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What to do if you are experiencing noise nuisance

If you are being disturbed by noise from your neighbour, in the first instance you should consider talking to the person responsible for the noise as sometimes they do not realise they're causing a problem.

You could also consider writing a letter to your neighbours (whether a house or business) to try and resolve the problem. You may wish to use one of the template letters shown at the bottom of this page.

Housing Association tenants

If you are a Housing Association tenant then you must speak with your Housing Association in the first instance.


You may also wish to consider contacting Mediation Bucks who offer a free service to assist in resolving disputes between neighbours.

Council investigating noise complaints

If the above options do not work or you do not feel able to talk to your neighbours, the council may be able to assist you.

We can only take legal action to stop or prevent noise where it is of a type and level that is considered to be a 'statutory nuisance'. Before we can take any action we have to be sure that the noise is one that the council can investigate. This means that we have to prove that the noise is prejudicial to health and/or a nuisance and is causing an unreasonable and persistent disturbance to your lifestyle.

To be considered a statutory nuisance a noise has to have occurred more than once, directly affect you at your property and is typically prolonged when it happens. Before taking any action you should consider:

  • is the noise 'reasonable'

  • the time of day it occurs

  • how long it lasts

  • is it a regular or frequent occurrence

We cannot investigate complaints of noise from people in the street, day-to-day living noise, noise from traffic or aircraft noise.

Reporting your complaint

The Noise App - If your complaint is about a statutory nuisance and you have a smartphone or tablet you can now use the noise app to report noise recordings directly to us to investigate.

If you do not have a smartphone or tablet

Report noise issue AND email your completed Noise Diary (Word doc) [29KB] sheets.

Once the council has received Noise App recordings or completed diary sheets from you, we will review the information to assess whether we can investigate your complaint further. Without this information it is unlikely the council will be able to investigate on your behalf. This is a legal process and will require good evidence of the noise you have been experiencing. You may also be required to attend court.

Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 you can also take your own legal action.

Template letters

Residential noise issues - initial noise neighbour letter (Word doc) [12KB]

Residential noise Issues - construction noise letter (Word doc) [13KB]

Residential noise issues - follow up noise neighbour letter (Word doc) [14KB]

Residential noise issues - licensed premises noise letter (Word doc) [14KB]

Residential noise Issues - business noise letter (Word doc) [13KB]