Loud Elderly Neighbour Waking Us Up At Night

Hi guys, I'm after a suggestion of how to handle an issue I'm facing with an elderly neighbour next door who lives alone.

To cut a long story short, he makes a lot of noise at night, particularly in the early hours of the morning. Some examples of behaviour include:

  • screaming loudly for hours on end at (what I assume to be) his TV or radio
  • Activating his automatic roller door on his garage, which is badly in need of a service. It squeaks, squeaks and rattles every time it is opened or shut. He might open and close it 20 or 30 times in a row before doing something else. It's like he's discovering a problem with it for the first time, nearly every night….
  • sweeping his driveway at all odd hours of the night and morning

These issues are effecting my sleeping patterns. Even with my windows closed and white noise being generated, it all seems to cut through.

I feel as though he's lost all concept of time. There is a huge language barrier - he speaks little English. We left a note asking him to keep it down, but this was obviously not understood or disregarded.

What are my options here? Noise complaint? Welfare check? Very rarely I will see his son over at the property - I'm tempted to raise it next time I see him.


  • +7

    Contact your council and file a noise complaint. That, or scream back.

  • +4

    When you walk past and see him in the day, say "I go sleep, you quiet ok?" and put your finger on your lips to let him know. Be sure to say "thank you".

    Communicate with him first. Hope that helps.

    • +2

      Unfortunately using broken English and/or speaking louder to someone who doesn't understand the language is about as effective as trying to talk to a dog. Seriously though, he may suffer from OCD or be so old to be not able to adequately care for himself. The elderly can often get confused and wander at night. An ACAT asessment is probably in order to determine his mental state etc. Enquire at your council, they will point you in the right direction for aged services.

      • or they may get aggressive.

    • +2

      Or put your finger on his lips

  • +4

    Welfare check. No normal person opens and closes their garage door that much at any time of day.

    • +1

      How do I do this? I can't find much on google. I lIve in SA

  • +1

    Surely his sweeping isn't that loud??

    • +3

      Raking leaves against the cement in his driveway rather. My bedroom backs onto his DW

      • +7

        Get him a petrol powered blower then. Be noisier, but quicker!

    • It's like snoring.

  • Ear plugs

    • +1

      Eh they just seem to heighten my tinnitus

  • +3

    I think you should make a referral to your local psychogeriatrician

    • +7

      ACAT assessment

      • +3

        I'm quite serious - it sounds to me like the friendly neighbourhood sundowner has developed age-related mental illness. OP are you sure it is the TV making the screaming noise? Does this dude have any family?

        An ACAT assessment is certainly warranted as well!

        • +1

          Thanks, I'll look into this.

          I can confirm the screaming is most definitely from him and not the TV.

          His son visit occasionally - I've seen him twice since I've been at the property (1 year). He may visit more but I work during the week.

          This behaviour has started materialising in the last 4 months or so.

        • @The Quote Train:
          you can contact the ACAT team I think. but most agencies tread carefully and handle these cases where family did not report to them, with kid gloves.

    • +1

      I agree perhaps it is confusion, especially given it is only 4 months.

      However, my grandfather-in-law - not confused- totally with it - developed a habit of going to bed at goodness knows what hour. He began ringing his local family st 2 or 3 am and saying good morning and chatting as though the day had begun..

      This man could have lost track of time and be sleeping little or during the day. He might be very lonely to.

      My Dad slept very little, and he would occupy himself by drinking or going for a drive to find someone to talk to.

      If this is the case, he may just need dome help such s socialisation visits.

      I would suggest going and talking with him first. See if he seems confused or quite with it. The confusion could be intermittent though or just in the evening (sundowning). Include some simple questions with conversation to test his cognition (day, time, name, PM - Those dort of things - but I forget the day at times as I am not working).

      This may not be possible with language issues though.

  • +3

    Your options are;
    Invite them for a drink, that way they be tipsy and sleep well at night.
    Go fix their roller door, $5 silicon spray will do
    Once in a while go sweep their driveway.

    If that all failed, move houses, who knows, you be living next to a party hard teenagers :)

  • neighbor from hell?

  • +4

    Intercept his power bill. Let it go into arrears. Utility company will cut the power.
    Problem solved no Noisy roller door, no TV.

    • +3

      He can still sweep leaves loudly on the driveway!

      Maybe go and hide the broomstick as well.

    • +1

      Lol this made me laugh :D

    • +1

      Yeah next thing you know his heaters stop and he dies from cold

  • +4


  • +1

    Get to know each other and form a friendship. Be courteous, respectful and offer your help and guidance. Being on good terms with your neighbor in essential this day and age. Try and overcome your issues through understanding and not legal action.

    • +8

      Which means the OP almost has to learn a new language?

      • -6

        Are you saying you can't form a relationship with someone of a different culture?

        • +2

          No, I'm saying it's difficult to communicate if you don't speak the same language, so is a barrier to form a meaningful relationship.

          Alcohol usually helps though!

    • 'friends' and 'education' don't necessarily work. research has been done on this. they have been given as sops so other agencies don't need to get involved with keeping the peace. I found in Punchbowl the demographics of us against them made it impossible to get some people to behave in a civic minded way and then they got belligerent.

    • Yep take a case of beer over and yell at the TV together

  • I shared a hospital room with an old guy… He was in and out of bed all night. Gets out, gets back in, gets out, gets back in, gets out, gets back in……….

    • +6

      when he got out of his bed, did he get into yours?

      • lol, i'm sure he would have if the pipes and stuff were long enough

  • What language? Can you google translate a note ?

    • +1

      Pretty sure he's Greek. I feel it's unlikely he's even aware of what he's doing though.

      • +3

        I think you should try and get in contact with his son have you got his details at all?. Don't complain and say he is waking you up. Say something like "I got up early and noticed your dad was opening and closing his garage".

        Be the friendly neighbourhood person keeping an eye on him.

        • +2

          This sounds sensible as a first step, where from there if no response I'd have no idea, perhaps Aged Care Services SA


          and ask "what do I do".

          If it is the onset of dementia I feel there is little you personally can do by way of directly speaking to the neighbour esp without a common language.

  • -1

    turn off his power, if he just turns it on then pull and keep the fuses too

    zzzZZZZzzzzZZZZzzzzZZZZzzzzz'sss in peace - out!

    Used to do this to an old drunk all the time

  • -3

    why don't you whinge about it online… rather than confront your neighbor… who by the sound of your story… has been in his dwelling, longer than you. new kid on the block making friends…

    • Why did you even bother posting that dribble?

  • +1

    Purely from the prevention of noise/ immediacy angle……….I use (genuine) noise reduction earphones by themselves when going to sleep and have to mask noise. Granted, this may be ruled out due to your tinnitus, but if it's also combined with choice of white noise (Eg waterfall) it is very effective at blocking out everything and sure beats standard ear plugs. Good luck.