Noisy neighbours top list of household complaints

Posted on Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Household and people noise is the most common reason neighbours raise a noise complaint, with almost half (47%) of residents complaining for this reason - and households with children are more likely to complain than those without.

"51% more tenants complained about noise compared to homeowners"

Loud music and TV (40%) and late night parties (39%) come in second and third place. Over half (53%) of those living in rented properties have complained about late night parties, compared to just over a third (35%) of those with a mortgage. Almost two thirds (64%) of homeowners with mortgages consider themselves to be “fairly friendly” with their neighbours, in comparison to 46% of tenants. This could suggest why 51% more tenants complained about noise compared to homeowners.

More than a third (36%) of 18-24 year olds surveyed admitted to complaining about noise from their neighbours’ homes. Over a quarter (27%) have made a complaint in the last year, compared to just 6% of those aged 35-44.

Social housing residents also account for 17% of noise complaints. This is amid news that the Housing Ombudsman has released its report calling for social landlords to develop a stronger strategy for: ‘handling noise seriously’.

In comparison, those aged between 45-64 are least likely to make noise complaints, with over two-thirds (67%) reporting they’ve never done so. However, the survey shows that noise complaints have become less frequent in the past year, with just 14% raising a complaint. This is compared to 22% in previous years, an increase of 8 percentage points. This could be due to noise complaints increasing by 50% during lockdowns in 2020 and 2021.

Over four-fifths (83%) of homeowners and renters reported being friendly with their neighbours. But, over half (56%) of residents surveyed have had to claim for large damage on their home insurance after their property was damaged by their neighbours. Examples of large damage include footballs coming through windows, or water leaks coming from upstairs neighbours. Almost all respondents (98%) had to pay an additional sum themselves when making a claim, paying an average of £1,881.46.

Jessica Willock, home insurance expert at, comments:

“Living with noisy neighbours can be difficult to handle without creating tension. More often than not, a friendly conversation goes a long way. But when that fails, where to turn to next can be confusing.

“We’ve created a guide to understanding basic neighbour etiquette, including how best to handle noisy situations. Calling the police should only be used as a last resort, but you should also consider getting in touch with your local council.

“Accidental property damage can also be the cause of neighbour disputes. If your neighbour refuses to accept fault or pay for the damage, you might end up having to make a claim on your home insurance policy. You may have to pay the excess for the claim, even if you aren’t at fault, so resolving informally might be the best course of action.”

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