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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7673
Experience:  UK solicitor holding an England and Wales practising Certificate.
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I live in a mid terrace/mews house. My new neighbour moved

Customer Question

I live in a mid terrace/mews house. My new neighbour moved in 3 weeks ago.(single mother with 3 young children). There is little sound proofing as they have no carpets down and curtains up only in the front of the house.They make a lot of noise during the day, children crying and screaming, thudding around and banging doors.

I work away during the week and I am normally work at home on Friday & Monday. When I am working during the week I awake around 6am - 6.30.

At weekends I don't normally sleep past 9.30am, but since the new neighbours moved in I don't have the option. The children's bedroom is adjacent to mine and on Saturday and Sunday they are up between 7.30 and 8am, and the noise they make then wakes me up. The children often bang on the wall.

Lat night which was sunday night I went to bed at 10.30pm and was woken up at 1.15 am by one of the children screaming and crying. I got back to sleep at 3am.

I am working from Home today (Monday) so got up at 7am to start work at 8am, I notice that they didn't wake up until 9am. Unfortunately I don't have the luxury of that kind of flexibility with my schedule.

Tomorrow I will be getting up at 5am as I am driving to London for work, I am already on edge about the possibility of a disrupted nights sleep, and feel as though I have no control over my own sleep schedule anymore.

What can I do? I know I probably need to speak to them but not sure how to start the conversation.

I have owned this house for over 10 years and never experienced this problem with the previous neighbours. The new neighbours are renting the house from a housing association - do they have any responsibilty when it comes to issues around noise levels of their tenants?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 4 years ago.

Thanks for your patience.

This is essentially a noise abatement issue. Since you do not have any contractual relations to them you will have to seek to resolve the dispute via the normal means of redress for loud noise. Many consider this to be unsatisfactory.

Under s79 Environmental Protection Act 1990 a statutory notice includes
"noise that is prejudicial to health or a nuisance and is emitted from or caused by a vehicle, machinery or equipment in a street or, in Scotland, road.".

Under Section 80 of the Environmental Protection Act, once the local authority has determined that a noise nuisance exists, it must then serve an abatement notice either requiring the noise to be abated completely or restricting or prohibiting the noise, or demanding that works be carried out the stop the noise.

The Noise Act 1996 deals specifcally with noise at night above "permitted levels" for which an abatement notice can also be served. such a noise is
"a level applicable to noise as measured from within any other dwelling in the vicinity from an approved device... different permitted levels may be determined for different circumstances"

If the noise persists then they offender can be served with a fine ("fixed penalty notice").

I would do the following things in the following order:-
1. Make a retrospective diary of the disruption that you have experienced
2. Speak informally to them about the disruption that you have experienced and ask if there’s anything they can do to possibly limit the noise
3. Monitor the behaviour with a diary
4. If further disruption occurs and you consider that the noise is excessive then you should them in writing outlining your objection and asking them to attempt to limit the disturbance. Make them aware of your rights of enforcement/
5. If the further disruption occurs after this contact the housing association in writing. There will be clauses in their tenancy agreements on noise. You can’t enforce these but you can attempt to get the association to. See what they come back with and reply if necessary
6. If further disruption continues then contact the local authority with regard to seeking enforcement under the environmental protection act above.

You have to consider if the noise levels are genuinely excessive for a family with children. It is possible to get noise abatement redress against families but it has to be a clear case where the noise is substantially greater then a reasonable family acting reasonably would make, rather then simply an normal noise but unfortunately being located next to you.

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Kind regards,

Expert:  Thomas replied 4 years ago.



Is there any further information you require?


I just want to ensure that you are satisfied, so please let me know if you have any further queries on your position. Please remember to RATE my answer, if you are satisfied.


Kind regards,