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Your Rights Under the Noise Act 1996

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 31 May 2020 | comments*Discuss
 
Noise Act 1996 Neighbour Advice Noisy

Under the provisions of the Noise Act 1996 and other associated legislation, your local authority has a mandatory obligation to deal with any noise which is deemed to be a ‘nuisance’. It’s not simply at night where the act might come into force, nor is it restricted to common complaints like music and loud parties – general traffic noise, DIY/construction projects and use of other kind of machinery is also incorporated into the legislation.

Measuring The Noise and Permitted Levels

The Permitted Level Of Noise can vary depending on different circumstances and ignorance is not an acceptable excuse. If, for some reason, a person knows that an activity is going to result in excessive noise, it is their responsibility to check with their local authority what level is permitted and what is considered excessive. Local authorities have approved noise measuring devices to determine whether or not a particular ‘noise complaint’ is breaching the law.

Abatement Notices

If the local authority deems that the noise represents a Statutory Nuisance and/or that it’s likely to reoccur, they can issue an abatement notice which will stipulate that the noise stops altogether, is reduced to an acceptable level, or is only permitted between certain times of the day.

However, an abatement notice is not normally served immediately. Usually if you Contact An Environmental Health Officer, they will visit the ‘offender’ first to see if the problem can be resolved without having to take matters further. If the issue hasn’t been resolved within a week, then an abatement notice must be served.

If The Abatement Notice is Not Complied With

Once an abatement notice is issued, if it not complied with, then the offender will have committed an offence. There can be fixed penalty notices and both the courts and the police will now get involved. Fines of up to £5,000 can be imposed on individuals and up to £20,000 if it’s a business within or close to a residential neighbourhood which is involved.

In certain situations where the noise maker might end up being violent or aggressive, the police, in conjunction with the local authority, have the power to Issue An Anti-Social Behaviour Order and if the noise maker fails to comply with that, it might even end up with them even being sent to prison.

Seizing of Equipment

Once an abatement notice has been served, if it is not complied with, an officer from the environmental health department or someone acting upon their behalf, such as a police officer, has the power to gain entry to the residence and to seize the equipment responsible for the problem under warrant provisions. This can be done by force if necessary and can result in a further fine if the person involved wilfully tries to obstruct the removal of the equipment.

The equipment can be seized for up to 28 days, and it is up to the courts to decide what will be done with the equipment in the long term. If no court proceedings have begun within 28 days, the equipment must be returned to its rightful owner. However, if the court decides to convict a person in relation to the said equipment, then a forfeiture order can be made by the court which deprives the offender of any further rights to the equipment.

What to Read Next...

Your Rights Under Noise and Statutory Nuisance Act.

