Dealing with Noise

Everyone has the right to the quiet enjoyment of their property

If you are experiencing problems because of noise caused by someone else there a number of ways to resolve the problem

Address the problem yourself

You can contact the person causing the noise yourself either in person or in writing. This is the simplest and often the most effective solution. You should only do this if you are confident that the person will not turn violent in response to your complaint. Many people causing noise disturbance are unaware that they are doing so and will respond to a non-confrontational approach

The problem is that some neighbours who cause noise abuse are fundamentally unconcerned about other people. They may ignore your approach and could respond by increasing the volume or frequency of the noise.

When attempting to address the problem yourself you should never

  1.  Become aggressive or confrontational
  2.  Adopt a "tit for tat" approach where you respond to their noise by creating your own noise disturbance. This approach never works and    will potentially impact on your other neighbours

Contact your local council

Under the Environmental Protection Act your local council are required to investigate noise complaints as they constitute a potential statutory nuisance.

You should do this and in many cases this will result in a satisfactory reduction in the noise, particularly where the noise follows a predictable pattern. There are several potential problems with contacting your council

Take legal action yourself

Individually you can initiate legal action, even where the council have refused to do so. There are two ways in which you can do this

  1. Make an application to the Magistrates Court arguing that the noise constitutes a Statutory Nuisance. If you convince the magistrates then an abatement notice will be issued, but you will still need to enforce this.
  2. Make a common law claim for damages. This is an unusual route but one that has potential advantages. If you can convince the court that the noise level has caused you sufficient detriment then they will find in your favour and award damages against the defendant. Damages provides you with compensation for the noise abuse but also gives the person causing the noise a good reason to stop the noise. If the damages you are claiming are less than £5000 then the action would be initiated by yourself in the Small Claims Court and it wouldn't be necessary for you to appoint a solicitor to represent you, although some form of legal advice will be essential

Taking legal action yourself is a complex and problematic approach, but for some sufferers of noise abuse it may be the only avenue left to them. NCPA provide detailed advice on these options to members. Click here to become a member

Other solutions

Other possible solutions include