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Your Rights Under Noise & Statutory Nuisance Act 1993

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 19 May 2019 | 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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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
I had nightmare years with a previous council tenant with threats noise etc.They did a council exchange and the new neighbour is also a nightmare with loud music etc.Reading between the lines and dealing with my local council I believe she moved because she had trouble where she was before.Can I find out if she did and can I challenge why the swap was approved considering both tenants being problem tenants.
Elizabeth - 12-Mar-19 @ 2:25 PM
I have had continuous problems with my neighbor below since moving in his house is the party house every weekend. He has extremely large dj speakers which he blasts music from causing my whole house to vibrate. This continues from a Friday evening right through to Sunday’s. The problem I have is that he has a cctv camera which monitors the close door so he can see who is coming and going and adjust’s the volume of the music accordingly making it difficult for the noise team to catch the music at its worst. I have spoken to him on numerous occasions about the music and have explained it’s too loud however he thinks because he has lived in close longer than me he can do what he wants. The one time the noise officers caught him he was up at my door foaming at the mouth due to drug use twice the next day in a threatening manner, each time I walk the dog now when he’s drunk and on drugs he accosts me coming into close. I have complained to my housing officer numerous times but seem to get nowhere the noise levels reach 80dB, I am a single parent with a 13 year old at the end of my rope I really don’t know what to do any help would be great
shieldsgk - 9-Mar-19 @ 2:22 PM
We are having serious problems with our neighbours chimney flue which is located to the right of our bedroom windows.We cannot open the windows as the smoke comes into our property and it lingers in the garden.Our local DEFA have advised us that our neighbours are using the woodburner per manufacturers specification and has been installed correctly and have therefore taken sufficient steps to avoid a statutory smoke nuisance.Therefore DEFA have said there is little more DEFA can do but have advised us to take civil action.How are our powers greater than theirs ?And what part of the public health act can we use or is there another act we can use.We dont have a clean air act on the Isle Of Man.Many Thanks Sooty
Sooty - 2-Mar-19 @ 11:46 AM
Hi, I live in a massonette, I share a communal gall with one other neighbour. She has started complaining aggressively about how loud we shut the security door leading into the communal hall. We have tried shutting it as quiet as we can, but still she complains. Does she have grounds to put in a formal complaint to the Council?
Luci - 13-Feb-19 @ 7:52 AM
We live in a small rural hamlet where cockerels crow all night. Two very unsociable neighbours own them, the council were involved and did say it was a noise nuisance but left it up to us to take action. I feel let down by this decision and now I’m dreading the coming summer months. What can I do.
Treescape - 12-Feb-19 @ 8:18 AM
Hi there, I really need some advice... I've just moved in to a H, A, flat with my two young children. The week has been extremely difficult, as the nabour above plays loud music from 9:30 till 2:30 am and sometimes it's gone on all night till 5am...my children's father went up one night at 11pm as it woke the children up, they were apologetic and kept quiet till about 3am when I got woken up by people screaming and banging (to music).. I then proceeded to go up myself and the same thing happened, they apologised but continued, at this point I've had 4 hours sleep and my children have been up 6 times. I've called 101 but they couldn't help unless there was antisocial behaviour. What can I do? I'm so stressed, my children are so tired and my oldest is falling asleep in school because she's exhausted. Please help!
Gemz - 22-Jan-19 @ 6:30 AM
We have a neighbour who has put up 15 wind chimes in her garden including one that has been modified to be louder. Purely there for our enjoyment. We haven't slept properly in 3 days our children are exhausted my daughter can't focus on her exams and the house hold is at each others throats where we haven't slept. I am housing association as is the neighbour in question. We have spoken to the housing association who have been out and have hurd the noise themselves. They have written evidence (in her own hand) that they're up only to annoy us. She has been told to tie them up at night. Which obviously hasn't happened. We're at breaking point. What can I do? Thereust be a way of forcing her to take them down.
