If noise from your neighbours is making life difficult, you should consider talking to them informally. They may not realise they are causing a problem and may offer to reduce the noise they make.

If that approach does not work, or if you don't feel you can talk to your neighbours about the noise, we may be able to help.

We can investigate noises such as:

  • persistent dog barking
  • loud music, television or video games
  • persistent DIY noise
  • loud equipment or machinery
  • audible intruder alarms
  • noise associated with leisure activities e.g. motor events, concerts or clay pigeon shoots
  • noise from construction and demolition works
  • agricultural noise, e.g. bird scarers
  • noise from pubs, clubs and bars
  • noise from industrial and commercial premises

We can't take action against:

  • day-to-day domestic noise 
  • children playing and babies crying
  • noise associated with military or political demonstrations
  • road noise
  • aircraft noise

Your neighbour may stop causing a problem after receiving the first letter about the complaint or they may continue until formal action is taken. Evidence may have to be presented in the Magistrates Court and it is important that evidence it is collected in the correct way.

If the problem doesn’t stop, there is a legal process we need to follow to give your neighbour every chance to resolve the issue informally. If they do not cooperate (this may take some time), we will ask you to keep a record of when your neighbour's activities affect you.

We may ask you to keep a diary of the noise or even record it. Depending on the area you live in, you may be asked to the download the Noise App.

Common noise issues

Property and car alarms are designed to provide an audible alert and may often be heard over a large area. If they have the required 20 minute cut out and are attended to that should not pose a problem.

However if they misfire and repeat then they may cause a serious problem.

We have powers to silence a misfiring alarm including entering the property if necessary. The alarm could be disconnected and the cost of the works would be charged to the owner.

Building works can be noisy and disruptive. However, with care, jobs such as small scale construction, conversion, refurbishment, underpinning and even demolition can be carried out without causing too much annoyance to neighbours. We have some powers to control this noise.

Many dog owners do not realise that while they are at work their dogs are causing a nuisance by constantly whining or barking.

Often barking occurs because of a lack of good exercise or the dog is missing their owner.

Laying hard flooring such as laminate, floorboards and tiles could change the noise environment in your neighbours home from relatively quiet to unbearable. This can lead to tension and disputes between neighbours.

It is important that laminate is installed correctly using a suitable underlay. Neighbours could also consider using rugs in areas of high foot traffic or wearing appropriate footwear, particularly at night.


We will need:

  • your name, address and contact number
  • the address you are complaining about
  • details about the noise

As these are legal complaints, we cannot accept them anonymously and we will ask for your details. We will not divulge your details to the person you're complaining about.

Select your local area for more information:

If your area isn't listed, you may be a resident of West Northamptonshire.

Last updated 21 February 2024