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Your Rights Under Noise & Statutory Nuisance Act 1993

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 21 May 2022 | 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 live in a house with 3 different properties I am in the middle and can hear everything from upstairs it’s driving me mad It’s that bad I can hear them plugging things into the walls and every move they make all I hear every day is bang bang bang iv disputed this with the landlord and he says all the necessary checks have been made and even put a carpet down but I can hear everything. I don’t know what else to do and I don’t want to move as I like where I am but it drives me mental and it constant everyday
Brennan13 - 21-May-22 @ 11:29 PM
Where I live on a congested built-up development. There is non-stop cars sounding their horn even at the early hours of 4am on Sundays. Waking up tenants and other households from their continous noise. You have cars illegally sounding their horn and when stationary. Then you got drivers with cars that have illegally modified exhausts causing horrendous noise by doing circuits at random times throughout the day and evening. This is all down to Havering Council. The council shift blame to say it's nothing to do with them. Even worse that the council have a rule when completing a noise diary sheet, that when signing it the person putting in the complaint is at risk of being fined or prosecuted if not true, where the council would have no intentions of fully investigating it allowing the culprits to get off the hook. Please do not ever buy a property in Havering!
Mark - 15-May-22 @ 5:17 AM
I live in a end terrace house and have been plagued with ASB over the years but the youth's in the last 12 month are a total new kettle of fish. 14/15, out till all ours in all states.a few live very close by but the parents think it's totally acceptable behaviour or could not give a sh#! Things when quiet when they were setting local fires or tormenting the local supermarket but bane on summer their back! Residents Inear by estates have cctv of unacceptable ABS including theft, intimation anddestruction of property but still nothing is done.The police are aware who these youth's are! the council say name and shame....its been done by many officially. sadly I own my house and am stuck as can't afford to move.
whitsend - 14-May-22 @ 5:03 PM
Our neighbour who lives above us is a council tenant and we own our property. She has been a pain in the backside from day 1 she moved in. She has been reported to safer community for her ASB, reported to environmental health for her excessive noise and went to mediation too but no joy. She was quite for few months but has started again. She is very inconsiderate and hostile and every time reports her she played a victim and not taking responsibility for her actions. Noise nuisance and housing didn't do anything either and kept passing us to different people or departments. She was told that she needs to stop her loud music and loud TV and washing machine and tumble dryer by 11pm but she ignores it and does it again. Reported her again to noise team for the Washing Machine nuisance but they told me it's domestic noise and nothing else they can do about it. Is this true? So who is responsible for these sort of nuisance if environmental health/noise nuisance team won't? Please advise me on how to deal with this inconsiderate noisy neighbour.
Farah - 28-Apr-22 @ 12:13 AM
Ever since I’ve moved into my flat my neighbour above me has had no carpet down. Can constantly hear loud thud ing of footsteps across the ceiling . I suffer with depression and anxiety and has been made worse because of the excessive noise above me. They have a dog which was left barking for hours on end which I complained about. Thankfully this stopped as my landlord took a hardline with this but it’s just the general every day banging and thudding above me constantly is making my I’ll. I’ve had mediation which hasn’t worked. It made things worse because then said neighbor would stare at me or shout at me in the car park. Calling me a coward etc. What is my next step as I’m still suffering day to day with the constant noisy neighbor above me and my health is deteriorating.
Mel - 10-Apr-22 @ 12:06 PM
I've just started my tenancy, for moving into my first ever place, it all needs decorating. I've been going to the flat 12pm-6pm to do all the painting, and moving. Today I decided to put some quiet music on, speaker off of the floor, lowest volume I could, it was so quiet, my paint roller and footsteps were louder; two minutes in and BANG BANG BANG BANG from below the floor. I have PTSD, extreme anxiety and autism.... The HECK am I supposed to do?! I've told the council, as they we're seeing me the same day to set up my direct debits. If he's complaining at quiet Christian rock music, he's certainly going to complain when I move my budgies in ?????? 6 hours is long time to be decorating in silence, tiptoeing around and I darent even go for a wee ????
Anon - 5-Apr-22 @ 4:36 AM
I live in a ground floor flat i have done for 4 years now when i first moved in it was piecefull, then i had really bad neighbors which my housing providers have sorted the problem and moved them on, i now have different neighbors which i thought were nice but a couple of months into them moving in they are playing Loud Music, i have been and spoken to them about the noise they said they would turn it down but its happens everyday and now i've gone to my local council and my housing provider to sort it out my anxiety is through the roof and it don't help that i have a disability too boot.
