Report a noise problem
We have a legal duty to investigate complaints regarding noise and other nuisances such as smoke, fumes or commercial odours.
Unless the people causing the noise are potentially intimidating or threatening, it's often a good idea for you to speak to your neighbours to resolve noise problems first.
During normal office hours
Telephone 020 8359 7995
Outside of normal office hours
After hours, please call 0208 359 2000 option 2 or 07958 513 459 at the following times:
- Wednesday 8pm to Thursday 1am
- Friday 8pm to Saturday 4am
- Saturday 12pm to Sunday 4am
- Sunday 10am to Monday 3am
Please do not contact the mobile number via text message as we are unable to respond. Thank you
If the noise is happening at the time of your call an officer will aim to visit you or at least respond to your call within one hour.
Dealing with noise nuisance
If a noise is verified and is likely to be a nuisance, the investigating officer will try to resolve the situation informally. If this informal approach is ineffective and the noise is excessive and likely to recur it is deemed to be a nuisance and a statutory notice will be served under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
Examples of the type of nuisance that the Nuisance Team may deal with are:
- Loud parties
- Barking dogs
- Noise from vehicles, machinery or equipment in the street
- Amplified music or noise played on the street
- Noise from business premises including pubs and clubs
- DIY activities
- Amplified music or noise from a television
- Shouting and banging from a premises.
- Light nuisance from security lights, lit advertisements, etc
If the nuisance is not stopped within the time specified in the notice, the council can and do carry out the necessary work to stop the noise. This may include taking away stereos, drum kits, amplifiers, TV's and other equipment. The owner or occupier of the premises will then be charged for the cost of the work (including VAT) plus the council's administration costs. The owner or occupier can also be prosecuted.
Barnet Home residents
If you're a Barnet Homes resident and you're are suffering from noise nuisance it may be worth contacting Barnet Homes and asking to speak to the anti-social behaviour officer for your area.
Noise from businesses
Examples may include:
- restaurant and take-away kitchens' extraction systems
- air conditioning
- music in pubs and clubs where it affects neighbours
- construction and demolition outside of normal working hours
Our officers will investigate and enforcement notices can be served where a noise nuisance under the Environment Protection Act 1990 has been witnessed.
If we're unable to help with the type of noise problem that you are troubled by, it is possible for you to take private action through the court system. You would have to contact the Clerk at Hendon Magistrates Court to arrange a time to provide the necessary evidence to prove your case in accordance with S.82 of The Environmental Protection Act 1990. Further information may be available by contacting the Environmental Health Department.
How we deal with alarms
We receive a number of complaints each year about noise nuisance arising from alarms on unattended vehicles or houses. Most of the complaints are dealt with as follows:
- if a noise nuisance is witnessed by one of our officers we'll try to contact the owner of the vehicle or premises and request they turn off the alarm
- if this is not possible, a statutory notice will be served under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 requiring the abatement of the noise nuisance
- if the nuisance is not stopped within the specified time, the council will employ a contractor to carry out the necessary work to stop the noise
- the owner of the premises or car will then be charged for the cost of the work (including VAT) plus the council's administration. The owner can also be prosecuted.
To try to avoid such extreme measures the following action should be taken:
Burglar alarms on premises
- under the Clean Neighbourhoods & Environment Act 2005 the owner or occupier of a premises who installs an audible intruder alarm should make sure the alarm is fitted with a cut-off switch to stop the alarm from sounding for more than 20 minutes
- it is good practice to notify neighbours of the names and addresses of two keyholders who can be contacted if the alarm is activated
- each keyholder must be able to reach the property within 20 minutes. They should also be familiar with the property and the alarm system installed. Arrangements should be made so that at least one keyholder is available at any given time
- the burglar alarm system should be installed in compliance with the relevant code of practice.
All vehicle owners should ensure that their vehicle alarms are regularly maintained.
Noise to be considered a statutory nuisance
For a noise to be considered a statutory noise nuisance, it has to interfere with the average person’s use of or enjoyment of a premises or be prejudicial to health. Therefore, to be a nuisance a noise must be more than simply inconvenient or mildly irritating.
Although there's no official time when people are allowed to make noise, the time of day or night does have bearing on whether a noise constitutes a statutory nuisance. For example, a level of noise that during the day would not interfere with watching television or holding a conversation may not be a statutory nuisance; however, if the same level of noise occurred at night preventing someone from sleeping, then it may be a statutory nuisance.
Nuisance assessments are usually made by attending the complainant’s property and making a judgment. However if an officer cannot physically witness the nuisance, for example the noise is intermittent or of a limited duration, then a noise log sheet will be provided.
Log sheets aim to record the complainant’s experience of the noise and should cover a minimum of a two- week period. Log sheets provide valuable evidence about the nature and severity of the problem, the number of incidents, their frequency, duration, time of day, and the impact upon those involved.
Assessing what action is appropriate
In assessing what action is appropriate in relation to the noise the following will be considered:
Unavoidable general household noise
Particularly noise between properties that are attached to each other and flats. Officers will not be able to deal with noise nuisance, which is the consequence of the ordinary use of a property, particularly where standards of noise insulation between dwellings are poor.
Examples of this might be the use of domestic equipment such as washing machines and vacuum cleaners during the day, the sound of doors closing and toilets flushing, or children playing inside or outside a property.
Health and sensitivities of the complainant
An officer cannot take into account any special sensitivities of a complainant such as ill-health, or a night worker trying to sleep during the day.
Raised voices and arguments
Raised voices and arguments are usually not at such a level to be a statutory noise nuisance, however should there be circumstances where it appears that the person intends to cause a disturbance to the complainant the case may be referred to the anti-social behaviour team.
Noise from beer gardens or smoking areas
Noise from persons in licensed premises beer gardens, or smoking areas is unlikely to be sufficient to be a statutory noise nuisance, however where appropriate this will be referred to the Licensing Team.
- Re Ltd Noise and Nuisance Service
- Barnet House
1255 High Road
- Tel: 020 8359 7995
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org