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Noise in private housing

What you can do if you are disturbed by noise

Consider the following courses of action, if you are disturbed by noise;

  • If it is the first time, and not "serious" or intense, you could ignore
    it and hope it does not happen again, or go and see the person
    concerned and make them aware POLITELY that their noise has disturbed or woken you, or your children etc. Do not assume that they know you can hear them, or that they are doing so deliberately or to provoke you. Be particularly careful where a neighbours children may be making noise without their knowledge, and consider having a "witness" handy.
  • NEVER NEVER NEVER lose your temper, call names or insults, make threats or retaliate. A situation may get beyond the point of recovery or repair.
  • Keep a written note of what happens and when, including dates and times, and if you have spoken with the other people or exchanged letters or notes [always keep copies of correspondence].
  • Think about impartial mediation as a way of finding common ground on which you can agree without falling out further.  Mediation services are sometimes available free of charge via the Citizens Advice Bureau, but need the agreement of all concerned to work properly.  The Council also has some trained mediators who can be called upon in particular cases subject to their other demands.
  • If you cannot get the peace you need, contact the Council -Tel: 01827 715341, email (if the property concerned is a Council house, your complaint may be referred to the Housing Team which regulates Council tenancies). Tell the Council who you are, what is happening and anything relevant to help us determine how best to help you. We will normally ask you to keep a noise diary whilst we write to the other people to ask for their observations. We CANNOT and WILL NOT react to anonymous complaints. We do not pass on details of who has complained, but often it is not hard to guess. Ultimately, we may have to ask you to be a witness.
  • Complete and return your noise diary and if appropriate we will arrange for staff to visit and monitor for the noise either in person or by use of a special recording device. Staff will then decide if a nuisance has been proven.
  • If staff decide the noise is not a nuisance, they will tell you and
    advise what else you can do. If a nuisance is witnessed, the service of a Noise Abatement Notice usually follows. This requires the other
    people to limit their behaviour, stop doing something or put measures in place to reduce the noise. They have the right to appeal against the notice if they feel it is unnecessary or the conditions unfair, or that they are the wrong person.
  • If the noise continues and is witnessed, the only options are to prosecute those concerned, and/or to carry out the works to comply with the notice including seizing the music equipment or silencing the alarm, for example.

Last updated Thursday, 13th October 2016

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