Think about your neighbour's position

Are they likely to be unaware that they are causing you a problem?

Perhaps they don't realise that their dog barks when they are at work or their children play loud music if they go out for the evening, or the smoke from their bonfire is blowing onto your property.

Have they recently moved into the property and don't realise that the party wall is not very effective at preventing their loud music or TV from being heard in your property?

In these situations your neighbours might be grateful to hear from you first rather than a council officer.

People who have a problem that they perceive as being difficult to do something about, e.g. a barking dog or an unruly son or daughter playing loud music, may feel embarrassed about their inability to sort it out and deny that there is a problem or be defensive. If they do, remain composed and point out again how the problem is affecting you and make it clear that you can always pursue the matter further through the council. However, by raising your concerns with them you will have forced them to acknowledge the issue and the consequences of ignoring it.

So on reflection they may realise they need to consider ways to control the problem even if the initial response you get isn't very promising.