‘Love thy neighbour as thyself”, Jesus’s commandment goes. But perhaps a caveat to that should be “unless they choose to blast music at your walls all day and night”. One man from Blackwater, in Cornwall, has angered the neighbours in his housing block after asking his Alexa speaker to play Bon Jovi repeatedly at all hours. From Maurice the cockerel, the French bird whose piercing dawn calls have led neighbours to take legal action, to the “drum’n’bass pensioner” who had more than 300 CDs confiscated from his flat in 2017, and the teenager who was playing Adele at an “intrusive, very high level”, noisy neighbours seem to always be around the corner.
One Guardian reader, from Peckham in south-east London who wished to remain anonymous, lived next to a woman who insisted on playing Carpenters Gold each night. “There was an old fireplace between my bedroom and her place, not a solid wall, so it could be very loud,” he says. “And then the downstairs flat would also get annoyed because they couldn’t hear their music, so they’d turn theirs up and this would go on and on.” Eventually, his neighbour moved out, but he has never been able to listen to the band since.
Another reader, Ann, from Southport, Merseyside, was staying in a holiday villa when she heard a “repetitive thudding noise coming from the flat above. We were quite impressed by this apparent epic performance until we later discovered that the occupants were expecting visitors and were pumping up an airbed (or so they said).”
Michael, from Melbourne, Australia, had a neighbour who was in the habit of “playing techno versions of Enya and other associated artists” every Sunday morning. To add to the impromptu rave, at the same time his neighbour “would be spewing, or on the verge of spewing, with loud vomiting noises regularly waking the household”. Rather than reporting him to local authorities, “we didn’t speak to him about it as we found it funny and didn’t want him to stop”.