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Using Loudspeakers at Home

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 12 Sep 2021 | comments*Discuss
 
Using Loudspeakers In Residential Areas

The use of loudspeakers and the music that accompanies them are often one of the biggest causes of neighbourhood disputes. Unlike the noise from parties, where loud music is usually played for a set time period, some people think that music can be played as loud as they want it to be, no matter what time of day or night it is.

The Law

People who like to play their music loud will often get into arguments with their neighbours as they might also claim they should be able to enjoy their leisure time in the way they choose without interference, especially if it’s at a reasonable hour, say, in the afternoon.

However, while this is true in principle, the law firmly comes down on the side of those who wish to be protected from excessive noise under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, The Noise Act 1996 and the Common Law of Nuisance. If you refuse to reduce the volume, both the Environment Health Department and the police can get involved, and it will be them who will determine whether the Noise Exceeds Legal Limits.

Environmental Health has the power to issue you with an abatement order to reduce the volume and, if you do not comply, the police can also take matters further. You could end up with an Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO) which can result in even harsher penalties if you break it.

How to Reduce the Impact From Loudspeakers

Quite often, you can prevent problems arising with your neighbours over your use of loudspeakers in the first place by taking some simple precautionary steps. These can include situating any loudspeakers away from adjoining partition walls, or there are acoustic mats you can buy if they’re floor standing speakers. Even suspending them from the ceiling can help.

Using several smaller speakers such as you’d find on the latest surround sound systems will also have a far less negative impact upon your neighbour’s experience, as opposed to using a couple of extremely large and powerful ones. This is because these smaller speakers can be strategically placed around a room, so you’ll often get the same amount of ‘noise satisfaction’ yourself without upsetting your neighbours.

Much of the annoyance comes from the bass control. While you might be sat in your house enjoying the music pumping out, all your neighbours might hear is the ‘thud thud’ of the bass, so turning the bass control down can often help.

Another useful resolution is to find out when you neighbour will to be out, and blast your music louder during those times. This compromise is often welcomed and respected so that the music is turned down when the neighbour returns home.

Loudspeakers and Business in Residential Areas

There are other laws pertaining to the use of loudspeakers if you’re operating a business within a residential area. It could be a pub or some other premises used for entertainment, the use of loudspeakers on cars during election rallies, and even the ice cream van’s chimes. All of these examples aren’t immune to the law. Therefore, if you do operate a business in a residential area, it’s important you find out what you can and cannot do as it specifically relates to your type of business.

If you’re a resident, you’ll need to consider your neighbours and, better still, if you simply can’t reach an agreement with them in terms of how loud is acceptable, buy yourself a pair of headphones. There are even some great cordless models these days which you can use to pump out the music at whatever volume you choose. This sound will go wherever you go, even as far as the garden and beyond in some cases, and these can often be synchronised with additional headphones so that more than one person can enjoy the same experience simultaneously.

