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Noise nuisance

When does noise become a nuisance?

Noise nuisance is the most commonly reported cause of ASB. Noise from neighbours can be upsetting, cause annoyance, lack of sleep and stress.

What is noise nuisance?

Noise is part of everyday life in a densely populated environment, but it can become a nuisance when the level and frequency make an unreasonable invasion on your right to peace and quiet.

Noise nuisance can range from playing loud music or listening to the television at unreasonable levels, to shouting or slamming doors loudly and inconsiderate use of electrical appliances. Removing flooring such as carpets or installing wooden/laminate flooring could result in excessive noise to neighbouring properties.

It is one of the most common complaints made to landlords, housing associations and Local Authorities. We will investigate noise nuisance complaints and take action if we find the noise is statutory and not the result of everyday living.

What is everyday noise?

The quality of sound insulation has changed over the years and in older properties or properties built using certain building methods, you can often hear your neighbours more than you want to. Examples such as footsteps, talking, dropping objects or children playing are everyday noise and there will be little that we can do about it. You may have to learn to live with that noise. Legally, they are entitled to go about their life creating normal amounts of noise without having to worry about how it affects you.

Today we do not always know our neighbours. This also means that they do not know us. They may not know you work shift work or have been up all night with dependents, or are unwell. If you are constantly disturbed you may want to discuss this with them and come up with an agreement that you can both manage.

What can I do if I am experiencing noise nuisance?

Noise nuisance is considered as being ‘statutory’ noise when the noise is unreasonable. These are typically loud music, parties, loud machinery, barking dogs and alarms which are persistent and/or at unreasonable times (normally between 11:00pm and 07:00am).

The first time it happens you should speak to your neighbour as they may not be aware of how they are affecting you.

You can try to talk through your differences with your neighbour and come to a solution to the problem.

You can try knocking on their door to have a friendly chat, or use a Dear Neighbour card.

Don’t go and talk to your neighbour whilst you’re feeling angry about the noise, a better solution may be reached if you remain calm and try to avoid conflict.

Related documents

Noise leaflet
Dear Neighbour card

If discussions with your neighbour have failed and you consider the noise to be a statutory nuisance or unreasonable then you should contact us by calling 020 7613 8080 or emailing asb@newlon.org.uk or by writing to us at Housing Services, Newlon Housing Trust, Newlon House, 4 Daneland Walk, Hale Village, London, N17 9FE.

Noise nuisance is a breach of a resident’s tenancy agreement with us. We will take all reasonable steps to make sure our residents fully comply with all obligations under the terms and conditions of their tenancy agreement. Taking formal action is a lengthy process and requires extensive evidence. Newlon will need your full support for any legal action to be successful.

If the noise is non-statutory we may ask you to consider mediation.

What is mediation?

We recognise that people have different lifestyles and although someone’s behaviour may not be a statutory nuisance it can still be annoying to others. In these cases we will offer mediation.

Mediation is an effective way of resolving disputes without the need to go to court. It involves an independent third party (a mediator) who helps both sides come to an agreement. Mediation is a flexible process that can be used to settle disputes in a whole range of situations.

There is no charge to individuals for this service.

Thinking of mediation?

Contact us by calling 020 7613 8080 or emailing asb@newlon.org.uk or by writing to us at Housing Services, Newlon Housing Trust, Newlon House, 4 Daneland Walk, Hale Village, London, N17 9FE.