NEIGHBOUR NOISE ADVICE
Five Common Mistakes by Noise Complainants
- Not following clear instructions. If the investigating officer has requested you complete x or do y by a specific time then do it. If you can’t let them know why and agree on alternative arrangements.
- Waiting for problems to be fixed by themselves. Be proactive; engage with the investigator, keep them informed at regular intervals and use the services they provide to get the noise witnessed.
- Exaggerating Problems or Loosing Perspective. The rule of ‘live and let live’ applies to both parties and the law seeks to balance interests. Avoid frivolous claims or overly sensitive reactions.
- Failing to collect evidence. Being asked to keep logs or diaries is not a way of fobbing you off. This sort of evidence, over time, can be essential to demonstrating nuisance.
- Giving Up. Persistence is the key with noise. Don’t expect your problem to be fixed immediately; think weeks or months rather than days.
Five Common Mistakes by Noise Enforcers
- Failing to provide clear instruction. The investigations process should be set-out and clear expectations established. How else will noise complainants know what they need to know?!
- Failing to time-limit an investigation. Alleged noise makers shouldn’t be kept ‘under investigation’ in perpetuity. In addition cases, where no nuisance or justification for formal action could be established, should not be reopened without good reason.
- Written hiccups. Statutory notices are often badly worded or easy to pick apart. Admittedly, statutory nuisance is a complex area of the law though. We are always happy to advise.
- Reliance on informal action. Whilst there may be an instinct to mediate and advise, enforcers often do so at their peril. Failing to act or getting involved in protracted informal correspondence can easily damage a case.
- Reliance on desktop investigations. Officers need to get out there to witness the noise. However, its not always a lazy officer who is to blame; resource management and local politics can also be significant factors.