Some noise is acceptable. Whether you can do anything about noisy neighbours depends on the individual situation.
What noise is acceptable
Some noise from neighbours is acceptable. Before you can act the noise must be so loud that you can't use your home in the normal way. This might be the case if you are woken up by the noise or you can't hear your own TV above the noise.
The action you can take depends on:
- the type of noise
- the time of day or night the noise happens
- how often it happens
- how long it goes on for
- how it affects you
- the type of building (older homes often have less sound insulation)
Negotiate with your neighbour
The first step in dealing with noise is negotiation. Talk to the person causing the noise. You should explain how the noise is affecting you. Try to reach a compromise.
Do this as early as possible before the problem gets too serious. If you aren't comfortable doing this yourself contact your local council's Environmental Health Department.
Talk to your neighbours' landlord
If your neighbours are private tenants and talking to them directly doesn't work, it may be worth talking to their landlord. They may be breaking the terms of their tenancy agreement by making the noise.
Their landlord may be able to deal with the problem or warn them that continuing to make the noise could leave them open to being evicted.
Take action with other people
If other people are being affected by the problems your neighbours are causing, you may be able to take action together. There may be a tenants association or other group in your area that can help you to do this.
If the noise problem continues keep notes of:
- how long it lasts
- the time it occurred
- how loud it is
- whether anyone else heard it
- when you spoke to your neighbours about it
Contact the council
The environmental health department of your local council can deal with noise problems. If the problem is serious enough the council may take action to stop your neighbours making noise. In extreme cases the council might be able to take your neighbours to court because of their antisocial behaviour.