Dealing with different types of noise

Of the various types of anti-social behaviour (ASB) report we receive, noise from neighbours is one of the most common. Wherever you live, neighbours will have different lifestyles, opinions and values. No home is completely soundproof, and it is important that you are tolerant of each other and understand that part of being a good neighbour involves a certain amount of compromise.

With this in mind, please consider the following advice when thinking about submitting an ASB report for different types of noise.

Loud noise/music

This is generally only considered ASB if it is happening regularly, over a period of time that is unreasonable or at night, and if it is having a negative impact on other people.

Everyone should be able to enjoy living in their home, so we do ask that neighbours are both considerate and tolerant of different lifestyles.

We suggest you try talking to your neighbour first as they may not realise that you can hear them or that they are disturbing you. If you would prefer not to talk to them, you can try using our Good Neighbour card to convey your concerns.

If you need further advice on approaching your neighbour and attempting to resolve the issue, please see our main anti-social behaviour guide.

If you continue to experience excessive noise, please install The Noise App on your phone or tablet (see below for links) to record the disturbance. The app is free to download and simple to use, enabling you to create an accurate record of nuisance noise along with how it affects you. These recordings can then be used in ASB cases, even in court.

Android users can install The Noise App through the Google Play Store, while iPhone users can install The Noise App through the Apple’s App Store.

As well as recording the noise incidents, you should contact your Local Authority and report the problem to their Environmental Health or Noise Nuisance team. Local councils have legal powers that enable them to deal with excessive noise – they can issue abatement notices, fines and even seize equipment. If the council take legal action, we can use this as evidence against the perpetrator.

If the situation does not improve, mediation might help. This is an independent, informal and confidential service available to help neighbours understand each other’s points of view and agree on a solution. Please contact us for more information about.

If the behaviour persists and you do not feel safe approaching your neighbour, or you have tried the above and the situation has not improved, please report this to us using our online ASB reporting form.

Neighbours arguing/shouting

A one-off argument or disagreement between two people is not usually considered as ASB. In fact, it might be worth having a polite word with your neighbours as they may not realise that you can hear them.

However, if the behaviour occurs frequently or you are concerned about the welfare of someone in the household, please report the disturbance to the police on 101, or on 999 if you feel someone is at imminent risk.

If you believe the noise could be part of a domestic abuse incident, please see our main anti-social behaviour guide to find out how to report it.

If the disturbance is happening regularly and continues for a long period of time, please see our main anti-social behaviour guide for general advice on dealing with noise.

Dog or pet noise

Barking dogs or other pet noise would only be considered as ASB if it is occurring at night, or is persistent, and is having a negative impact on other people nearby.

It is reasonable to hear occasional barking, but not if it happens at the slightest disturbance or because the dog is left alone for long periods of time.

If you have concerns about the welfare of any animal, please report this to the RSPCA.

If the disturbance is happening regularly, please see our main anti-social behaviour guide for general advice on dealing with noise.

DIY noise

We do not generally consider DIY related noise as ASB.

Lots of people have DIY that they need to do around the home, especially if they have just moved in or are redecorating. As many people work during the day, it is often likely that some of this work will happen in the early evening or at the weekends. We ask residents to be mindful and considerate of their neighbours when completing potentially noisy DIY, and to let neighbours know if the work might go on for a long time.

The DIY work should not be happening during at night – generally this is defined as after 11PM and before 7AM – or for prolonged periods of time.

If the disturbance is happening regularly outside of normally acceptable hours, please see our main anti-social behaviour guide for general advice on dealing with noise.

General living sounds

We do not consider general living noise – such as TV sound, footsteps, vacuuming, or doors closing/opening – as ASB.

No house or flat is completely soundproof and it is normal to hear some noise from neighbours. If you are experiencing ongoing disruption, you may want to have a polite word with your neighbour as they may not realise that you can hear them.

For some tips on how to reduce the impact of general living noise – and how to ensure you aren’t causing a disturbance to neighbours yourself – as well as advice on how to approach your neighbour, please see our main anti-social behaviour guide.

Babies crying and children playing

We do not consider infant or child related noise as ASB.

Play is an important part of a child’s life and is vital for their health, well-being, and development.

We appreciate that some types of behaviour can cause excessive noise, but children playing in a street or communal area is not classed as anti-social unless they are causing damage or excessive noise in unreasonable hours.

If you have serious concerns about the safety of a child, please contact the police on 999 if it is an emergency, or 101 if the child is not at imminent risk.

You can also report concerns about the welfare of a child to your Local Authority’s Social Services Safeguarding Team, or to the NSPCC.

If your only concern is the level of noise, please see our main anti-social behaviour guide for general advice on dealing with it.