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Nuisance Neighbours – What Can you Do?

October 15th, 2014

Everybody has the right to the quiet and peaceful enjoyment of their property.  When a neighbour disrupts this right it can be highly distressing for the individual involved.  Whether it be loud music, shouting, televisions blaring or loud animals, it is unacceptable if this causes you a problem.

In order to maximise your chances of a successful resolution to your noise problem, follow my five ways to tackle a nuisance neighbour:

1.  Speak to the neighbour directly if you feel that it is safe to do so.  Often people will not realise that they are causing a nuisance so simply letting them know may solve the problem!  If you feel unable to talk to them face to face, another option would be to post a friendly note through their door alerting them to the nuisance.  It is advisable to keep conversation friendly as you are more likely to get a positive response.

2.  At all times keep a detailed record of when your neighbour is being noisy.  Make sure you detail the time and duration of the noise.  This record will serve as evidence should you need to take your complaint to the local Council or indeed begin legal proceedings.

3.  If the noise continues despite your protests, you should telephone the local Council’s Environmental Health Team who can monitor the level of noise and, if appropriate, fine your neighbour up to £5,000, seize the equipment causing the noise or even apply for an Anti-Social Behaviour Order.  Your record at point 2 will be crucial as evidence if this were to happen.

4.  The police can be called if a neighbour is being extremely loud especially if this happens during the night.  However, the police have limited powers in this regard and may only be able to ask the neighbours to be quiet.  Nevertheless a police presence may be enough to stop the neighbour’s noise.

5.  Finally, you can instruct a solicitor to advise you on any aspect of litigation involving a nuisance neighbour.  This could include making a section 82 Environmental Protection Act 1990 request to the court which has the purpose of requiring your neighbour to abate their noise and prohibit recurrence of the noise by virtue of a court order.

If you are a tenant rather than the homeowner, report the problem to your landlord.  If the noisy neighbour is also a tenant of the same landlord, they could be in breach of their tenancy agreement and their nuisance may result in eviction.  In any event, you can ask your landlord to speak with the noisy neighbour and see if a resolution can be found.

If you are keen to preserve the relationship you have with your neighbour it is always advised that you speak with them in the first instance and alert them to the problem.

Giulia Sinibaldi is a first year trainee solicitor in the firm’s Dispute Resolution department.  If you have been affected by nuisance neighbours and would like legal advice on your situation. contact Giulia on 01494 773377 or by email at hello@lennonssolicitors.co.uk.

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