Dealing With Noise And Nuisance

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  • Dealing With Noise And Nuisance

Noise and nuisance is a common problem. Local authorities receive some 180,000 complaints a year relating to noise. With 3000 alone from the Brighton and Hove area. Fortunately, there are remedies available to landlords, occupiers and local authorities.

WHAT IS NUISANCE?

It is a criminal offence to create excessive noise or nuisance that interferes with other people’s rights. This is in relation to the use and enjoyment of their home and community. Such nuisance is often referred to as a public or statutory nuisance. Statutory nuisance is defined as a matter which is prejudicial to health or a nuisance and includes:

  • noise emitted from premises such as noisy parties
  • noise from vehicles, machinery or equipment in the street
  • the state of premise such as verminous conditions
  • accumulations or deposits such as rubbish dumping
  • smoke, gas, fumes or noise emitted from premises
  • nuisance arising from the place or manner in which an animal is kept (e.g. overcrowding)

WHAT ARE THE LANDLORD’S DUTIES?

A landlord has a duty to keep the structure, exterior and other parts of the building in a good state of repair. Also to give their tenant’s the benefit of quiet enjoyment of the property. Allowing premises to fall into a poor condition prejudicial to health can constitute a statutory nuisance. For further information on landlords responsibilities on their rental properties click here.

How to make a noise complaint?

One of the ways to make a noise compliant would be to speak to your local authority. These are known as statutory nuisance under the environmental protection act in 1990. Items that relates to a statutory nuisance which are outlined above.

One of the best ways to deal with this would be to speak to your local environmental health department at the time the nuisance takes place. Or alternatively look to see if the council have a an out of hours number.

The local authority wouldn’t deal with noise complaints that deal with transport and they don’t deal with noise complaints about the street from the general public except for busking.

They also cannot deal with complaints about poor sound installations or everyday noise this includes things like walking, talking, laughing, children playing or babies crying. This is because the current law doesn’t allow them.

They will look at every case in its entirety on an individual basis, will collect evidence and then can serve a statutory notice.

Reporting noise from an alarm.

If you think this relates to a burglar alarm and on a building you might want to find who deals with the block management or any management company. These are commonly known as managing agents and often deal with buildings on behalf of their client such as blocks of flats, etc.

If the alarm goes off for more than 20 minutes you can report it to environmental health.

When reporting a building alarm you will need to tell them the exact address. If you are reporting a car alarm you need to give them the location, make model, colour and registration.

This means they can check their records for any contact details to help them sort out the issue quickly.

Where we can show an alarm is causing a problem they will take steps to contact the responsible person that deals with it. As stated this could be the managing agent, property valuer etc. Where it is not possible they may disable the alarm and make it silent. They will get back any charges for silencing the alarms.

What can they do about a building alarm?

If they can confirm a building alarm is causing a nuisance they can contact the owners and/or managing agents within an hour so they can disable it.

Where an alarm is on the outside of a building, they can hire an alarm engineer to disconnect. Where the alarm is on the inside of a building they can get a warrant from the magistrates to enter the property although this can take a while.

Once they have a warrant to enter they can hire a locksmith and/or alarm engineer to enter the property disable the alarm and then re-secure the premises.

What can they do about a car alarm?

If they can confirm that an alarm on a vehicle is causing an illegal noise nuisance and they cant contact t the owners within an hour, they will try to disable the alarm.

If they cant disable the alarm or re-secure the vehicle they can have the vehicle towed away to secure location.

This can be very expensive for the owner and especially when they cant disable the alarm or move it to a remote location.

What you could do to prevent an alarm causing an issue.

Make sure the alarm has a cut out device call which triggers up to no more than 20 minutes. This should have a manual reset.

Register your house alarm with he local authority. Once you have registered it they will have contact details or at least 2 key holders who will be able to turn it off.

Make sure the registered keeper details on all alarm vehicles are up to date including the phone number so you can be contacted at all times.

What are the permitted hours for people working on a site such as a block of flats? Are people authorised and regulated to do this?

Permitted working hours.

The local authority may approve requests for temporary extended construction hours. The working hours can be increased to 9pm from Monday – Saturday unless there are reasons against this.

Sundays and bank holidays are non-working days.

Some time work has to happen outside these hours. These would usually be mandatory work to restore services, or where there are certain concerns about working during the day, like on train tracks.

Where possible, the person responsible should contact the noise team to let them know as far in advance as possible. You should also notify surrounding residents and businesses.

Apply for private consent for contractors.

Contractors can apply for private consent for their work. This allows us to agree times and methods for the work of the contractor. If the contractor follows the agreement, it usually prevents any legal against about noise from work.

