Noisy Neighbours ? Anything for a quiet Life?

01 February 2013

If you find the noise created by neighbours to have become intolerable, read on to discover the potential courses of action open to you

Modern life is noisy and chaotic and with houses being built closer together as well as the rise in apartment living, the problem of noisy neighbours is on the increase.

In most cases, the sound of doors slamming, dogs barking, hammering and drilling or loud music playing next door will be seen as the perfectly acceptable and reasonable noise of everyday living.  However, what do you do when such noise becomes intolerable? Sound may be an essential part of life but unwanted noise is not.

If all efforts to resolve the situation amicably have failed and your neighbour repeatedly causes a noise nuisance, you should contact your local Environmental Health Department to report the problem. They can investigate the problem and speak to the offender on your behalf.  They can also monitor and measure the level of noise produced and will require people to desist from making excessive noise by serving a Noise Abatement Notice if they feel this is warranted.  If such a notice is ignored, a Prosecution may result.

If you can demonstrate that the noise nuisance has adversely affected your health, comfort and convenience, it may be possible to bring a civil action against the offender in order to obtain a Court Injunction to prevent further repetition of the nuisance and claim compensation.

Legal Aid may be available to assist with the Legal Costs in pursuing same. You may also wish to approach the Landlord of the property, if the Offender is a private Tenant as their actions may be in breach of their Tenancy Agreement.  Also, if the Landlord is the Local Authority, they may take action on your behalf, especially if the noise is part of a wider problem involving anti-social behaviour.

In all cases it is wise to seek Legal Advice as soon as you notice the problem – don’t suffer in silence! (Pardon the pun!)

This article first appeared in the Spectator newspaper.  

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