You can use this page to make a complaint about a noise nuisance in the Bath and North East Somerset area.
We can investigate:
- Noise from domestic premises (loud music, TV or radio)
- Noise from commercial premises
- DIY activities
- Ringing alarms (such as burglar alarms and car alarms)
- Plant machinery and equipment noise
- Noise from construction and demolition sites outside of Code of Practice hours (work is allowed from 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday, and 8am to 1pm on Saturday)
- Noise from sporting activities
- Noise from the street (loudspeakers, ice cream chimes or buskers)
- Dogs that consistently bark
Find out about noise nuisances we don't investigate
We don't investigate:
- Aircraft noise
- Road traffic noise
- Noise transmitted by poor sound insulation
- General daily living noises
If you are affected by noise from trains please go to Network Rail for guidance.
Before you report it
It’s always a good idea to try and resolve problems informally. Try and talk to the person responsible for the noise nuisance, they may not be aware that they are causing a problem.
If the noise interferes with the use and enjoyment of your property and you can't talk to the person responsible, then you can report it to us.
Before you report noise pollution you will need the following information:
- Your name, address, telephone number and email address
- The address you are complaining about and the type of nuisance
- When and for how long the nuisance normally occurs
- The way the nuisance affects you
We will not investigate anonymous complaints.
If you or the person responsible are housing association tenants
If you and/or the person responsible for the noise are tenants of a housing association such as Curo, please report it to them first.
If you don't know the name of your housing provider, you should find this on your tenancy agreement.
Gathering evidence of the nuisance before reporting it to us can help our officers understand and progress your case. There are several ways you can gather evidence:
- Using the Noise Nuisance smartphone app
- Recording the nuisance using your smartphone or a digital camera
- Completing a noise nuisance log sheet
Your evidence needs to be true, to the best of your knowledge and belief. If your evidence is not true you could be prosecuted.
Select a topic below to find out more about each method.
If you have a smartphone, you can download the free RH Environmental Noise Nuisance App.
You can create an electronic noise diary using the app, making audio recordings of the disturbance and providing further details. You can then easily share this with us, which will assist our investigations.
Using the app will provide an additional way for you to report your noise complaint, and allow you to gauge whether the disturbance is something that we can deal with.
While the noise app can help you gather evidence to support your complaint, it cannot determine what constitutes a statutory nuisance on its own. This is for the investigating officer to decide using their professional judgment.
If you have a smartphone or digital camera, you can make sound or video recordings to gather evidence.
When recording audio or video evidence of noise, just try to capture evidence of the noise; do not snoop on neighbours or their family.
Recordings should be a maximum of 30 seconds long.
You should state your name, the date and time and what the nuisance is in your recording.
You can download and complete a pre-investigation log sheet to keep track of disturbances.
A log sheet will indicate how severe and frequent the noise disturbances are.
You should not include personal information about the person/people making the noise in your log sheets.
Download a log sheet
You can report a noise nuisance by using our online form.
If you have made a report which includes all of the information we need and it is a matter we can investigate, we will start the investigation process within 5 working days, or within one day if the issue is caused by an alarm.
In this case, we will write to the property that is causing the problem. We will tell them that we have received a complaint and give them advice so they can stop causing further problems.
If you have asked for advice, we will contact you within 5 working days to discuss the problem.
If the issue continues
If the issue continues, we will determine whether the noise is a statutory nuisance. This means that it unreasonably interferes with your use and enjoyment of your property.
We will assess the following factors to decide this:
- The times at which it happens
- How often it happens
- How long it lasts
- The volume or intensity of the nuisance
- The location and characteristics of the area
We may ask you to complete a noise diary to keep track of these factors.
If we determine that the noise is causing a statutory nuisance, we will serve a noise abatement notice on the person responsible. This means they will have to stop making this noise by law.
If they don't stop, we can consider seizing and confiscating any audio equipment and prosecuting the person in the magistrates’ court.
Taking your own civil action
Sometimes it may not be possible for us to take any formal action about your nuisance problem. This may be due to us not being able to witness the nuisance, or because it only occurs occasionally and does not amount to a statutory nuisance.
The law recognises this and allows you to either:
- Make a complaint directly to the Magistrates’ Court under Section 82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Sign and date the letter and ensure you keep an accurate copy for your records.
- Take action in your local County Court for a ‘private nuisance’. If you decide to do this, you should consult a Solicitor, as this method relies on you proving on the balance of probabilities that your right to reasonable enjoyment of your property has seriously been affected.
You should always consult a solicitor before taking any independent court action.
To find out more, you can read our guide on taking your own action