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Noise nuisance

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A noise nuisance is a noteworthy and unreasonable amount of sound from a neighbouring premises. The nuisance could be coming from a domestic or commercial property and affects you and your life in a significant way which is more than a simple annoyance.

The main factors that officers and the courts will take into account are: 

  • time of day
  • location
  • duration of each individual noise event
  • volume of the noise
  • character of the noise
  • frequency with which noisy events occur

It is not necessary for officers to take noise readings to establish if a nuisance exists, although sometimes this can help. On the whole the judgement of an experienced and independent officer is enough to determine if a noise is unreasonable or not.

What should I do if I experience nuisance noise?

First of all tell the source of the problem about it. In three quarters of cases one neighbour does not know that they are causing problems for another, so be sure to tell the source of the problem about it. Things to consider before confronting a neighbour are:

What if this doesn't work?

Please be aware that we do not receive anonymous complaints.

We will ask you to keep a diary in which we need you to record dates and times of when you are being bothered by the noise in question, which will allow us to establish if the circumstances are serious enough to take formal action and will be used as evidence if legal proceedings have to be taken later.

In extreme cases we do short-circuit this part of the procedure, for example if it appears that the noise is continuous or causing widespread disturbance which will not stop without quick intervention.

What if I am still not happy?

Where a complainant is not happy that we have adequately investigated the complaint they may either complain via our corporate complaints procedure or, following this, to the Local Authority Ombudsman.

For such a difficult area of law to enforce we take some satisfaction that about 60% of people who use our service tell us that we have either improved or solved their complaints.

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