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Your Rights Under the Noise Act 1996

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 9 Sep 2021 | 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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Mynext door neighbour either practices with his band or I suspect hires out his extension as a music studio, the nose is mostly during the day but, I can't enjoy sitting in my garden and have to close my windows,however we are not in attached properties, but the the noise is horrendous, heavy metal, rock, they are quite arrogant and appear to have no consideration for anyone living in the street, do I have any rights, I am reluctant to approach him directly
Jack - 9-Sep-21 @ 6:47 PM
So i got this neighbor that always keep up stuff round they house have cars pulling up left to right , loud talkn throwing trash constantly getting they house broke into but always got something to say i know what im capable of doing so i ignore it but im fed up what do i do ? How do i contact landlord?
Mo Mo - 4-Sep-21 @ 2:52 PM
We live next-door to a family with 4 kids. Im a childminder so don't mind this at all I love kids. What I do mind is the mom allowing the kids out at 7.30am in the garden screaming which wakes me up. I mind at her children use to keep my children use to keep my child up with playing in the garden late at night. I minded that my husband could never sleep after a night shift because her kids think it's OK to shout and scream at each other and they think that's OK. So we spoke nicely to the mom. We moved rooms for my daughter and husband meaning I don't have the same room as my husband anymore.Then when her kids have woke me up yet again at 7.30 when I'm ill and I text her to tell her....the response was I will ask them to keep the noise down. I would be mortified if a neighbour had informed me my daughter had woke them at 7.30am. Then again my daughter is not allowed to play in the garden till 9am because I think its disrespectful.It's been 6 years now and I've had enough. What can we do
Angie - 11-Aug-21 @ 6:34 PM
I want to offer some solutions to peoples' problems. If a neighbour damages or removes your fence, bush or tree this is classed as criminal damage. Call the police. Don't worry about what people think of you, just do it! If people get noisy, speak to them once.After that just call environmental health and keep calling them.You need to do this to get evidence. Also keep a diary no matter how boring it is. If it is a rental property, email/write to the letting agent/landlord/housing association.Keep complaining to them, don't stop. If it is students you can also contact the local university/s and complaint to them. They are responsible for their students behaviour. If they are causing a disturbance the street at night, you can call the police. If they threaten, harass or touch you - call the police. If a council housing association, police, university etc. is treating you badly, contact you local councillor or even MP. Don't back down, don't fold like a deckchair at the first hurdle, stay strong and keep pushing. YOU ARE NOT THE BAD PERSON, YOU ARE NOT MAD, YOU ARE NOT THE PERSON IN THE WRONG!
Kerry - 7-Aug-21 @ 8:56 PM
I need an advice please. My mum is 69 years old, living in a council flat for 6 years now. New lady opposite her which has just moved in last year July 2020 is making a loud banging noise. The noise is coming from her kitchen and is like a wooden item that banging her kitchen worktop that kind a noise. Alway happening late evenings, midnight and early mornings. My mum is struggling to sleep, she couldn’t get proper and enough sleep and she get headache when she’s lack of sleep. My mum have spoke to the lady 3 times but nothing changed. We have reported the issue many times to the council and even the council officer is also aware of the situation. We’ve been told that the lady has a medical issue. How do we deal with this situation because if she’s got medical issue then obviously the council won’t do nothing. This lady is making my mums life hell. If she’s got issue then she supposed to be in the constitute where she can be monitored and risk assessed. Can you please advice me what to do?
Mar - 26-Jul-21 @ 11:07 AM
My boyfriend and I work long hours and are always exhausted; needing to go to bed before 10pm to be up early the next day for work. Our neighbours are older but like their surround sound and watch films and tv every night with the base turned right up and the noise, and sometimes vibrations, in our house are becoming unbearable. Some nights they don't turn it off until nearly midnight. We have spoken to them on so many occasions and they always apologise and claim they are really embarrassed and conscious of the surround sound now and will turn it down and yet each night is exactly the same. I have health issues and this is making things much worse for me. Not to mention my mental health. Please can you give me some advice. I am at my wits end.
B. - 25-Jul-21 @ 9:22 PM
My neighbours have built 12 cages outside ,each housing 2 parrots ,plus birds inside macaws etcfor breeding.The noise inside and out is constant, They are residing elsewhere at present and have other people coming to attend. We have no solice inside or in the garden. What’s to be done?
