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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have a nuisance neighbour who lives upstairs who is creating

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I have a nuisance neighbour who lives upstairs who is creating unnecessary noise over a recent ballot of all the apartment owners in my keeping a small dog in my apartment. This ballot was successful and I am allowed to keep my dog. It wears a barking collar when its in my apartment and doesn't make much noise except when someone comes to the door even then she only barks once.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
What would you like to know about this please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


This particular neighbour is the only person who has objected to me keeping the dog except for two owners who are away on a more or less permanent basis. Can I do anything to stop the banging about that this nuisance neighbour is making?

A few weeks ago when she approached me about the dog she said that she could 'quite clearly hear the noise it was making and could I do something about it', she also stated that the deeds of the apartment block say 'no dogs'. That is not strictly true what it says is: No owner may be permitted to keep a dog or other such animal which may cause annoyance or nuisance to other apartment block owners in any case permission from the management company is required. Which is what I have done and it has been granted. I asked at a later time if I could come up and have a listen to the noise being made by my dog to this owner and she flatly refused me entry and said 'its ridiculous how you would want to come in and listen to the noise and I've quite clearly told you that it can be heard', and I am going to seek legal advice on this issue. I am not going to be considerate or reasonable any more. I am fed up with being treated like S**t over these building works to the apartment block.'

Some years back I had sound proofing fitted to the ceilings to cut out some of the noise that was coming through from other previous owners although it doesn't cut out all noise.

So she is not making herself very approachable in order to sort this level of noise out which I don't know how loud my dogs barking is because she wont let me in to find out.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I'm coming to the conclusion that there's isn't really much I can do about the noise because its not happening all the time. Its happening when the dog barks on occasion and there are several days between each deliberate banging noise that this neighbour is making. I guess if neither of us like this situation then it would up to us to sell? What do you think?

Sorry for the delay.
So basically your question is whether you have to sell?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

well yes I suppose so. Its a 'put up' and 'shut up' situation really.

I wouldn't worry about what she says about your dog. The complaints that she makes do not amount to nuisance.
If the issue is that she is just banging occasionally when your dog barks then you need to think carefully about what to do. It is childish of her but some people are childish. You could complain to the Council but then you would have to disclose a dispute if you ever did sell the property. Also, it is not at all likely that they would be able to act. She would just stop doing it when she knows the Council are investigating. It is always difficult for them to trap intermittent noise like this.
You could get a solicitor to write to her for about £100 plus VAT. Sometimes that works. Sometimes it just ignites it all again.
You could sell. That is a fairly drastic action. She may, after all, become bored in a few months and give up. That does happen sometimes.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Thank you for your reply, I would think she will get bored after a few more weeks of this kind of childish behaviour although she has been behaving in this manner for some time now. I just interested in your opinion as to why she wouldn't let me in to listen to my dog barking? Perhaps it isn't as bad as she's making out.

If my neighbour wants to complain more to the management company assumably she would have to gather more evidence than just completing a form from the local government website which is basically a table filling out details of what noise it was, times, dates etc. I mean she would need some sort of noise recording equipment wouldn't she?

Probably because it isn't as bad as she suggests or the recording doesn't exist. Clearly there is something she doesn't want you to hear.
She could complain. The management company will not act upon her unsubstantiated allegation.
Dogs do have to bark fairly relentlessly before it turns into a nuisance. All dogs bark. That is their purpose in life. That is not nuisance. Some people just have unreasonable expectations.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

yes I agree. I think its perfectly reasonable for me to ask to hear what's she's complaining about then I can do something about it. The dog is out most days anyway as she comes with me to work 3-4 days a week, the rest of time she's out walking with me. I agree it is reasonable that dogs have to bark fairly relentlessly before it turns into a nuisance. The fact is the apartment next to me (in the same building) has yapping dog who yaps a lot more than mine and its not a problem to my neighbour upstairs because she cant hear it. Its just ridiculous scenario of people being unreasonable and spiteful.

One of the difficulties that people face with barking dogs is proving that the target dog is responsible for the barking. However, some people do just plain enjoy being a victim.
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello, just coming back for more advice on my keeping of small dog in the apartment. The situation has moved on a bit since I last contacted you and the owner of the apartment block whos complained about the dog has now moved onto making deliberate banging noises whenever I shut my front door, or wash the dog in the bathroom (when I lean against the bath it makes a strange noise), or generally moving around in the apartment. The owner has complained about my front door to the management company stating that it makes an 'excessive noise' when the door closes. This is completely untrue. My door does have a multi locking system on it for security. However, the management company chose to write to me on this matter asking me if I could perhaps fit a 'door closer' on the door to quieten it down. I have written back to the management company about this and stated that there is nothing wrong with my door.

Just before Christmas, the neighbour upstairs had a leaking boiler tap which was draining down the side of the newly painted building (which we had all contributed to) and it has made an unsightly mess down the side of the building. I have taken photographs of this and sent them to the management company and asked that the wall be repainted to tidy it up. I guess the neighbour would have received a bill for this by now and she is taking it out on me. Where do I go from here if she is to continue making noise deliberately whenever I move around in my apartment.