Keeping quiet about noisy neighbour

Our laywer Fiona McNulty advises on how to handle noisy neighbours
Noisy neighbours cartoon
© Merrily Harpur (
Question: In November I bought my dream cottage in Surrey. Since moving in, one of the neighbours has started to have the TV and stereo on very loud, so much so that I can hear every word in my lounge.

The previous owners said they never had an issue with noise from next door but I suspect there was a problem, as they were happy to sell very quickly. They later confirmed in writing that there were no problems. Legally, is there anything I can do?

Answer: The neighbour may have been noisy when the sellers occupied your property but it might not have been enough to be an issue for them.

However, if you can obtain proof, perhaps from other people living nearby, that your neighbour did cause problems for the sellers, then it is possible that they misrepresented the situation and you may have a claim against them.

But do remember that sometimes answers given to a solicitor’s pre-contract enquiries are qualified to exclude liability for misrepresentation.

You could contact your local council’s environmental protection team, which would then investigate by writing to your neighbour to tell them about your complaint and making them aware that their behaviour is causing a problem.

If the council decides that the noise is unreasonable, it can deal with it as a statutory nuisance - but I suggest you talk to your neighbour before going down that route.

What's your problem?

If you have a question for Fiona McNulty, email We regret that questions cannot be answered individually.

Fiona is a partner in the property team at Thring Townsend Lee & Pembertons Solicitors

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