A statutory noise nuisance is classed as a significant and unreasonable amount of noise which materially affects the comfort and use of your property. Officers must take account of a number of factors when considering a statutory noise nuisance:
- the volume of the noise - how loud it is
- how often it happens
- how long it lasts
- what time does it happen
- the character of the noise
- the local area i.e. commercial or residential
Officers must also determine if the noise is being caused by somebody acting in an unreasonable manner.
Types of noise
There are many different potential sources of noise which can cause a nuisance to neighbours, below is a list of the main types of noise that we receive complaints about:
What we can't investigate
There are some domestic noises that are not a statutory nuisance and can’t be investigated. Case law states that noise from the ordinary and reasonable use of residential premises can’t be considered as a statutory nuisance. Noises we can't investigate include lifestyle noises such as:
- footfalls (especially between flats)
- dropping objects and moving furniture
- lights being switched on and off
- general talking coming from both the house or the garden
- shouting unless it is happening frequently and for prolonged periods
- slamming of doors or cupboards
- flushing of toilets
- babies crying
- children playing
Before making a complaint
Before making a complaint, it is always best to try and speak to your neighbour or business, as often they are not aware they are causing a problem. It will help to maintain a good neighbourly relationship if you are able to speak to your neighbour and resolve the problem between you. We appreciate that this may be daunting, and officers are able to offer informal advice about the best way to go about contacting your neighbour. See our leaflet Neighbour Noise complaint (PDF, 102KB).
Making the complaint
We are aware that there are occasions when it’s not practical or possible to speak to your neighbour or you may have tried this approach and it hasn’t worked. In this instance we recommend you contact the team to make a complaint:
Make a noise complaint via our form
or telephone 0300 123 5015 during office hours.
Monday - Friday 8:30am to 5pm
However, if you are having problems in relation to an existing noise complaint you should discuss the situation with the investigating officer during office hours, who will be able to provide more information.
- You can’t make as much noise as you like between 07:00 and 23:00
- A one off party will not necessarily be classed as a noise nuisance
- By informing your neighbours you are having a party doesn’t mean that you can make as much noise as you like.
- We can take away your noise making equipment which can include stereo, games console, speakers and even televisions, if you ignore warnings.
Page last reviewed: 18 June 2021
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