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Friday, 4 December 2015

Noise complaints on the increase

We've been dealing with an increased number of noise complaints recently. So this would be a good time for everyone to review our rules & expectations about noise, and our top tips for preventing noise from souring the relationship between you and your neighbours:

Expectations & rules about noise
• We should all be able to study or rest without unreasonable disturbance from others at any time.
Residents — or their guests — who are unable to adhere to these guidelines will face disciplinary
action and possible removal from the Hall.
• You must make no noise audible from outside your room between 11.00 pm and 7.00 am.
• Excessively loud music and other noise are not allowed at any time of day. The Warden or his nominated Deputy (normally the Duty Senior Member) shall be the arbiter of whether noise is excessive, and his/her decision shall be final.
• If your neighbour asks you to be quieter, you must respond politely and cooperatively. 

Five top tips for reducing accidental noise
1. Talk to one another
• Respect others’ needs for quiet time: they may want to sleep or study at different times from you. Being unable to sleep or work when you need to can make you annoyed and stressed, and can seriously impact on your quality of life.
• So agree on quiet times with your neighbours, and other times when it might be ok to make a bit more noise. You can only do this by asking them: “Am I too noisy sometimes? How can I make it better for you?”
• Be polite and try to help if your neighbour knocks on your door and asks you to quieten down; next time it might be you asking for quiet!
2. Think carefully about how sound travels
• Most of us have at least eight immediate neighbours: one either side, three above, and three below. But when you’re thinking about noise, you should consider everyone on your section of corridor to be a neighbour, too.
• Our walls, floors, and ceilings are quite thin and transmit sound readily. You don’t have to be having a huge party to be making too much noise.
• It’s easy to cause noise for your neighbours without realising it, especially for anyone who lives underneath you: something dropping on the floor can make a really loud bang downstairs!
• Please, whenever you are up after 11pm, think very carefully if what you are doing might be keeping your neighbour awake, especially if you have visitors in your room.
3. Take your friends to a common room at night
• If you have more than one visitor after 11pm, it’s best to go to one of the common rooms, so as to avoid disturbing anyone.
4. Be extra quiet when you’re in the corridors after 11pm
• Noise travels further than you think, so talk quietly in corridors; and don’t run or shout in hallways or stairwells. One loud shriek or giggle could wake up everyone on the corridor.
• Pull doors closed quietly and push the handle down so the lock doesn’t click, especially at night. Slamming doors (especially when you have several friends in your room, maybe going to and from the bathroom) are one of the commonest noise complaints.
5. Be quiet when you’re outside the building, too
• In the garden, keep noise down at all times: even a little noise here echoes around the courtyard and can disturb people in rear-facing bedrooms.
• Outside the front of the building, don’t shout late at night: you can wake up almost half the Hall whose bedrooms face onto the square.

If you're suffering because of noise, we have a whole page of guidance that will help us to help you deal with the problem efficiently and effectively:

We can make the most effective types of intervention only if you call reception while the noise is still happening.