How to deal with a noisy neighbour

10 Nov 2017
By Unite Students, Staff writer at The Common Room

Noticed more noise recently? Want to do something about it but don't want confrontation?

Here are some tips for handling the situation without making things awkward.

Blocking out noise

You can tune out someone else's noise with some relaxing music or ambient sound. Noisli is a great app for soothing background noise – and the web version's completely free.

If background music stops you sleeping, try earplugs instead. Most are comfortable enough that you can sleep with them in.

Also try a thick rug or draft excluder along the bottom of your door, they can help absorb sound and block out noise. You can pick up a draft excluder for around £5.

How to have a conversation about noise

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Talk to the person making the noise. It's natural to worry that the conversation will turn into a confrontation. But it doesn't have to.

The noise is a real problem for you, but it's likely the person making the noise doesn't realise they're affecting you in that way. They probably don't even realise they're being loud.

So approach them in a calm and generous way. Smile. Let them know you can hear their noise and you're having trouble sleeping or studying – but offer a solution if you can.

For example, 'I love listening to music in my room and it's great that you do too, but would it be possible to use headphones after 10pm? I've been struggling to sleep through it this week.'

Avoid the note under the door

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Ever received a message from a friend that sounded weirdly blunt or angry? Then when you asked your friend about it, they hadn’t meant it that way at all?

We make our own meanings for written words because we don't have physical expressions and body language to read. So we misunderstand, worry and get defensive when we don't have to.

That's what the anonymous note under the door does. Even if you've been polite and non-confrontational, the person receiving the note can take it as aggressive or accusatory.

Even if you drew a smiley face.

How to report noise

If noise is still an issue after you've tried blocking it out and having a chat, you can make a noise complaint anonymously via the MyUnite app.

Tap the Noise Complaint icon, complete the form and hit Submit request.

Once you've logged your complaint, the team will be notified and investigate the issue. You don't need to do anything else.

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Staff writer at The Common Room