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Noisy neighbours

Although we would all like to get along well with our neighbours, sometimes we may face problems to do with noise, planning disputes, or anti-social behaviour. Find out more about what to do and what rights you have.

It can be frustrating to have noisy neighbours, whether they are playing loud music, have the TV turned up, or have noisy dogs which bark during the night.

How much of a problem it is depends on how often the noise occurs and when, as noise during the day may be less of a problem than noise late at night.

The law

If the noise that they are making is a nuisance or damaging to health, the council should investigate. If the council decides that the noise is a “statutory nuisance” they must issue a notice on the person responsible. That could be the person making the noise, but if the noise is caused by a defect in the property then the owner could be held responsible and they might be issued with the notice.

The notice will tell the person what they should do to stop or restrict the noise. If they ignore the notice, the council can prosecute the person responsible.

What to do:

  1. Try to resolve the problem with your neighbour directly. Sometimes people don’t know how noisy they are and aren’t aware that other people can hear them. If you feel able to do so, you could approach your neighbour and talk to them about the problem. This may be enough to resolve the matter. Only do this if you feel comfortable and safe.
  2. Consider mediation services to help you resolve the matter with your neighbour. A mediator is an independent person who can help both sides come to an agreement. Some councils and housing associations provide free mediation services to their tenants or you can search for a mediator online through the Ministry of Justice.
  3. Contact your landlord, their landlord or your local council. If you are not sure which council department to contact, talk to the Environmental Health team to begin with. They should investigate and decide what course of action they can take.
  4. Download our free factsheet Anti-social behaviour in housing for much more information on how to deal with noisy neighbours.

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Further information


Our Information guides are short and easy to digest, giving a comprehensive overview of the relevant topic. Factsheets are longer with more detail, and are aimed at professionals.

You can download other guides in our series from publications

For more information: Call Age UK Advice: 0800 678 1174

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