Baz - 25-Jul-21 @ 2:14 PM
I need an advice please. My mum is 69 years old, living in a council flat for 6 years now. New lady opposite her which has just moved in last year July 2020 is making a loud banging noise. The noise is coming from her kitchen and is like a wooden item that banging her kitchen worktop that kind a noise. Alway happening late evenings, midnight and early mornings. My mum is struggling to sleep, she couldn’t get proper and enough sleep and she get headache when she’s lack of sleep. My mum have spoke to the lady 3 times but nothing changed. We have reported the issue many times to the council and even the council officer is also aware of the situation. We’ve been told that the lady has a medical issue. How do we deal with this situation because if she’s got medical issue then obviously the council won’t do nothing. This lady is making my mums life hell. If she’s got issue then she supposed to be in the constitute where she can be monitored and risk assessed. Can you please advice me what to do?
Mar - 25-Jul-21 @ 12:57 AM
I was looking online for an issue that me and my family have and I really hope you can help or have some suggestions : we live in a flat where the neighbours from the basement floor use to make party every weekend until late. I tried to talk with them and this didn't work, I tried 2 times to send an email to the agency and landlord and they just sent my complaint to the team but there is no improvement. My dad, mum and brother have to wake up at 4.00 AM -5-00AM in the morning to go at work and when they come at home at 15.00 PM they want to relax and sometimes they take a nap because tired, they cannot because the basement floor makes party with loudly music, loudly singing and shouting and talking from the people invited , basically It's like we have a pub downstairs , and this is continuos from 15.00 PM until 23:30 PM or sometimes even more , without any break. This is affecting my family mentally and physically and we can't even leave the flat to find a better accommodation because we have 2 years clause, We don't know what to do , no one of us can sleep and relax, I hope you can help to know at least what we should do,
Aisha - 19-Jun-21 @ 12:24 PM
I was looking online for an issue that me and my family have and I really hope you can help or have some suggestions : we live in a flat where the neighbours from the basement floor use to make party every weekend until late. I tried to talk with them and this didn't work, I tried 2 times to send an email to the agency and landlord and they just sent my complaint to the team but there is no improvement. My dad, mum and brother have to wake up at 4.00 AM -5-00AM in the morning to go at work and when they come at home at 15.00 PM they want to relax and sometimes they take a nap because tired, they cannot because the basement floor makes party with loudly music, loudly singing and shouting and talking from the people invited , basically It's like we have a pub downstairs , and this is continuos from 15.00 PM until 23:30 PM or sometimes even more , without any break. This is affecting my family mentally and physically and we can't even leave the flat to find a better accommodation because we have 2 years clause, We don't know what to do , no one of us can sleep and relax, I hope you can help to know at least what we should do,
Aisha - 18-Jun-21 @ 5:38 PM
Hi my neighbour stays away from her home 4 to 5 days a week. Her 25 year old son and girlfriend stay there when she's not there. They constantly bang doors and kitchen unit doors. Shout loud run up and down the stairs all hours through the night. Which keeps waking us upI have previously reported them a few years ago to the council as she's a council tenant so we are not on speaking terms. Can you please advise me what to do. Thank you.
Dee - 16-Jun-21 @ 2:46 AM
I live on the 1st floor in a block of flats (5 in total) My bedroom is directly situated above the communal bin area.  This gate has been installed in the last 8 months to deter other residence to dump rubbish and bulk waste. Whilst I am actively corresponding with the managing agents of the block  What can I email them as I feel that they have not assessed the implications, problems and issues I am having.  I am literally having a nervous breakdown and feel I am not getting any support or resolution. Whilst the management company understand my predicaments I feel that they have compromised the situation by opting for cost instead of quality. Are you able to spare some moments of your time to guide me please.??
KELLY - 12-Jun-21 @ 2:01 PM
I live in a two bed flat with my partner and children on 1st floor and we are suffering lond music and shouting and drinking alcohol from our nabour below us we can not sleep its not fare on my children what can I do to get it sorted
Bill - 14-May-21 @ 8:52 PM
I am elderly,severely disabled and housebound,and have been forced to put up with overhead neighbours legal ‘domestic noise’ for twenty four years.There are economic reasons why I cannot move out,The current owners of the flat above have a hefty three year old boy,who thunders around on bare floorboards,in and out of the rooms;running,marching,stamping,banging on the floor and jumping off the furniture and onto the floor.All of this over my head,in the room where my disability confines me for most of the time. There is no soundproofing in the flats.I have pleaded with the parents to but some down,again and again,having explained my situation and the effect their noise is having on my mental health.,but they insist there is no problem because they claim to have rugs down.The nature of the noise proves this is not true. This is classed as domestic noise,and is therefore perfectly legal I pity people in the same situation during lockdown,driven to nervous breakdown or even suicide.How many will have taken their own lives? This law regarding so- called domestic noise should be urgently revised.
