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Your Rights Under Noise & Statutory Nuisance Act 1993

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 24 Jun 2020 | comments*Discuss
 
Noise And Statutory Nuisance Act Noisy

Your rights when it comes to the Noise and Statutory Nuisance Act 1993 work in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the Noise Act 1996, and when it comes to neighbourhood issues, it is aimed at protecting those who wish to make a complaint about excessive noise that is affecting their quality of life.

How Does It Differ From The Noise Act 1996?

Many aspects of the Noise and Statutory Nuisance Act 1993 are quite similar to the Noise Act 1996 in terms of the range of powers the courts have in issuing fines and other punishments to offenders. Where it differs slightly is in terms of how your Environment Health Department goes about establishing whether or not the noise levels represent a ‘statutory nuisance’.

What Constitutes A ‘Statutory Nuisance’?

The legislation states that the noise which is the cause of the complaint must be (or is likely to be) either detrimental to a person’s health and/or it is interfering (or is likely to interfere) with a person’s own enjoyment of their own property and land.

Your Local Authority’s Responsibility

Before complaining to your local authority environmental health department, you should consider contacting your neighbour to try and discuss the problem. We have produced two templates: an informal note and a more formal letter, which you can use if you'd rather write a note, or talking has proved unsuccessful. Take a look at the templates here.

It is your local authority’s responsibility, usually via an Environmental Health Officer, to investigate any complaints about noise emanating from the following:

  • Buildings (including domestic residences)
  • Land (such as construction sites, farms, domestic gardens, parks and nearby fields)
  • Vehicles (but not general traffic noise)
  • Machinery (such as equipment used in construction, road repairs and other outdoor sound equipment)

It is then up to the judgement of the Environmental Health Officer to determine whether or not the noise does represent a ‘statutory nuisance’. Within the Noise Act 1996 and the Environmental Protection Act 1990, the officer has the power to take further action in terms of issuing abatement notices and to proceed through the courts where necessary (possible action that can be taken is outlined in the Noise Act 1996 article which is also available on here on this website).

What if the Officer Disagrees?

If you feel you are being plagued by noise that represents a statutory nuisance but the officer doesn’t agree with you, then you do have the right to challenge that decision. You would need to find out how you would go about making a formal complaint from your local authority, and go down that route first of all. If that’s not successful, you can write to the Chief Executive of your local authority and try to enlist the help of your local councillor.

If, having done all that, the situation has still not been resolved, you can ask the independent Local Government Ombudsman to look into the matter. They will ensure whether or not all of the correct procedures have been followed through to the letter by the local authority in terms of what is set out in the legislation.

If the Ombudsman still comes down on the side of the local authority, however, (although they are independent so they may well determine that you DO have a valid case) you can still take the issue further by taking your case directly to a magistrate’s court. Nevertheless, the court would need to be convinced that your complaint does amount to a ‘statutory nuisance’ for any further action to be taken.

As with all neighbourhood ‘noise related’ problems, wherever it’s possible and reasonable to do so, you should try to resolve matters directly with the person(s) responsible for causing the noise nuisance first. Quite often, you’ll find that they weren’t aware that they were causing a nuisance in the first place, and will be happy to reduce or eliminate the noise so that peace can be restored.

On the other hand, if you have tried that method and failed, you should have no hesitation in calling your local Environment Health Department (but not the police) and let them use the powers of the law to try to resolve the matter.

