When summer comes around there is always a rise in noise complaints. The combination of warm evenings and open windows provide the ideal recipe of the summer barbeque blues and, with it, a peak in poor neighbour relations. Here follows a few tips for anyone blighted by late night garden dwellers or revellers.
Advice on Noise from Outside
If the party or gathering is just a one-off it is unlikely that there will be any need for formal action required. However, some Councils offer night-time services (or party patrols) and may be willing to visit and politely request that occupiers respect their neighbours. Formal action may be required for regular and persistent interference late at night.
On occasion there may be a one-off party where the noise is so serious (perhaps to the extent that it is considered a public nuisance) that it warrants some form of formal action. This may be achieved through the service of a statutory notice or via Police enforcement. Typical examples include raves or live bands where music is amplified. Furthermore, after 11pm, statutory noise powers may be used against those who exceed permitted noise levels.
Neighbours have also been known to hire marquees for gardens and bands or DJ’s (often for birthday celebrations). Marquees offer little in the way of sound insulation and should not be used in conjunction with amplified music in domestic settings (they being much more suited to flower shows and country festivals!).
Approach Your Neighbour
Action can be taken against neighbours that regularly disturb during the summer months; either before or after 11pm. Try approaching your neighbours first and ask them politely if they could keep the noise down. Failing that contact your environmental health service and see if they offer an evening response service. If they don’t ask that they make an alternative arrangement(s) to witness the noise.
People can often forget that at night the background level of noise reduces to the extent that, very often, close neighbours can hear conversations clearly. People are entitled to keep your windows open during the summer months and not be unduly disturbed by noise. The time of day and frequency of disturbance are key factors when assessing nuisance. Anyone having a party or gathering outside should follow the following tips to respect their neighbours:
• Don’t have music outside
• Move the party inside at a reasonable hour
• Finish at a reasonable time (let your guests know in advance)
• Keep the number of outdoor “sessions” to a minimum