Noise surrounds us all the time, we need to remember what might be considered as music or a pleasant sound to us may be a noise or din to someone else. Because we live so close to others and our machinery and audio equipment are far more powerful than they used to be, and therefore the sound generated from them can easily impact on others.
Your neighbour might not realise they are causing you a problem. First you should ask them to stop making the noise or try to reduce it. (See our guide to resolving neighbour disputes) If you’ve done this and the noise continues, you can make an official complaint.
How to make an official complaint
To Make an official complaint you must Complete the Request for Formal Investigation form and send us evidence of the continuing disturbance using the Witness Record Sheet.
*Official complaints will not normally be considered unless both the request for formal investigation and evidence has been submitted.
Types of Noise
Barking dogs and cockerels in particular can quickly irritate neighbours. As the owner of a dog and/or cockerel, it is your responsibility to ensure they are not disturbing other people. Dogs can be more of a problem when the owner is out as they may be unaware that the dog is barking. Other animals, especially if they are kept in large numbers, can also cause noise problems, so always be mindful of your neighbours.
If you are affected by a noisy animal, let the owner know as this will give them the opportunity to take action. If you own a dog that barks there is advice on how to stop your dog barking.
Our home activities routinely create noise. Vacuum cleaners, washing machines and tumble driers are all examples of noises that we all have to live with.
We would not consider the following as a noise problem:
- Neighbours domestic appliances
- Walking over hardwood flooring.
It is likely that if you are disturbed by such noises that the sound insulation between your properties is insufficient.
Excessively loud music or music and DIY at unreasonable times would be considered as a nuisance.
Commercial and industrial
Most companies want to get on with their neighbours. If you are disturbed by noise from equipment or alarms, let the company know first. Remember that some noises from faulty equipment take time to repair. Companies also will make some noise by their very nature. It is only considered inappropriate for a company to make noise where they are not using good practice.
We cannot deal with noise from trains or cars on the rail/road.
Where work is being carried out on the rail or road, we would expect the contractors to take all reasonable steps to minimise the effect on local residents. As part of this they should notify you of start and finish times. Where this has not happened we can contact the operator on your behalf.
Aircraft Noise is dealt with by the RAF or Aviation Authority.
Keeping a record With all the above problems, it would help if you kept a record of when the problem occurs. For example, noting the date and time, type of noise, level (how loud it is) and where the noise is coming from.
Relevant legislation and regulation can be found on the DEFRA website under Noise and nuisance.