Legal Q&A: our neighbours' loud music is making us ill - can we take action?

Our noisy neighbours are making our lives unbearable with their loud music. I fear it might make us ill so what action can we take?

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Question: Our neighbours are so noisy they make our lives unbearable. Every evening when they get back from work they go into their garden — no matter whether it is wet or dry, as they have an awning thing on the back of their house, patio heaters and a barbecue. 

The music they play is so loud, I think they may have outdoor speakers. 

We have asked them politely on numerous occasions to be quiet and they do try — but everything is peaceful for about an hour, then it all starts again. We really cannot put up with this any longer as lack of sleep will make us ill. What can we do?

Answer: Instead of complaining to your neighbours when they are being noisy, try meeting with them during the day instead, perhaps at the weekend, and explaining to them how their behaviour is affecting your lives.

If that does not work you could  get your local authority involved. Keep a diary note of when the neighbours are noisy. The  council may install noise monitoring equipment. If the council finds that the noise amounts to a statutory nuisance, then it can issue an abatement notice. If the noise still goes on, your neighbours could be prosecuted and fined.

If the neighbours’ property is leasehold, the lease could include a covenant prohibiting noise such as music being played between certain hours and a nuisance being caused. In such a case you could ask the freeholder to enforce the covenants in the lease against the lessees. 

You could also consider issuing court proceedings against your neighbours for nuisance and claim damages, and/or apply for an injunction to stop the nuisance. Do try an amicable approach first, and remember, if others are bothered by the noise, too, it may help your cause.

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