Noise problems: advice

Noise advice and guidance:

Need to report a noise problem?

See also:

Party guidance - noise considerations

Whether celebrating a birthday or other special occasion we will all create noise at some time or another and generally as a society we accept this as it is an inevitable consequence of urban living.

The law dealing with noise nuisance also recognises this and implies a degree of 'give and take'.

Therefore, when the Councils consider complaints about noise, we are considering the excesses of the activity and whether it is reasonable.

We have to balance the rights of the person celebrating with the rights of neighbours who may want to enjoy the peace and enjoyment of their own home. Moderation is the key to maintaining this balance and good neighbourly relations.

If you are considering having a party, these tips may help you to avoid annoying your neighbours:

  • out of courtesy it helps to let your neighbours know in advance of any planned party, including neighbours who back onto you
  • keep music levels down, especially the bass
  • think carefully about where you put the speakers to minimise sound breakout and avoid loud music outside
  • ensure all windows and doors are kept closed, particularly after 11pm - this will help to contain any noise and minimise disturbance to neighbours
  • remember, if you are attached to other homes, noise will pass through the party walls
  • after 11pm bring people indoors and lower the volume of music
  • keep an eye on the noise from people outside and ensure noise (people talking and shouting) is kept to a minimum
  • ask your guests to leave quietly, minimising door slamming and shouting/laughing outside
  • don't think that because your neighbours have been forewarned you can be as loud as you wish - your neighbours still have the right to complain even if you have advised them of the party

Remember, whilst an occasional party is not unreasonable (eg associated with a special event such as a birthday), frequent loud parties that cause disturbance can be considered unreasonable and may constitute a statutory nuisance.

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Building work and DIY guidance

Building work or DIY activities can often create a lot of noise or vibration that can affect neighbours and results in many complaints to the Councils each year.

There is no law laying down times that DIY or other building works can take place, nor any specifying maximum noise levels. However it is possible that noise from such activities could cause a statutory nuisance under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 if frequent and/or prolonged. In addition planning conditions are often attached to planning permissions which restrict work to certain times only.

We appreciate that people often have work or other commitments so the opportunities to carry out building or DIY works may be limited. However, this work must be done at reasonable times and should not cause nuisance to neighbours.

We strongly recommend that noisy building/DIY work is restricted to the following times, unless you have agreed other times with your neighbours:

  • Monday to Friday: 8am to 6pm
  • Saturdays: 9am to 1pm
  • Sundays and Bank/Public Holidays: no work

It is a good idea to inform your neighbours of the work you are carrying out and how long you expect it to take. Where possible inform them in advance of potentially noisy work. Complaints may be avoided if people are aware of your timetable.

Remember, whilst occasional DIY or building work is not unreasonable, frequent or prolonged loud work that causes disturbance can be considered unreasonable and may constitute a statutory nuisance.

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Need assistance with this service?
Get in touch:

Public Health & Regulation ====================== NOTE: to make a noise complaint please use the form on the page (do not use the email link below)

Telephone01903 221064

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Full contact detailsFull contact details (Public Health & Regulation ====================== NOTE: to make a noise complaint please use the form on the page (do not use the email link below))

Page last updated: 04 January 2023

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