Noisy and arguing neighbours

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Noisy and arguing neighbours

Postby Arokhs Twin » Tue Mar 13, 2018 6:09 pm

I live in a back to back terraced house which the dividing wall between my house and the one at the back is just single brick plus drywall / plaster. For the past 6 months there seems to be a new tenant who I will refer to as "Argument Woman" who is a complete pain in the arse. She always does talk loudly on the phone but recently she has been arguing and shouting sometimes in the middle of the night. Take a look at the log I've been making. I think she is mental. What do you think? The local council won't do anything about noisy neighbours, its a Police matter but only if there is a crime or violence which there isn't. I feel like going round and telling her to shut the F**k up.

Profanities aplenty so be warned.

Argument woman log

27.02.2018 – for the past two weeks argument woman has been shouting and carrying on almost every night for ages when I get in from work at around 17:30. Last week it was three evenings in a row. Often argues late at night shouting, banging about etc. Sometimes in the middle of the night. Shouting “I’m sick to death of this!!” and “NO! NO! NO!” with each “NO!” followed by a bang sounding like a fist brought down on something. She is talking to a man on what sounds like a mobile phone on speakerphone. You can hear the man’s voice if your ear if put to the wall but otherwise all you can hear is her. Decided to make a log as I’m fed up of her now. She often wakes me up causing lack of sleep making me tired during the day.

28.02.2018 - Was woken up at 2am to the sound of her shouting down the phone. Lasted around 20 mins then turned into a 2 hour conversation with someone. Loud talking. Another argument at 4:25am. Arguing again from around 9:30 for another 1 and a half hours. Again at 16:00 for another hour. Again at 22:20 for another 2 hours. Shouts “NO!” and “listen” and “it’s not like that” a lot. I had the day of work today but had to get up early at 7:45 as I was waiting for a plumber.

01.03.2018 – 5am woken up by loud shouting down the phone and slamming doors. Went on for nearly an hour. 9am arguing for another 20 mins followed by loud banging and slamming doors. 15:02 loud talking and shouting down the phone. “NO! NO, It’s not like that… NO!” Bang! Bang! Bang! “Fucking sick of this.” Followed by incomprehensible shouting and arguing. “SHITTING HELL, FUCK’S SAKE” shouted loudly at 15:47 followed by loud bang and incomprehensible shouting. Finally shut up at 16:00. 16:14 – started again, loud talking on the phone. Went on till around 17:20. This was a snow day and not at work.

02.03.2018 - No arguments today and I was back at work so not in during the day.

03.03.2018 – 23:45 heard argument woman going to bed shortly followed by loud talking and raised voice phone conversation which lasted till 1am.

04.03.2018 – woken up at 6am by argument woman on the phone. Lasted around 40 mins.

06.03.2018 – argument woman arguing on the phone when I came home from work at 17:35. Stopped for a bit then again at 18:20 for 10 mins or so. Then at 23:55 loud phone conversation in bedroom / upstairs when she went to bed till 12:45am. No arguing or shouting though.

07.03.2018 – Started talking on the phone at 17:45, started raising voice and shouting at 17:51. Shouting and swearing, “No, no, fucking <undecipherable> just no. I’m not having this… NO it’s not like that. I don’t know why… Blah, blah, blah I’ll tell you what… Fuck, NO!! Bang! <more loud shouting>” at 17:53. Decided to go out for something to eat as I’m sick of hearing her. Came back at 18:46 and she is still carrying on shouting and screaming. Finally shut up about 19:00. Now at 20:56 she’s at it again…

08.03.2018 – argument woman on phone when I came home from work at 17:20, first 5 mins normal conversation then loud bang and “NO! Fucking, No, no, no. NO!!!! Just fucking Listen!!” at 17:26. Shut up at 17:35. Started on the phone again at 18:20 and within a few mins shouting and carrying on as usual. “You WHAT!! NO! That’s no good. You had better FUCKING NOT!” Bang!! Followed by undecipherable shouting and arguing at 18:27. I went out to the shops. She had shut up by the time I came back. Argument woman on the phone again at 22:00 but so far by 22:25 normal conversation although she has a voice like a foghorn and can hear her. She never shuts up and seems to talk about the same thing over and over.

09.03.2018 – argument woman on the phone at 18:48 then loud shouting just a few minutes later. Went on for about 15 mins.

10.03.2018 – was out and came back to hearing argument woman on the phone at 13:35. At 14:00 shouting and swearing. All you can hear is “No, no… no… no. Fuck! no, no. It’s not like that… No. Fucking hell. I’ve had enough. No, no, it’s not like that”. Went quiet around 20 mins later. 21:35 argument woman shouting (can be heard over music) getting really irate and swearing to someone on the phone. Absolutely horrendous; worst she’s been yet. Shouting, screaming, swearing, banging things about, sound like something getting thrown and smashed etc. I have no idea whoever she is arguing with just doesn’t hang up on her and turn his phone off. Fortunately she shut up after about 10 mins and didn’t hear anything for the rest of the day.

11.03.2018 – didn’t hear argument woman all day. Yay!

12.03.2018 – No argument woman today.

13.03.2018 – Argument woman on the phone talking / raised voice at 17:26 when I came home from work. 17:29 normal talking and raised voice now turned into a full blown argument, shouting, swearing etc. Thankfully went quiet 5 mins later. Now started again at 18:03.
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Re: Noisy and arguing neighbours

Postby Mechanist » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:04 pm

Wow, now that's just plain messed up. You have my sympathy.

