I represent 65 people. Some months ago a young man requiring care became the tenant of a rented property – an NHS placement. Since his arrival we have experienced daily harrowing noises and abnormal behaviour traits. Meetings with the agencies involved in his care have proven futile. Some of us feel under stress and our quality of life his being compromised. Contact with the landlord has been forbidden and the letting agency are not interested in our plight. The tenant has severe learning/mental health issues and therefore we are told he does not have the capacity to control his actions. Surely those people responsible for him must take on the responsibility.
A very sensitive issue. However, the Council has a duty to serve a notice where a statutory nuisance is found to exist. It does not specificaly require them to determine whether the person responsible’s actions occur as a direct result of their condition. They may, however, look at what measures have been taken to reduce the impact and whether alternative arangements may be made (ultimately, some residential settings are more suited to caring for louder people than others). If a statutory nuisance were found to exist the Council may serve a notice on the body who is responsible by “default” (or through their “sufference” of the noise). Equality issues may need to be considered, particuarly in any common law proceedings. This affords certain protections to anyone who may have a disability. That is not to say that, if the behaviour is a consequence of a mental illness or condition, action can not be taken. In addition to the above, the public authorities involved (Council, Health Authority) have a duty to act in a way that protects your human rights (rights to property and private and family life). In most cases one will look at what is “reasonable” and apply the give and take principle. What is important is that you are able to show that: The noise is regular, loud and intrusive; that you are not unduly sensitive to the issue; and demonstrate that this is having a considerable impact on you and the other neighbours. More modern anti-social duties require agencies to come together in order to find constructive solutions to noise problems.