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Another article that refuses to touch on pain in the a**hol3 kids. Been at my residence for approximately 4 years now and all the flats in my building are 1 bedrooms. How that sewer rat above me managed to go from 1 - 4 kids is beyond me. Everyday I wake up with more and more hatred for her than the day before as everyday I'm awoken by BANGING, JUMPING, SCREAMING & WAILING. Her negligence had cause a flood to my flat twice in one year with her only excuse: "I can't control a 4 year old".
Had enough - 31-May-20 @ 7:38 AM
Every Saturday night we have the same people from 69 grangewood street playing loud music from 9pm until at least 4am. During the lockdown people from the last house in Grosvenor road whom are friends with no. 69 are always around there and it’s getting to the point madness. We can’t have the windows openbecause of the noise and it can’t go on. Something has to be done.
Tez - 31-May-20 @ 2:15 AM
My neighbours are driving me mad no sign of them all day till about 7pm when the fire pit gets lit and the loud talking and drinking starts and continues till the wee hours. Can’t get to sleep since lockdown began. They regularly have visitors in drinking with them in the tiny not suitable to social distancing garden. Best of it is the woman of the house is supposed to be shielding. She has even contacted our local council to see if shielding letters are going to be extended what a joke. I have to return to work next week and I get up at 5:30am I’m dreading it. My mother is 76 and very unwell they keep her awake at night it’s not on. I don’t want to start an argument with them but I’m going to have to do something.
Kitty - 27-May-20 @ 1:38 AM
Lived on a lovely friendly street until 'they' moved in. Older couple, grown up.kids - hordes of feral grandkids at the property every single day. Foul mouthed, violent,destructive, disrespectful trailer trash. Lockdown? What lockdown?Still there, every day, trashing their - rather, the landlord's gardenthe next door neighbour's fence and garden and coming across the road into our property. Told to go away - most politely,and answered witha lovely mouthful of effs and jeffs!In rhe evening, the majority are picked up by lockdown ignoring parents, the street areleft with 16 year old man-child and his Vicky Pollard girlfriend, her language is a joy to behold. Seems like the whole history of this family will repeat itself again - another 16 year old pramface claiming benefits that we all flipping pay for. Probably the first of several by different dads! Notice the 'adults in 'charge' still taking advantage of their furlough - no hurry for those lazy chancers to get back to normal! Drinking and shouting over their fire pit into the early hours more important! Thank god I'm back to work and out of this hellhole for at least a few hours a day! Feel sorry for the other posters on this site. The we're all in it together message was a joke where stupid neighbours are concerned - more like I'm in it for myself and everyone else can eff off!??
Tired83 - 26-May-20 @ 3:03 AM
Found this chat by chance and so pleased to see it is not just me who has been driven to the point of murdering a noisy neighbour during lockdown.My neighbours have had several all night garden drinking parties and l mean all night, drunk rowdy behaviour with music and smoke from fire, l can't open rear house windows due to the smell and noise, had the police around one night to break them up.But any sunny day they are out there radio blaring drunk and noisy groups of kids screaming and climbing on my fence to jump onto their trampoline, they have been told to get off the fence which is on my land not a party fence, and now one of them has taken to playing drums in a makeshift garage which means listening to TV is a nightmare.What has annoyed me is radio stations are not being thoughtful enough to put out messages about enjoying music but consider others, TV promotes doing everything noisy during lockdown but never any mention of thinking of others.If you suffer from ptsd etc loud noise is not good.At times l have felt like sitting and crying, l can't enjoy my garden and now onside is becoming as bad.He is not approachable and neither is his partner.
Nettleship - 23-May-20 @ 5:15 PM
We live in a very urban area where homes are very close to each other and there are a zillion of them.Next door folks apparently put in underground speakers and have music blaring 6-8 hours a day.The music is good but I can't live like this -our backyard is now taken up by their music and I can hear it indoors.What about medical workers and anyone else working shifts, or sick folks during COVID?Underground speakers in a crowded area????
Dani - 22-May-20 @ 2:54 AM
