During office hours 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday, telephone 020 8545 3025.
For complaints of noise from parties on Saturday nights between 11pm and 4am, please call our out of hours noise service on 020 8543 9750. In June, July and August the service is also available on Fridays from 11pm to 4am. This service is not available over the Christmas and New Year period.
What we can do
We deal with noise problems by assessing whether the noise is unreasonable. Noise that is unreasonable will then be dealt with as a 'statutory nuisance' under the powers in the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
The action we take will depend on the nature of the problem and could range from writing a warning letter to serving a legal 'noise abatement' notice.
Before formal action can be taken we must have evidence that a noise nuisance is occurring. This could involve obtaining witness statements from complainants, officers making visits to witness the noise or the installation of sound recording equipment to allow complainants to record the noise. Complainants will usually be required to keep a log of the times that noise occurs and may be required to appear in court.
Failure to comply with an abatement notice is an offence and we can prosecute. We also have the powers to seize equipment and issue fixed penalty notices.
Types of noise
Environmental Health can deal with a variety of noise issues including:
- DIY activities
- Noise from commercial premises (extract systems, air conditioning units)
- Barking dogs.
Please note that we do not provide a 24/7 service. In most cases we would carry out any enforcement action required on the same or next working day (Monday to Friday).
We investigate complaints about malfunctioning
car alarms if:
- the alarm has been sounding continuously for more than 5 minutes, or
- the alarm has been sounding intermittently for more than an hour, or
- if it sounds frequently and causes a noise nuisance.
We can investigate complaints about malfunctioning
intruder and fire alarms if:
- the alarm has been ringing continuously for more than 20 minutes, or
- the alarm has been ringing intermittently for more than an hour, or
- the alarm sounds frequently and causes a noise nuisance.
If we cannot contact the owner, occupier or another person who can silence the alarm, we can take enforcement action to silence it. This can often take a number of hours to organise, as it may be necessary to obtain a warrant of entry from a Magistrates Court and force entry into a property. We would need to serve legal notices on the property and contact contractors who can enter the property, replace locks if necessary and be able to silence the alarm.
Register your alarm
Although it is not a legal requirement, we strongly recommend that you notify us of your contact details and the contact details of your keyholders, so that we can contact someone in the event of a malfunction
If you have an audible intruder alarm and would like to register contact details please complete the alarm registration form and send back to this department at the address below.
Inadequate sound insulation
Environmental Health cannot deal with noise from everyday domestic activity that can be heard as a result of poor sound insulation.
Dust and pollution from building sites
Demolition and construction sites can generate dust and contribute to local concentrations of fine particles. We have produced a code of practice for demolition and construction sites to minimise dust and other forms of pollution.
Best practice guidance
Taking your own legal action
Sometimes council officers cannot obtain sufficient evidence necessary to take action in respect to noise nuisance. The provisions of Section 82 of the Environmental Protection Act give you the ability to take your own action.
Taking your own action - information pack