Can I take my own legal action?

Try a mediation. Rather than resort to a lawyer you may wish to try the following;

  • Discuss and resolve the matter directly with the responsible person.
  • Use the free confidentially local authority mediation service.

WHAT ARE THE TENANT’S DUTIES?

Tenants must ensure their activities or those of visitors should cause damage to the property or disturbance to those living nearby. If the tenant breaks this covenant, a landlord may apply to the court for possession.

Noise is the most common form of nuisance for landlords and tenants. If the tenant or their visitors have caused the noise the landlord has the authority to deal with the problem under the terms of the tenancy. The landlord has the right to evict tenants as the last resort.

Take your own private legal action.

There may be times when even the local authority cannot help you or obtain the necessary evidence to take action on behalf of a person who has made a noise complaint. This may be due to the noise which occurs being intermittent or the council being unable to gather evidence to put through the statutory notice.

You can in these certain circumstances take independent legal action by complaining directly to a magistrates court under section 82 of the environmental protection act 1990. This will be on the grounds that you are agreed by noise amount to a statutory nuisance. The procedure is fairly simple and should not cost much and you don’t need to employ a solicitor but it is advisable to g et some legal advice.

In order to start such an action you would need to do the following;

  • Collect evidence by keeping a daily record on account of all disturbances and how you are affected. Information on these type of diaries should include dates, times and duration of noise. They should be an accurate description of the noise itself. They should state what nature and affect it has on yourself. Ie unable to hear your television, unable to sleep, woken up etc. You then need to lay out what action you took at the time ie whether you spoke to the person.
  • Establish the name and address of the person responsible for the noise. This may not necessarily be the legal owner, they could have a managing agent, estate agent and/or a private owner.
  • Before proceeding to court you should make a written compliant to the person making the noise. You should give them a period of at least 2 weeks in which to stop the noise. You need to let them know you could take legal proceedings through the magistrates court.
Continued..
  • You need to take the evidence to the local magistrates court and make a compliant under the section 82 of the environmental protection act 1990.
  • The court will decide, with a clerk therein, whether you have sufficient evidence for a statutory nuisance. If you have the clerk should issue a court summons and a fixed hearing date for approximately 4-6 weeks time but you will have to pay a fee.
  • You and any witnesses and the person summons must appear at the court on a given date. In court you will be required to explain your case, produce your diary and any witnesses. The person causing the nuisance will be cross examined by the court.
  • If the magistrates are convinced you have a case then an order will be made requiring the defendant to immediately stop doing what they are to create the noise. They may also be fined.
  • If an order is ignored you must keep further records and if necessary return to the court. Fines can be up to £5,000 and on a regular basis.
  • If you are successful you can apply to the court for costs against the defendant.

WRITTEN RECORDS

It is important to keep written records of the dates, times and duration of the offending noise. As well as a description of its nature and the distress it causes to the occupier.

