Noise and neighbours

We will investigate reports of noise, smoke or smells.

This can include loud music or shouting, dogs barking, alarms, and DIY or construction. You can also report bonfire or chimney smoke, and smells including drainage or rubbish.

We do not provide an out-of-hours service to deal with one-off problems, such as loud parties.

In very extreme cases, or where you suspect criminal activity or anti-social behaviour is taking place, call Kent Police on 101. If you believe a crime is in progress or a life is at risk, call 999.

Before reporting a problem to us:

  • Speak to your neighbour politely, as they may not know they are causing a problem.
  • Consider writing to them, explaining that their noise is causing a nuisance.
  • Keep a record of all conversations and letters.
  • Keep a written record of dates and times that the noise occurs and what effect it has on you.

Report a noise or nuisance 

What we will do about complaints:

We have a legal duty to investigate all complaints received. If a statutory noise nuisance is witnessed, we have a duty to serve a noise abatement notice. This is a legal document and if the person does not comply, they could go to court.

When assessing whether a statutory nuisance exists, we will take into consideration:

  • the type of noise,
  • the time of day or night it happens,
  • how long it goes on for,
  • how often it happens,
  • how loud it is,
  • whether it has any particular tones or hums, and
  • how it affects you in your home.

We will:

  • keep your details confidential,
  • write to the person causing the problem
  • use noise monitoring and recording equipment where necessary,
  • deal with urgent noise complaints such as intruder alarms on the same day,
  • offer advice on possible actions to deal with the problem
  • provide specialist advice on matters such as sound insulation,
  • refer you to either the Community Safety Unit or the Canterbury and District Mediation Service if we are unable to help,
  • consider legal action against those persons who continue to be unreasonable.

How to prevent noise issues

  • keep all noise to a reasonable level, especially the volume of your stereo, radio, TV or video games,
  • tell your neighbours beforehand if you are going to have a party,
  • carrying out DIY at a reasonable time - don't drill or hammer late into the evening,
  • train your dog not to bark excessively and don't leave it alone for long periods of time.
  • ensure your intruder alarm is regularly serviced, has a 20 minute cut out and that at least two key holders are registered with your alarm company/provider.

If you have problems in your neighbourhood with anti-social behaviour, harassment or a dispute, you can get help from your neighbourhood Police and Community Support Officer (PCSO) by going to the Kent Police website and entering your postcode, or you can contact them by dialling '101'.

If your problem is about more than just noise, you can get help from the Canterbury and District Mediation Service who can offer free confidential advice.

The Mediation Service
171-172 John Wilson Business park,
Whitstable,
Kent,
CT5 3RB
Telephone: 07970 500 097

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