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My neighbour cuts his grass every 3rd day at 7.30 in the morning before he goes to work. Ironically he’s usually home before 3 pm each day. I am disabled and suffer with multiple illnesses and he is unapproachable, being very defensive and intimidating. I’m at my wits end
Horsemadant - 24-Jun-20 @ 7:37 AM
Moved to what seemed a quiet country lane but with travellers further down. Yes it was a gamble I know but we viewed the property several times and all seemed very peaceful. Well....now we are plagued with traveller kids on motorcycles racing past night and day, extremely loud and have no consideration and are abusive. Most people would say told you so and we have only ourselves to blame, true, but when you have a legal right to live there and others who are making the noise should not be there it’s very frustrating, to a point my wife cries regularly. Any comments? Apart from told you so?:)
MJC123RED - 15-Jun-20 @ 10:09 PM
Please some one help me regarding My neighbours.
Karen - 13-Jun-20 @ 8:00 PM
A constant, loud, droning noise from Magma Ceramics Dewsbury is disturbing the lives of the residents living nearby. After speaking with them and the local council nothing has changed. It is so upsetting, that they are showing complete disregard for the wellbeing of their neighbours. What can we do next?
Jules - 27-May-20 @ 5:47 PM
i live in a quiet village in Scotland but the back of a spray painting garage has started to use his furnace late, until 9pm and on weekends and bank holidays. it is so loud you cannot speak to someone next to you outside. Openeing the windows in the warm weather is impossible. Tried to speak to the owner and he said he is allowed to run it as he pleases and that the as the garage was there when i moved in, that its my problem. Surely there must be certain guidelines for this kind of noise in a residential area.
Miriam - 26-May-20 @ 6:58 PM
Having weekly problems since lockdowns started with a neighbour 12 or more house’s away Every Thursday for caregivers clap at 8 o clock puts a large speaker on front garden And plays 50s / 60s music at such volume neighbours on next estate comment. On Facebook Saturday has become ‘’ street party day ‘’where she usually plays from 3 pm Till 9 pm ish sometimes longer depending on alcohol consumption Has a couple of neighbours who encourage her and rip in to anyone who complains VE Day was particularly late with three families dancing drinking using bad language Till 11pm
Mark - 23-May-20 @ 4:35 PM
We have new neighbours and they are playing loud music from early evening until the early hours. Is there something you can do to help? I'm a single mum and do not feel confident enough to speak to them or post a letter in case of repucussions. Please help.
Annie - 18-May-20 @ 9:04 PM
I live right next to a field which has never been a problem, however the last few days the farmer has put a siren bird scarer right outside our house. It goes off every half an hour for about 2 minutes, even at 5 am in the morning. It is disturbing my sleep terribly.
Misha - 18-May-20 @ 9:49 AM
My older neighbours are long term private tenants, both retired. My neighbour works on patio right next to the boundary fence a few yards away, his ‘open air’ wood workshop. The noise is a NUISANCE, often wood dust (one time sparks flew over fence from an angle grinder), now on lockdown it happens more frequently. They have been antagonistic since I moved in. I am quietly sat in the garden, they will walk along fence, decide to strim grass. They both smoke outside (never indoors), smoke drifts up and over fence and into open door and windows. They are either naively unaware or are intentional in their disregard. i have also noted some border plants wither or die? then it clicked they cleaned their paving! They are fastidious, hate mould, weeds, other plants and insects. I do not know what to do or say?? and this is their invisible agression. They do what they want.
MG - 29-Apr-20 @ 9:51 AM
I am woken every morning by my neighbour working out on the landing we share. They jump up and down the hall and stairs and have done for over a year. I finally gathered the courage to ask them to do it at a more considerste hour (not stop) as it's before 7am every morning and they finish by slamming their door. I suffer from mental health issues so sleep for me when I get it is important for how I deal and can cope with the deal ahead of me. I'm at the stage now where I want to take it further but I don't know what do so or where I stand as I own my property as does the nuisance.
Boo - 22-Apr-20 @ 7:20 AM
Upstairs neighbour constantly banging and bumping around drunk i think between the hours of 11 at night and 5 in morning every night. What can I do about this as i am getting woke every night.
Ela - 18-Apr-20 @ 7:00 AM
