything in my letter (attached above) which would get me into trouble (ie that I shouldn't say) ?Thank you AlexRegards
Ann
Expert:  Ash replied 6 months ago.

No, thats fine. Alex

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Fantastic!!!Thanks so much Alex.Regards
Ann

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