Noise complaints

Problems with noisy neighbours

The following is guidance for residents when dealing with noisy neighbours.

It is important to remain calm and objective when assessing how the noise affects you, so that you can show that you have behaved in a reasonable manner at all times. This involves demonstrating that you are not over sensitive to noise, as the other party may argue they are not creating a nuisance and that you are making unreasonable demands. Try to think about your own position in this situation, and ask yourself whether what you expect is totally reasonable. Complaints about an occasional party are unlikely to constitute grounds for action.

Having considered the above, if you believe that you are suffering from a significant nuisance, visit your neighbour and explain your concerns about how the noise affects you in a polite and non-confrontational way.

Try to persuade him/her to change their ways and compromise where possible. By inviting co-operation any later court proceedings are far more likely to succeed if you can show that you have tried to sort things out by yourself in a reasonable way.

If your neighbour rejects your approach, complain to him/her in writing remembering to keep a dated copy - be brief, firm but polite.

Contact our Team Support Section on 01753 875255 and inform them of your complaint. The investigating officer dealing with your case will contact you and invite you to keep a record of dates and times when the noise bothers you and will send you a supply of noise diary sheets designed for this purpose. You must sign the declaration of truthfulness at the bottom of the form confirming that you will be prepared to give evidence in court if required by the council’s solicitor. We would normally contact your neighbour at this time advising him/her that a complaint has been received and asking for their cooperation if they believe the complaint is justified.

When you have completed the diary sheets, return them to the investigating officer and he/she will assess the information. If the investigating officer feels that the noise may be a statutory nuisance, he/she will ask you to record the noise using a noise nuisance recorder that will be supplied to you. If this confirms that the noise is a statutory nuisance and providing you have kept diary notes to accompany the recordings and have signed a statement confirming they are a true record of the noises coming from your neighbour’s premises at those times and dates, a legal notice will be served on the person causing the nuisance requiring them to stop. If the noise does not stop the council can seize the equipment causing the nuisance and take court action for breach of the legal notice. On conviction, an individual can be fined up to £5000.

Taking your own action if the council is unable to assist you

If the investigating officer decides that the noise is not a statutory nuisance, or has been unable to witness the noise complained about and you are still convinced that you are suffering from a significant problem, you can take your own private action. Before doing so you may wish to seek legal advice from a solicitor, although this is not essential. Please refer to the separate page entitled ‘Advice on taking your own prosecution through a Magistrates Court’ for further information. We hope that the above information is of help to you but please contact Slough Borough Council’s Neighborhood Enforcement Team on 01753 875255 if you have any questions or comments.