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Reporting noise at night
This service is available:
- Thursday, 6.30pm-2am
- Friday, 9pm-2am
- Saturday, 9pm-2am
- Sunday, 6.30pm-2am
If you have a problem during those hours, please call 020 8356 4455.
- your name
- telephone number
- details of where the noise is coming from
Everyone’s perception of noise nuisance is different. It’s not just about sound levels in decibels but of what is acceptable.
Noise is generally considered to mean unwanted sound, but what one person considers unwanted may seem reasonable to someone else.
As an enforcing authority, we have to decide what’s reasonable and what isn’t, before we take action. We can help with:
- building and construction site noise (we recommend noisy work in residential areas is carried out Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm and Saturdays, 8am-1pm)
- DIY noise during antisocial hours
- burglar / car alarms
- deliveries at unreasonable hours
- nightclubs and pubs
- loud music / television
- kitchen extract / air conditioning units
- places of worship
- open air events
- street performers
We have a duty to investigate noise complaints from residents. The way we respond depends on the nature of the problem, the time that it happens and whether or not it’s a first-time complaint or a recurring problem. If we’re satisfied the noise is a nuisance, and it doesn’t stop within 7 days, we’ll usually serve a formal or statutory noise abatement notice to prevent a recurrence of the problem.
If you’re served with an abatement notice and don’t comply with it, or are making a severe, ongoing noise at night, we can use a warrant and seize your noise-making equipment.
We prioritise cases where large numbers of residents are affected – especially by persistent noise pollution.
If possible discuss the problem with the person or organisation making the noise. Often they can stop or reduce the impact of the noise.
Problems can often be quickly resolved by talking to your neighbour, explaining how their actions are impacting on you and agreeing to a compromise that is an acceptable solution for all.
People are often unaware that they’re causing a problem and most will be glad to take action to reduce the disturbance. If you don’t think it’s safe or appropriate to approach the person making the noise, please contact us for further advice.
If the problems persists, we’ll normally ask you to complete diary sheets so we can look in-depth at the times and extent of the problem.
Certain types of noise are difficult for us to assess so we may ask you to contact us while the problem is happening. If an officer is available, and considers there to be a potential problem, they will try to make a visit.
You can also complain directly to the Magistrate’s Court under section 82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. The Magistrate’s Court can make a nuisance order and it can impose a fine.
Please note that we have no jurisdiction in respect of noise from aircraft or trains. For train and railway noise, contact the Network Rail Helpline on 0845 711414.
If you are experiencing noise from any aircraft please contact the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), on 020 7453 6525.