Handling complaints from neighbours

Whatever the reason, upsetting your neighbours is not the ideal situation. Complaints early on can be sorted out quickly. You can't always choose who you live next to. Being thoughtful of others who live in the neighbourhood is a big step toward everyone getting along

Whatever the reason, upsetting your neighbours is not the ideal situation. Complaints early on can be sorted out quickly. You can’t always choose who you live next to. Being thoughtful of others who live in the neighbourhood is a big step toward everyone getting along. In the end, how you deal with handling complaints from neighbours can affect your time in your student accommodation.

If you’ve seen the Channel 5 show Nightmare Neighbours Next Door, you will know. That after months and months, the issues drag out and come to a head. These excerpts of reality TV are the more serious end of neighbour disputes. And are filmed in such a way as to entertain and scare you at the same time. No one sets out to cause friction between the people next door. But the dispute often happens as a build-up of something minor that unresolved can escalate.

Be polite.

Whatever the reason for your neighbours to complain. Maybe having a party that was too loud? blocking a driveway? Throwing something over the fence accidentally? Or even if it wasn’t you, but one of your housemates? Being polite, can help and keep situations calm.

If the reason is undeniably your fault then apologise. If the situation is likely to happen again let them know in advance. And discuss how you can minimise any impact on them.

Giving your neighbours a contact number is a great way to keep the dialogue open with them. Not only through any potential issues, but it’s also a great way to share information about what’s going on nearby. Or if they need to contact you in an emergency. Remember generally neighbours will treat you how you treat them.

Handling Complaints from Neighbours

Knocking on the door.

If you find your neighbours have had enough and come round knocking on the door. It’s best to answer with a positive attitude, and not get into a row. Being open and friendly gives someone looking for an argument nowhere to go.

If they come around, red-faced, angry and shouting. You’re well within your rights to tell them you will talk to them at another time when they have calmed down and your other housemates are around. Likewise, if they’re knocking on the door at four o’clock in the morning. Unless you’re making lots of noise.

Normally, a conversation and some agreement or compromise on handling the situation is enough. But if you feel like part of the problem is your neighbour or they are being unreasonable keep notes of what is said for later.

Written complaints

From your neighbour

Sometimes your neighbours may even write to you, or drop a note through your door. If you get a letter from your neighbour, it’s best to keep a copy. Try to arrange a meeting face to face if possible to discuss the contents. Sometimes written correspondents can’t convey emotions or empathy correctly. Whichever way you get in touch, it’s best to stay positive and open-minded while communicating.


You may find the neighbours write to the university to complain. Although the university doesn’t necessarily have jurisdiction over private accommodation. You may find that there is some sort of expected behavioural standard to adhere too during your time at university. The student welfare teams based at the union will be able to give you advice on how to sort issues with neighbours who have contacted the university.

The Local Authority

The Council’s environmental department deals with noise complaints and other unsocial behaviour issues. You may find that you receive an enforcement visit from an environmental enforcement officer. Don’t panic, usually, any first visit or communication is determined more about why they have been contacted. Usually, multiple complaints are required to be received by them before they look to take any enforcement action against any individuals.

You can view more here


Police Visits

Working hand in hand with the local authority. You may find that you get a visit by a police officer or PCSO. Once again, they’re not only there to arrest you, but more of a preventative measure that looks to prevent disputes between neighbours do not escalate. In general, police will only visit when a crime has or will be committed such as to stop a breach of the peace. In reality, it will very very rarely. with the exceptions of violence, intimidation or harassment occurring, police become involved.

It’s not me causing the issue?

If it’s not you that’s causing any issues with your neighbours, but one of your housemates. The best way to deal with the issue is for you all to get together and talk it through. Try to reason with them that whatever it is that happened is potentially affecting everyone who lives in the property.

See our article on dealing with difficult housemates.

If your neighbour contacts Thornsett Properties

If your neighbour contacts us. Regarding any issues at one of our properties. We will firstly contact the tenants for an informal chat. Be aware of any terms in your tenancy regarding your responsibilities. However, if we do get involved in any disputes between our tenants and their neighbours. We always aim for any outcome where all parties are satisfied.

In the end, everyone just wants to live happily ever after.

It’s written in the law, that ANY property owner or tenant has the right to peaceful enjoyment of the property they inhabit. Although there are many routes and methods to proceed with dealing with problems between neighbours. The majority of the time, any issues can be caught and dealt with early. Just by having consideration for others and talking.

Some complaints such as noise nuisance after 11 pm and anti-social behaviour are more likely to be reported to the local authorities or police. But minor complaints can hopefully usually be dealt with by communicating.

But remember a complaint may well be valid towards a neighbour but neither party has to put up with noise, abuse, harassment, violence or any kind of discriminatory attack either verbally or physically.

About Thornsett Properties

Thornsett Properties have been providing student accommodation to responsible students in Sheffield since 1985. We supply accommodation to over 650 undergraduates and postgraduate students studying at Sheffield University and Sheffield Hallam University every year. Designed to fit with your budget whilst looking for student accommodation. Thornsett Properties are property owners and not agents. This means all our properties are managed by ourselves and not reliant on third parties. Our aim is to help you succeed in our student accommodation in Sheffield

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