Noise - loud music and televisions

Drum noise

We receive periodic complaints about the impact of drum playing from neighbours. Drums by their very nature are noisy, and the constant pounding, especially from someone learning to play can quickly cause annoyance to neighbours

What you should do

The owner of the drum kit may genuinely be unaware that their practice is causing a disturbance and therefore speaking to your neighbours may be the quickest and most effective means of resolving matters. Below are some practical measures which can reduce the impact a drum kit has on neighbouring premises.

Practice times

The easiest solution is to try to agree reasonable practice times which suit you both. You may ask your neighbour to avoid practising early in the morning or in the evening and at night, when people are trying to relax or sleep. Agreeing the length of time a practice will last each day may also be appropriate. This Department would consider approximately 30 to 60 minutes a day reasonable in many cases.
We would advise both parties to keep a log of the practice times which can be cross referenced if necessary.

Location of the drum kit

Ask your neighbour to set up the drum kit in a room away from party walls if possible and ask them to ensure windows are kept closed during practice to minimise the noise that can be heard outside. Thick curtains can also help to prevent noise escaping.

Practice Pads

Your neighbour can buy a set of rubber pads that are laid over the drums and cymbals and act like a cushion for the drum stick. Also; a large pillow or old duvet can be placed inside the bass drum to deaden its sound.

Rehearsal Rooms

It may be possible for some rehearsals to be carried out in a studio or rehearsal room.

What we will do

In order to investigate your complaint we may:

  • Ask you to complete log sheets to show how often and for how long you are being disturbed.
  • Install recording equipment in your property and/or arranging monitoring visits to witness in person to gain further evidence of the problem.
  • If we are satisfied that the noise constitutes a Statutory Nuisance under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, an Abatement Notice will be served requiring the subject to stop the disturbance, please note this does not necessarily mean ceasing to play entirely if reasonable practice times can be agreed and the impact of the noise reduced satisfactorily.
  • If the Notice is not complied with, they could face a maximum fine of £5000 (domestic premises), or £20,000 (commercial/industrial premises).

In considering whether a Statutory Nuisance exists an Environmental Health Officer will consider the following factors:

  • Source of the noise
  • Environment of the noise
  • Duration of the drumming
  • Time of day of the drumming
  • How often it occurs

How we investigate noise complaints

More detailed explanation on how your complaint will be investigated.

Public protection


Tel: 0300 303 8657

Fax: 020 8313 4450

Civic Centre, Stockwell Close, Bromley, BR1 3UH

Out of hours emergencies only

5.00pm - 8.30am and weekends

Tel: 0300 303 8671