Noise from neighbours is a common source of disturbance. The most frequent complaints are about loud music or TV, shouting, banging doors and DIY activities. Remember that no house or flat is totally soundproof, and gardens and garages can be particularly noisy. You could be disturbed for the following reasons:
- The neighbours are behaving unreasonably
- The neighbours are behaving normally, but sound insulation in your home is not good enough to cut out the sounds of normal everyday living
- The sensitivity of people to different types of noise varies – sounds that some enjoy may annoy others.
If you are being disturbed by noise from neighbour:
- First, approach your neighbour and explain politely that you are being troubled by noise. You may find this difficult, but often people are unaware that they are causing a problem.
- If the problem continues, start a diary recording dates, times and cause of the noise, and the effects it has on you (Noise Record Sheet (pdf 53 kb)).
- Write to your neighbour explaining the problem. If they are tenants, you can report your concerns to the landlord.
If the problem persists, and you are a council tenant or a registered social landlord tenant, report the disturbance to your housing provider by Reporting Antisocial Behaviour.
If the problem persists, and you, or the person making unreasonable noise live in a privately owned or rented property, contact Environmental Health.
Officers from our Environmental Health Service can give advice and investigate your concerns:
- An Officer will try and call at a time when you expect the noise to occur. The Officer will have regard to the volume, time, frequency and duration of the noisy activity and form a judgement as to whether it is reasonable.
- If a statutory nuisance is found to exist the officer will contact the person responsible informally to advise them of the problem and encourage them to take voluntary action to remedy the problem. Where this approach is unsuccessful the Council may serve an abatement notice to have the noise stopped and prevent any recurrence.
- In some cases the Officer may be sympathetic to the effect the noise is having on you, but unable to say it would represent a nuisance to the “average” person.
- Some types of noise occur occasionally or at night. If it is not possible for an Officer to witness the noise they may not feel able to take action on behalf of someone who has made a complaint. If this happens you can take independent action by complaining direct to the Sheriff Court under Section 82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
If you need support with any other forms of antisocial behaviour, contact our Community Safety Officers at Reporting Antisocial Behaviour.
Another option is community mediation. We offer mediation service to help resolve disagreements between neighbours and other people or groups. Examples of issues that the organisation helps to resolve are noise, parking, rubbish, children, pets, fences and damage to property.
From 2nd November 2020 we are taking part in a 4-week free trial of the Noise app – an app that enables anyone within Aberdeenshire to record evidence of noise nuisance onto their smartphones via the app and submit it to the council.