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We had neighbours behind us who partied almost every week,2am 3am they would still have doof doof music pumping , They eventually moved out or evicted out I think,Now the place is quite without them,I play my music when I know other neighbours aren't home,The couple that made noise complaints about me a few times though like to play their doof doof at 130am Saturday nights sometimes,I've no problem with it it's a Saturday,But don't make noise complaints against me when they're just doing what I was doing,Hypocrites!!
Chaz - 12-Sep-21 @ 10:35 AM
My previous neighbour had mental health problems (paranoia).She would stamp on the floor all night(she lived in the flat above).She also played crap music at full blast.I eventually moved for the sake of my sanity!!!
purple hair - 11-Jul-21 @ 2:14 AM
Just recently changed my next door neighbours. My new neighbours is romanian gipsys... they lissten to theyr gypsy folk from early morning till late night. And I noticed they have two speakers size as used in gigs, festivals. Is it even legal to have this size speakers indoors? How to get rid of these dirty people...????
L - 29-May-21 @ 2:58 PM
@turn it up Get a life Also nobody is saying you can’t listen to it, but if your neighbours can hear it then it’s too loud. It sounds the same to your ears whether it’s loud or not so stop being a selfish child
Turn it down - 3-May-21 @ 2:50 PM
Right music can be as loud as you like from 7am to 11pm. I have a very expensive set up I have the right to enjoy my music at high levels. All you boring people on here moaning and rating people out are just jokes. Don't like it move simple from 12-11 it will be at 11?????? Peace out ??
Turn it up - 6-Apr-21 @ 5:01 PM
Our neighbours have been playing vibrating Base music 24 hours a day with three quiet days and 14 hours repute since 25 March 2920. It is deliberate we have also had verbal abuse and damage threatening behaviour and slander. Police won't deal apart from Asbo The noise has been crime now but I have to record it and don't have the means. The vibrations are all night affecting my health.MP staff said move. we can't afford to move yet the three adult children next door have other homes the Father is the only one officially living there. We are sick of this torture.NOT
StocktonGare - 31-Mar-21 @ 2:55 PM
I have neighbours that play music from 8 in the morning to latest 10 at night and all we hear is thud this thud, we can’t watch tv or even put headphones in because the bass and vibration everyday, asking to stop we get told no, and music up louder. we’ve been reporting it on 5 months and nothing gets done. Shows how shocking the people are to resolve the issues. I understand if it was once a week or twice sometimes for a few hours but this goes on 10 hours straight sometimes.
Try having mine - 19-Mar-21 @ 4:13 PM
I'm sitting in my flat now and whilst my block is quiet, I can hear from the opposite block a very repetitive "duff, duff, duff". They do it every other week or so, windows open and blasting it as loud as they can. Usually involves hideous out of tune screaming along as well. I can't stand it. I can feel my nerves shredding as I listen to it. Some people shouldn't be allowed to live near others.
Sickofthenoise - 26-Feb-21 @ 10:24 PM
I'm sick to death of my neighbour he invites his drunken so called mates over and all I can hear is base thud thud then they turn it up even more and I can hear the lyrics to whatever song they decide to play and then because it's so loud they are yelling at each other and laughing loudly and even attempting to sing. Well I've had enough as it goes on past 11 pm some days. We live in a terraced house and he and his scummy drunken mates think it's acceptable to play their tripe at what ever time they want. Police have been due to lockdown breach but they constantly say he is in their support bubble but he has a family at home and their is 2 of them living in the house. I just need to rant as I'm going mad
Fedupangry - 3-Dec-20 @ 5:25 PM
I don't understand people who blast their music to cause a nuisance. They don't seem to grasp that other people aren't interested in their music. I have a neighbour like that and I honestly think he's a psycho.
MissLittleMaple - 25-Nov-20 @ 10:48 PM
The funny thing is I do think people and neighbours should be civil but at the same time due to a lack of communication and people having little man/ woman syndrome people think they can control other peoples lives , has no one heard of the human rights act article 8? The right to expression? I’ve saw a lot of comments about lockdown and people should realize music can help with depression and other stuff people may have. So maybe some of the absolute control freaks on this page should take a look in the mirror before calling people selfish and snitches like rats. Just my opinion though.
Little John - 17-Sep-20 @ 12:06 AM
Hate these people that feel the need to play loud music with so much bass. When I can hear it through closed windows and doors then it's way too loud. I can't even see who it is (could be my apartment block or the adjacent apartment block building) so cannot do anything. Everyone has the right of peace in their own home at any given time. I'm robbed of that every evening by some inconsiderate people who feel it's ok to be this loud. I feel sorry for the people who live either above, below or next to where the noise is coming from as their life must be hell.
Be Quiet - 10-Sep-20 @ 6:48 PM
My neighbour has a full blown reggae sound system!It must be a 5 k rig. He loves to turn it up in a block of flats whilst howling into a microphone. “Big up all my neighbours”. Council and police have done nothing
Marie - 30-Aug-20 @ 11:59 AM
Hello, me and my partner live in a block of 4 flats we are downstairs opposite a lovely lady that says she never heard our music. Now the occupants upstairs have started complaining. I don't understand how they hear it and 1 dosnt. We only ever play our music in the afternoon ie when I clean or if we're sat in the garden. Always turn it off around 8pm. What can we do?
Towens20062 - 12-May-20 @ 3:53 PM
I am having a major noise problem with a neighbour. Every few days he sets up speakers, a microphone, sound system and a laptop for his son to stand on the front yard with a guitar and wail for up to an hour. The noise is so loud we can’t even hear our tv, and our cats are absolutely terrified. I have contacted the Environmental Health and they are sending him a letter because they have agreed that it is unacceptable and a breach of the peace. We are trying to sell our house but with the lockdown currently in place we are trapped in this hell, and we dread getting up every single day. How can anyone be so selfish? It’s bad enough we can’t go out but with this noise it’s beyond unbearable.
Red Devil - 17-Apr-20 @ 11:59 PM
currently working from home due tolock down and My neighbour our playing at his balcony which openin the the grass.. with his toddler but has his music blaring. Surely we should be trying to live together peacefully just now, think of others during this time. I can feel the vibrations in my walls... he’s ground and I am 3rd floor.I don’t like Confrontation.. what best to get the music turned down?
Hadenough - 7-Apr-20 @ 12:12 PM
I have a neighbor who was 101 and she sadly passed there has never been any issues, after he mother passed and let me inform you the woman didn't even have the chance to get cold yet she started clearing everything out of her house and try selling it on her own BEFORE HER BURIAL! We were renting at the time and saw the house up for sale well she came trotting over one day with her usual snooty behavior "Oh my cousin is the score keeper for the Jets" Okay and what's that mean for you? You are his cousin not his wife fool you are NOTHING! Any ways everything has been perfect before this woman's passing and now after she came over "curious" to if we wanted to leave our rental place and buy hers and at this point we kind of weighing the pros and cons because it did have a little nicer garage and wrap around drive way port. She told us all the work the house needed done and I was thinking in my head I'm good on that house too many issues, well then she asked how much we paid for our house. I told her and she stated she wanted $100,000 more than what we were going to pay it took everything I had not to laugh in her face! We ended up closing on our house a few weeks later and she came over again and asked about us purchasing it from her we stated we just bought our house and she has since been being if ignorant. Our land was surveyed when the previous owner our friend bought the house in 2018 and everything was squared up and since she is selling it she had it surveyed and it now comes into our fence line by three feet. I don't know what to do, but I will be that neighbor she wished she never messed with! I'm going to start mowing my lawn at 7 am everyday, I'm going to get several coops of roosters and put them right on the property line and when she has people looking at the house play the most annoying music I can, I'm a stay at home Mother so I have a few extra minutes to come up with some creative ideas! She thinks she is so ingenious I've dealt with a person just like her for 31 years so I know how to make someone's skin crawl if need be! Any more ideas would help ??
Lee - 2-Mar-20 @ 5:14 AM
Why does my neighbour play such bassy music as soon as i get home from work. I have tried being polite and asking him to turn it down but he just laughs at me. I want to smash his face in but he is an old man listening to dance and trance music. His son has also started coming around on dole days to smoke weed and play loud music as well. I have made official complaints but nothing seems to matter. Just getting so angry all the time its not fair.
ANIMAL - 18-Oct-19 @ 5:40 PM
My neighbours are complaining about my music. I am hardly home.
Missy - 30-Jul-18 @ 10:27 PM
Wessie - Your Question:
We live next door to what was a Tea Room, and since Christmas is now a Restaurant/Pub. We pre-date this by 60 years! Last week-end for the whole two days we had music in his garden.The owner has just informed us that he intends putting speakers in the garden,but they will be placed strategically to avoid excessive noise.Is he allowed to do this in a residential area? If he is, is he limited to the number of hours in the day. Last weekend it was from 10 a.m to 10 pm. Is there anything that we can do?