Scallywag_ewok - 16-Jan-19 @ 4:25 AM
Hi, I live in a quiet, respectable cul-de sac which was quite nice, however a couple of years ago a couple moved in with two children each, ranging in age from six to eleven years and have since had another. All are out in the road/pavement shouting and screaming, riding bikes up and down on road and pavements, sometimes leaving bikes where they feel like it, generally causing noise and disruption. when the parents are out they also are loud and vocal. Several neighbours are not happy about these private tenants but do not want to get involved, what can be done
tj - 29-Dec-18 @ 1:37 PM
Essentially you are wasting your time going to the authorities. The council, the police are not interested. In a nutshell you are on your own. Turn the tables and see fast they react.
wasteoftime - 4-Dec-18 @ 6:19 PM
I've just moved to a ground floor flat the neighbours upstairs constantly bang and run around while I understand they are children who on earth allows a five year old to run around and bang at 10 30 pm I have confronted them 3 times within my first week of living here they are adamant that they make no noise above me and will not listen to reason they also piled dirty nappy sacks outside the front door which I did report to the council soon as they heard about this they removed them . What can I do to get some peace and quiet ? Does anybody know ?
Aaron - 2-Dec-18 @ 9:34 PM
Hi I live in a cauldesac, with only myself and next door requiring access as it’s the only the way in or out of of the main close into a narrowing of the road and wide enough for three cars side by side( allocated parking as all other houses have drives,on our deeds) Opposite is the end off the terrace facing the other way. My neighbour opposite has started to run a buisness from her garden and I now have problems with a stream of people walking past my house and also blocking my exit with there parking,I have no other way to leave my home. They passthe front of my house and enter through her garden gate which she moved by 2 meters from its original position and has it opening outward onto my parking space and claims she has a right to access,I have asked her to turn her gate around to open onto her property but she refuses,I also have to look at signage advertising her buisness from my living room window,I have asked her to have her customers access through the front of her house and to park on her drive. Do I have any rights in this as in32 years I have been happy in my home and now feel I can’t stay .
P - 11-Oct-18 @ 4:35 PM
After installation of a noise monitor at my house, one of the installers went straight to the address I've complained about, whilst the other went to sit in the housing association's vehicle parked outside. The housing association have told me in a letter that both employees went to the address I've complained about, regarding another matter. Does anyone know if this visit from my house straight to the house I've complained about was supposed to happen. Please help.
WiL - 3-Oct-18 @ 3:20 AM
Hi, for the past week my downstairs neighbour has started to slam every single door, bang on every single surface in the flat with objescts to make noise.I went to see them as I thought that I may have upset them in some why and rectify the problwm. They denied it was them any noice but as soon as I got back to my flat the banging started again and didn’t stop until they went to bed. Is this still deemed as a council issue or can I call the police about this issue? As they are doing it on purpose and do not want to come to a resolution to make it stop. Not sure what to do as they rent from a letting agency but not sure which one, and do not think that they will tell me.
Witsend - 30-Sep-18 @ 12:33 PM
Hello Could you give me some advice Neighbors nearby own and run a kebab takeaway van,every morning around 1.30am they return home and start shifting all the equipment gas bottles and god knows what else into their garage, this goes on for 30-40 minutes and they are definitely not quite. Is there anything I can do as it's waking me up every night and I'm knackered
Pebble - 28-Sep-18 @ 6:03 PM
For the last two weeks my neighbor making noise a lot banging, shouting and house work including drilling at day andnight and my children can't sleep and I also work in day, so much disturbance due to my tenant neighbor. I told and explained them the law many times but they don't seem to be bothered. They also have so much dumped rubbish including furniture, carpet, clothes, shoes etc in back garden which is creating health issues. I complained to my local council's environmental health department but still waiting for response. This matter isseriously health issues and breach of Peace.
Mumtaz - 20-Sep-18 @ 10:39 PM
Hi! Advice please?! Power drill and building noise emanating from next door over a 1 year period. First four to five months was week to week, now there are gaps of up to one month and now it's sporadic weekends, where they start before 8 am on a Saturday and continue up to 5pm. Also on a Sunday. Have told local Environmental Protection team, who did send a letter outlining the permissible time frames, which are now being ignored. The EP team rep apparently spoke to the owner, who has convinced her that the noise and times are minimal and that it's just DIY, where the rules, it seems, are relaxed. The owner does not live there at present andis doing a complete renovation of the property. The noise has had a devastating affect on my health, especially as I never know when it's going to happen and I get woken up in the early hours by drilling. Please help?!
