Download Noise Audit - Sound Check... Simple Steps to Sound Solutions
We are all familiar with noise from every day life. Sometimes too much noise however can cause us to become annoyed.
Many noise problems, particularly those involving neighbours, can best be solved informally, by people talking things over. Sometimes we make more noise than we should and usually some give and take is needed.
But informal solutions do not always work and people may have to resort to more formal ways of dealing with the problem, the Law can help.
The Environmental Health Department can investigate complaints and noise from Industrial, Commercial, or Domestic sources.
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If you make a complaint about noise, an Environmental Health Officer will normally carry out a preliminary investigation and discuss the matter with you. You will be asked to monitor and keep records of the noisy events.
If after investigation, the District Council is satisfied that the noise constitutes a nuisance, it will usually contact the person responsible and try to resolve the matter informally.
If this fails, the Environmental Health Officer must make a judgement on whether noise emanating to a statutory nuisance exists. The judgement must be made on the evidence available from the investigation. The Environmental Health Officer cannot simply act on the word of the complainant.
If a formal remedy is required, the Environmental Health Department may serve a Notice under Article 38 of the Pollution Control and Local Government (Northern Ireland) Order 1978, on the person causing the noise, or on the owner or occupier of the premises where the nuisance arises.
Noise is subjective. What can cause extreme annoyance to one person, may be hardly noticed by another. A noise may be irritating but it may not be a nuisance in the legal sense. There is no fixed level of noise which constitutes a statutory nuisance. Each case must be judged on its merits, giving consideration to relevant standards and what would be the likely reaction of an average reasonable person.
If you wish to make a complaint about noise, you may contact us atTel: 028867 62205, or E Mail: email@example.com.
(Click for complaint form).
Neighbour Noise Problems
Noise from neighbours is a common source of disturbance. The most frequent complaints are about barking dogs, loud music or TV, shouting, banging doors and DIY activities. Remember that no house or flat is totally soundproof, and gardens and garages can be particularly noisy! Everyone can expect some noise from the people who live around them. You could be disturbed for the following reasons:
The neighbours are behaving unreasonably
The neighbours are behaving normally, but sound insulation in your home is not good enough to cut out the sounds of normal everyday living
The sensitivity of people to different types of noise varies - sounds that some enjoy may annoy others.
What can you do?
If you are being disturbed by noise from a neighbour:
First, approach your neighbours and explain politely that you are being troubled by noise. You may find this difficult, but often people are unaware that they are causing a problem. Most will be glad to do what they can to reduce noise. However, approach the matter carefully if you think your neighbour might react angrily to a complaint.
If the problem continues, start a diary recording dates, times and cause of the noise, and the effects it has on you. Write to your neighbour explaining the problem. Ask them to stop the noise nuisance, referring to any conversations you may have had and what, if anything, they agreed to do about it. Keep a record of any conversations you have or letters you write. If your neighbours are tenants, discuss your problem with the landlord (if they are private tenants, you may need to find out who the landlord is). Most Conditions of Tenancy require that tenants do not cause nuisance to neighbours; the landlord or housing association should take action if a nuisance is being caused.
Are there alternatives to legal action?
Noise disputes are often resolved informally. Legal action should be a last resort. It is unpleasant and will inevitably further sour the relationship between you and your neighbour. It is very important that you do your best to resolve any problem in a friendly way. (Please see Noise Audit - Sound Check attachment for further information).