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.
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.
STARTING FORMAL ACTION
When informal action is not possible or fails, it may be necessary to consider formal action. The occupier affected can complain to the local authority about the noise problem. Complaints are normally addressed to the environmental health department.
You can report a noise nuisance complaint by clicking here.
Local authorities have a duty to investigate complaints of noise emitting from premises. This could include vehicles and machinery or equipment in the street. Local authorities have a duty to deal with any noise which they consider to be a statutory nuisance.
Failure in complying with an abatement notice without reasonable cause is an offence. It can carry a fine of up to £5,000. There can then be further fines of up to £500 a day on which the offence continues after conviction.
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.