It is possible that even after several visits to your property to witness the noise nuisance, we are not able to pursue the matter for you. This may be because having heard the noise, our officers may not feel that the noise would represent a nuisance to the “average person”. For example, the noise may be during the day but disturbs you because you are a shift worker trying to sleep during the day. Alternatively, it may be that the random and intermittent nature of the noise means that our officers were not able to visit when the noise occurred and were therefore unable to confirm that it constituted a nuisance.
You may, therefore, decide to take legal action yourself to resolve the problem. Under Section 82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 you are entitled to complain directly to the Magistrates’ Court. If the court is satisfied that a nuisance exists or has occurred and is likely to recur, it will make an order requiring the defendant to abate the nuisance and/or prevent its recurrence. The court may also impose a fine.
If you decide to complain to the Magistrates’ Court, you must give your neighbour at least three days’ notice of your intention to do so. The letter must be in writing and give details of your complaint. Remember to date the letter and to keep a copy of it.
The next step is to contact the Clerk to the Magistrates’ Court. The Clerk will then advise you what to do. You may wish to do this yourself or you may engage a solicitor to do this for you. However, you should remember that a solicitor may make a charge for his services.
If you win the court case, you may still have to keep a record of any nuisance caused by your neighbour in case further legal action becomes necessary. Should you lose the case, you may have to pay some of the costs incurred by your neighbour in coming to court.