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Advice if someone has made a noise complaint about you

I've been told that I'm making too much noise, what can I do

Knowing that someone is affected by your noise can be upsetting but you shouldn’t take it personally. By approaching you directly they have shown they want to solve it informally. Consider what they have said and if you think there is any truth in it, quickly take steps to reduce your noise.

If you know who is being disturbed you may want to politely approach them and advise them what you have done/are planning to do to see if it has solved the problem.

We have to live by our neighbours for a long time and no one wants to be embroiled in a neighbour dispute. Please see our guide on being a good neighbour and further advice on how to reduce noise from different sources (domestic, commercial, building work, licensing).

The Council encourages people to try to resolve noise issues between themselves before contacting the Council. However, if the complainant alleges that the noise is continuing, the Council has a duty to investigate and an officer will contact you. The purpose of this is to advise you of alleged times, dates and effect of the noise and to understand your version of events. The Council officer is not going to take sides, instead they are trying to establish the facts and if appropriate give informal advice on reducing noise.

Unfortunately, a few people chose to knowingly cause excessive noise and in these cases, the Council will undertake noise monitoring, either in person or using electronic sound recording equipment to prove existence or likely occurrence of a statutory noise nuisance.

Statutory noise nuisance

If the noise amounts to a statutory nuisance can be proved, the Council will serve a statutory abatement notice, requiring the noise is stopped. This maybe done immediately or after seven days. The notice will require that steps are taken to reduce the noise nuisance within a specified time. There is no set time period as the works required to reduce the noise will vary, for instance a factory will require more time to replace a fan, whereas a stereo can be turned down immediately.

In very few cases, the person responsible for the noise chooses not to comply with the statutory abatement notice. In such instances, the Council will take further legal proceedings and this may include a court case and seizing all noise making equipment such as televisions and stereos. If the court finds you guilty of failing to comply with a noise Abatement Notice, this a criminal offence with a maximum fine of up to £20,000 (link to explanation of the law).

However, if after monitoring the Council judges the noise not to be a statutory nuisance or unreasonable and persistent or despite best effects is unable to witness the noise over a reasonable period of time, the case will be closed. The complainant still has the option to take their own action at the magistrates court, however, the Council will not be involved.

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