Collecting evidence to support your complaint
The nature of noise complaints can make investigation quite complex and more often than not will take time to investigate, particularly where the noise is happening only occasionally. Gathering evidence and supporting information about the noise complaint is a key part of any investigation of alleged noise nuisance.
You will need to start gathering evidence using:
This evidence will help us find out if the problem is Statutory noise nuisance.
Once you have submitted sufficient evidence, usually a minimum of two weeks or six occurrences, your case will be passed to a specialist noise officer who will contact you. At the same time, the case officer will contact the person making the noise; giving them a summary of the information you have submitted and asking them to consider steps to reduce the noise. The Council will not identify where the information is from, but this maybe obvious particularly if you are the only person affected, for example noise through the party wall of a semi-detached property.
If the noise continues, it is usually necessary for the Council to arrange noise monitoring to collect additional evidence to support the evidence you have already provided.
If the noise continues after the officer has spoken to the person making the noise, you should contact your case officer immediately, who will arrange to undertake noise monitoring to prove the existence of a statutory noise nuisance. To do this it is likely they will need to come into your property and access your living areas either to install noise monitoring equipment which you can use to record noise only when it is happening or to witness the noise in person within your home.
What will happen next
Once the existence of a statutory nuisance can be determined, 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, which you will be asked to attend to give evidence. Failure to comply with a Noise Abatement Notice is a criminal offence with a maximum fine up to £20,000.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, which you will be asked to attend to give evidence. Failure to comply with a Noise Abatement Notice is a criminal offence with a maximum fine up to £20,000.
However, if after monitoring the Council determines the noise not to be a statutory nuisance or despite best efforts is unable to witness the noise over a reasonable period of the time, the case will be closed. This is not to say that the noise is not an issue, but that the Council cannot reasonably solve it. In these circumstances you can take your own action at the magistrates’ court.
In the case of noise from pubs and clubs you may wish to consider taking your own action by requesting a review of the premises licence.