Now, I don't know what the applicable laws in the UK are, but here are a few possible options:

During night hours, some form of noise ordinance should apply. In the case you've described, that pretty much means open hunting season.
In Poland, where I live, the cops are quite eager to deal with noise complaints during night hours - it's as much of an open and shut case as it gets, just slap a ticket and bam, done. Even easier with repeat offenders.

If she has any children with her, this would also be a no brainer: get the Child Protection Services (or whatever it's called in the UK) on her case by reporting possible child abuse.

Do you like heavy metal music? And/or play the electric guitar? If not, then maybe it's a good time to start.
Preferably, use an amp that goes to eleven, and shred away.

A fairly insidious option: if she has a car, and parks it on the street, then pour half a quart or so of piss (preferably cat/dog) in the grill under the front windshield, ideally when the weather is fair, so that it won't be washed out by rain for a good few days. (that's where the cabin air intake is located)

Finally, if you've got any connections to the local thu... er, "troubleshooting crews" - well, anyone can be an unfortunate victim of a mugging or purse snatching, right?

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Re: Noisy and arguing neighbours

Postby Arokhs Twin » Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:51 pm

She lives on her own and has no children. She's in her 50's as a rough guess and I assume she is arguing with her estranged or ex husband on the phone then talks to her son about it. He must have a lot of patience...

I was listening to their conversation the other night and it seems her next door neighbour has had some disagreement with her (I can't imagine what :roll:) but she said she was scared of him. I've never spoke to the guy but it might be worth having a chat as if both of us complain she might change her ways. I think telling her politely might be the first thing and if I get told to fuck off or similar then it's play music loud or finding some other way to annoy her. Thing is with that it will piss off my other neighbours at each side who I'm on good terms with. Mine is a back-to-back house so she actually lives on the adjacent street but six of us share the same building which is split into seperate six houses three on each street. It was a common arrangement in the early to mid 1800's - my house is circa 1850. It was intended for cheap housing for millworkers in them days.

It's possible to get the council to issue a noise abatement order but that only applies to loud TV's etc and does not include arguing. This can vary depending on the local city or district council, with mine they are reluctant to do anything. It's only if she has threatening behaviour or physical violence then something can be done but that would be the police.

Thankfully she's quiet at the moment. I'm not sure if she owns the house or renting; if she's renting it will be easier to get rid of her by complaining to her landlord.
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Re: Noisy and arguing neighbours

Postby Mechanist » Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:26 am

Hmm, isn't there a citywide noise ordinance which applies in your area during the night?
Our laws are such that it doesn't matter where you live; causing excess noise at night that bothers any other residents (doesn't matter if it's screaming, dogs barking, loud music, construction work, etc) is grounds for a fine. No ifs, ands, or buts.

I presume that whoever she's arguing on the phone with is either just as mental, or just puts the receiver down on the table and lets her rip?

Getting the landlord involved is a good idea if she's renting. Preferably file a group complaint if at all possible.


If the more civil options are exhausted, here's a good way of causing some very annoying, and yet reasonably directional noise, if you don't mind some cosmetic damage to the wall:
Get a decent hammer drill (SDS, with pneumatic impact mechanism), grab an old SDS chisel (preferably the shortest you can find), cut off the sharp tip, and weld a 1/2...1" thick steel disc a few inches in diameter, perpendicular to the cut-off end.
It's supposed to look like a shaft with a wheel on the far end, if that wasn't clear already.
Now grind the edges of the disc smooth, with a decent radius, to minimize the damage inflicted to the wall surface.

Set the hammer drill to chisel mode (no rotation) and apply directly to the wall structure - NOT any plaster overcoat - taking care to keep the disc flat against the wall surface (don't tilt). Definitely use hearing protection for this.
This will still cause some minor damage to the wall surface, so I'd advise against doing it if the house isn't yours.
It is extremely loud - eardrum-busting loud on the other side of the wall due to loudspeaker effect, but not too bad in adjacent rooms.

Alternatively, a very low tech version: grab a good sized log, at least a few inches in diameter and a few feet long, and use it to knock on the separating wall. Same caveats about wall surface damage apply as above.

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Re: Noisy and arguing neighbours

Postby Arokhs Twin » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:02 am

In the UK we have noise pollution laws but it is usually at the discretion of the local council what they will take action against. Its rare to end up with a fine. Most neighbour disputes go on for months if not years even if council involved. They will usually just send letters and or abatement notice.

I own my house so your suggestion may be a possibility if less civil ways are exhausted.
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Re: Noisy and arguing neighbours

Postby shoprat » Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:05 pm

If you share a bathroom wall you may be able to bug her back. Record one or more of her rants and play them back to her in a loop when you leave for work. You can put your speaker in one of your cabinets, crank up the volume, then close the bathroom door. Or put the speaker in the sink at lower volume, stuff some towels around it to muffle the sound on your side and see if you can drive her "plumb" crazy. During the day when she has need to visit her bathroom she may have an epiphany.

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Re: Noisy and arguing neighbours

Postby Arokhs Twin » Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:33 pm

That sounds like a good idea and I was thinking of doing something like that. The bedroom and living room backs onto her house. I have some good speakers...
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Re: Noisy and arguing neighbours

Postby yangez93 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:27 pm

That is the nature of living in such terraced house and of course living with neighbors. I think that responding using loud speakers/drill or something like that could be bad idea. Neighbors have that to themselves that sometimes they like to argue. Way is just to warn this Argument woman or solving problems not responding in the same way but peacefully. (But of course this is my opinion, sometimes we have to react). I for example come from very uninteresting district.
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Re: Noisy and arguing neighbours

Postby Arokhs Twin » Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:50 pm

Your probably right. Talking to her (when she has calmed down) would be the first thing. At the moment she's at it now. Arguing with someone different now; every other word is either fuck, no or you what?

Doing my head in.
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