Noisy neighbours

Noise nuisance in a residential area can impact on a person and affect their quality of life and enjoyment of their property.

Your first option is to try contacting your neighbour yourself. Explain to them the noise that you are experiencing and how it is affecting you and ask if they could do something about it. In most instances they may not be aware they are causing you a problem.

If that doesn't work, you can consider the following:

  • writing to your neighbours
  • reporting the issue to our environmental health team
  • mediation
  • taking legal action yourself.

If you are disturbed by noise when our offices are closed, please phone our out of hours service on 0300 369 0582.

How we can help

If you get in touch with us and we think there might be grounds for an investigation, we will write to your neighbours to say we have received a complaint without revealing your details. We will ask them to minimise the disturbance.

At the same time, we will ask you to keep a noise diary for three weeks to record when the noise took place and how you were affected it by it. If the disturbance remains unacceptable, and this is supported by diary sheets, we will visit your property to assess the disturbance ourselves.

Download a copy of our record of noise disturbance diary

If it is confirmed that a statutory nuisance exists, we have various legal powers to resolve the problem. This may include serving enforcement notices on the person responsible for the noise nuisance, seizing equipment, and in some cases prosecution.

Failure to comply with a notice is a criminal offence which carries a maximum fine of £5,000 for domestic premises or £20,000 for a business. If the case goes to court, you would be required to give evidence in support of your complaint.

Mediation

As an alternative to contacting us or taking your own action, you may wish to consider contacting West Surrey Mediation.

Email: office@wokingmediation.org.uk
Phone: 01483 715 063

Mediation is a way of dealing with neighbour disputes which enables those involved to reach a compromise that both parties are satisfied with. The mediators will arrange a meeting to find out what the problem is about and discuss the options available. This service is free and can avoid you having to go to court.

Taking legal action yourself

If the disturbance you are complaining about only happens infrequently or for a short time, it may be difficult for us to help you.

Private individuals can take their own action in the Magistrates' Court under Section 82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 or take civil action to seek an injunction to restrain the defendant from continuing the nuisance. 

Should you require further guidance with taking your own action you are advised to contact a solicitor.