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‘Nail That Communication’- Building Work Advice

With an increase of enquiries relating to domestic building work coming through to us recently, we thought it may be worth sharing a blog with some advice and information for both victims and those looking to/ already carrying out building work on their homes and/or other buildings in residential areas.

Please consider that building work is not ASB in it’s own right, but is often a contentious issue owing to the problems it can cause for neighbours. The following issues are often raised with us when victims report building work:

  • Noise nuisance- Persistent noise, particularly being an issue after a certain time of the day.
  • Light being blocked- For example, if scaffolding is erected and is up for a prolonged period of time.
  • Time the work is taking- Often neighbours are not made aware of how long neighbour’s building work is going to take.

 

Our advice to those looking to or already carrying out building work:

  1. Informing your neighbours of what work you are having done and how long it is going to take, is important. It means they are able to prepare for noise and can make alternative arrangements for every day activities. (If you do not already have a great relationship with your neighbour, perhaps put this information in writing to avoid confrontation.) For example, there has been a recent increase of people working from home. If they are made aware of the details of the building work, such as when the most noise will be taking place, then they are able to arrange to work in a different setting.
  2. Consider the times of day that the building work starts and finishes. Although you can not work around every individual’s working day or routines, being reasonable in the time that power tools and hammering are used can allow for your neighbours to have respite from the building work. If you consider that many people move out of their homes to renovate properties due to the mess and noise it can create, appreciate that your neighbours are having to live through it.
  3. When erecting scaffolding that may encroach on your neighbour’s light and/or privacy, discuss this with them beforehand, so they are again able to make alternative arrangements. For example, during the summer months, particularly if your neighbours have children, they may want to use their garden, have BBQs and may even arrange parties. If they are aware of how long the scaffolding is going to be up, they can again make alternative arrangements and understand that it is not going to be there for the foreseeable.

 

COMMUNICATION IS KEY!

 If you are a victim of ongoing nuisance from building work:

  • Have you spoken to your neighbour who is carrying out the work? They may not understand the impact it is having on you and/or your family and you may be able to come to an agreement that suits both parties. If the relationship between you and your neighbour is not amicable and you think approaching them may cause further issues, put your concerns to your neighbour in writing, explaining in detail how the work is effecting you and/or your family.
  • If you have spoken/written to your neighbour and you feel that they have not listened to your concerns, we would advise for you to contact your Local Authority’s or other Housing Provider’s ASB/Community Safety team to see if they are able to facilitate some mediation between you and your neighbour. In doing so you will be able to discuss your concerns and understand their point of view in a controlled environment where you can come to a mutual agreement.
  • If you feel that after speaking to your neighbours regarding noise nuisance from the building work that the noise is still causing a nuisance or annoyance during hours that you do not feel is acceptable, we would advise for you to contact your Local Authority’s Environmental Health team. They will be able to give you information on what hours they deem acceptable for noise of this type to go on for and may be able to speak to your neighbours on your behalf. If after having a discussion with your neighbour the issues are still ongoing, the Local Authority or Housing Provider may then seek to take further action.
  • If you have concerns around whether your neighbour has received planning permission for large building projects, we would advise you to contact your local planning department to ensure that planning permission has been granted. If you have concerns around a building being worked on/erected is dangerous, then you can report your concerns on the following link: Report a dangerous building or structure – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

 

If you need any further clarification on the information we have provided, then please feel free to contact us and we will be more than happy to advise.

If you have any other ASB related topics you would like to be featured in our next blog, please let us know!