Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.
May I ask if you have approached the council directly on the matter to date as well as pursuing it through the Housing Association?
Thanks. Many councils contract out their anti social behaviour duties to housing associations for their properties however the council has powers to serve abatement orders which could be worth pursuing as once served they are legally enforceable against the individual concerned. Given the steps you have already taken therefore and the evidence you have collected and the costs of pursuing your own application for injunctive relief (which I will move on to in a moment) this can be worth looking at first.
Under sections 79-81 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 local authorities have a duty to deal with any noise which they consider to be a statutory nuisance. A local authority may try to resolve a neighbour noise problem informally. If this fails and they are satisfied that the noise amounts to a statutory nuisance they must serve an abatement notice. This may require the noise to be stopped altogether, reduced or limited to certain times of the day. A notice must be served on the person responsible for the noise and they have the right to appeal within 21 days of it being served. If a person on whom an abatement notice has been served fails, without reasonable cause, to comply, he or she will have committed an offence. For offences relating to domestic premises and private vehicles, the magistrates’ court may impose a fine of £5,000 with a further fine of up to £500 for each day the offence continues after conviction.
You can consider taking your own action outside of the Local Authority by applying for an injunction against the neighbour if you can demonstrate that you are experiencing a statutory nuisance - noise, interference with your enjoyment of your property. This is quite seperate from the council's powers and a judge can serve an order on your neighbour forbidding certain uses of his property. You would need evidence of the nuisance you are suffering to have grounds for an application for an injunction. You can apply for an injunction on form N16A
Ref your last question, yes the two are different things but achieve largely the same result though under completely separate pieces of legislation. Only a council can issue an abatement notice but anyone can apply for an injunction
There is an application fee of £280 to apply for an injunction (recoverable potentially if successful). You will need to present evidence of the noise - recordings and logs are usually sufficient along with yout own statement.
If the other party defends your application, you will need to be mindful of potential legal costs. If you are unsuccessful, you may be ordered to pay or contribute to their legal costs.
For this reason it is often worth looking at other options such as that which you are doing and that of the council before applying yourself but there is no need other than being mindful of cost to do so.
Abatement notices do not incur a fee to you as it is a duty imposed on the local authority though under the stretched financial conditions councils find themselves it can be more of a battle to encourage a council to act than in years gone by. Obviously your housing authority is also an avenue and they seem to be generally onside from what you say if slow. You could consider badgering them - you do have the avenue of complaint to the Housing Ombudsman regarding the housing association though this is unlikely to produce quick results on the noise at hand so is probably not very useful other than as a means to bang a drum at the Housing Association if they are not being proactive.
One final thought is that you can also involve the police. Police have powers to impose control orders and orders under the Anti Social Behaviour Act. How helpful they are will vary from officer to officer and the incident in question but it is an option.
Ref companies that specialise, the only obvious companies that could assist you with this would be local solicitors which will add further cost to an application. It is quite possible to apply yourself without a solicitor. There are one or two private agencies that assist with applications - they cannot formally represent you but they are supposed to do the paperwork side of the application for a fee. I cannot comment on whether they are effective but they may be e.g.:http://www.injunction-direct.com/
If you decide to retain a solicitor do be careful about costs as they can snowball if you have a solicitor on an hourly rate. Irwin Mitchell have a generally good reupation and have a strong Manchester presence
Is there anything above I can clarify for you?
A pleasure. I trust you are able to resolve the position swiftly with minimum cost and fuss.
If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do not hesitate to revert to me
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