What can I do about next door constant construction work, This has been going on for over a year now. Knockin walls out constantly heavy drilling banging takin chimney stacks out taking windows out then putting the Same windows back in again just making more work for himself some times till after 11pm. I'VE had one letter from yourselves about this and stated on the letter that he has to stop after 8pm. But this sill carrys on after that times. Sometimes he doesn't start 4pm when hes been in all day, The noise is unbearable it gets that bad I felt like moving into Hotel just to get some peace. We turn up the tv but thats not working we have 2 teen age Boy one with anxiety and depression and it getting him down He is homeschooled because of illness his other brother is in Another bed room so he doesn't hear it as much. I'VE filled the forms out but because of the virus we cannot get out because of my health problems and doctors and hospitals Advice and both of us get bug's easily ware at risk. We went through the same about two year's ago with upto 40 in the house drugs, drink, fighting, noise, loud musicall night. We had police council that many times with them that time. And I thought thank god for that when they went but it's like there back with this why should we have to put up with this.
Ford - 15-Apr-20 @ 7:50 PM
I have neighbors that live above mewith a mentally challenged individual that runs,stomp,bounces a heavy ball on top of my head everyday and night I've knocked on the door to ask them to stop and doesn't respond then it gets worse I'm 72 years old with a chronic illness I've been going through this since they moved in had a meeting with management with no conclusion to resolve of this noisy annoying situation no one should be abused as such young or old you pay rent for privacy this is totally absurd if you can help me I would greatly appreciate it m.green
Gregory - 24-Mar-20 @ 3:19 AM
I have been living in an apartment building for almost 4 years now. I live on the ground floor and there are a couple with two kids who live below my apartment. My bedroom is facing the back of the building (which is also home to other block of apartment). The parents let the kids play outside all day, for long hours. Which isn't a problem until I have to study or work in my bedroom or even sleep. They scream, bang on metal things and make noise non stop. I have spoken to the parents several times but simply got dismissed. I have also complained to the landlord several times and a couple of times the issue got fixed temporally. This is causing me so much stress and anxiety as I pay a significant amount of rent for a room that I can't find peace of quiet. The issue started again and now the landlord told me he doesn't want to get involved? I wonder if he can simply opt to not solve an issue and how can I go around about that?
Luz - 23-Mar-20 @ 2:14 PM
Could someone help me please. I have lived in my property for nearly 7 years now and next door to a family with 2 boys, in their teens I quess. There has been regular repetive noise from “singing” shouting crying and raised “1” voice..the father. I believe he is ex army and although makes himself out to be a law abiding citizen, I feel there is a lot more going on! I did contact my local council environmental health a few years back when after trying to approach him regarding noise, he completely ignored me and continued even more. The children were young when we moved in and I have never or my family spoken to them! They walk with their heads to the ground as does his “wife”. I have endured for the past 12 maybe more months this constant noise which sounds like a Gym set up in the hallway. I can’t sit in my sitting room as the noise vibrates through out the house but worse in that room. It’s like running and jumping from early morning till late at night! There is also a sound like an industrial machine, like a sanding machine which vibrates throughout the house and seems to hit the skirting boards, all in the hallway. My daughter has knocked on the door one night at 10.45pm to ask him to please stop as I was just out of hospital, he laughed in her face and told her the noise she was imagining was coming from my house! He is very controlling and intimidating and this has been witnessed by the actions of the children and wife around him..and on their own! When I did ring environmental health previously. I did mention my concerns for the wife and children, as my daughter had heard crying on numerous occasion from the property. I found this website while trying to find some way forward to deal with this ritual noise everyday. Week days or weekends are all the same. I live in a Housing association property and this neighbour has apparently bought his house sandwiched between 2 council properties. The house on the other side of him is council also and when myself and the tenant there spoke it was mentioned about the last episode of “singing” that was constant from 8am till late at night. I feel that I should have taken its further from the onset regarding my concerns but it’s become so stressful for us here that I need to get advice and act on this nightmare we endure everyday from a very intimidating neighbour.
Amen - 21-Feb-20 @ 10:38 PM
