Noisy neighbours

What is a domestic noise nuisance?

A noise nuisance is any regular noise that prevents somebody enjoying their home.   It is reasonable to expect that people will create a little bit of noise at home in their day to day lives, but nobody is expected to put up with frequent or excessive noise.

The following examples could be considered a noise nuisance:

  • excessively loud music/TV noise coming from a neighbouring property
  • D.I.Y. noise at inappropriate time, continual unnecessary improvements, or when it could be carried out in a quieter manner
  • a dog barking for long periods at anti-social times.

What noise problems can't we deal with?

It is unlikely that we can help with a noise complaint if:

  • the problem has long periods between occurrences (for example: it happens only every three months)
  • you are more sensitive to noise that the average person or
  • the noise issues form a minor part of a larger ongoing conflict between neighbours.

Examples of noise nuisance we cannot deal with:

  • household noise such as normal conversations, vacuuming, washing machines and doors shutting at reasonable hours
  • traffic noise from vehicles on the highway
  • Noise from people shouting or arguing in the street
  • Noise from children's voices while playing
  • People mowing their lawns 
  • aircraft noise including military

Many noise nuisance complaints are in fact merely a small part of a very complex situation, and often relationships between neighbours were strained before any noise incidents.  In such cases you may approach the magistrates court yourself using Section 82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.  The court can then decide the right and wrongs of the specific situation.

How do I report a nuisance noise to the council?

Use the Environmental Health contact details on this page or fill in our online form to report a noise nuisance issue.

Last reviewed: 24 - 03 - 2015

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