Since lockdown my neighbour has been in his garden everyday doing some kind of work. He is using power tools, electric saws, Sanders , you name it he's using it . It starts at 9.30 and goes on all day. It is so loud...it is causing problems with my mental health. I am at high risk to the covid19, so am unable to leave my house..until the end of June..if ever!!! This means my only source of fresh air is to sit in my garden. But I cannot do this with the constant noise. I cannot approach the neighbour as he is highly volatile and threatening What can I do before I go insane?
Goingdeaf - 21-May-20 @ 10:24 AM
Signed the petition Jamie and thanks for making one.
suzana - 20-May-20 @ 6:46 PM
I’ve made a petition – will you sign it? Click this link to sign the petition: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/321423/sponsors/new?token=OjCL7AxCkNVIZNcj68f9 My petition: Noise Nuisance act doesn't do enough to protect people from noisy neighbours Give council enforcement officers more powers to enforce and catch neighbours making unreasonable noise nuisance from DIY or LOUD MUSIC preventing them from making peoples homes hostile and uninhabitable and causing serious health issues On the spot fines Every time the officer deems the noise unreasonable At the moment the process is impossible to penalise these people the environment officer has to hear the noise several times before prosecution councils are short staffed and officers take hours to attend and witness these incident by which point the noise has normal ceased Allow submission of CCTV as evidence of noise disturbances Look at how German laws protect there citizens and take a leaf out of there book
Jamie - 19-May-20 @ 10:47 AM
Hi, My husband is doing some diy work in the garden.He is starting mostly after lunch and finish at 6pm.The work involves screwing and some cutting work.It is not every single day,no bank holidays,Sunday and tries not to do it on Saturdays too.We moved into our house And it was nasty after previous tenants.My neighbour complaints about the noise,because they have extension in their back garden,where they spend most of the times.Every other household has their front room in front of the house.No body else has complaint just them.Even when we’re doing work in front garden they had a problem,while saying they don’t spend much time in front of the house.I understand it seems we are constantly doing something,but the the house and garden wasdisaster when we moved in and we just want to make it ours.We also had a play house which did not bother them,now my husband is redesigning it ,suddenly it is invasion of their privacy,I don’t understand how ,when his wife said that if don’t want it they’ll have it for their children. Today,He has said he is going to report my husband to the council,which is fine ,because,if we are doing something wrong we will take responsibility for it.What is really reasonable hours Or guidelines for DIY work?
Iv - 18-May-20 @ 10:18 PM
We moved into our house just under 4 years ago and, since then, our neighbour has been doing house alterations 7 days a week, from morning until late afternoon and later in the summer. The years of constant hammering, drilling and banging is driving us to distraction.I certainly don't want to fall out with them but it really is affecting our enjoyment of our home and sitting in the garden.We are due to retire next year and going out to work Monday to Friday is our only respite.
Chris - 18-May-20 @ 3:53 PM
Hi guys. Quick question. My neighbours son (who does not live at the property) uses there driveway to carry out mechanical work on peoples cars. I don’t really mind at day time however he is here on a Saturday and Sunday morning making considerable noise. I believe the property is a council house. Any advice is appreciated.
Dee - 18-May-20 @ 12:31 PM
Although in lock down my husband is still working and he is a driver working night shift so he comes home 7am. The neighbours are doing some DIY work and banging on the walls at 9 in the morning. He really needs to rest because driving all night is not a joke and sleepiness my cause huge accidents and probably kill someone!!! Tried to ask them to stop the noise In the morning but nothing worked yet!!!
Maria - 17-May-20 @ 10:52 AM
I am a victim of neighbours who apparently after 5 years of living next to us found our TV to be too loud during some days and only at certain times between 5pm and 9.30pm causing them distress and stopping them from enjoying their home. Since their complaints I've went to Boots to check my hearing tl establish if I've got a hearing problems. My hubby went to check the noise in their house, he could hear small vibration sound from subwoofer. As hes a plumber he noticed that the radiator is loose which makes the vibration louder. He advised to neighthat they can buy anti vibration clips for £2 each and he will fit them free of charge. We have reduced the bass that is at 2 out of 10. We watch stereo and only use home cinema if watch movies which is once or