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google-review Review
Cat Westmacott
Cat Westmacott
17:57 10 Jun 24
Generally helpful for Lettings. As with any company, sometimes need a push for a response, but often easier to speak on the phone than email. Feeling hopeful for the next year’s contract with Harringtons🤞.
Kirsty Turner
Kirsty Turner
20:50 04 Jun 24
Great experience. Everyone is so lovely and helpful over the phone at Harringtons! The best experience we have had with a letting agent in Brighton, none of the other agents in Brighton have been bothered to keep in touch and help us find a property as much as these guys. A special shoutout to the lovely lady who showed me around the flat (Georgie I believe -sorry if I got that wrong), great at answering all my questions and been very lucky in securing the first property we viewed with her (an amazing spacious flat that has everything we need - including nice storage space for our paddleboards!) Looking forward to moving into our seaside home. Thank you!
Shadan B
Shadan B
23:31 30 May 24
Great experience, very helpful staff and friendly. I wish you all the success. Thanks for your care. 💐😊
Rachel Roberts
Rachel Roberts
21:13 30 May 24
Best experience I've had with a letting agent!
Charley Besant
Charley Besant
10:25 30 May 24
So far the process with Harringtons has been amazing. We viewed 3 properties with Georgie and each time she was so informative and kind, she gave us the time we needed in each property to look around, take videos and ask questions about everything. The whole process has been easy so far and I can now happily say we found our property thanks to Georgie and the team at Harringtons.
Ainhoa Negro
Ainhoa Negro
09:15 30 May 24
Georgie at Harringtons Lettings in Brighton has been exceptional throughout my rental process. From the very beginning, her professionalism and friendliness stood out. She provided clear and prompt communication, ensuring all my questions were answered thoroughly. Georgie made the entire experience seamless, from viewing properties to finalizing the paperwork. Her attention to detail and genuine care for my needs made me feel confident and supported. I highly recommend Georgie and Harringtons Lettings to anyone looking for a top-notch rental experience in Brighton.
PRBL1
PRBL1
09:11 30 May 24
Joel Starcross
Joel Starcross
15:22 29 May 24
Beth has been an excellent agent, great communicator and enthusiastic member of the team. Highly recommended!
Jess Pond
Jess Pond
13:16 29 May 24
Had an absolutely awful experience with this company. Told me one thing on the phone and then told me another thing on email. Very mixed messages. Left 7 students homeless by putting the house back on the market with only 24 hour notice. Will never use them again. AVOID!
Roisin Lilley
Roisin Lilley
11:42 24 May 24
I recently had some problems with my previous agent and came to Beth for help! She took over the correspondence for me and sorted everything out for me! I can’t thank her enough for her patience and help!! I’d highly recommend her to other landlords that need help!
Chris Lilley
Chris Lilley
11:26 24 May 24
I’ve been a tenant with Harringtons Lettings for a while, they are great, they always sort out any issues I have quickly and efficiently, Beth in particular is really helpful and I’ll be going to her for my next rental property when I look to move in September!
Georgina Palzeaird
Georgina Palzeaird
11:21 24 May 24
Beth Roberts was a huge help when I needed to switch to a new letting agency. She was friendly and efficient and I’ve always felt I’m in safe hands.
Eliya Halim
Eliya Halim
10:26 24 May 24
Top service
Maryana Atiya
Maryana Atiya
10:20 24 May 24
Rees Harper
Rees Harper
17:53 21 May 24
Lauryn Keller
Lauryn Keller
15:20 03 May 24
Georgie was great on our viewing - super lovely, informative and honest. Thank you!
Sammi Richmond
Sammi Richmond
09:16 24 Apr 24
Well, they just contacted me via email asking for a review for money... so here, I guess.Does 3 stars get me that tenner? Probably not. Nothing terrible to say, but never had any issues with the property really. Don't enjoy that they were willing to pay for reviews though, seems sketchy.UPDATE: As the business has finally replied to my review 6 years later, I thought I would mention that I indeed have the email still as proof. Offer of £10 for a review, and to mention Rachel Erridge in the review. Also a prize of £200 to one lucky winner. The email was sent from the Harrington's admin email address. I can email the proof to whoever requests it.
Jayden Charles-Frempong
Jayden Charles-Frempong
01:20 18 Apr 24
Every interaction I've had so far with Harrington has been positive with workers responding to calls very quickly and addressing any queries efficiently.
severin severinov
severin severinov
10:05 11 Apr 24
It is very good that they do their job professionally and take care of the customers.
kate quick
kate quick
13:15 09 Apr 24
I am very happy and extremely grateful to have found Harringtons lettings and the beautiful flat that I am now living in. Not only is the flat perfect for me, ticks all the boxes and is in a great location; the whole communication/admin process was so fast and efficient. I spoke to many of the team, but the two main contacts initially were Georgie and Beth. Great personalities, friendly and fast at replying to emails and phone calls. It was all turned around very quickly and everyone at Harringtons seems to appear to really be happy in their jobs. Great letting agent and I would recommend them to others looking for a new home.
Michael Hollamby
Michael Hollamby
12:32 09 Apr 24
Having worked with many many lettings it has been refreshing to deal with such a dynamic and energetic team. From start to finish the team have outstanding. Special mention to Beth who has been fantastic. I can thoroughly recommend using Harringtons.
