Many noise problems, particularly those involving neighbours, can be dealt with by having a friendly word with the person who is making the noise.
What can I do about noisy neighbours?
First of all, try talking to your neighbour about the problem. You may find this difficult, but often people are unaware they are causing a problem. Most neighbours will do what they can to reduce their noise.
Here are some suggestions on how to talk to your neighbour about a problem:
- Plan what you are going to say
- Be polite, keep calm and try to keep things light-hearted and friendly
- Explain how their noise is affecting you
- To start off with, you could try asking your neighbour if they can hear noise from your property.
- Avoid approaching your neighbour when the noise is actually happening. You are more likely to be angry and have an argument.
Try writing to your neighbour
If you can't or don't want to approach your neighbour in person, send them a polite letter explaining the problem.
If your friendly approach doesn't work, contact Luton Mediation. Mediation can help neighbours sort out problems. There is no charge for this service.
How can the council help?
If you've spoken to your neighbour and things haven't improved, contact us for help.
When you make a complaint, we will write to your neighbour to let them know we're investigating a noise problem.
We will not tell your neighbour who has made the complaint. However, sometimes a neighbour will guess who has complained or may ask you.
The letter to my neighbour hasn't worked, what should I do next?
We hope the letter will resolve the problem. However, if the noise continues you will need to contact us again. Your case will then be passed to an officer in the Environmental Protection team for investigation.
How will the council investigate the noise problem?
The officer will need to decide if your neighbour is causing a legal nuisance. If the noise happens during office hours an officer will visit you. If the noise happens at other times, we will install recording equipment in your home.
What legal action can be taken?
If your neighbour is causing a legal nuisance, an abatement notice will be served. The notice will require the noise nuisance to stop.
If the problem continues, we may prosecute your neighbour (maximum fine £5000). We may also seize any noise-making equipment such as stereos, computers, televisions or musical instruments.
When is a noise a legal nuisance?
For a noise to be a legal nuisance it must be unreasonable and interfere with the use and enjoyment of your home. Several factors determine whether a noise is nuisance including:
- the time of day the noise occurs
- how loud it is
- how long it lasts
- how often it occurs
- your location
However, the council is unable to help if the noise is caused by ordinary household activities, children playing or is due to poor sound insulation.
Can I take my own legal action?
For information, download our advice sheet below.
How can I make a complaint about noise?
- Call 01582 510330, Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm, except Wednesday, 10am to 6pm
Luton Borough Council, Town Hall, George Street, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU1 2BQ
Tel: 01582 510330
Fax: 01582 546676