Peg - 2-Apr-22 @ 6:02 PM
We'd lived peacefully alongside our neighbours for years. But one year we had a series of noise problems, from a dog barking until the early hours, to, believe it or not, very loud resonant wind chimes that we could hear throughout our garden and in our house day and night. It got so bad we couldn't open our windows to let a breeze in as the sound of the chimes would carry into our bedroom. We'd always been on friendly terms and tried to be reasonable with our requests – eg, please stop the dog barking late at night , please move the chimes to somewhere we can't hear them – and they were initially ok with that, if a little grumpy. But after a while the dog started barking late again for long periods of time, and the wind chimes were being moved to different positions so we never knew from day to day if we were going to have peace or suffer the clanging chimes of doom! We tried to persevere but after a few weeks of broken sleep we politely raised the issues again, only this time the neighbours were more hostile and pushed back. It reached the point where we invited them to discuss the issues but instead they confronted us on our doorstep in an intimidating manner. We invited them in to talk but they warned us to back off and said they didn't want to talk to us. They then blocked all lines of communication. We've only ever wanted to talk things through which we're sure would sort out the problems quickly, but they saw themselves as the victims and believed we were harassing them. We're hoping the problems never arise again because we don't want to go down the legal/council route, but without being able to talk we have to live with the background anxiety that it will all start up again. So I guess this is a cautionary tale in that you can be as reasonable as you like, but if the other party aren't of the same mind then you have to accept their reaction is beyond your control, and be prepared to speak to your council.
KayJay - 10-Sep-21 @ 11:54 AM
I live in a mid terrace next door to a rental property for years I have been plagued by a noisy power shower which wakes me up with the vibration noise which there is no hiding from, I spoke with the owner who collects the money but does no work to the house and told him of my plight ! Which he duly ignored then at a latter time I spoke with him and he said if I knew of any way to stop it let him know , I spoke with the tenants who told me how bad it was for them , another time I spoke with him I found he had not even checked to see how bad it was I told him of my chat with his tenants and still my life is blighted by noise at any time of day or night HELP!
Dusty - 9-Sep-21 @ 8:04 PM
Our neighbours play loud music regularly during the daytime.By loud, I mean you can hear it inside my house, over our TV, with our windows closed. If I ask them to turn it down they do (although on odd occasions you can see they think I'm being unreasonable).But then they'll do it again the next day.They don't workbut we do.Ican't understand why they keep doing it.Or why they can't wait until we're out to play it loudly.I'd like to discuss this with them, but they don't speak English well enough.This has gone on for years and I can't see any alternative to making a complaint to the council.I'd addthey are council tenants, we own our property.Does anyone have any other suggestions?
Panga - 24-Aug-21 @ 8:59 PM
I too have noisy inconsiderate neighbours. They have 2 children who are allowed to scream at the top of their voices in and out of the house and fun around with no control. 2 dogs which they are going to breed from who yap all day and night and the man has a car which he takes off in any time he feels like with booming music playing which would wake anyone up( that’s if you’ve been lucky enough to get to sleep) I have approached them about the dogs and was told I was a liar and to shut the windows and I wouldn’t hear the dogs . I complained to the housing association and they were useless and said keep a diary. So I am now at my wits end
Margaret - 23-Jul-21 @ 8:07 AM
My neighbour has brought an almighty freestanding basketball hoop for them to play. They always start at about 8,pmon a evening and the noise /vibration is really causing an annoyance to my household. We have two babies who are trying to sleep at this point. Does anyone have any advice regarding where I stand legally on this subject?
Moin Siddique - 19-Jul-21 @ 8:01 PM
My neighbours garden backs onto ours and has just started building a large concrete block shed up against our border to house numerous parrots and other squarking birds, I have told him I am not happy with the noisy birds and he reckons once the shed is finished the birds will be less noisy as they will be inside, he doesn't seem in any hurry but I cannot have a peaceful sit in my garden, any ideas to rectify this situation will be appreciated, He is a Bird breaded so hopefully something will be done soon. Thank you
Nannyshe - 10-Jul-21 @ 5:48 PM
So I’ve received a very vague letter from the council stating my property is the source of loud music. There were no dates or times given. I’m not claiming I never play music loud however on the occasions I have I have always prewarned the neighbours offered my number and always welcomed them to tell me if it disturbs them and they have said they never hear it. The irony is that there is some flats behind our houses that often have garden parties and in the past some old neighbours assumed it was me when I wasn’t even in the home. My neighbours have never asked me to lower the volume and it is often reduced or turned off before 10 or 11pm. How would I get the council to provide evidence it’s myself that’s caused the noise as if it genuinely is then I’m happy to lower it.
