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Having a party

This page gives advice and information about having a party at your home and what to do to make sure that your neighbours are not disturbed by noise.

How to have a good time and not fall out with your neighbours

Most people enjoy a party every so often, perhaps for a family celebration or other special occasion. However for your party to be a success, you need to plan properly and this includes considering any effects you might have on others in your area.

Generally speaking, almost everyone will accept an occasional party as part of normal life, as long as they know what is happening and that you take reasonable steps to minimise disturbance to others.

Please remember that neighbours may have children or have to get up for work the next day, so it is important to show courtesy and consideration.

From your neighbours' point of view, the main problem that can arise from a party is noise, although if many guests arrive by car, parking arrangements also need to be planned

Here are our top 10 tips to having a party without your neighbours complaining:

1. Tell your neighbours what is happening well in advance – let them know start and finish times and try to stick to them. It is best to tell them in person but consider also a friendly note with the date and times written down, in case they forget. Include a wide circle of neighbours, not just those next door to you and do not forget homes at the back of yours.

2. Give neighbours a contact telephone number or ask them to call round and let you know if the noise is too loud. If they do contact you, make sure you act on what they say.

3. Be considerate when arranging and playing music – remember that music sound can carry a long way, especially as background noise reduces into the evening. Bass sound, too, will carry a long way. The volume of your music is particularly important if you live in a house or flat that is attached to others or if you have an outdoor party.

4. Ask guests to park their cars with consideration – do not block anyone's drive.

5. Respond to concerns – be prepared to turn music down if asked by neighbours, the police or the council.

6. After 11:00 p.m. make an effort to lower the volume of the music. It is likely that guests will try to increase the volume as the evening progresses so you must stay in control of this.

7. As far as possible, make sure doors and windows are closed.

8. Listen occasionally from outside your home – if you can hear music or raised voices, so can neighbours. Remember that an adjoining neighbour may still be able to hear a heavy bass beat even if you cannot hear anything outside.

9. If you do have a visit from the police or the council, please do as they ask. They will only ask for reasonable cooperation to help prevent further investigation that might result in action against you.

10. Ask your guests to leave as quietly as possible – car doors slamming and loud goodbyes can be as disturbing as loud music.

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