Revealed: The UK’s noisy neighbour hotspot
London is a hotbed for noisy neighbours, causing disrupted sleep for two-fifths of residents, according to a survey from Churchill Home Insurance.
Those living in the capital estimate losing eight hours, 55 minutes each week because of their neighbours, the equivalent of a good night’s sleep every week.
In Scotland, many are also negatively affected by neighbours; losing on aveage eight hours, 11 minutes sleep each week.
The regions least affected by neighbour noise are the West Midlands, whose residents lose just four and a quarter hours each week and Northern Ireland, who lose just four and a half hours.
UK adults lose a total 84.1 million hours of sleep every week as a direct result of noisy neighbours, said Churchill.
A quarter (25%) of adults lose sleep due to noise from neighbours, and are deprived of an average of 6.5 hours every week.
A comprehensive sound test revealed the most annoying noise from a neighbour is bass driven music, with 43% of Brits reporting this as the most irritating sound, followed by the noise of couples arguing (34%).
Martin Scott, head of Churchill home insurance, said: “Noise can have such a debilitating effect on us, due to the lost sleep, increased stress and sometimes even conflict with neighbours. It is often the case that those causing the noise do not realise how loud they are being. They may have hardwood floors or a high-end sound system and not realise how this sounds in the flat below, for example.
Putting up with it
Despite loud neighbours having such an enormous impact on sleep and health, just a fifth (19%) of those affected have spoken to the culprit about their noise levels.
Only one in eight (13%) have reported their neighbour to the local council, while one in 12 (8%) have taken it a step further and involved the police.
Local councils can issue a noise abatement order if they decide someone is causing a statutory noise nuisance. Noise abatement orders tell the person causing the noise what they must do to stop making a noise nuisance or else face further legal action and a potential fine of up to £5,000.
Scott added: “The first step for resolving noise complaints should be to speak to the neighbour in question and try to resolve it amicably. If this does not work and the noise continues, make a record of it and speak to the council as they will be able to advise on next steps.”