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► Roslyn, 22 Feb: 'Our whole house shook'

Updated: Sep 18, 2020

(18067) Loud music at a house on the west side of Roslyn Road that was the subject of an earlier complaint to the university less than a week before; late evening, Friday, 22 February 2019.

A resident who complained to the University of Bristol about students next door to her has reported further problems. In another email to the university, she says:

"There has been a lot of noise from No. [xx] again this evening—less bass but still very loud music, lots of people in the living room and very loud talking, shouting, singing and jumping up and down to music that caused our whole house to shake.

"I just knocked on the door for a long time (the music was so loud they could not hear me knocking). Nobody answered the door but then suddenly the lights were promptly turned off and the windows closed but not before somebody shouted out of the window “It’s only 11pm, what’s the problem?”.

"I think some re-education is required for these students so they understand that noise at this level is not acceptable at any time of the day and especially at night and when there are young children sleeping in the house next door.

"Yet another evening of not being able to relax in my own home."

Comment: The reported remark by someone in the house—“It’s only 11pm, what’s the problem?”—highlights the potential for confusion in some of the advice the university gives its students. Its official rules for students living in the community say that "Excessive noise that causes a disturbance to other residents at any time of day or night" may result in disciplinary action. But "party guidelines" set out on the Guide to Community Living page, say "Your party is likely to be unacceptable to your neighbours if you are considering any of the following: .... Loud past midnight on Friday or Saturday nights." (The emphasis in the two quotes above is mine.)

Students not unnaturally take the latter comment to imply that, up to midnight, they don't need to worry about complaints. But that doesn't take account of the realities of living in narrow terraced houses, which, as this complainant says, mean loud noise cannot be acceptable in the late evening, whatever the circumstances. Indeed, the university's "guidelines" also ignore the possibility that the students' tenancy agreement may call for an even earlier cut-off, such as 10pm.

Whatever times are written down in advice pages or agreements, the real issue is whether people show due regard for their neighbours. The university needs to do a better job of explaining this to its students. AW


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