Homefront: ‘How do I deal with a noisy neighbour?’

The Abu Dhabi resident’s neighbour has ignored several warnings to reduce the volume of music at night

One mature man trying to sleep covering his ears to avoid neighbour noise at home or hotel during the day.
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I rent an apartment in a low-rise building in Abu Dhabi. I moved there in October 2018 because of its proximity to my workplace. All went well for the first year of the lease, besides the noisy children next door who were also allowed to play in the common corridor.

When that family moved out, I was hugely relieved but my relief was short-lived because things were about to get much worse.

In place of this family, there is now a couple with a large, fluffy cat (I know because the husband paid us a visit and brought it along). Early on during the stay-at-home restrictions, he also invited us home for a party. We politely declined, given that social gatherings were not allowed.

It didn’t stop him though. Night after night, he played loud music from 1am to 7am, and there was loud shouting in a booming voice in the room next to where I am trying to sleep. I have called the watchmen on him several times and the police twice.

The management is also aware because I lodged an official complaint along with recordings of the racket. If he was sent a warning letter, he has chosen to ignore it.

My current lease will end in October and I will not be renewing it. But there is a little way to slog through until then, so what can be done in the meantime? SL, Abu Dhabi

The problem with noise, especially from neighbours, is unfortunately not uncommon. It would seem to me that you have already done the right things in order to stop the unnecessary disruption to your life through the lack of sleep. Having a party is normal, however, it would appear that this is an all-too-common occurrence from this neighbour, so I would suggest the following:

There are building and community regulations that cover noise and how they can be enforced. As you have already informed the building management, I would suggest you keep going in this direction as they have a duty of care to their residents within the building.

As the neighbour appears to be approachable, I suggest you speak to him man-to-man. Everyone is entitled to quiet enjoyment of the rented property but sometimes others spoil this, which is why I would suggest you speak to him directly.

Everyone is entitled to quiet enjoyment of the rented property

The other option is to speak to the Abu Dhabi Municipality. They have dealt with noisy situations in the past and I’m sure they would be interested to follow up on your behalf.

Although you have already reported the neighbour to the police, this needs to be done again. I’m sure that with all these complaints and a visit from yourself, the watchmen, the building management, police and the Abu Dhabi Municipality, this neighbour must realise he’s a nuisance.

The last point to consider would be to let the management company know who his landlord is. Perhaps the landlord needs to be informed of the tenant’s behaviour because there could be clauses in the lease that he might be breaking by being such a disturbance.

Mario Volpi is the sales and leasing manager at Engel & Volkers. He has worked in the property sector for more than 35 years in London and Dubai.

The opinions expressed do not constitute legal advice and are provided for information only. Please send any questions to mario.volpi@engelvoelkers.com