How To Report Noisy Neighbours
Nowadays, it is unfortunate that encountering noisy neighbours is not all that uncommon. You could complaining about noisy neighbours due to loud music being played, parties until the early hours in the garden or inside the house you are attached or directly next door too or pets making extreme levels of noise, especially does barking for hours upon hours.
Noise from neighbours includes:
- Loud music/TV
- Loud talking
- Construction work
If you are finding that your home-life and relaxing time is being effected by any noisy neighbours, please take a look at our tips below.
Personal, face-to-face contact
To start off, you may not want to jump straight into reporting your neighbours to the local authorities without direct discussion that may potentially resolve the problem. Reporting them without any communication may cause unnecessary tension between yourself and your neighbours, creating an unpleasant home environment.
It may surprise you that your neighbour is actually unaware of the noise and therefore, disturbance they are causing. They may be unaware that you can hear them so clearly or that it is having a negative effect on you, especially if you are a little quieter than them.
The subject of ‘I think you are a noisy neighbour’ and potentially, ‘all the other people on the same street agree that you are a noisy neighbour’ can be a hard subject to bring up. So, we advise that you approach the situation in a calm, polite manner, whilst remaining firm and unapologetic. Avoided approaching them when in a heated moment as this is likely to cause arguments and create standoffish atmosphere. It is not advisable to phrase it is as a personal attack, or an attack in anyway at all. This will probably lead to them not listening to you properly, but rather being defensive and possibly retaliating.
It is important that if you feel in anyway unsafe approaching them alone, do not do it. However, avoid a whole gang of you going – this will make it feel like an attack and extremely intimidating for the person you are approaching about the noise.
Other personal contact
If you are not confident enough to approach them in person, or it just hasn’t worked, try writing them a letter. Include in the letter that you understand that they are probably unaware of any disturbance caused by them, and you are not claiming it is deliberate or out of spite. But you must explain the situation clearly and why and how it is effecting you and possibly the surrounding neighbours. Make sure you end the letter by thanking them for understanding and not being awkward about. If they do make the effort to comply, please do recognise it – and show your recognition by sending over a small gesture, like a thank you card.
Contacting the local council
Alternatively, if they do not make an effort to change or for some reason it gets worse, you may be forced to contact the local authorities. In the UK, you can report any noisy neighbours to your council through a tool on Gov.uk
Your own local council will have a specific office to deal with noise disturbances in the area. In a lot of cases, is office is located within the remit of the environmental health department, or in larger cities they may have a dedicated noise pollution team. The local police station in your area may also have a dedicated team that works to help and act as the mediator if you and your neighbor are unable to come to an amicable agreement or solution.
Your local council will also advise you to keep a small diary type of thing to record any disturbances. You should keep record of when the disturbance took place, how long you were experiencing the disturbance for and what the disturbance was at any particular time.
Try and keep it as factual as possible. Try a format similar too: Unable to sleep until around 4am, sounds like they had people round until the early hours with loud music – have to get up at 7 for work. Avoid writing down any irrelevant information, like that you are angry or the way you were feeling in general, this will then just turn into what sounds like a personal, everyday journal.
You can even record the noises and the activity using a recording device, a mobile phone or a video digital camera. But it is very important to note that under no circumstances should you publish these recordings or videos, they should only been used as evidence to present to the local council. So do not put it on Facebook, or Twitter or any other social media outlets, ever!
The local council do have the ultimate power to issue official warnings or an ‘abatement notice’. The abatement notice aims to forbid the nuisance from happening altogether or just to restrict it to certain times of the day. If your neighbour fails to adhere to this notice it is actually a criminal offence, leaving them open to a fine. In some areas of the country, councils have the right to get out on the spot fines. Councils are obliged to take action under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
Getting the police involved
If a noise disturbance happens to play out at night, usually when it happens between the hours of 11pm and 7am, your local police will usually be the ones to take action. They will normally sent a community support officer to take responsibility for taking action on any noise complaints. They will usually be able to intervene to get the music turned down or off, or even help t mediate towards an agreement.
If a noisy neighbour is persistently disturbing the area, it can be seen as anti-social behaviour. If they are in rented accommodation they may be at risk of losing their home, as the landlord may evict them. This applies whether they are in local authority or social housing, or privately rented accommodation.
All of this information provided her applies to all forms of anti-social behaviour, other than violent and threatening behaviour. If there is violent or threatening behaviour report them directly and to the police every time.
For more information, watch this useful video below from an experienced property lawyer: