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How can I report noise nuisance?

Noise nuisance is defined as ‘any significant and unreasonable noise which affects another person’. Everyone should expect to put up with a certain amount of noise during their everyday lives. But no one should have to put up with noise that interferes with the enjoyment of their home.

Before you report any noise nuisance, you should decide whether the noise is unreasonable by asking yourself the following questions:

1. What is making the noise?

Is it the ordinary sounds of life such as talking, children playing and doors closing? These are usually considered reasonable. Or is it playing music or using power tools, which may be unreasonable at certain times of the day or night?

2. When does the noise happen?

Noise during the day is more acceptable than at night, although this will depend on how loud it is. Noise should be restricted between 11pm and 8am.

3. How loud is the noise?

To be classed as a nuisance, the noise must interfere with whatever you're doing, and not simply be an annoyance. It might be annoying if your neighbours played rock music when you like jazz. But it would be a nuisance if they played it so loudly you couldn’t hear your television, or go to sleep.

4. Are there issues in your life that make the noise worse?

If you have mental health issues, problems with alcohol or substance use, or another condition such as insomnia, you may be oversensitive to noise. Your neighbours may be behaving reasonably, but it may seem unreasonable to you.

5. Are your personal prejudices part of the problem?

You need to be fair. You may not like your neighbours’ taste in music or approve of them allowing their children to play in the street, but this doesn’t necessarily mean you're suffering noise nuisance.

6. Are you making a noise too?

If you're noisy at times, your neighbours may think you don’t mind.

If you're being disturbed by noise from your neighbour, think about talking to them and explaining politely that the noise is disturbing you. Most people will be glad to help.

If you think your neighbour may react angrily to a complaint, if you feel threatened, or if you have tried to talk to them before and it hasn’t stopped the problem, you can report noise nuisance to us online. We can try to help, and we may refer you to an independent mediation service. This is when someone acts as a go-between to help solve the problem.


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