What happens when you make a noise complaint

Your confidentiality when making a noise complaint

All noise complaints are dealt with confidentially. 

We will not disclose your details to anyone, but we will need to know your name and address to use as evidence in your complaint. This is because we need to show that complaint came from a real person.

Most noise complaints can be dealt with without the need to go to court, but if this should be the case, we may also ask you to appear as a witness in the court proceedings.

Our investigation procedure

Once you have made a complaint, a case officer will contact you to discuss your problem. 

The case officer will ask you to complete diary record sheets to allow them to assess the situation. These sheets help us to challenge the person causing the alleged noise problem. They will also be used to determine whether the issue you are experiencing can be classed as a statutory noise nuisance in law.

The officer may also decide to send an informal letter to the person responsible for the alleged noise to tell them that a complaint has been made. We will not tell them who made the complaint.

If the noise problem persists, the case officer will arrange to visit your property to assess the noise.

You must carry on keeping a record of what is happening by completing the diary record sheets. 

Keeping diary record sheets

We will ask you to keep diary records of the times and days you are being disturbed by the noise. These diary records should be completed over 28 days and then returned to the case officer for assessment.

Diary record sheets are an important source of evidence. They enable the case officer to establish some basic facts about the noise, for example, how often and when it happens, and how it affects you.

In determining whether the issue is a ‘statutory nuisance’, we will have to consider:

  • the type of noise nuisance
  • how often it occurs
  • how long it lasts for
  • the times that it occurs

Once the diary sheets have been completed and reviewed by the officer, they will decide what steps to take next. This can include the sending of a more formal letter to the perpetrator and installing noise recording equipment.

If the diary record sheets are not completed and returned to your case officer within the agreed time, no further action will be taken, and the case will be closed.

Your case officer will keep you updated on the progress of your case.

In some cases, it becomes necessary to serve a Noise Abatement Notice under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. This requires the nuisance to be stopped or reduced within a reasonable time scale.

Significant noise during office hours

If while completing your records you experience significant disturbance that takes place during our regular office hours, contact your investigating officer as they or another member of the team may be able to visit your home and witness the noise.


Page last reviewed: 23 November 2023