NickyB - 30-Aug-18 @ 11:37 AM
I live near a railway bridge and for the last couple of nights network rail have been undertaking excessively loud (non-emergency) works between 12am and 5am. This involves a pneumatic hammer against the metal underside of the bridge to strip off paint, constant running of a loud generator, constant workmen shouting and throwing tools / metal poles onto the ground. Tried speaking to network rail but they can not locate works details and am told it can take 20 days for local community rep to respond to a request! No letter received from network rail about works either. There is no need for trains not to be running whilst work is being done. Do I have any rights or ways of asking for the way they are working to be Changes?
Graeme - 16-Aug-18 @ 6:07 PM
Patu - Your Question:
HelloOur neighbour is into motorbikes and makes incredible disturbing noise when working on them. He does this almost every week day and also at weekends. Is there a place where I can find what the legislation says about hours he can’t do this?We work M to F so evening and weekends are the times to relax in our garden but many times we can’t as the noise is too much and we have to go inside.I rather speak to him first as he seems a nice person but wanted to know first what does the law say.Thanks

Our Response:
Councils can investigate complaints of statutory nuisance to tackle noise produced at any time of day or night. If this noise occurs frequently and is loud enough to disturb your enjoyment of your property, environmental health will investigate.
ProblemNeighbours - 13-Aug-18 @ 11:22 AM
Hello Our neighbour is into motorbikes and makes incredible disturbing noise when working on them. He does this almost every week day and also at weekends. Is there a place where I can find what the legislation says about hours he can’t do this? We work M to F so evening and weekends are the times to relax in our garden but many times we can’t as the noise is too much and we have to go inside. I rather speak to him first as he seems a nice person but wanted to know first what does the law say. Thanks
Patu - 11-Aug-18 @ 12:39 PM
My neighbours run a children minding business from home ..So i have people dropping there children of early in the morning by car door slamming under my bedroom window then having conversation under my Windows..Then the children running though the house so all i can here is them in and out side can I do anything about this please help
Dinky - 6-Aug-18 @ 5:43 PM
Cherre - Your Question:
Hi I am asking for advise as I've lived at my property for 4 years now and never had any issues against myself or my 6 year old daughter last night at 8pm my daughter was in the garden with me she was playing not overly loud as I don't usually let her out that late. The lady next door to me came out and started shouting at my daughter saying she had opened her gate o said she hadn't and she said she will be making a complaint. We share a communal gate which we then have our own fences inside the walkway of that gate and she has put up her own gate. I came back out an hour later and she had shut the shared gate aswell as her own gate I'm just looking to know what times I am allowed to use my garden and at what time is it ok for someone else to shout at my child. The lady let's her children in the garden from 7am most mornings with them shouting and screaming and I have never said anything so now would like an official time.

Our Response:
A child playing outside at 8pm would not be sufficient for environmental health to take action.
ProblemNeighbours - 1-Aug-18 @ 3:06 PM
Hi I am asking for advise as I've lived at my property for 4 years now and never had any issues against myself or my 6 year old daughter last night at 8pm my daughter was in the garden with me she was playing not overly loud as I don't usually let her out that late. The lady next door to me came out and started shouting at my daughter saying she had opened her gate o said she hadn't and she said she will be making a complaint. We share a communal gate which we then have our own fences inside the walkway of that gate and she has put up her own gate. I came back out an hour later and she had shut the shared gate aswell as her own gate I'm just looking to know what times I am allowed to use my garden and at what time is it ok for someone else to shout at my child. The lady let's her children in the garden from 7am most mornings with them shouting and screaming and I have never said anything so now would like an official time.
Cherre - 31-Jul-18 @ 12:40 PM
Hi, we have an ice cream van opposite that every night (from 8pm to about 9am) has his fan or something running until he gets up in the morning (when the van is then idling for about 20-40 minutes on his driveway). With the windows open it’s only 34 decibels (using a free app) at night but it’s just a constant low hum and I’m now on sleeping tablets. I need to have the windows open in this heat. Long story short without going into detail, it’s prevented me from working due to ill health and I now have no income! Is there anything that can be done, we’ve had a chat with him, but he says he has to do it.
