‘My neighbour demands I make less noise – I can’t even open my wardrobe’

If you’ve ever had to deal with your neighbours blasting loud music late into the night or completing DIY projects while you’re trying to work from home, then you’ll know how irritating unwanted noise disturbances can be. But one woman has been left frustrated with her neighbour because she keeps making noise complaints over what seems to be every sound the woman makes – including opening and closing her wardrobe doors.

The woman explained she lives in a house that has been converted into two flats, and she lives above the neighbour who complains about the noise. She also claimed the neighbour works night shifts so doesn’t get home from work until 7am and isn’t out of bed until 4pm, putting them on completely opposite schedules.

In a post on Mumsnet, the woman said she understands how irritating working nights can be as she used to do it herself, but she now feels “uncomfortable” in her own home because her neighbour has banned her from doing any noisy activities before 4pm – such as vacuuming, using her washing machine, and even sweeping the floors.

She explained: “My downstairs neighbour works nights. They get home from work around 7am and then wake up at around 4pm. So they’re essentially nocturnal. We live in a victorian terrace house, attic flat, upstairs flat and downstairs flat. She lives downstairs, I live upstairs. My bedroom is on top of her bedroom.

“Apparently, the noise insulation is awful, she can hear every footstep. We have carpet and thick underlay. We very rarely hear the attic flat above us. I can hear their work calls in the background sometimes, but if you want complete silence, don’t live in the middle of a city.

“We keep getting noise complaints from downstairs. We have been asked not to make noise before 4pm as she is sleeping until then. So no washing machine, no hoover, no brushing floors. Apparently, she can even hear it when we open and close our wardrobe doors.

“I used to be a nurse and did nights, so know what it’s like. You’re tired, grumpy, and just want to sleep. But equally, if you choose to live in a flat in an old house in the city centre, it’s going to be noisy.

“I don’t really feel that comfortable in my own home now, in case just walking over the floor will annoy her. I’m also going to be working from home soon, from the bedroom, so going to expect that will disturb her.”

Commenters on the post were largely on the woman’s side, with many telling her to ignore her neighbour’s noise complaints as she can’t “change her whole lifestyle” because of one person.

One said: “If she doesn’t want to be woken up she needs to move! Sorry, but you can’t change your whole lifestyle because of a neighbour. Suggest buying earplugs and then ignore ignore ignore.”

While another added: “I’ve worked nights a lot over the years. Whilst some compromise would be reasonable, she can’t really expect you to do nothing in your house all day every day.”

And a third wrote: “There is a middle ground I think. I think most people who live in flats or terraces in city centres don’t necessarily have that much choice – most of us would love to live in large detached houses but that’s not an option for most of us.

“But, at the same time, we need to get on with life. So, in your situation, perhaps not using a vacuum cleaner in the middle of the day but certainly going about your usual life.”