Alarming problem gets worse

Our lawyer, Katharine Marshall, advises what action can be taken when a neighbour's faulty car alarm is causing a regular disturbance
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Question: Over the past few months I have suffered countless sleepless nights as a result of my neighbour's faulty car alarm. The owner spends a lot of time abroad and when he is away there is nobody to switch it off. It is driving me to distraction; is there anything I can do?

Answer: Try approaching your neighbour to ask him to either fix or deactivate the alarm. Your neighbour might have no idea of the level of disturbance he is causing you. If your neighbour is unresponsive address an informal letter to them.

Keep a record of your attempts to resolve the problem, and of the disturbances. If nothing is done, approach your local council. Your records will assist your local environmental health officer (EHO) to determine the extent of the nuisance you are suffering.

If appropriate, the EHO can then issue a statutory notice which, if ignored, could lead to your neighbour being fined and prosecuted.

What's your problem?

If you have a question for Katharine Marshall please email, or write to: Legal Solutions, Homes & Property, Evening Standard, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5EE.

We regret that questions cannot be answered individually but we will try to feature them here.

Katharine is a solicitor and director at Pitmans Solicitors (

These answers do not constitute legal advice to any reader in any specific situation and should not be relied on as such. Pitmans accepts no liability for any such reliance.

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