Cb159 - 2-Jul-21 @ 4:35 PM
My neighbours moved in almost 5 yrs, extended the bungalow, builta sun terrace on which I hate. Lockdown was great quiet.then 2nd lockdown broke every rule, indoor meetings, friends, and family. Tried to get planning permission, to build a bungalow on the back garden it got rejected we complained. Since the rejection, every night all the kids friends come to the house, scooter club. Meetings on the front step right outside my window. Out shouting and screaming for 2 to 5 hrs Parents in the back garden with friends,and family don’t seem to care, no supervision no telling off totally free range. Pretty sure they are trying to get there own back with the noise on a night, and weekends. Total pricks.
My prick neighbours - 11-Jun-21 @ 8:16 PM
My neighbours are a nightmare. They are up till 3am playing loud music, karaoke, etc.It's unbearable and effecting our mental health. I once talked to them where he threatened me .They also run their own business from their property. Should I report the business instead of them? Maybe it will get my point across sooner. They rent whereas we own our house it's just so unfair.
Anon - 6-Jun-21 @ 10:19 PM
We have two neighbours in their early 60’s sold their house to rent an old age peoples bungalow from the council 18 months ago. Since moving in they have continuously been drilling, sawing, hammering, erected 3 new summer houses, a fish pond, removed bottom hedging and replaced with a fence but not touched the hedging on their right hand side leaving it nearly 10 feet high obstructing the public footpath and our views of the fields They have had family round to share their noisy hot tub which is interfering with my working from home Taken up all parking spaces with family - 13 of them Erected a large flag and pole obstructing our view And we hear everything they discuss - including intimate details they are so loud It’s affecting my health mentally - I can’t sit in our garden without noise I’ve lost 2 stone in weight of which there’s not much to me anyway so I am struggling to keep weight on The final blow was they refused to move their car after parking in my bay of which I have used for 15 years since I purchased my property They have slandered me as a bad neighbour! I’ve contacted the council as they will not speak to me - I am a good person but the last straw that broke the camels back was parking in my bay - I was not polite letting myself down! Council are hopeless ! These neighbourshave 2 cars but only one person drives so why take up 2 bays including mine plus the 3 large people carriers their kids use is so unfair I lost my friend to covid - she had no family and I was her executor- she did exactly what they were doing through lockdown breaking rules and she caught covid and paid the ultimate price with her life - fortunately she understood my reasons for not seeing her but people like our neighbours always seem to get away with it !!!
Kangilis123 - 27-May-21 @ 4:04 PM
We have two neighbours in their early 60’s sold their house to rent an old age peoples bungalow from the council 18 months ago. Since moving in they have continuously been drilling, sawing, hammering, erected 3 new summer houses, a fish pond, removed bottom hedging and replaced with a fence but not touched the hedging on their right hand side leaving it nearly 10 feet high obstructing the public footpath and our views of the fields They have had family round to share their noisy hot tub which is interfering with my working from home Taken up all parking spaces with family - 13 of them Erected a large flag and pole obstructing our view And we hear everything they discuss - including intimate details they are so loud It’s affecting my health mentally - I can’t sit in our garden without noise I’ve lost 2 stone in weight of which there’s not much to me anyway so I am struggling to keep weight on The final blow was they refused to move their car after parking in my bay of which I have used for 15 years since I purchased my property They have slandered me as a bad neighbour! I’ve contacted the council as they will not speak to me - I am a good person but the last straw that broke the camels back was parking in my bay - I was not polite letting myself down! Council are hopeless ! These neighbourshave 2 cars but only one person drives so why take up 2 bays including mine plus the 3 large people carriers their kids use is so unfair I lost my friend to covid - she had no family and I was her executor- she did exactly what they were doing through lockdown breaking rules and she caught covid and paid the ultimate price with her life - fortunately she understood my reasons for not seeing her but people like our neighbours always seem to get away with it !!!