Owner - 28-Jul-18 @ 12:02 AM
I have 6 different neighbours all at the of my house. Between those 6 neighbours there are 12 dogs. One of those dogs has been outside for 3 years constantly in the wind and the rain and the completely scorching heat, that we're having this summer. It never stops, the barking sets off all the other dogs & it's constant I can hear it waking up and I can hear it going to sleep it is driving me nuts. I constantly get headaches and cannot enjoy sitting outside. I also have a neighbour two doors down with two young children they are often out in the garden but they do not play quietly they just scream and shout from when they get in from school till about 10:30 each night. Now it's the 6 weeks holiday and I'm dreading it. Its the same problem with the dogs and the kids I cannot sit outside and enjoy peace and quiet. I have to shut all my windows and I can still hear the noise inside my house it is making me irritated depriving me of sleep and I cannot get no quiet time anymore. And with this heat keeping my windows shut is making the inside of my house like a sauna. I am at my wits end
Missy - 25-Jul-18 @ 10:17 AM
For the last 3 years now I have had the neighbor next door breaking down wooden pallets running a circular saw, belt sander and hammering from Monday to Friday (he disappears on weekends) from about 8:30-9:00am until 3:30-5:00pm. Have used a noise app that the local authorities suggest using to record and document the noise to pretty much no avail Thier solution was mediation of which I know would only make matters worse. Have now gotten them involved again and am also thinking about getting a local councilor involved as me my wife and kids can't even sit in the garden let alone of and piece and quiet in the house. She also suffers from 24/7 headaches which as you can imagine are made worse by the noise, I also suffer from ibs and the stress of listening to the noise all week doesnt help. Unsure what to do about it all, however looking over advice on the website I now have some ideas of how to combat this better than before.
Andy - 17-Jul-18 @ 10:31 PM
Hi, We have lived in our present house since 2004, on one side of us, we have always had younger families, Parents are in their early forties,we had problems with the other family who lived in the house previously, They were a younger family as well. This new family have two girls, one is eight and the other girl is 13, we have had to suffer noise from the children the younger daughter seems to scream all the time, also they Have from time to time a young man, who talks at the top of his voice and seems to cause the young girl too . scream. Some of it l think is done deliberately caused by the children's mother. We have had to put up with in the past with a barbecue being lit next to the fence which sides on to our back garden, l had my washing out on the line, the smoke caused my asthma to flare up. You cannot talk to the mother as she shouts at you, She don't let you get a word in. In term time the children have been known to be out in their back garden at 9.39.30pm in the evening, christmas they woke me up in the early hours with shouting, a nd acars engine running. With the cars lights full on, now l have these 3 children from the same family making a noise out the front and this screaming. I am at my wits end.we are both retired with ongoing health problems. What can we do.
Dunnie - 11-Jul-18 @ 9:37 PM
I am at my wits end with this clown nmext door and his very loud music itslike a dico in my house the police are a waste of time this music deafens anyone nearby but nothing gets done if its not his car next to my window its his bedroom or the rear garde windows open wide its a disgrace that one has to put up with this every day or every night I hear his music all through my house despite the factv that his bedroom is at least 10 yards away at the far side of his house from my house cant believe the police they sallied past the dy he was deafening everyone in the street they just couldnt care less they always say we have to catch them but they dont try to monitor the noise at all why not just have a walk round the public park behind the house and listen
tojo - 4-Jul-18 @ 5:12 PM
I have been plagued by 'ignorance' from the Local Authority& Council. I am a long residing council tenant for over 30 years. Since 5-6 years ago my nightmare began. I have a tenant who has moved in above me, and her business:Monet Specialist Home Furnishing Designs Curtain and Blinds. The noise from the her business can start early am .to the early hours of the next day, given an hour or two for breaks. I cannot relax , watch a film, read a book from the vibrations running through to my entire ground floor flat. The loud, knocking, pounding,grating running off my living room ceilings and bedroom is highly stressful.The property is meant for Social Housing,' old built in the late 50's poorly insulated made of metal for door frames and skirting board.This is unbearably loud and very disturbing, affects your mind , your health, and quality of life from the noise/work disturbance machine as well. Countless times filling in incident diary online forms, text sent to Environmental Health, and to the landlord constantly requesting for a noise recorder to be place again at my property . Nothing absolute nothing. I have exacerbated all lines of reporting this to the council and the Ombudsman l. This is wrong, inhumane to ignore how serious noise worse from a business could put so much strain on your health constantly having to repeat my self again and again to get no acknowledgement at all. ThisI have been battling for 5-6 years. Where is the Justice
SELLY - 3-Jul-18 @ 4:42 PM
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