Noise complaints procedure

See the steps we take when you make a noise complaint.

We have a legal duty to investigate all complaints we get.

We cannot accept anonymous complaints and you must be able to tell us where the noise is coming from before we can investigate, as we might take enforcement action.

What we do when we get a complaint

We’ll log the record on an internal database and use council records to identify the potential offender(s).

We’ll then send a letter and diary sheets to you and ask that you log details of any noise for three weeks, including times and dates. If the potential offender already has an abatement notice served on them, we’ll tell them the consequences of breaching that order in the letter we send.

If the complaint has been made before or it’s been raised by more than one person we might not send a letter to them. 

If the noise is coming from a commercial or business property we’re more likely to visit instead of sending a letter.

If the complaint is against a student we’ll speak to the university or college as well.

Next steps

If we don’t get the diary sheets back after the three week period or within another agreed timescale, we’ll close the case and a letter will be sent to the person the complaint is against to let them know no further action will be taken.

If we get the diary sheets back and we think no more investigation is needed, we’ll send a letter to let them know we’re satisfied with the information on the sheets and won’t be taking any further action.

If we think we need to investigate more, this will be either visits during likely times of noise or we’ll arrange for you to call us when the noise is happening. 

In some cases we might decide to install noise recording equipment instead. The complaint will go on a waiting list for equipment and you should carry on filling in diary sheets in the meantime. 

When the case reaches the top of the list we’ll contact you to find out if the problem is still happening. If it’s not, we’ll close the case and send a letter to the person the complaint is against to let them know.

If it is still happening we’ll arrange to install noise recording equipment for a week. If they have a noise abatement notice already we’ll let them know evidence is being gathered and the consequences of breaching that order.

After a week we’ll check the recordings. If the evidence shows they are causing a problem we’ll serve an abatement notice - or consider prosecution if they already have one.

If there is no evidence of a problem we’ll let them know we won’t take formal action this time but that this might change if a complaint is made again. We’ll then close the case and let you know the outcome.