None - 2-May-21 @ 2:18 PM
Just moved into a council flat and the neighbours think me putting my kettle or hoover on gives them the right to start banging on the walls, this isn't antisocial but I'm a single father to a 14 year old son and to him its scary. What can I do as they don't speak English?
Buggaloo - 2-May-21 @ 7:37 AM
Hey, thought I would share my lovely neighbours antics.... I work 1 in 4 weekends and he chooses that weekend to do any building work in his garden, including painting my fence, putting screws in it and hanging lights off of it... We have covenants on the houses but it seems the letting agency have allowed him to break them. I'm also having to prove to the letting agency that the fence is mine, who also seems to think she can treat me as a tenant.... The other problem is his constant bloody loud music and base... He seems to be of the opinion that if he rents it he can do what he likes... I'm a woman nearing retirement age and starting to suffer from anxiety attacks which I have never had before...I've even had to sleep in my car on several occasions and have to sleep on the settee due to him playing his games in the bedroom that backs onto mine.... After a year of nothing being done, I'm starting to question my mental health... I want to move, but he even complained about that as his vehicle was in the photo!.... ??????
Kitty - 25-Apr-21 @ 12:13 PM
myfriend works fora dentalsurgerybut ithasaresidenceaboveithedoes3daysaweek butisgettingharrassedjustforopeninguptheshuttersinthemorninghestartsat6amsurelythisispermissableasitcouldwellbe apappershopwhichwouldopenmuchearlier
KHANN1 - 7-Apr-21 @ 2:09 PM
I want to ask how I can deal with my noise neighbors?The people from the ground floor are having party's over night playing loud music,next door neighbor has always flights with his wife and the neighbors upstairs having loud music as well. During this lock down I think everyone is going crazy and instead of keeping distance they are bringing people who are not living here, and I feel like I live in a nightmare. I need to wake up early in every day at 3 am and I am at home from 7 pm just.I would like to know what I should do to make them stop because I can't resist no more having not enough sleep because of them.Please give me advice.
Moon - 3-Apr-21 @ 10:51 PM
I live on a ground floor flat and just got new neighbours. He has started knocking on my wall at midnight all the way through to 5am. I suffer with insomnia so I usually watch tv during the night but I only have it on a very low volume (3) just so I can hear it. Its definitely not loud enough to be classed as nuisance noise. I also suffer from anxiety so him banging on my walls is quite scary for me. How do I deal with this?
Neighbour - 23-Mar-21 @ 12:25 AM
Hi I'm really struggling. I moved into a block of flats just over a year ago. I live on the ground floor and own the flat. I am experiencing extremely disturbing noise from the lady that lives above me. The lady has down syndrome, lives alone and cries and screams almost every night, sometimes going on for a number of hours. I was able to speak with the ladies parents when I first moved in and raised my concern. Her parents refused to acknowledge my concern, claimed that I was lying and stated that nobody in the block has every raised this issue. I have brought the concern to the council but so far they have not been very forth coming with help or advise. I'm also concerned for the ladies well being, she sounds extremely distressed most evenings. I have contacted social serviceshowever they took the concern it back to the parents and nothing has changed. Its obviously not very pleasant to her someone in distressed late at night almost every night. As well as being concerned for my neighbours wellbeing, the noise I am experiencing is have a detrimental impact on my own mental health. I spoke to another neighbour who lives above the lady, they informed me that the issue has actually been going on for a couple of years and various concerns and complaints have been made in the past but the situation has continued. They don't seem very willing to raise another concern. I'm really at a loss of what to do
Collie - 22-Mar-21 @ 10:56 PM
Good day . I don't reallyunderstandhow worklaw's. I'm night time employee doing 12hours shift 6 to 6 . Question - if I can't play loud music or do construction work night time on my days off because people sleep, how come newham Councilcan send them peopledrill all day long outside my doorfrom 8am in the morning. What about my rights? Day time employees can sleep and rest but what about us who works night time ? We live by differentrules ? Our lifes is no matter ? Why we pay same for everything if we not entitled in having normallife like rest of you ?
