Quarter of Britons ‘Have Nuisance Neighbour Problems’

Survey Puts Spotlight On Noise Issues


New research from Which? has revealed 27 per cent of adults in the UK have had problems with their neighbours in the past 12 months, with issues related to noise being the primary concern.

According to the poll, more than 40 per cent of those who suffered problems said they had been forced to endure arguing and loud voices, with other problems including loud music, noisy televisions, doors slamming and noise from pets.

The study also found that more than half of those who endured such problems were left feeling angry and irritable, while younger people aged between 18 and 24 were more likely to suffer from such problems.

Richard Lloyd, executive director for Which?, said young people were “suffering in silence” and advised there were ways for people to both complain and resolve such disputes.

Expert Opinion
As this research shows, noise nuisance problems are one of the most common causes of arguments or disputes between neighbours. However, the impact that such issues can have should not be underestimated, as we have seen numerous cases when the health and wellbeing of property owners has been severely affected by enduring noise at all hours.

"Like with all neighbourly disputes, the primary approach to resolving the problem has to be sitting down with the person concerned to discuss the issue. While such steps can make those involved anxious, the large majority of disputes can be addressed by making the person aware and coming to an amicable conclusion.

"However, if that does not lead to a resolution, there are of course legal steps which can be taken on the matter. The first port of call would be to contact the Environmental Health Department of your local Council as, under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, noise emanating from premises which is considered to be having an impact on a person’s health can be deemed a statutory nuisance. A civil claim in nuisance could also be pursued by a homeowner, but they should seek legal advice before doing this.

"The local authority then has powers to serve a notice requiring that the noise is abated, with failure to comply leading to prosecution.

"Bear in mind that initiating legal action can prove time-consuming and complex, so such steps should not be taken until you have spoken to your neighbour at the earliest opportunity."
Paul Gerard, Associate