Celyn James
Celyn James
17:08 27 Mar 24
Great experience, Georgie was so knowledgeable and kind with any enquiries I had. Really put me at ease while house hunting, amazing service thank you so much!!
Madison Harris
Madison Harris
14:29 27 Mar 24
Georgie was so helpful and really kind very appreciative x
Amber-Rose Cook
Amber-Rose Cook
08:58 22 Mar 24
easy to use and navigate as a first time user
Buffy Vaughn
Buffy Vaughn
18:06 21 Mar 24
Harringtons have been so helpful so far. Everyone we’ve spoken to on the phone including Georgie have been so warm and receptive and easy to communicate with. As a couple renting together for first time me & Danny couldn’t have found better people to help us out, they’re clear and concise. We discovered them through Rightmove and would highly recommend anyone to use their services to rent with.Thanks guys!Buffy & Danny
Sajan Raja
Sajan Raja
01:48 21 Mar 24
Kerryn Johnson
Kerryn Johnson
16:58 18 Mar 24
Georgie was absolutely amazing! Very helpful, easy to talk to and all in all an absolute sweetheart. Made the process of renting and finding a property less stressful. Always happy to help and lovely to chat to!Thank you again for everything!
Julia Reinstein
Julia Reinstein
11:22 18 Mar 24
5/5 - Everyone I’ve spoken to on the phone has been so friendly and patient with our move in documents. We found Harringtons through Rightmove, and have been really happy with our interactions. The team respond to queries efficiently and are happy to answer any and all questions.
Andrew Brown
Andrew Brown
07:09 15 Mar 24
A really excellent agency, who are very easy and friendly to deal with. Highly recommended.
Rob Rainbird
Rob Rainbird
18:04 13 Mar 24
Lovely staff and all round positive experience - Georgie is an absolute diamond and a credit to the team!
Tori Tor
Tori Tor
11:15 08 Mar 24
Harringtons have been really helpful and very swift with their responses. Georgie was very proffesional and really friendly when she did the viewings with me and Beth on the phone was again really helpful and gave me hope when I was explaining my eagerness to find somewhere new to live. Thanks Harringtons!
christos papanicolaou
christos papanicolaou
09:33 07 Mar 24
Staff were brilliant. Very helpful
Yasmin Bright
Yasmin Bright
20:54 01 Mar 24
I'm in a difficult situation at the moment with my landlord wanting to sell the flat that myself and my 3 children have been living in for 7 years. I came across Harringtons Viewings by applying to view some properties outside of my area.Unfortunately I haven't been able to sort anything with Harringtons, however I wanted to write this to say that they have been nothing but kind, warm and very understanding of my situation. I've been really impressed by their customer service (namely Georgie & Beth) and hope that they are able to find me something eventually!Thanks so much.Yasmin
Tegan
Tegan
17:30 22 Feb 24
Have been very accommodating and helpful when calling agents. They have been very helpful in being able to secure a house for students.
TheFlyingCrocodile
TheFlyingCrocodile
16:42 21 Feb 24
Went above and beyond to get things sorted for me
Brittany Stace
Brittany Stace
11:18 24 Jan 24
Harringtons have been incredibly helpful and supportive of us as new renters and they have been super efficient in getting all of the documents sent through and signed in such a short period of time. Thank you!
Georgie Prebble
Georgie Prebble
20:36 05 Jan 24
Jade Innes
Jade Innes
10:24 04 Jan 24
So far the service has been good. The staff are very friendly and quick to respond to any questions and requests.
Polly Smith
Polly Smith
11:17 28 Dec 23
we chose this letting agents as they chose a good bills company that is much cheaper than other agents. When viewing houses the staff were very friendly and have been very helpful in answering our questions and making the process as easy as possible.
Emma Howe
Emma Howe
16:06 14 Nov 23
I would rate Harringtons Lettings a 5/5. Very lovely on the phone and very quick and easy to communicate with via email. Any problems have been resolved in no time at all. So far so good!I found Harringtons via Rightmove.
Akwisitions Feedback
Akwisitions Feedback
16:25 30 Oct 23
Very responsive and super helpful throughout the process. Highly recommended!
Chloe Ballard
Chloe Ballard
17:28 02 Oct 23
Although I have only been renting with Harringtons for a short period of time, I have had nothing but a positive experience. From viewing to admin updates. The admin team especially are very polite and quick to respond and I have no doubt that the rest of my tenancy will run smoothly. I would recommend to anyone considering renting in brighton.
Matthew Ball
Matthew Ball
11:46 19 Sep 23
Professional communication with tenant although entirely impersonal. There was a bigger disconnect in their communication with the landlord in most cases, which seemed to be either slow or non-existent (discovered after contacting the landlord directly).Property was full of spider webs on day 1 despite apparently being professionally cleaned. Took a day off of work to clean it on move out day, leaving it cleaner than when it received but still had to pay part of the deposit for professional cleaning.It has been a while since I have rented, but I'll avoid letting agencies completely now if this is anything close to the average renting experience.
Ronan SK
Ronan SK
12:38 12 Sep 23
Great professionalism/communciation from the start up until the end of my tenancy. Definitely set the standards for what agencies should be like. Highly recommend to those within Brighton.
Daniel Sutton
Daniel Sutton
10:29 24 Aug 23
I have rented with Harringtons Lettings before and have always found the agents to be quick, efficient, friendly and helpful. I loved their service so much I have chosen to rent with Harringtons again. Faultless 😊
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