1,000 complaints from noisy neighbors per day during pandemic, research finds
Complaints about loud neighbors increased by more than a quarter during the coronavirus pandemic, when several lockdowns forced people to follow orders to stay at home.
Around 1,000 noise complaints per day were received by councils across the UK between 2020 and 2021, according to Churchill Home Insurance research.
It sent Freedom of Information requests to all councils in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and received usable data from 70% of them (269 ).
Between April 2020 and March 2021, 368,924 noise complaints were filed, a 28% increase from the previous year, with 86% of boards reporting increases.
Dudley in the West Midlands recorded 26,000 noise complaints, the highest of any local authority.
Of the 10 councils with the most complaints, six were in London.
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea received the highest number of per person neighborhood noise complaints in its area, with 99 per 1,000 residents.
Churchill Home Insurance also commissioned an Opinium survey of 2,000 adults in the UK between July 23 and July 27.
About a third (32%) of respondents said their mental health had been negatively affected by noise from neighbors.
The worst type of disturbance was neighbors playing music (34%), followed by noise from children or the garden (30%), parties (29%), and coming and going at antisocial hours (24%).
Only 11% who said they were affected by loud neighbors said they reported it to their city council.
This suggests that the actual number of noise-related problems could be much higher, reaching millions each year, Churchill Home Insurance said.
In 29% of cases, the affected person spoke to their neighbor, but the majority said they had failed to stop the noise. Others contacted the neighbor’s owner (16%) or reported them to the police (14%).
Steven Williams, director of Churchill Home Insurance, said: “The pandemic has confined us to our homes, which means we’ve probably all become very aware of the noises around us.
“As we move into a ‘new normal’ many of us will continue to work from home, at least some of the time, so loud neighbors will continue to be really disruptive.”
Psychologist Donna Dawson said the increase in complaints was understandable given the disruption in people’s routines.
She said: “Even small changes in sound can increase anxiety and stress for many people, especially if they disrupt life at home and make it difficult to relax, work or care for the family. “
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