Scrutiny on noisy neighbours as exam period approaches
Noisy neighbours are a problem that most of us have had to deal with, but it could mean the difference between passing and failing your exams.
Speaking to the Student Advice Centre at Leeds University Union, an undercover correspondent was advised to file for mitigating circumstances before sitting exams and even to ask a GP for sleeping pills.
They also advised that most housing contracts contain a clause stating that residents who cause distress to neighbours could be evicted.
Amanda Jackson, the University’s Housing Officer explained to Leeds Student how repeat noisy offenders are dealt with. “In the event of receiving a complaint about noise, the majority of students will be sent a letter. In the event of a more serious incident, we may choose to bypass the letter and home visit stages of our procedure and hold an enquiry meeting.”
The University’s out of hours helpline was set up in 2000 to deal with tensions that “inevitably arise in those areas of the city most densely populated by students,” with the majority of its calls regarding noise. It has previously seen almost half of its complaints being made during the exam period and attempted to track down planned house parties through Facebook.
Second year Communications student Olivia O’Connor had a visit from University noise police after holding a house party: “They said that we have to inform the neighbours and agree a time that the party will end because its not just students living in Hyde Park. Then they got down to business and said we would all be brought into uni next time to ‘discuss further action.’”
Sue Buckle from the South Headingley Community Association told Leeds Student: “sleep deprivation is a form of torture and isn’t fair on anyone.”
Another University spokesman warned about students living in University accommodation. “In serious cases, the Warden may meet with the individual and in severe cases, residents responsible for causing disruption will then be subject to disciplinary procedures as set out in their contract.”
The University advises students in halls to keep it down between 8am and 8pm, adding: “music should not be audible outside your room at any time and no parties, BBQs or large numbers of visitors are permitted.”
The Council runs a separate helpline, but allegedly has just one phone line and at times is manned by a single member of staff. Sue Buckle said: “The Council’s service is often too overwhelmed to respond”. Headingley Councillor Jamie Matthews, has also slammed the Council’s service for not properly dealing with complaints. “No one is against people having fun in the area but sometimes noise causes misery to everyone in the area – students and long term residents. The Council noise service is woeful. Instead of spending £1.8 million on a new website, why not help the people suffering from this anti-social behaviour?”
If you do have a problem with noise, call 0113 343 1064 or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.