Dealing with noisy neighbours201118193846

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Dealing with noisy neighbours201118193846 Powered By Docstoc
					Dealing with
noisy neighbours
    Noisy                           t
                                 •	 	he	neighbours	may	be	
                                    behaving	unreasonably,	for	
    neighbours                      example,	playing	loud	music	
                                    late	at	night	or	allowing	their	
    Noise from neighbours
                                    dog	to	bark	all	day.	
    is a common source
    of disturbance and it           t
                                 •	 	he	neighbours	are	behaving	
    can be very upsetting.          normally,	but	the	sound	
    The main problems               insulation	in	the	floors	or	
    are caused by barking           walls	between	you	may	
    dogs, loud music or             not	be	good	enough	to	cut	
                                    out	the	sounds	of	everyday	
    TV, shouting, banging
    doors and DIY activities.
    Remember, no house or           y
                                 •	 	 ou	have	become	over	
    flat is totally soundproof      sensitive	to	the	noise,	
    so everyone can expect          particularly	if	you	do	not	get	
    a degree of noise from          on	with	your	neighbours.	
    neighbours. If you are          Some	people	tune	into	the	
                                    noise	from	next	door	and	
    being disturbed by
                                    find	it	annoying	while	others	
    noise from neighbours it        would	not.	
    may be because:

2							Noisy	neighbours
What can you do?                            Environmental	Protection	Act	
                                            1990	is	very	specific	about	what	
Firstly,	approach	your	neighbour	
                                            does	and	does	not	constitute	a	
and	explain	politely	that	you	are	
                                            statutory	noise	nuisance.	The	noise	
troubled	by	the	noise.	Although	you	
                                            must	be	coming	from	private	land	
may	find	this	difficult	it	is	surprising	
                                            or	property,	or	be	generated	by	
how	often	neighbours	are	unaware	
                                            vehicles,	machinery	or	equipment	
of	the	disturbance	they	are	causing.	
                                            in	the	street.	These	powers	apply	
Most	will	be	glad	to	do	what	they	
                                            not	only	in	order	to	control	existing	
can	to	reduce	the	noise.
                                            noise	but	also	noise	that	is	expected	
If	you	live	in	a	housing	association	or	    to	occur	or	recur.	Contact	details	for	
privately	rented	property	it	is	worth	      making	a	complaint	are	on	the	back	
discussing	the	problem	with	your	           page	of	this	leaflet.
landlord.	Most	tenancy	conditions	
                                            What constitutes a
include	a	requirement	that	tenants	
do	not	cause	a	disturbance	to	              statutory nuisance?
neighbours.	Your	landlord	may	be	           This	cannot	be	easily	defined	
prepared	to	take	action	if	serious	         but	could	be	described	as	an	
disturbance	is	being	caused.                unreasonable	interference	with	the	
                                            enjoyment	of	your	property.	
If	your	neighbour	continues	to	cause	
                                            It	must	occur	regularly	and	continue	
a	disturbance	you	may	wish	to	
                                            for	a	period	of	time	that	makes	it	
complain	to	the	council.
Making a complaint
                                            The following are unlikely to
to the council.                             be a statutory nuisance: 						
Under	Section	79	of	the	                       a
                                            •	 	 	one-off	party									
Environmental	Protection	Act	
                                            •	 	 eighbours	arguing								
1990,	councils	have	powers	
to	deal	with	defined	statutory	                a
                                            •	 	 	lawnmower	used	during	
noise	nuisances.	However	the	                  the	day

                                                                  		Noisy	neighbours								3
 •	 	 	baby	crying,	children	playing	or	   The	investigating	officer,	not	the	
    dogs	barking	occasionally.             complainant,	makes	the	decision	on	
                                           whether	noise	is	a	nuisance.	Case	
 The council has no control
                                           law	requires	us	to	act	as	the	‘ordinary	
 over the following:
                                           reasonable	person’	when	reaching	
 •					oad	traffic/revving	engines	on	
      r                                    the	decision.	Therefore	we	cannot	
      the	public	highway                   take	into	account	those	who	have	
                                           a	different	or	higher	expectation	of	
 •					 eople	shouting/laughing	or	        peace.	These	include	shift	workers	or	
      screaming	on	a	public	road	or		      people	who	are	studying	or	ill.