A family with autistic child moved in next door. We know how of orant we sound but nobody understands or cares the amount of noise he makes.His parents leave him in his room sometimes days at a time howling so loud you can hear him from the next house (2 doors down) and banging crashing and destroying his room.His parents intermittently come in shout at him or take him out for a few minutes presumeabley to feed him.On a bad day they also wind up screaming and shouting at him.The noise constant and glhorrific and is akin to a form of torture.We can't escape.Local authorities are not interested. Landlords are not interested.Quite frankly it's causing servers negative effects on our mental health.We are sick l, tired, run down worn out and utterly depressed.To add to our lot the parents are rude confrontational and make noise constantly too, parties, insane DIY and the man is a car enthusiast who fixes his car engine and when I say fix I mean play with he's done something to make it about ten times louder leaves it running for hours and the funds are so bad the smoke litterally comes into our house.They have garden parties every night in summer with loads of people drinking and generally causing chaos.When the weather's colder their in the living room while the kid is going absaloutley bezerk upstairs.We are at our witts ends. We can't get rehoused because we don't have any level of priority and even though I work I can't afford to go private. We feel doomed.I honestly think sometimes I might aswell be dead because I have no life and nobody seems to appreciate that we too are humans.
Tmith - 25-Dec-19 @ 1:22 PM
Right a year now nine in a two bedroom bungalow and the council will not do nothing they banging shouting slamming dumping drugs dogs kids running all over smacking kid on roof a year now and nothing done fed up work don't pay rent are tax and motor bike thieving to ok
Annette - 4-Oct-19 @ 1:20 PM
My neighbour has right of way through my drive in front of my house into the field. Which I have no problem with he has told me not to park my cat there as he has told me not to within me moving in within two days. But he crosses my drive a few times a day with his dogs off the lead shouting at them outside my kitchen window very loudly to behave which I think is of no use. They have peed and pood on my drive which I don’t appreciate. All he has to do is to take them on the lead into the field where he keeps horse and chickens. His chickens are just over my fence foundry which I get lots of flies I don’t mind the chickens but I do take offence to him shouting without no need. What are my rights.
Izzy - 27-Sep-19 @ 9:15 PM
Neighbours from hell. dog barks from 7am to 10 am and 9pm to 12pm evety single day for past 3 years. It is hell. I cannot sleep in on a weekend, I cannot get to sleep on a work night.i am unable to do work at home. I cannot go out becuse I cannot sleep in the next day. Owners dnt work. Sit at home all day.i see them sitting on their phones drinking and smoking watvhing the dog bark. Depressed at this point...
Fedvh - 11-Sep-19 @ 12:05 AM
Neighbour has placed a washing machine up against our living room wall after moving his kitchen to the front of the house. When it is used it sounds like it is in our house as so noisy, like a rocket taking off, vibrations all through our house. Council are useless - stick to the statutory noise rulings despite fact that neighbour has placed washing machine on party wall and has no insulation between houses. Neighbour arrogant and ignores our complaints. What can we do?
Flo - 28-Aug-19 @ 12:01 PM
i live 20metres from a housing run centre the noise is unbeleable every weekend theres up to 40/60 people making noise shouting music playing load kids running everywhere screaming i have complained to my mp also to gallions who say its not a problem sunday mornings the worse people singing to the lord shouting amen at least 50 times cant stand it no more
sheila dorkins - 25-Aug-19 @ 9:21 PM
I live in a flat in Milton Keynes and I am bombarded daily with what seems to be door slamming, knocking on the wall and heavy footfall (like someone is stamping their feet while running/jogging). The neighbours even seem to stand by their window and start talking loudly so it penetrates my living room or bedroom and causes a disturbance. Interestingly the sounds can be heard in every single room so there is no way to escape it (I almost convinced myself I was being haunted by a poltergeist !!). I have spoken to my neighbours but it led to nothing and the noises continued. Like other people on this site have mentioned, it can affect my sleep badly and has a seriously detrimental affect on my wellbeing. I have found that using earplugs is an excellent way to reduce the impact from this environmental noise. Especially with sleep. I would recommend to anyone else who is also experiencing these problems to grab yourself some. You can get wax earplugs from most chemists, and industrial foam earplugs from most hardware stores ( I bought a pack of 50 from Screwfix ).
Bloody Ears - 14-Aug-19 @ 11:37 PM
Every year like clockwork theres always a big loud party with underage drinking lots of screaming and stupid behaviour...ok yeah i was young once but I had the respect for the people who have to work in the early hours of the morning and now I am one of those who works that type of shifts or at least come home early hours and all I want to do is try and sleep...they have no respect for any of us in this street or doesnt actually give a damn..#gonnacallthecops #hadituptohere
Miccy23 - 4-Aug-19 @ 12:03 AM