Nasa - 5-Mar-21 @ 9:11 AM
My student neighbours are a ongoing nightmare always partying breaking covid rules am sure anyone in the Wavertree area or smithdown can relate its a absolutely nightmare, I went through complaint process with city council . Waist of time obviously never made a difference My kids get kept awake regularly by the partying.They should be a rule to how many student properties in a street because only 7 in my street are not student dwellings,..
C - 23-Feb-21 @ 1:26 AM
Livenext to a school which as been open all year includingholidays andnoise is constant Teenage kids of caretaker think try can make as much noise as they wantand lockdown rules do. Not apply to them WhAt can I do to stop it
Cheesed off - 15-Feb-21 @ 11:42 PM
My neighbours are very noisy every weekend, the police where called on friday night banged on the door for several minutes with no answer they then drove off. Saturday night again the music and noise was again very loud, i did not call the police because it seems a waist of time if that's all they are going to do. These people are also braking the covid rules by letting people who do not live there, to come to they're house. This noise is ongoing every weekend next door is an 80 year old gent on his own, who can not confront them. The estate agent has been informed yourselves has been informed the police, but nothing is being done. The address of the property 4 GELLI DEG STREET MEASYCWMMER. This is been ongoing for months
brun - 31-Jan-21 @ 5:48 PM
I have relatively new neighbours which started off on a bad foot them blocking my drive but all quite until now,during lockdown they have started a gym in their garden dropping weights and a Medicine ball on the concrete,I am trying to work in my office to the sound of a pound pound pound of gym equipment,can I do anything about this it’s driving me nuts
Exhausted - 11-Jan-21 @ 10:01 AM
I live in a 200 year old building that was converted into flats in the 1980s. There appears to be no sound insulation between the floors, so there's just carpet and floorboards, rafters and plasterboard with a void in between. When I say you can hear everything I mean everything. The couple in the flat above me have a young child and I've heard it's entire history in great detail, from conception to first birthday party! Impact noise is the worst - dropping toys and bottles, toddling and falling over. These register at least 92dB on my sound meter. I'm really looking forward to when he's heavier and learns to run and jump. All joking aside this is a serious mental health issue. My wife suffers terribly with stress made worse by the crashes and bangs that we have to put up with every day. She has PTSD and Anxiety Disorder and when things get too hard too cope with she self harms and plans suicide attempts. I've spoken to all the relevant people - my neighbours, their letting agent (who represents their absent landlord) and our building's management company - but nobody seems very keen to help. I think this is a building regulation issue but, given that regulations only seem to cover new builds, what are my rights? I'd rather get their landlord or the management company to retro-fit noise insulation than pay for it myself.
Will - 20-Dec-20 @ 1:22 AM
Every weekend people have party music so my son can't sleep i told the council so many time I put in for a move still waiting the music bean on 6 she will keep it on till 3or 4 in the morning
Annhughes - 27-Nov-20 @ 10:34 PM
My neighbours have just had twin babies and the noise is like a terrifying cock fight or perhaps even stray tom cats bickering over a lady cat. Every hour on the hour the incessant screaming of these nascent youngsters is causing me actual bodily harm. I told the mother to buy the babies dummies, but she said that they are called dummies for a reason and that it's very hard indeed to obtain free braces on the National Health Service in this day and age, and besides, who knows when dentistry will be back to normal with the backlog? I asked her if she is breastfeeding and if so, if the father could suppliment this with powdered food and I had such an earful of verbal that I am afraid to offer any more suggestions. I am thinking of buying a pair of cockerels in order to give them a taste of their own medicine.
SandroRandent - 25-Nov-20 @ 9:56 PM
Next door has been empty for 18 months. It was bought in March. They couldn't move in due to covid. Finally in the last month or so they have started renovations. They are not yet living in it. Now we have intermittent loud renovation noises 7 days a week from 0830 and continuing into the evenings. There is no escape!! I work from home so I am now considering renting a 1 desk office somewhere. I know they need to get it done and no time is a good time but after a full day of noise it's not acceptable surely to have it in the evenings too?
Grumpy - 25-Nov-20 @ 7:24 PM
Is it possible to get a noise measuring device sent out. I live in a terrace and next door building effecting other neighbours incl myself for 5 months woken up to loud banging and drilling men walking on my roof. Its all hours morning, during day, evenings, sundays and we have kids either side of this neighbour and With no end in sight id like to know what can be done.
BT - 23-Nov-20 @ 8:36 AM
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