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Neighbour noise

Noise nuisance is an unreasonable level of noise that has a negative impact on others on a regular basis.

We decide if something is a noise nuisance based on what the average person would find unacceptable, and what can be defined as a statutory nuisance.

Noise nuisance can vary in type, but for it to be considered a nuisance it will need to be happening on a regular basis. 

We will investigate
  • Loud noise or music
  • Dogs barking
  • Shouting or arguments   
  • Other domestic noise that is persistent or at unreasonable hours
We will not investigate
  • Noise from domestic appliances such as washing machines, hoovers etc. unless used at unreasonable hours, e.g. after 10pm and before 6am.
  • Noise from children playing outside 
  • Noise from family lifestyles, including talking in gardens, noise from children, friction between day and night workers.
  • Occasional events such as barbeques or parties 
  • DIY work unless it is persistent and at unreasonable hours 

This also includes, where the sound insulation in floors or walls isn't good enough to reduce sounds of everyday living. See our guidance on how to reduce noise in your home.

The Environmental Health team will also deal with certain types of noise including car and intruder alarms and commercial noise. See their pages for more information.

Dear neighbour card

Most neighbour problems can be resolved by talking to each other in the first instance. A friendly approach to make your neighbour aware of the problem is often effective.

If you do not feel comfortable approaching your neighbour directly, try using our Dear Neighbour card.

Mediation

We recognise people have differing lifestyles and that some everyday living sounds can still have a negative impact. In cases like this, we will offer mediation. Mediation is an informal way for both parties to amicably resolve disputes.

Investigating noise

When assessing whether noise is unreasonable and requires action we consider the following:

  • The activity causing the noise nuisance
  • How loud the noise is and how intrusive it is
  • Duration of noise
  • Frequency of noise
  • The time of day or night
  • Whether it is deliberate or not
  • What steps the person has taken to avoid or reduce the nuisance

We recommend you provide your caseworker with details of the alleged noise nuisance:

  • Dates and times
  • How it impacts you or your household
  • Recordings (if possible)