twice weekly. We have got arguments at home over acceptable TV volume, the other day I almost broke my leg while running from my bedroom to living room as TV commercials were broadcasted a bit louder. It all affects my 12 years old son. When I leave him at home because I'm going to walk the dog or do quick shopping each time I return home the TV is set on SILENT !!! He is simply afraid to watch TV! Same neighbours told off the other neighbour for being noisy, kids playing ball at the garden, running the stair, TV and music Is that mean that we can't have a bit of enjoyment at our own homes? I believe that people like my neighbourswho work from home and are oversensitive to outside noise should consider moving to detached house. Buying a new built townhouse with paper thin walls was definitely a bad choice. I can hear them sneeze and ringing phones. On Friday we have received a letter from council that there was a report of loud TV noise and that they will investigate Now I'm thinking that what if I will be told to reduce the volume? I wont be able to hear my own TV! We've tried this already, differentchannel is broadcasted with different quality. Surely that will be unfair on my family if we will be forced to stop watching TV. Please think before you accusesomeone for being noisy as the situation with our neighbours causing me a lot of stress and I must admit I dont deal with it well. I dont know what will happen, sometimes I dont want to live and have this stress over
Victim of Oversensit - 16-May-20 @ 11:13 PM
In lockdown at the moment, our next door neighbours play music extremely loud to the point it comes through the walls and we can't watch TV at an acceptable volume. We have a 2 year old and they start playing their music to excess at 7pm most days. They know we have a small child and they have teenagers so they understand the importance of a child's bedtime. Before lockdown they'd have a party every other weekend. We've tried talking calmly to them and their response was to turn it up higher and scream (literally) and sing as loudly as they could. They shout and scream constantly at each other even before lockdown. This can carry on for hours but they usually turn the music off before 11pm. We are stuck for what to do next. We do not want to talk to them again as we don't want to agrivate it further and we are wary of them as the police visit their house a lot so we have no idea what they are capable of. Any advice is welcome. Thank you in advance!
Cassie - 16-May-20 @ 8:26 PM
Currently in lockdown and am being driven mad by my neighbour who lives in the flat above. Have already asked him politely to not have his tv blaring at gone 3am however he completely denied it to be him, the noise continued so spoke to the council who sent a letter reminding him of noise curfews. After receiving the letter he knocked on the door and admitted it’s him who plays the guitar sometimes until 23.00! He speaks SO loudly on the phone and it’s driving me insane, he just has zero consideration for neighbours-it’s almost impossible to get any work done with his booming voice and being a key worker it’s exhausting. I don’t know what to do, feeling completely at my wits end. Recordings don’t pick up the noise well and since he denied the last incident I feel there’s no point speaking to him again, pure ignorance on his end!
KatieR96 - 14-May-20 @ 5:46 PM
Hi, it's almost 1 am and it's third night I have to listen to the neighbours making bonfire on the garden. The guy there is cutting the wood for his fire with an axe every two hours or so. I have bedroom where the conservatory is so I can hear every word, but the cutting always wakes me up. I slept maybe 3 hours yesterday and today again. They sleep in day and go like this the whole night till next day afternoon. We asked them twice if they could stop, they were arrogant and told us it's our problem. I'm tired!
L. J. - 10-May-20 @ 12:44 AM
To Janet below with the religious neighbour, could you perhaps tell her that God invented bluetooth headphones so that His Brethren would never miss a beat of the music?Maybe even buy her a pair...
Caravelle - 9-May-20 @ 6:27 PM
Noise nuisance is a curse. Only the victims know they are in hell and they are helpless. Noise nuisance Act is simply a joke. People playmusicin their garden for whole day - 7 day’s a week but nothing can be done. Surely this legislation must be reviewed with some strict rules. Unfortunately MPs. ministers, high ranking council officials etc generally live in well insulated, well behaved quiet area so they will not feelthe devastating effect caused by this. Noise doesn’t mean just loud music. Thumping bass, impactbourne waking noise which you can’t hear from outside but it can keep you awake constantly with a thumping heart.It’s curse.
Ash - 9-May-20 @ 10:49 AM
