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Complaining neighbors and the law with drummers
Right so i have just moved in to a student house and one of my house mates is a drummer
at the moment he has bought his full acoustic drum kit with him but a very small 3 peace electric kit with perhaps a 20 watt amp
a couple of nights ago we had a small jam i had my guitar amp on nice and low to repect my other house mates and my new neighbors and my drumming friend did the same. we played for an about an hour and also had a small possible 10-20 min go on his African drum which obviously was a little bit loader
were not quite sure of the exact time we played however it was almost definitely before 8 o'clock (we were actually guessing about 6pm but in the interest of fairness we tried to the think of the maximum it could have been)
the day after we get a call from our estate agent (who is actually lovely) explaining that complantes had been made saying that he was playing drums excessively load at 3am. well i know its a very un-student thing to do but we were actually in bed at 3 o'clock because we had a late night the night before.
so obviously they are lieing because they seem to hate that students have moved into a road mainly populated by 50+ members of the community
furthermore my drumming friend is doing a music degree so does actually need to practice his instruments!
so what i want to know is where does the law stand on this?
when are we legally aloud to practice instruments? i have sources saying from 7am -11pm but others saying 8am - 8 pm (which to me sound very responsible)
also he wants to bring his "proper kit" soon as for a drummer i imagine it isn't nice playing a 3 piece electric kit all the time when he had enough space for his real kit.
i accept our community do want it peacefully quite but A) they don't need lie about it and B) we have a right to practice our instruments
and its not just that we have had other complaints regarding car parking, putting out bins in front of the house rather then behind and even the fact that one of out house mates has blue hair!!! they do just seem to hate us
sorry if i'm posting this in the wrong place but just wanted advice mainly on the noise ect
its not even like we can soundproof because its rented accommodation and were students and cant afford it!
thanks for any help
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Whether you are right or wrong in the eyes of the law I believe your best course is to try to find a reasonable solution by speaking with your neighbours to find a mutually agreeable solution. Many people can be disarmingly sympathetic when they are approached on a personal level.
As a wiser man than me once said: "To jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war".
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An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.
Student houses within long-term residential areas will always generate some level of friction. From the neighbours' points of view, they've just enjoyed a lovely quiet summer where they could park easily on a nice quiet street with no one 'weird' coming and going at all hours... And now they've got to deal witha load more cars, some blue-haired weirdo who doesn't know where to put the bins, and a megadeath rock band playing at death-defying levels in the middle of the night! It's not surprisng that they might be worried and over-reacting a little.
In all seriousness, the very best thing you and your house mates could do is go around and introduce yourselves to your new neighbours. Apologise for any parking difficulties. Explain what you're studying. Explain that you'd like to practice your instruments but that you don't want to inconvenience them. And see if you can agree on a set time and duration each day that won't upset them but meets your needs reasonably too. AND THEN STICK TO THE AGREEMENT!
The bottom line is that you need to get on with your neighbours because if you don't, they'll make your life hell in any way they can. They live there and moving probably isn't an option for them, so it will be in their interests to get you out one way or another if you behave 'unreasonably'. You can't win this using the 'law' card.
Being realistic, extended practice sessions on a full acoustic drum set in an untreated room is likely to be a step too far. There must be practice rooms at the college that would be more appropriate for that kind of set up. And what you think might be a 'quiet jam' probably sounds worrying loud to a neighbour.
There are laws, obviously, but rather than getting high and mighty about 'your rights', think about your responsibilities and respect to your neighbours, and about their rights too.
Finding a mutually agreeable compromise really is a much better way forward. Trust me! SO while you do have a right to pracice your intruments, they have rights to not being disturbed by noise nusiance.
Go make friends with them before it all becomes really combative and unpleasant.
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Technical Editor, Sound On Sound
for all other stuff, use a rehearsal room.
Everybodys happy. Have fun.
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I went through as similar thing many years ago when my housemate (a DJ) and I decided to make some music. After a complaint from our neighbours we sat down with them and agreed acceptable times for us to be a bit noisy, and in return got an agreement that their kids wouldn't use my van as a football target.
Talking nicely and giving and taking can work wonders. Even blue-haired people need some respect, sometimes.
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- The Korff
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I AM KORFF
One day the old lady next door called over and very irately complained about the barking.
Now, she also had a dog who literally never stopped barking day or night but when Gary mentioned this and she said, 'that's different, that's supervised barking'.
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As someone who has to live next to extremely loud neighbours who insist on partying regularly into the small hours of the night, I have to say I would be greatly appreciative of being forewarned, (or even for an apology afterwards, if it went on longer than originally thought). My neighbours do neither, and consequently we both get quite peeved when they decide to go outside smoking pot and drinking and getting very noisy before finally at 4am they decide they're tired. It's also quite annoying that they choose to watch TV loudly every night until midnight (on the nights they're not partying) with all their doors and windows wide open. They're not students, but neither do they seem to do much in the way of work - which is quite problematic for us, as we both work 9-5(+) jobs! Sleep is precious to us hard-working folk
We'd feel much happier about it if a) our neighbours were friendly (they've yet to say hello), and b) gave us warning they were planning to hold these noisy parties as then we wouldn't think they were totally inconsiderate. So... in terms of your situation, I speak from personal experience when I say that making friends with your neighbours and coming to an agreement would definitely help matters - if they know in advance that you'll be jamming loudly until 8pm on weeknights but possibly 10pm on a weekend, and then it'll be absolutely quiet in time for sleep, I'm sure they'll be happier than if you have sporadic loud jam sessions with no warning! You might find as time goes on that they even take an interest in your music, you never know!
BTW... in terms of the law, you are legally entitled to make noise during the day (such as playing instruments/partying). Any noise between the hours of 11pm and 7am is considered "noise pollution" and can be reported to Environmental Health - although usually it's a long and tedious process to get the council to listen, and this in itself doesn't immediately mean the law will be involved - usually that only happens when E.H. have been on your case for a long period of time gathering evidence, and then you are prosecuted. I don't think you have any worries in this regard - as long as you make friends with your neighbours and don't play loudly between the hours of 11pm and 7am REGULARLY (and certainly without forewarning people) you should be absolutely fine. This doesn't mean your landlord will be 100% happy though, but you don't need to worry about prosecution. See http://www.environmental-protection.org.uk/noise/environmental-noise/noise-pollution/ for more info.
It only works if it's not every night but just occasional.
It's the same with parties, etc.. Just let the neighbours know in advance and as Elf says, they can be very accommodating.
One of the worst things (as a neighbour) is some racket starting up and you have no idea when it will end (even more so if the (ahem) 'musician' is a hopeless, talentless, tone deaf tosswit ... not that I am suggesting that you are, of course!).
It's a bit of a societal problem - people thinking they can just do what they want without any consideration to anyone else. It's bugger all to do with 'rights' and all that ... just good manners with a smattering of that old notion, common sense!
Nice to see you're sensitive to the issue - so many aren't (as I can testify with several neighbours I've had - see above with regard to hopeless, talentless, tone deaf tosswits!).
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You don't have Zukan living next door do you? Sounds like a day in the life for him!
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Trust me, there's only so much drug-induced guffawing over someone being "up the duff" and "preggers - what a funny word!" you can tolerate in one evening