Kangilis123 - 27-May-21 @ 3:56 PM
We moved into a new house about a month ago, mid-terraced. Since ethe first day, the neighbours on one side have been so incredibly noisy. They have 2 kids, and we can hear everything happening in their house through the walls as if it's happening in ours. There's literally nowhere we can go in our house to get away from the noise, it's constant all day. Screaming and shouting in the garden, so loud we can't hear our TV with all the windows and doors closed, we can't go out in out own garden because of it either. If they're not in the garden, we can hear them screaming in the houseword for word, slamming doors, stomping up the stairs, and we can hear the parents, or at least the mother, yelling at them too. We have a 3 month old baby and even we make less noise. The family on the other side of us are as quiet as a mouse, you wouldn't know they were there. Don't feel like there's any point talking to the parents, we've tried to say a simple hello to them on several occasions and just get ignored in return, so I don't think they'd take us trying to have a polite word about their daughters' noise levels too kindly. Don't know what we can do. Our housing association will just say talk to the council. We shouldn't have to avoid using our garden, and not want to be in our own house because of 2 kids noise and 2 parents that don't seem to care. Don't know what to do.
Kimi - 20-Apr-21 @ 7:26 PM
I have lived in this property for 9years however since I was furloughed 12 months ago I realise that the nursery school 7 foot below me and a couple of yards away is so noisy its affecting me mentally .It feels like they are in my flat the screaming and banging old saucepans with a ladel and it seems they don't attempt to stop children to quiten them down they are out there all weathers and i actually look forward to a rainy day.Ihave asked the housing association to move me to the other side of the building as there was an empty flat available but was told its been taken . Its also noisey at night which I have reported to environment health and have sent me a diary to record the level of partying thats going on akso when I go to bed at night I can hear the person above me floors creaking sometimes a noise like furniture being moved around i know when her washing machine is on and it actually rattles my radiators I was told to try and swop property's but when I tried it the person swopping smelt drugs in the hallways of the building heard the mayhem of the children's nursery and refused . I have recorded the children's nursery What can i do where togo and feeling really low.I am 61 yrs old and wanting to retire within the next year or so as I am suffering with arthritis causing a lot of pain .What do I do to make them listen i am totally depressed
Andre - 13-Apr-21 @ 8:40 AM
I have had a complaint about me playing loud music late at night from Council..neighbours never discussed with me.I had been doing it for the past year sometimes up to 1AM..without complaint.Nothing has changed in terms of volume..i am 73 so its not Disco Volume by any means and i am not deaf so the volume to me shouldnt be a problem.What time should i be allowed to have my pleasure which is late night music..please dont suggest headphones.
Geoff - 3-Apr-21 @ 5:14 PM
We have a problem with noise coming from our neighbours garage which is not connected to their property but separate and stands on the land that is behind our garden fence. The owners live few houses down from us. Their kids are using the garage as a party hub, we have spoken to them several times about the level of noise past 11PM and the antisocial behaviour (using our fence as a toilet) and the noise was reduced but we still had to call them several times about it. Now the kids are there every day all day using the garage also as their gym. The music pumps all day long, it affects us as we can hear it from inside of our house and as the garage is a meter from our property it seems like we have parties in our own garden. As the noise is not happening at night so often but during the day what is there that we can do? Speaking to the parents proves useless.
Kasia - 24-Mar-21 @ 4:21 PM
What do I need to do. I bought a small flat in England since I move to my new place I had problems with my neighbours. All this happened because of my ex husband I had domestic violence i left home . Since I left home the whole process was a challenge my ex neighbour never liked me I bought a flat in silence i thought she didn't know that I was moving.she came to my new place make friendship with people theymake funny comments about me. I called the police several times because of my ex neighbour she called me namesracist names.Bulling and harrasment is horrible I am a full time student.I am studying psychology with criminology.I am scared of these people becauseof drugs and their misconduct. I do not know what to do. Because of the noise and the funny smell they burning something funny stuffafter 10pm I can not sleep. I called the police they said that is a issue to the environment and the council.
