How to deal with noise

Some noise is an unavoidable part of life. This is especially true if you live in flats that share facilities or live close to your neighbours. Working with your neighbours can improve the quality of life in your neighbourhood. We have some tips and ways to help you along the way.

What is reasonable noise?  

Not all noise you hear from a neighbour is unreasonable. We need to accept that we may hear noise from our neighbour from time to time. We would not consider the following to be unreasonable noise: 

  • Footsteps  
  • General living noise such as hoovering, washing machine, dryer, children playing and talking 
  • Babies crying  
  • Noise from children playing  
  • DIY (during normal daytime hours 7 am to 11 pm)  
  • Dogs barking occasionally  

What is unreasonable noise? 

We consider some types of noises as antisocial behaviour. But only if the noise is unreasonably loud and happens regularly. We will not investigate one-off incidents. Examples of noise might be:

  • Persistent and excessively loud music  
  • Persistent animal noise

What to do first 

  • Your neighbour needs to know that you can hear their noise. They may not be aware that the sound is having an impact on you and need a chance to turn it down.  
  • Talk face-to-face. A conversation will allow you to understand each other’s situation. This should come from you rather than us. Remember the conversation could also be uncomfortable for them.  
  • Be prepared. Think about what you’re going to say and be ready to listen to their side of the story.  

Watch the video for advice.  

More tips and tools to help 

Important information 

If there are concerns for the safety and welfare of others, please contact the relevant agencies listed. If you believe someone is in immediate danger or there is criminal activity contact the police. Call 999 in an emergency or 101 non-emergencies.   

Before involving us

We expect you to attempt to resolve the issue first. 

  1. If you feel safe and comfortable, talk to the person or people involved. Explain how their behaviour is affecting you and what would improve the situation. Listen to their views and try to reach a compromise.
  2. Keep a record of the events. Include details such as names, dates, times and how long it lasted. An example of how to keep a record can be found here. Also, record your conversation with your neighbour explaining what happened in detail.
  3. Contact the local authority environmental health team. If the local authority decides to act, we can look to take appropriate action. The local council may classify as a “statutory noise nuisance”. These extra powers help to deal with the cause of the noise.  More information on where to find your local authority.
  4. You have attempted to speak with your neighbour and there has been no change. You may wish to take further steps and report a noise nuisance.


What to do if the situation continues