Noise from neighbours can be annoying, stressful and can have a huge impact on people's lives. If noise is considered and shown to be a statutory nuisance, then action can be taken by the council to tackle this.
How to make a complaint
Report your problem to us using our online contact form.
Out of hours service
Phone 01795 417575 after 5pm, leave a message and our team will respond the following day.
Calls placed at the weekend during the following hours will be responded to at the time, by our 'out of hours' noise team:
- Friday night into Saturday morning 9pm - 1am
- Saturday night into Sunday morning 9pm - 1am
You will be required to leave the following information:
- your name and address
- the type of noise complaint
- the location of the noise
- how long it has been occurring and the frequency it occurs
What to do if you are bothered by noise
- Approach your neighbour if you feel you are able to. Sometimes it is difficult to recognise that a problem exists until someone tells you. Often they will appreciate the opportunity to put things right before any action is taken.
- If you have spoken to your neighbour but the problem continues, speak to other neighbours who may also be affected and get them to support your complaint if possible.
- Don't retaliate. This will only serve to increase tension between you and your neighbours and it may even jeopardise any court action.
What we can do
We are required by law to investigate noise complaints and we can take action if the noise is deemed to be a statutory nuisance.
- An officer from the Council will contact you to discuss the problem. You may be asked to complete diary sheets to demonstrate how the noise is affecting you. Keep detailed and accurate records of the frequency and type of noise and the exact time of day or night it occurs.
- An officer from the Council will need to witness the noise and may arrange for sound monitoring equipment to be installed in your home to try to establish if your complaint is considered to be a statutory nuisance, as defined by the law.
- The Council will try to resolve the complaint as quickly as possible. In most instances the issues can be settled once we advise the owner that a complaint has been made. If the noise continues and constitutes a statutory nuisance, we can serve an Abatement Notice. Be prepared if necessary to make a formal statement and attend court.
- The Council have the authority to obtain a warrant for seizure of equipment that is making noise.
- The Council have the authority to disconnect intruder alarms fitted to buildings or vehicles that are causing a statutory nuisance.
- The Council have the authority to recover any expenses incurred from the person responsible for the noise.
Noise issues we can deal with
- amplified noise ie Televisions, radios and stereos
- house and car alarms
- barking dogs
- DIY and car repairs
- domestic appliances
- excessive general domestic noise
- noise from cockerels
- ice cream vans
- bird scarers - view the NFU code of practice
- noise from building sites and demolition work. There are no specific laws relating to professional builders working during certain times. We suggest the following guidelines - Monday to Friday 7.30am - 6pm and Saturdays 7.30am - 1pm with no work carried out on Saturday afternoons, Sundays or Bank Holidays. Remember these are guidelines only. Any complaint received will be investigated fully to see if it constitutes a statutory nuisance.
Noise that we cannot deal with
- road and traffic noise
- railway noise - If you experience noise problems with trains, please contact Southeastern Ltd or Network Rail
- aircraft noise - With the exception of model aircraft
- explosions - Please contact the Ministry of Defence site at Shoeburyness
- normal domestic noise, not classed as a statutory nuisance