Noise is an unavoidable part of life, and it is not reasonable to expect to live in silence, especially if you live in a flat, a terraced, or semi-detached property.

However, when there is an unreasonable and significant emission of noise that causes significant and unreasonable interference with your use or enjoyment of your premises then the council may be able to help.

Some of the most common complaints we receive are listed below:

You can find read out noise fact sheet here:

Noise fact sheet (PDF Document, 193.26 Kb)

First Steps

Many neighbourhood issues can be resolved by both parties showing tolerance and respect towards each other. Everyone should try to keep their noise to a minimum, but also be tolerant of some noise made by others unless it is excessive.

If you are affected by noise from your neighbours or a local business, we would suggest that you attempt to resolve the situation yourself first. When the council start investigating it can lead to a breakdown in relationships between neighbours, which can cause long-term neighbour disputes and make the problems worse.

To assist with this we have provided a template letter that can be sent to the person or business making the noise. If you feel this action would put you at risk or you have already attempted to communicate with the person or business making the noise, please make a noise report to us either using our electronic enquiry form using the button below or call our customer services team on 0116 288 8961 during opening hours.

Letter to noisy neighbour template (Word Document, 24.5 Kb)

Report a noise complaint

The form will direct your enquiry to the most appropriate team automatically, which may be our Environmental Health or Anti-Social Behaviour team if you are a private resident, or to our Housing Management team if you are a Council tenant.

Find further guidance on anti-social behaviour

Investigation Process

Once the council receives a noise complaint, you will be contacted by the assigned case officer and you may be asked to provide evidence to support any allegation.

To make this as easy as possible, we have a digital platform, The Noise App, which can be downloaded on any smartphone or tablet to allow affected residents to provide realtime recordings to the council.

The Noise App - public information sheet (PDF Document, 248.33 Kb)

The Noise App - user guide (PDF Document, 1.98 Mb)

The Noise App - FAQs and data management (PDF Document, 1.18 Mb)

The Noise App is programmed to allow complainants to submit five 30-second recordings in a 24 hour window. For the best result we advise that these are spread out over the day.

For example if a dog has been barking consistently for several hours you could record for 30 seconds and advise how long the noise has been occurring and provide any additional comments in the notes field. Then record again if the dog is still barking hours later, adding any additional comments you wish to make and continue this process across the day.

This allows the case officer reviewing your recordings to get both an appreciation of the noise and the time the noise has been going on for.

Please note that you will need to submit a report to us before you will be able to submit recordings.

For the council to act we need to assess the following factors:

  • Intensity – How loud is the noise when it is occurring
  • Frequency – How often does the noise occur
  • Duration – How long does the noise last when it happens.

These tests are key to allowing us to decide what steps we can take, if any.

Typically we will ask that recordings are taken for at least two weeks to allow your case officer to build a picture of the issues you are facing.

If complainants do not have access to a smart phone or tablet, your case officer will discuss alternative arrangements.

Myth Buster

Many people believe that they are allowed to make as much noise as they like as long as they are quiet between 11 pm and 7 am. This is completely false. Although it is easier to determine noise at night as unreasonable, a statutory nuisance can occur at any time of the day or night.

Burglar Alarms

Alarms going off accidentally can be extremely annoying - often waking up an entire neighbourhood. If you have a car or intruder alarm, make sure it is properly fitted, regularly maintained and has a cut out.

Registering a key holder for your premises with the council can save you aggravation and expense if your alarm goes off accidentally when you are out or away.

To register a key holder with the council please follow the link below and we will add this information to our case management system in the event of an incident.

You can register a keyholder here

The service uses the information - which includes a key holder who can be contacted in an emergency - if people are away from home and the alarm is causing a nuisance to other residents.

If people are not registered, the council may have to silence the alarm under a court warrant and recover costs from the homeowner

Last updated: Tuesday, 19 March 2024 4:52 pm