It is not unusual for people to be disturbed in their home by noise from others. Some noise disturbance from neighbours is to be expected from time to time, especially in adjoining properties or when living close to a town centre or other places where some noise would reasonably be expected.
When being disturbed by noise, having a polite word with the people making it (as long as it is safe to do so) is often all that is needed to resolve the problem as most people don’t realise the effect their actions have on others and don’t want to upset their neighbours.
Taking this action first, before reporting the matter to the council, can also avoid making situations worse as, whilst we can deal with some noise problems, there are also some that we cannot assist with and an approach from us ‘out of the blue’ can cause resentment and make the issue harder to sort out.
If however you are being frequently and unreasonably disturbed by excessive noise, and would like to report the matter to us, you can do so below by using our online reporting form.
There are a few important things to consider before making a complaint though:
There is no prescribed legal cut off point for levels of noise or times when noise must be controlled, and people have different tolerances or sensitivities to particular types of noise.
We can only try to deal with noise from a known address or specific location that is both caused by an unreasonable action and causes an unreasonable disturbance to average people occupying a different property. Therefore:
We can't deal with your noise complaint if:
- You do not know exactly where the noise is coming from, or
- The noise is not caused by unreasonable actions, or
- The noise does not unreasonably disturb you when in your own property
In these circumstances it may be possible for you to take private nuisance action.
What we may be able to deal with
- Excessive noise in the home including amplified music and DIY
- Industrial and commercial noise
- Agricultural noise
- Barking dogs (please refer to our 'Is your dog barking too much?' webpage)
- Leisure activities, for example: clay pigeon shoots, concerts, motor events, model aircraft
- Stationary vehicles, equipment and machinery in the street
- Intruder alarms or vehicle alarms
- Construction sites and demolition work
What we can't deal with
- Slamming doors/cupboards
- Footsteps or other day to day impact noise
- Raised voices
- Babies and Children
- Moving traffic (This is dealt with by Kent County Council )
- Aircraft – fixed wing and helicopters Armed Forces activities (Civil Aviation Authority deal with this)
- Noises that are only audible because of poor insulation
- Animal Welfare (This is dealt with by the RSPCA )
Out of hours complaints
We don’t have a dedicated out of hours noise service, but you can use our online form to report noise nuisance at any time.
If your issue requires a more immediate out of hours response, you can also report it to Kent Police by calling 101. In the event of an emergency, please dial 999.