A house opposite and a few doors down plays music in the garden. It is loud enough to get a continuous bass and sometimes identify the song being played. It disturbs the peace of the garden and being able to read or work outdoors. We have called across to ask for it to be turned down. They reduced it a bit but the second time they swore at us. I'm not sure it will seem severe enough for council to act. Any advice?
Sue - 7-May-20 @ 11:55 PM
I am writing this at 4.30am. I am being driven mad by my neighbours son and what I believe to be sub woofer noise. Low bass pounding. His parents have built him a den in the garage directly next to my house wall, probably to get some sleep themselves. This 20 year old spends all night in there from evening to daylight am with this vibrating pounding noise going through my house and especially my bedroom. Funnily enough, you cant hear the noise from outside the garage. I have amicably contacted the parent 5 times now, and every time they say they cant hear it, but will talk to the son. To no effect, I am being driven mad, it is mental torture. I cant hear the music, just the vibrating thumping all night long. They are a nice family, but, I need to take this further as I am so stressed about this now and dread night time. The garage is a temporary structure and not built to contain noise. The speakers I am told by another neighbour are massive, but they do not hear the noise as they are on the other side of the house. These offending neighbours are tenants, andI I just want them to sort this once and for all. Should I report to the owner? I also get strong cannabis smell in my hall, and have been told that music is theirculture. I am so distressed, I could kill....Ialso live on my own and feel very vulnerable.
Jay - 7-May-20 @ 4:40 AM
Hi My daughter and l exercise to Joe Wicks from 9am four mornings a week. A neighbor said she works shifts and can hear banging on the carpet. Can l do my 20 minute work then or do l have to do it later?
Jj - 6-May-20 @ 7:10 PM
We are now in lock down , my house is bought the neighbour is rentingand has 3 children and does not work g we do not know who the landlord is, my neighbournow has her boy friendliving there and is smoking can5 throughout the day and late e ening I have asthmaand my hubby is recovering from cancer ,my neighbour swears and shouts at her children throughout the day but is quiet .luckilyat night,during the day we have a wakeup song usually 2 around 8.30 which she plays then goes quiet then from 10am we have her Alexaon volume 10 all day till around5ish we can never get our car outside our house as she has 2 and her boyfriendhas 1 and they always park in front of our house,her daughter con tacts my daughterwith threats about her tin her room or asks to use our wifi or stopping g liking her boyfriendpost, we have saidnothing g to them apart fromaking them aware we can smell cannabis through the walls and have tried to keep quiet and give her nothing that could set off any reprocussionsplease can you advise
Oscar - 25-Apr-20 @ 11:31 AM
We are now in lock down , my house is bought the neighbour is rentingand has 3 children and does not work g we do not know who the landlord is, my neighbournow has her boy friendliving there and is smoking can5 throughout the day and late e ening I have asthmaand my hubby is recovering from cancer ,my neighbour swears and shouts at her children throughout the day but is quiet .luckilyat night,during the day we have a wakeup song usually 2 around 8.30 which she plays then goes quiet then from 10am we have her Alexaon volume 10 all day till around5ish we can never get our car outside our house as she has 2 and her boyfriendhas 1 and they always park in front of our house,her daughter con tacts my daughterwith threats about her tin her room or asks to use our wifi or stopping g liking her boyfriendpost, we have saidnothing g to them apart fromaking them aware we can smell cannabis through the walls and have tried to keep quiet and give her nothing that could set off any reprocussionsplease can you advise
Oscar - 25-Apr-20 @ 11:30 AM
We are now in lock down , my house is bought the neighbour is rentingand has 3 children and does not work g we do not know who the landlord is, my neighbournow has her boy friendliving there and is smoking can5 throughout the day and late e ening I have asthmaand my hubby is recovering from cancer ,my neighbour swears and shouts at her children throughout the day but is quiet .luckilyat night,during the day we have a wakeup song usually 2 around 8.30 which she plays then goes quiet then from 10am we have her Alexaon volume 10 all day till around5ish we can never get our car outside our house as she has 2 and her boyfriendhas 1 and they always park in front of our house,her daughter con tacts my daughterwith threats about her tin her room or asks to use our wifi or stopping g liking her boyfriendpost, we have saidnothing g to them apart fromaking them aware we can smell cannabis through the walls and have tried to keep quiet and give her nothing that could set off any reprocussionsplease can you advise