We have just recently moved into our new home. We have spent a lot of time & money on doing it up. However there is a family who live on the street who seem to run the whole place. I've never heard noise like it. They have 2 kids that attract kids from all over. Its honestly like living in the lord of the flies! Both parents don't seem to have a brain cell between them. Constantly shouting & swearing. Trying to reason with them would be out of the question. They have no regard for the rest of the neighbours. Its a case of we'll do as we like & make as much noise as we like. My health is suffering thru it. We can't enjoy our lovely home. Coming back from a recent holiday it was great to be away from them. But as soon as the car pulled up to the street I could feel myself tensing up & felt sick. No one should ever feel like this going home. I honestly hate them!
Wes - 25-Jul-19 @ 4:05 PM
Hi Everyone,well our neighbor who lives directly below are a real headache...they use the flat like a play ground . They have 3 kids and they are very very noisy, everyday there is banging, shouting,screaming and crying, makes no difference about time, day or night you can guarantee there will be some kind of disturbance. When the parents, especially the mother gets fed up of the noise you can hear her shouting at them then there is more screaming and crying and banging,it's constant...and she has a high pitched voice...go figure! Weekends are for relaxing,well this morning about 09:21 we finally got up because we we're woken up again by the downstairs neighbor my husband said it sounds like animal farm, bearing in mind the noise started from about 7 am. I started off keeping a noise diary,but got fed up of waking up in the early hours of the morning/ night to make notes! on a day off waking up at 5 am is no joke. My husband went down one Sunday morning ages ago and he was told by the male occupant to F'off,I was mad and wanted to knock him out, but my husband said don't go down stairs, then I imagined myself in a tiny cell locked up for neighbors who don't give a stuff! So I've decided to take the matter elsewhere, like C.A.B and hope for a better outcome. I could vent some more, but it's long, long, long (: Good luck every one
Blue - 20-Jul-19 @ 10:59 AM
I have a farmer who has moved his bails opposite my house and starts his tractors up at 7pm to wrap his bails and doesn't stop til nearly 11pm . I have kids that are being kept awake by the noise . I understand that these jobs have to be done but they don't touch them all day . Any advise ?
Obi one - 15-Jul-19 @ 9:28 PM
There is a fairground set up across the road from my building each year,less than 20 meters away.It lasts for 7 days The noise from it,being set up in such close proximity to a residential area,is so extreme that the whole building shakes,the floors vibrates,the windows shake,which I believe constitutes a statutory noise nuisance.This goes on for about 5 hours in the evenings on weekdays,and about 9 hours each day at the weekend for it's duration.Residents cannot watch tv,get any peace,have a conversation,feel at ease or anything else in their homes during these times.They should also not have to leave or be driven out of their homes due to the noise.It is extrenely stressful and causes great anxiety,and mental and sleep disturbances.The council refuses to monitor or acknowledge or accept such extreme volume played constantly,is damaging or breaches the Noise Act and also claims that it is NOT detrimental to health or wellbeing of residents.Is the council's environmental health dept breaking the law,and breaching residents rights,by not physically monitoring the decibel levels,or telling the fair operators to turn it down?Surely such excessive decibel levels that shake a building,is in breach of the law,and constitutes statutory noise nuisance?!
kirst - 5-Jul-19 @ 6:43 PM
Hi, We have recently moved into a house whereby the neighbour runs his own business from his shed. The noise caused is daily morning until evening and he is basically sawing, drilling, sandingconstant noise. Normally we are at work but my maternity leave is coming up and I would like to be able to enjoy my garden without constant loud noise. What rights do we have? We dont want to fall out with the neighbour but its very annoying.
Flowers - 28-Jun-19 @ 12:56 PM
I have been having problems with an horrific individual.He has placed an I phone and an alarm clock underneath my bed in his flat.The alarm is set for differing times and the sound of a flushing toilet is on most of the night. Other times after 11pm, he is banging walls and furniture. I was friends with this guy for nearly 6 years before he started this off. When I confronted him, he told me he was doing it because I ignored him once in the corridor.Usually I wouldn't mind, and just go through the council procedure. However, with all the universal credit debts and my grandma dying recently- I am stressed out to hell and want to knock him out. I rang the council asbo team at 10 am this morning- and am still waiting to speak to someone at 15.05. I did mention I am stressed to hell. This guy is 52 years old!!! A truly pathetic individual. He hides in his flat and wont come out.Why cause others trouble... it only comes back to you.
Duncan - 15-Apr-19 @ 3:11 PM
I hold wedding receptions in the summer and the local farmer off loads flints in the yard close to me and the noise is incredibly loud.This is often done on a Saturday afternoon when a wedding ceremony is taking place and I wonder if I can stop it, even if it's just for theceremony. Local neighbours are concerned about the noise as well.
Jenny - 18-Mar-19 @ 6:01 PM
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