Reporting noise problems
How we will investigate your noise complaint
The Public Health Nuisance Team deal with approximately 4000 noise complaints each year. In order to effectively deal with so many complaints it is necessary for officers to follow an established procedure for investigating the majority of noise complaints received.
What you can expect from our investigation
This is a general outline but, as each case is different, there may be slight variations:
- When reporting a noise complaint we will require your details and these are kept confidential unless court action is necessary. Please note that anonymous complaints will not be taken as we need to know who is affected by the problem.
- You will be sent log sheets within 3 working days of reporting your complaint to us and you will be asked to complete these over a period of 2 weeks detailing the incidences of the noise. The information you provide will give us a better idea of the extent of the problem.
- You must return the log sheets with 28 days. If the log sheets are not returned we will assume that the matter is resolved and that you no longer require our intervention.
- Once your log sheets have been returned they will be allocated to a case officer who will review the information you have provided. If the information shows that the complaint is likely to be justified, the person that you are complaining about will be contacted and informed that they are causing a problem.
- Should the situation not improve, your case officer will decide the next appropriate course of action. This may include installing recording equipment in your property for a period of time to take recordings of the noise you are complaining about. This information will be used in addition to the information provided on the log sheets to determine whether a Statutory Nuisance exists and whether further action can be taken on your behalf.
- If sufficient evidence is obtained and your Case Officer determines that a Statutory Nuisance exists, an Abatement Notice will be served on the subject of your complaint requiring them to stop causing a nuisance.
- If your Case Officer determines that no Statutory Nuisance exists we will be unable to take further action on your behalf unless the situation deteriorates, in which case we will re-investigate your complaint.
- If an Abatement Notice is served, you will be required to inform your Case Officer if the noise continues. This Division will attempt to witness the nuisance in person in order to be able to prosecute the person served with the notice.
- This Division may apply to the Magistrate's Court for a Warrant to enter the subject's property and remove stereo/TV equipment in order to abate the nuisance where the noise continues after this.
What you can do
Your neighbour may genuinely be unaware that their daily activities are having a negative impact on you. Discussing the problem with them in a calm manner may quickly resolve the issue as they may be able to do something differently. If you do not feel able to talk to them you could write to them as this gives you time to think about what you want to say and ensure you get the right tone.
Should this fail Bromley Community Mediation Service may be a solution to the problem. They can hold meetings with both parties or act as a go-between to help you come to an agreement with your neighbours.
Individuals may also take private action through the courts under Section 82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 regarding their concerns. See our Guide to taking your own action.