 •				 ir	traffic	noise	
     a                                     Who will investigate my
 No maximum noise limit                    complaint and how?
 applies to noise complaints.
                                           A	named	officer	who	is	trained	to	
 Each case must be judged
                                           assess	noise	complaints	and	the	
 on its merits. We will take into
                                           existence	of	a	statutory	nuisance	will	
 consideration factors such as:
                                           investigate	your	complaint.
 •	 	he	time	of	the	noise	(noise	can	be	
                                           To	investigate	your	concerns,	we	would	
    a	nuisance	at	any	time	of	day	or	
                                           first	ask	that	you	complete	diary	record	
                                           sheets.	The	diary	should	be	completed	
 •	 	he	duration	of	the	noise	
    t                                      over	a	period	of	7	to	14	days	and	then	
                                           be	returned	to	the	investigating	officer	for	
 •	 	he	frequency	of	the	noise	            assessment.	If	you	experience	significant	
 •	 	he	type	of	noise	
    t                                      disturbance	during	office	hours	while	you	
                                           are	keeping	the	diary,	you	are	advised	
 •	 	 hether	there	is	societal	
    w                                      to	contact	the	investigating	officer	and	
    acceptance	(for	example	bonfire	       it	may	be	possible	for	them	or	another	
    night	or	church	bells).	               member	of	the	team	to	visit	and	witness	
                                           the	noise.

4							Noisy	neighbours
If	you	are	unable	to	complete	the	           nuisance	the	investigating	officer	will	
diary	record	sheets,	please	advise	          contact	the	perpetrator	to	inform	
the	investigating	officer	as	soon	as	        them	of	the	complaint	and	the	legal	
possible.	They	will	arrange	another	         action	available	to	the	council	should	a	
way	for	you	to	record	the	necessary	         statutory	noise	nuisance	be	witnessed.
                                             Will the perpetrator
Why do I need to keep
                                             know who made the
diary record sheets?
Diary	record	sheets	are	an	important	
                                             We	do	not	tell	the	perpetrator	who	
source	of	evidence.	They	enable	
                                             has	made	the	complaint.	However,	
the	investigating	officer	to	establish	
                                             it	may	be	necessary	for	you	to	
some	basic	facts	about	the	noise,	
                                             attend	subsequent	court	hearings,	
for	example,	how	often	and	when	it	
                                             as	a	result	of	legal	action	by	the	
happens	and	how	it	affects	you.
                                             council	in	respect	of	a	statutory	
When	the	diary	record	sheets	are	not	        noise	nuisance.
returned	within	the	agreed	time	further	
action	will	not	be	possible	and	the	         What happens after
complaint	will	be	closed.                    the perpetrator is
When	diary	record	sheets	are	                informed of the
returned	they	will	be	assessed	as	to	
whether	the	noise	could	be	classed	
as	a	statutory	nuisance.                     We	will	contact	you	either	in	writing	
                                             or	verbally	to	confirm	that	the	
If	the	investigating	officer	decides	that	
                                             perpetrator	has	been	made	aware	of	
the	noise	could	NOT	be	classed	as	a	
                                             the	complaint.	We	will	also	enclose	
statutory	nuisance	you	will	be	advised	
                                             diary	record	sheets	to	enable	you	
verbally	and/or	in	writing.
                                             to	keep	a	written	record	of	any	
If	your	diary	record	sheets	indicate	the	    further	noise	disturbance	from	your	
likely	existence	of	a	statutory	noise	
                                             neighbour’s	premises.	

