How do I handle difficult neighbours?

Question from Denise updated on 7th August 2008:

I live next door to a rented house. This house has been rented for the entire ten years we have lived here to a succession of groups with no problem. However, the current group are loud and obnoxious. They seem to live an endless party, often playing live music in the middle of the night (guitar and drums). They drink and throw their bottles on the street and tend to roam the area yelling loudly and sometimes fighting when drunk in the middle of the night. Last night they entered our property, hovering around the car swearing and drinking. I live on my own with 3 kids and find them intimidating and would like to know how I can complain about them. I have rung the police but I would really like to somehow let their landlord know what is going on. Thanks in advance.

Our expert Jeff Montgomery responded:

Landlords are obliged to prevent tenants from breaching the reasonable peace, comfort and privacy of their other tenants and neighbours. However, this obligation can only be enforced by other tenants of the same landlord. You may be able to find out who owns the neighbouring property by contacting your local council. You can then put your concerns in writing to the landlord. If you are unable to contact the owner, or have difficulty in getting the owner to take action, you may also wish to discuss your concerns with the noise control officers at your local council.

The Department of Building and Housing provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.

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