Wherever possible and when safe to do so, always try speaking to the person causing the noise face-to-face. You can do this while the noise is happening, or after the event. Politely ask them to be aware that their noise disturbs you and ask them to stop or reduce to an acceptable level, or to do so in future.
Gather evidence of the noise
You can use a digital camera, video camera or mobile phone to record an audio/video clip of the noise that disturbs you. This evidence can then be submitted to the team and will help officers get a better understanding of your complaint and decide on the most appropriate course of action.
Know the source
It is essential you know the exact source of the noise nuisance eg House number, Flat number, name of premises. It is not always obvious, especially if you live in flats or converted dwellings. You will need to disclose this information if you make a formal complaint.
Write a letter
A polite letter to the person creating the noise will make them aware that they are causing you distress and may be enough to resolve the problem. You can download the template letter below and remember to keep a copy of your letter for yourself.
Complete a diary booklet
Record details of the noise and how it affects you by downloading the template of the diary booklet below.
When filling in the booklet it is important that you include the date and the time that the noise started and finished. The two times can be difficult to judge as the noise may not be a nuisance initially or may cease to be a disturbance, although it can still be heard. You should therefore consider carefully what you are recording and the manner in which it disturbs you.
The judgement you make must be reasonable - you cannot expect absolute silence or no disturbance at all from your neighbours. Therefore, you should carefully assess how the noise is intruding into your use of your premises.
Additionally, you will have to make a judgement as to how serious the nature of the noise is and this may be difficult to do if it is of an intermittent or varying nature or the action creating the nuisance appears to be a one off event (such as birthday party or anniversary).
Upon completing the diary you should attempt to describe what you think is making the noise for example, loud television, machinery operating, noisy domestic activities etc., and try to make an assessment as to how loud the noise is - does it intrude over your enjoyment of your own television set? Is the volume level so loud that you can hear it in different rooms?
You will see that there is also a further column for comments and you may need to complete this to describe more fully the events. You should complete your name and address and you should establish, as far as possible, the address and the location from which the noise arises, although you should take care in doing this in order to avoid any confrontational situation.