                                                                     		Noisy	neighbours								5
    What happens if the                         substantiated	the	complaint	will	
                                                be	closed.	This	decision	will	be	
    noise continues?                            confirmed	verbally	and/or	in	writing.	
    If	after	we	have	written	to	the	            You	will	also	be	advised	of	alternative	
    perpetrator	you	continue	to	be	             courses	of	action	available	to	you.
    bothered	by	noise	please	advise	
    the	investigating	officer	as	soon	as	       What if the noise
    possible.	The	investigating	officer	will	   continues after the
    then	arrange	noise	monitoring	visits.
                                                notice has been
    What happens if the                         served?
    noise is a statutory                        If	you	are	still	bothered	by	noise	
    nuisance?                                   following	the	service	of	a	Noise	
                                                Abatement	Notice	you	must	notify	the	
    If	a	statutory	nuisance	is	proven	to	
                                                investigating	officer.	They	will	arrange	
    exist	the	perpetrator	will	be	served	
                                                further	noise	monitoring	and	ask	you	
    with	a	Noise	Abatement	Notice	under	
                                                to	continue	keeping	a	written	record	
    Section	80	of	the	Environmental	
                                                of	any	excessive	noise.
    Protection	Act	1990.
                                                If	the	investigations	prove	that	the	
    If	the	perpetrator	does	not	agree	with	
                                                Noise	Abatement	Notice	has	been	
    the	notice	and	chooses	to	appeal	
                                                breached	the	investigating	officer	
    then	you	and	other	witnesses	may	
                                                can	apply	to	the	Magistrates’	
    be	required	to	give	evidence	in	the	
                                                Court	for	a	warrant.	This	will	
    Magistrates’	Court.	
                                                enable	access	to	the	perpetrator’s	
    What if the noise                           premises	to	seize	and	detain	
                                                any	equipment	used	to	cause	a	
    is not a statutory                          statutory	noise	nuisance.	This	can	
    nuisance?                                   include	stereos,	TVs	or	CDs	etc.

    If	after	a	thorough	investigation	          The	officer	will	send	evidence	
    no	statutory	noise	nuisance	is	             of	the	breach	of	the	Abatement	

6							Noisy	neighbours
Notice	to	the	Head	of	Legal	Services	
requesting	legal	action	against	the	
Any	equipment	seized	can	be	
held	by	the	council	until	the	court	
hearing.	The	council	can	request	
that	the	equipment	is	not	returned	
to	the	perpetrator.	This	decision	
will	be	made	by	the	Magistrates.	
People	found	guilty	of	breaching	an	
Abatement	Notice	can	be	fined	up	to	
At	all	times	during	the	investigation,	
the	investigating	officer	will	keep	you	
informed	of	any	significant	action	
taken	in	relation	to	your	complaint.

                                           		Noisy	neighbours								7
                                              You can make a
                                              complaint by
                                              letter or in person to
                                              Environmental Protection
                                              Civic Offices
If the case is an
                                              London Road
emergency                                     Basingstoke
There	is	an	out	of	hours	service	to	give	     RG21 4AH
advice	and	assistance	on	emergency	           telephone
environmental	health	issues	during	times	     01256 844844
when	the	council	offices	are	closed,	such	
as	Bank	Holidays,	including	Christmas	
Day.	Please	note	that	this	service	is	
intended	for	genuine	emergencies	only	
(for	example	house/car	alarms)	otherwise	     email
please	wait	and	contact	us	during	normal
working	hours	when	we	have	access	
to	more	resources.	You	can	contact	
us	outside	normal	hours	by	calling	our	
normal	office	number	
01256	844844.
Your	call	will	be	connected	to	the	out	of	
hours	contact	centre	who	will	be	able	to	
give	you	advice	and	assistance.	In	most	
cases	this	should	deal	with	your	concern	
but,	if	it	is	judged	necessary,	an	officer	
may	visit	you.


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