Noise in private housing
This article will provide advice on noise management.
Students and noise – what do I need to know?
It is a fact of life that we all make some amount of noise. Students tend to live irregular hours and like to socialise during the week, as well as at weekends. This can sometimes lead to a potential conflict in lifestyles with the surrounding community. People can frequently be simply unaware that their activities are causing a problem. Transient populations such as students are not always in an area long enough to become aware of their community and establish relationships.
When does it become a problem?
Noise becomes a problem when people are irritated by what they hear. What is pleasurable to one person is noise to another. However, excessive noise can reduce people’s quality of life, sometimes ruining it completely. Prolonged exposure to irritating noise can cause physical and emotional stress, lack of sleep and anger. This can then generate hostilities within communities.
If you may be disturbing others:
Set the boundaries early:-
- A common cause of friction between students and their neighbours is a difference in opinion and tolerance over noise levels. We are not always aware how much noise we are making or how easily noise travels between properties.
- Excessive noise, especially late at night, is not very neighbourly and can cause great distress, particularly to those whose working day starts and finishes earlier than yours.
- Even low level noise, such as slamming doors and running upstairs, can disturb your neighbours, particularly in the middle of the night.
- Ask your neighbours to let you know if noise levels from your house disturbs them.
- If you are considering having the occasional party (more than one a term could be considered excessive), inform your neighbours in advance and respond positively to requests to reduce the volume.
Having a party? Some tips to keep your neighbours happy:-
- Give your neighbours plenty of warning that you’re having a party and let them know what time you’re expecting to finish - stick to the agreed finishing time and make sure guests leave promptly.
- Keep the music volume and bass levels down, remember that walls between houses are very thin and sounds travels very easily.
- Keep outside doors and windows shut to try and prevent noise travelling even further and disturbing even more neighbours.
- Ask your guests to leave quietly - this includes you saying “goodbye” on the doorstep as often people’s volumes increase when they have had a few drinks. Make sure taxis are not kept waiting with engines running and their doors not slammed when people get in them as it sounds very loud late at night and is very disruptive to neighbours (even those across the road).
- If you receive a complaint from your neighbour, take responsibility and resolve the problem. No one is wanting to ruin your fun but you need to remember that it isn’t just you living on that street.
The University is committed to maintaining the best possible relationship with the local community and is very aware of the important contribution that students make to the city.
However, problems occur from time-to-time and the University has a responsibility to investigate any complaints received from local residents about the behaviour of University students.
We will make you aware of any complaints we receive and encourage you to try and resolve any difficulties with your neighbours amicably. One of the best ways to maintain good relations is to respond positively (and mean it) if anyone contacts you about noise – a willingness to resolve problems goes a long way to sorting them out.
Environmental protection service top tips
- Your neighbours can make a complaint to Portsmouth City Council about noise emanating from your property and a Noise Enforcement Officer may visit your property – DO NOT IGNORE THEM IF THEY ATTEND.
- They can monitor noise levels and have power to seize your equipment and prosecute you if you make continually excessive noise.
If you are being disturbed by noise:
The Student & Neighbour Liaison Service is here for you too.
If you are having difficulties with your housemates or your neighbours are disturbing you with excessive noise, we can offer advice and assistance to help you resolve any problems that may occur.
Telephone: +44 (0)23 9284 3214