Oscar - 25-Apr-20 @ 11:29 AM
We are now in lock down , my house is bought the neighbour is rentingand has 3 children and does not work g we do not know who the landlord is, my neighbournow has her boy friendliving there and is smoking can5 throughout the day and late e ening I have asthmaand my hubby is recovering from cancer ,my neighbour swears and shouts at her children throughout the day but is quiet .luckilyat night,during the day we have a wakeup song usually 2 around 8.30 which she plays then goes quiet then from 10am we have her Alexaon volume 10 all day till around5ish we can never get our car outside our house as she has 2 and her boyfriendhas 1 and they always park in front of our house,her daughter con tacts my daughterwith threats about her tin her room or asks to use our wifi or stopping g liking her boyfriendpost, we have saidnothing g to them apart fromaking them aware we can smell cannabis through the walls and have tried to keep quiet and give her nothing that could set off any reprocussionsplease can you advise
Oscar - 25-Apr-20 @ 11:29 AM
Hi to Sophie above with noisy students above her.All student Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreements will have a clause saying that if they cause nuisance to neighbours they are in breach of their tenancy agreement and their landlord can take action. Find out who their letting agent or landlord is and complain to them. I have had neighbours complain about noisy student neighbours on one occasion and I supported the neighbours.I reported the students to the local council, the local police, and to the university.That got results. Local residents are allowed a peaceful life.
landlord - 24-Apr-20 @ 6:45 PM
I have been living with a noisy neighbour for nearly 2 years now and at first i put up with it as me and my family were not home much and as it wasn't effecting our life as much. I have spoken to her regarding it numerous times and each time hoped she would be understanding. Now i have a baby and at home most of the time, it is really effecting us living in peace and comfort. My neighbour plays music of varying loudness throughout the day from 10am to 10pm continuosly each and every day apart from Sundays. My neighbour is usually a nice lady and we get on ok. I have raised my concerns to her again recently and requested if she would kindly consider lowering the volume and have breaks during the day playing the music. Now I have a baby that needs naps and other children who need to do homework after school and need to be in bed by 8pm. We also need some quiet time during the day as it is difficult to read a book, watch TV or have some rest with the constant noise. She has agreed to lower the volume slightly after 8pm because of the kids but says she can't lower anymore during the day. She says its her religious duty to play the music and its beyond her control as God has commanded her to play her music. 'The music cannot be haltered' she says. She says she is a devout Christian and says this her way of life. Now, i respect her devotion to her faith but it should not effect someone elses comfort in living in their own home. I was hoping she would have consideration as our request was not to stop the music but lower the volume and have some breaks during the day otherwise there is no peace and quiet at any time during the day.Unfortunately, the small house we live in has thin walls and sound travels easily especially in the evening. Even after 8pm there is aways a constant thumping base sound until 10pm. Not sure what to do next as she seems fanatical about the music.
Janet - 17-Apr-20 @ 4:55 PM
You are all so rightthe noise act needs a damn good review. My girlfriend has to get up at 5 am to go to work and all we get is a loudmouthed guy in the 1 bedroom flat below us who's just moved in. He was here for 1 month then brought his girlfriend and her 6 year old kid into the premises to stay. Now it's mayhem until 1 or 2 in the morning. Unfortunately the council don't think this is a problem even though my girlfriend only gets 3 hours sleep. Lets face it the council are crap.
Drew - 12-Apr-20 @ 10:45 PM
I am living in a rented semi - detached house. We have a neighbour, a house apart. She always comes knocking at our house complaining about the pigeons apparently going to their house and pooing in their back garden. We do not own those pigeons nor feed them. Is it because those pigeons come to our roof that's why she complains about us. I have informed my landlord about it but he said, he cannot do anything about those pigeons. What should I do, because my neighbour is already stressing me out about this. Please advise. Thank you very much
Anna - 8-Apr-20 @ 6:10 PM
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