Reporting noise nuisance

Types of noise nuisance

Noisy neighbours

Noise from neighbours is a common source of nuisance. The main complaints are about:

  • barking dogs,
  • loud music or television,
  • shouting,
  • intruder alarms, and
  • do-it-yourself (DIY) activities.

We can all expect, or make, some level of neighbour noise as no house or flat is totally soundproof. We cannot take any action against noise relating to ordinary day to day activities. Also we can only base our investigation on the 'ordinary person' and therefore we cannot always help people who are particularly sensitive to noise, shift workers or people with unrealistic expectations. However, if this noise amounts to a nuisance as determined by an Enforcement Officer, there is action that we can take to address it.

If you are being disturbed by noise from a neighbour, if possible approach them and explain that you are being troubled by their noise. Alternatively you can use our sample noise letter to send to your neighbour.

If this fails, you can use the Noise App to quickly and easily record the noise which is causing a nuisance.

For a noise to be investigated by a qualified Enforcement Officer, it must be compromising the normal, reasonable use of your property. If it is annoying or irritating we will not be able to investigate the complaint. 

House alarms

False alarms and faulty systems are the most common causes of burglar alarm noise. If a fault develops while you are on holiday, alarms can sometimes sound for days. This can cause a serious noise nuisance to your neighbours.

If your alarm rings and is considered to be a statutory nuisance by an officer from Environmental Health, we will serve a Noise Abatement Notice on you and may have to enter your premises to disconnect the alarm. A warrant will be obtained from the Magistrates' Court to enter the premises to deactivate the alarm. Any costs incurred to silence the alarm will be charged to you.

To avoid any problems or potential complaints about a ringing burglar alarm you should:

  • Fit an automatic cut-out device to stop the alarm ringing after 20 minutes.
  • Give a key and the alarm code to a neighbour, so that someone can disable and reset the alarm if there's a problem (especially if you are often away from home or go on holiday).

To avoid false alarms, have the alarm regularly checked so any faults can be fixed.

Noise from industrial or commercial premises

Sometimes we can be disturbed by excessive noise coming from industrial or commercial premises, such as:

  • machinery noise
  • fan noises
  • vehicle movements
  • alarms
  • radios.

If you are disturbed by such noise and you are able to identify the source, try visiting the premises and speaking to the site manager. If the noise continues and the owner/s appear unwilling to respond, please contact us to make a complaint.