Neighbour noise complaints

10th March 2018
Informal discussion

The first step in attempting to deal with a neighbour who produces excessive noise is to discuss it informally with them. They may be unaware that the noise from their house is disturbing others, or there may be a reason for the noise of which you were not aware.

If you are concerned about approaching them for any reason, you may wish to instead put a letter through their door letting them know about your concerns. A letter is also useful because it sets out in writing that you have a problem with your neighbour’s behaviour, which can be useful if the problem goes further in future.

As with approaching your neighbour face-to-face, you should try to be friendly in the letter. However, you may want to leave your name off the letter if you’re worried about how they might react.

If you know that other people nearby are also bothered by the noise, you may wish to try and talk to the noisy neighbour in a group, or write a letter to which you all sign your names, in order to let the neighbour know that it is not just one person who has an issue with their behaviour.

Note down what the noises are, when they occur, how long they last, and any other relevant information about the circumstances.

Keeping a record

If your neighbours continue to be noisy after you have approached them about it, you should start to keep a record of the problem.

Note down what the noises are, when they occur, how long they last, and any other relevant information about the circumstances.

This will help to paint a picture of the disturbances you are experiencing and how frequent and problematic they are. If you have to take any further action in the future, the record could serve as useful evidence.

Contacting the authorities

If your neighbour is a tenant, you may wish to contact their landlord with your complaints, whether they are a private landlord, a housing association or the local council.

Noise complaints can sometimes be considered a ‘statutory nuisance’. This means that the council is required to investigate any problem relating to them. If you have been keeping a record of the noise disturbances your neighbour has caused, you can let the council know about this when you contact them.

If your neighbour is found to be excessively noisy, the council is required to issue a noise abatement order, which means that there will be a legal requirement for your neighbour to stop. If they continue being noisy, they face a fine of up to £5,000.

The GOV.UK site allows you to submit a noise complaint to your local council online.

Threats and antisocial behaviour

If your neighbour has become threatening after you attempted to talk to them about excessive noise, or if the noise is accompanied by further antisocial behaviour, read our advice on neighbour disputes.

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