Our Response:
Check with your local council to see what music licence they have and what is allowed in your area. If the noise is excessive, your complaints will be heeded by the environmental health department who may take action.
ProblemNeighbours - 22-Jun-17 @ 12:00 PM
We live next door to what was a Tea Room, and since Christmas is now a Restaurant/Pub.We pre-date this by 60 years! Last week-end for the whole two days we had music in his garden. The owner has just informed us that he intends putting speakers in the garden,but they will be placed strategically to avoid excessive noise. Is he allowed to do this in a residential area?If he is, is he limited to the number of hours in the day.Last weekend it was from 10 a.m to 10 pm. Is there anything that we can do?
Wessie - 20-Jun-17 @ 11:18 AM
I would be interested in views. We live in a converted block of flats where sound insularion is poor. The building dates from 1870. We have a downstairs neighbour who complains very aggressively and at length over small sounds such as floorboards creaking, and in particular over any music we play. We've switched off the subwoofer and never play music louder than you can comfortably talk over. We have tried reasoning with them but to no avail. It is making my partner miserable, who feels intimidated by the couple and feels she has to creep around avoiding making any noise. They never complain if they know that I'm at home. We value our and our neighbours' rights and have never had such a problem before. It is becoming bad enough that we are considering moving. Any suggestions or advice?
Agvolant - 17-Jun-16 @ 11:59 AM
lala - Your Question:
I have just read the message what mandy has written (29th april 9.30am) and I am totally in awe with her situation as I thought I was the only one!! I was afraid to come forward with this complaint as I thought I would sound like a raving lunatic.I have also been having the exact same experience with my neighbours now with the same symptoms that has been escalating now over 5 years.my additional problems associated now are - my neighbours listen to everything im planning and act up to ruin things for me and my family,i am stalked by her and other family members no matter where I go in my house for example when I do my housework I go into my kitchen.she follows.I open my back door to get some fresh air.she will open her back door and creeps around the back of my garden to spy on me (my dog is very anxious and runs/looks to the back of my garden).I have a bath and neighbours bathroom door will slam shut.I could go on.its literally EVERYTHING im doing she seems to try and control??I have spoken to her and she has blatently denied what im asking her about as if to say im making it up and her mother has responded in the same way(who is often there).I have a little boy who is 6 years old who now suffers with anxiety.often gets physically sick with worry as the atmosphere is often so tense you cant move for fear of causing her to kick off.thease kind of things include stomping around her house,her dogs barking at I assume us inside our house as their is no other reason for them to be barking.or plungeing her house into complete silence so quiet for sometimes hours until she feels I am paying attention to her drama??I am finding it very hard to keep mentally ontop of it all as its constant.she never lets up.why the hell should I live this way?? all I want to do is live a happy normal life without being provoked in my home.and the worst thing is the more I ignore the worse its getting its crazy.who are thease people and who the hell do they think they are??I have tried everything to resolve this but she will often play the victim.she has never worked and never leaves the house unattended and will often stare at me if I do see her out (very rarely)I feel she is obsessed with me and I feel watched wherever I go/whatever I do while I am indoors its awful.Have you had any other response to your write up mandy?? I would love to discuss with you your problem as I know what you are going through