Helle - 22-Mar-21 @ 10:56 PM
Hi i was wondering what i can do! My neighbours across the road have a son every single night his 'gang' ascends outside his mums house making noise.. screeching their bikes outside my house. Its keeping my kids awake and affecting their day in school due to tiredness. Its even worst in the summer when 'mum' goes away.. parties all night cars non stop pulling up and revving and screeching off.. im on my own so there is no way i can just go and talk to them but its got to the point its affecting my children! And my own sanity too as you cant hear your tv over the noise of them. What can i do? I dont want to phone the police and it cause problems for me with them
Stressed mum - 17-Mar-21 @ 8:26 PM
My neighbour moved into his home 23 years ago since then it seems he has had 3 changes to his layout a extension that fell down and around 4 years ago applied for planning permission to build another extension, which was granted, now my question is how long do we have to listen to his constant DIY changes of layout to his house before it is classed has a nuisance he is constantly using some form of sanding machine in the bedroom. I would also like to know why building regulation are never checked, because he is DIY he has fitted non fire regulation windows, when I have had to fit windows complying surely this should be followed up by the appropriate departments, I am convinced he has removed chimney breast, without permission on party wall, I have had brick come through from his house to mine, ornaments in a cabinet falling, he is not a nice person unapproachable, thinks he can do what he likes because no one follows up on his work. Can you tell me who looks into this I believe it should be department that gives permission for him to do the work and from time of permission being granted is there not a time scale for work to be completed.
Gracie - 3-Mar-21 @ 10:09 AM
I have lived in the house I bought after downsizing for 10 years. When I first moved into the end terraced house my neighbour was a single newly bereaved dad with 3 children and there were no problems. He sold the house to a landlord who rented the house to a young couple with 3 children. The couple had noisy parties and the children were quite noisy. They had another child 5 years ago and it became noisier. I was still working at the time and preferred to work evenings to get out of the way due to the noise. The pandemic arrived and schools went into lockdown last year and I was due to retire. The children are now really noisy and constantly scream and run all over the house. The mother dreams at the children and they scream back at her. It has become a vicious circle of noise. The better weather came but I decided to reduce my hours instead of retiring as I couldnt stand the constant noise. I am not able to hear my television or sit in my garden. The couple have recently split up and Dad will not have the 4 children as he cant cope with the noise. He has the older 2 one night over the weekend. Although we have lockdown, Mum has constant visitors with their children and the noise is getting worse and driving me mad. I have spoken to her as has the neighbour at the other side and was told that they are kids and they are playing. I cant stand the thought of another summer when I cant do my gardening or sit in my garden to relax or watch tv in the evening What should I do to resolve this problem that is driving me mad ?
Lamoore - 23-Feb-21 @ 8:04 PM
Hi , is there a law specifying DIY hours in UK , googled comes for differentbouroughs with slightly differenthours. Are they 8 till 6pm Mon to Fridayand 8 till 1 pm on Saturday?
Mags2407 - 23-Feb-21 @ 4:30 PM
I live on the top floor in a one bedroom flat and the neighbour who lives below me keeps on slamming doors and moves furniture around day/night and there must be at least 3 adults including her and a child and a dog, she is on about other tenants about respect but she doesn't show any of respect when she carries on doing what she wants and she has her washing machine on day and night and the vibrations keeps me awake for most of the night, there's no point in knocking her door as I don't know really how many people are living in a one bedroom flat and I feel like I'm at my witt's end
Witt's end - 22-Feb-21 @ 9:06 PM
I have got a new neighbour and that's all he does is play loud music all hours day and night and he reves up his motorbike in his kitchen and my partner work's from 6 in the morning till 5:45 in the evening and my brother in law work's 6 in the evening till 7 in the morning so my partner can't sleep in the night and then my brother in law can't sleep in the day because of him and he smokes weed and the smell is coming into the house an i have got a 15 year old daughter and the smell is making her unwell and when I spoke to his landlord he told him to keep on doing it because the landlord smokes weed himself so that's what we got to put up with everyday and every night
Roofes - 21-Feb-21 @ 9:06 PM
I live above a dentist/doctors. From 8am to 8.30pm I have to put up with the constant banging of doors closing. It is an old building so no soundproofing. Since August last year i have had to give up work for medical reasons so I now hear the noise all day instead of a few hours in the evening when i was working. At 9pm the cleaner comes to the dentist /doctors and bangs into everything while she hoovers. I have asked her before to stop banging into things, which worked for a while but its now back to how it was. Sometimes when the doors are closed, the windows in my flat rattle and it makes me jump. I have asked them to be quieter but the manager, who is a very abrupt woman, said there is nothing they can do about it. It's driving me mad and causes a lot of stress.
Max - 19-Feb-21 @ 11:36 AM
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