Neighbourhood Noise Complaints

Regulatory Services regularly receive complaints concerning neighbourhood noise.

Typical sources of noise include:

  • Domestic noise – Frequent late night parties/ Excessive TV or music noise/ Excessive DIY noise
  • Dog noise  - Frequent excessive periods of barking
  • Industrial noise – Loud noise from fans, fixed industrial plant, factories activities, etc
  • Commercial noise – Frequent excessive amplified music from pubs/clubs, construction activities  
  • Intruder alarm noise

You can take action to reduce noise nuisance to your neighbours by following the guidance on the Environmental Protection UK website.

If you are being disturbed by noise there may be action that you can take to alleviate the problem. Guidance can be found in the advice leaflet Neighbourhood Noise bothering you?  Once you have read the leaflet you might consider writing to those responsible for the noise using the sample neighbour letter or keeping a diary of noise related problems.

If the property generating the noise is owned by a Housing Association, you should direct your complaint, in the first instance, to the Management Team of your local Housing Association.

If the property is a private let then you may wish to contact the landlord of the property directly. You can search for registered private landlords at www.landlordregistrationscotland.gov.uk.

If you are suffering from other antisocial behaviour, you may also wish to contact the Antisocial Behaviour Officer.

You can submit a noise complaint to Environmental Health. Noise complaints made to Environmental Health can be dealt with through informal and formal action under the following legislation

  • The Environmental Protection Act 1990: Part III – Statutory Noise Nuisance
  • The Control of Pollution Act 1974: Part III – Construction Site Noise.
  • The Noise and Statutory Nuisance Act 1993 – Vehicle/equipment on roads / intruder alarms

When you contact the Local Authority you will be required to give your full name, address and, if possible, a telephone number where you can be contacted during office hours. It is policy that, in the main, anonymous complaints will not be investigated, however, your name and address will be treated with the strictest confidence and your anonymity will be observed. (You should be aware that if the complaint ultimately requires legal action then you may be required to attend any subsequent court proceedings as a witness on behalf of the Local Authority).

In addition to your own details we will also require as much information as possible regarding the noise being complained of:

  • The source of the noise;
  • The name of the occupier of the premises;
  • What type of noise it is - industrial, barking dogs, noisy neighbours, etc.;
  • When and how long the noise occurs on what days and times - it will help if you have already completed a diary;
  • How does the noise affect you e.g. could be heard above the television, stops you sleeping etc.

Following receipt, an Officer from your local Regulatory Services Area team will assess your complaint and contact you to discuss your problem. Advice and guidance may be given and the officer will make a decision as to whether the matter is actionable by the Local Authority or whether it needs to be referred to another agency.

Action by Council following Complaint

  1. You will receive confirmation in writing regarding your complaint and requesting, if necessary, the completion of an event diary. At the same time as you receive your initial letter, the person causing the problem will also have been advised by letter of the receipt of the complaint and the actions likely to be taken by the Council to investigate the matter.
  2. You will be asked to maintain an event diary for a period of 1-2 weeks. You will be asked to note when and how long the noise occurs. When the monitoring period has been completed, you will be asked to return the event diary to the investigating Officer.
  3. The investigating officer will then assess the written evidence to determine the scale and extent of the problem and what steps need to be taken to resolve the problem. Further assessment of the problem may be necessary and that could include the installation of noise monitoring/recording equipment.
  4. Whilst many complaints are resolved informally, if the noise continues an Officer will attempt to call to witness the noise to determine whether in their judgement the noise represents a statutory nuisance. They will consider factors such as the type of noise, how loud it is, how often and at what time it occurs.
  5. Following the investigation, if the Officer is satisfied that a statutory nuisance exists then a legal notice requiring abatement of the noise will be served. If the evidence does not support further action then you will be advised accordingly. If the person without reasonable excuse fails to comply with the notice he or she is then guilty of an offence and may be prosecuted by the Local Authority. 

Other useful links and sources of further guidance relating to noise available from:-

 

AttachmentSize
PDF icon noise_leafletmay13.pdf189.84 KB
PDF icon noise_log.pdf95.96 KB
Microsoft Office document icon neighbour_letter.doc24.5 KB