Our Response:
We can't see Mandy's post anywhere?
ProblemNeighbours - 29-Apr-16 @ 12:15 PM
I have just read the message what mandy has written (29th april 9.30am) and I am totally in awe with her situation as I thought I was the only one!! I was afraid to come forward with this complaint as I thought I would sound like a raving lunatic. I have also been having the exact same experience with my neighbours now with the same symptoms that has been escalating now over 5 years...my additional problems associated now are - my neighbours listen to everything im planning and act up to ruin things for me and my family,i am stalked by her and other family members no matter where I go in my house for example when I do my housework I go into my kitchen....she follows...I open my back door to get some fresh air...she will open her back door and creeps around the back of my garden to spy on me (my dog is very anxious and runs/looks to the back of my garden)...I have a bath and neighbours bathroom door will slam shut.....I could go on...its literally EVERYTHING im doing she seems to try and control?? I have spoken to her and she has blatently denied what im asking her about as if to say im making it up and her mother has responded in the same way(who is often there)....I have a little boy who is 6 years old who now suffers with anxiety...often gets physically sick with worry as the atmosphere is often so tense you cant move for fear of causing her to kick off...thease kind of things include stomping around her house,her dogs barking at I assume us inside our house as their is no other reason for them to be barking...or plungeing her house into complete silence so quiet for sometimes hours until she feels I am paying attention to her drama?? I am finding it very hard to keep mentally ontop of it all as its constant....she never lets up....why the hell should I live this way?? all I want to do is live a happy normal life without being provoked in my home...and the worst thing is the more I ignore the worse its getting its crazy.....who are thease people and who the hell do they think they are?? I have tried everything to resolve this but she will often play the victim...she has never worked and never leaves the house unattended and will often stare at me if I do see her out (very rarely) I feel she is obsessed with me and I feel watched wherever I go/whatever I do while I am indoors its awful. Have you had any other response to your write up mandy?? I would love to discuss with you your problem as I know what you are going through
lala - 28-Apr-16 @ 8:21 AM
lovethyneighbour - Your Question:
I live in a dead-end where the single access lane is owned by an elderly neighbour, she has let the lane deteriorate to worse than any country lane you may come across, with marshy central part and craters either side that allow the build up of water and leaves. I go out there to sweep leaves and occasionally put gravel down, she objects to this and purposely scatters the leaves everywhere, and when clumped together and frozen are dangerous. She now has CCTV to capture me attending to the lane and has had a Solicitor write to me telling me to stop, surely I'm aloud to (for my own safety and others) keep the lane safe and tidy.

