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Homeworker Wars: Have Neighbour Complaints Risen During COVID-19?

By Mark Langshaw

Published: 12th April 2021 Last updated: 13th April 2021
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With homeworking having become the norm for many since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, we began to wonder what kind of effect this is having on our relationships with our neighbours. Have noise and other council complaints risen or fallen since COVID-19 forced many of us to swap the office for a makeshift home desk?

To find out, Online Mortgage Advisor sent freedom of information requests to every local council in the UK to get our hands on complaint stats for 2019 and 2020. We poured over the data to see how it differed year-on-year and used it to create the infographics below…

As you can see from our graphs, there were some startling findings. For instance, London Borough of Bexley saw complaints skyrocket by 149.7%, with Lancaster (+118.9%) and West Devon (+102%) also seeing a dramatic surge during the period in question.

In fact, the majority of regions saw a rise in complaints as homeworkers attempted to navigate their way through back-to-back lockdowns, home-schooling and full working days confined to the kitchen table. But some areas, including Stoke-on-Trent (26.3%), Newark and Sherwood (-21%) and East Ayrshire (-20%) actually reported a fall in complaints.

Pete Mugleston, our managing director and resident mortgage guru, said: “It’s been a challenging time for all of us, with some having to juggle working from home as well as home-schooling and ultimately, attempting to stay as sane as possible while stuck staring at the same four walls day in, day out.

“With many of us now spending more time than ever at home, it’s easy to notice noise that we perhaps wouldn’t have heard during our day spent at the office, or find ourselves getting irritable which is most definitely not helped by a nearby dog that won’t stop barking, but it’s not all doom and gloom as some areas of the UK reported a decrease in complaints. They may well be the happiest areas of the UK.”

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