Our Response:
What are the terms of your deeds? If the lane is for access, there may be some conditions about keeping the access open and who is responsible for maintaining it etc. You may want to seek the help of a solicitor yourself if this causes damage to you or your vehicle.
ProblemNeighbours - 23-Feb-16 @ 12:10 PM
I live in a dead-end where the single access lane is owned by an elderly neighbour, she has let the lane deteriorate to worse than any country lane you may come across, with marshy central part and craters either side that allow the build up of water and leaves. I go out there to sweep leaves and occasionally put gravel down, she objects to this and purposely scatters the leaves everywhere, and when clumped together and frozen are dangerous. She now has CCTV to capture me attending to the lane and has had a Solicitor write to me telling me to stop, surely I'm aloud to (for my own safety and others) keep the lane safe and tidy.
lovethyneighbour - 22-Feb-16 @ 11:04 AM
stargazer - Your Question:
Can I sue my neighbours for the cost of moving?

Our Response:
Why?
ProblemNeighbours - 6-Oct-15 @ 12:54 PM
Can i sue my neighbours for the cost of moving?
stargazer - 5-Oct-15 @ 3:55 PM
@Nisa. There's not much you can do about this kind of behaviour except it it gets worse, go back to the police as it's more of a harrassment issue than anything else. If they make further racist comments then of course report this to the police immediately.
ProblemNeighbours - 9-Mar-15 @ 2:21 PM
Hi! I've recently moved into a cul de sac, assuming it's quiet end and moving to it, to my horror I realised my NEIGHBOURS have a problem with my lifestyle! I am a very respectable woman who is a single mum with a 4 year old, my neighbours have called me a prostitute infront of her children, her husband asked me how much my services cost! They are affixated with the whereabouts of my ex husband! She has told me I am a tart not wearing a niqab and disrespecting her religion, which is also my religion! Her husband has threaded to run me over etc this lists endless. However, the police have advised me to ignore them :/she had a problem with me putting up my CCTV and has gone around the cul de sac to get the other residence to complain ( my cams are not pointing ones property but my car and the drive! Any help, suggestions in what I can do would be appreciated. Thanks Nisa
Nisa - 5-Mar-15 @ 1:25 PM
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