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Neighbour noise advice

Everyday household living generates noise, whether that's the washing machine, doors closing, or the TV. However, disputes can occur when people are inconsiderate to others in how much noise they create. It is important to acknowledge the noise your household creates and think about the impact it might have on your neighbours.

Consider the lifestyle of your neighbours; for example, are they retired or do they have young children? Be mindful of the effect noise from your property may have on them, as well as the types of normal living noise you may hear from their property (for example from children playing).

If a neighbour asks you to keep your noise down, react positively. Respect their right to enjoy their home without hearing all that is going on in yours.

Stereos, TV and music

These are the most frequent causes for complaint. What is considered entertainment for one person can be torture for someone else. Avoid playing music so loud that your neighbours can hear it and keep the bass level down.

Try to position any speakers away from adjoining walls, floors and ceilings. Standing them on an insulating material can also reduce the transmission of sound. Loud music in the garden is more likely to cause a problem to your neighbours - try and keep it at or below conversation level or wear headphones.

It is a common myth that anyone can play their music as much and as loudly as they like up to 11pm. This is completely wrong. Noise nuisance can be caused at any time of day or night.

Some of us play musical instruments - the key with this is to keep practices short and at reasonable times. If you can, do it in a room furthest away from your neighbour. If you are a neighbour who can hear someone practicing, be patient.


Avoid any loud, late night parties. Homes aren't the place to replicate a pub or club environment. If someone complains, be prepared to accept you are probably disturbing quite a few others too. Turn the music down or use headphones.

Banging doors and stamping feet

Sound can travel quite easily through walls and floors, so be aware of what is next door. Avoid slamming doors and running up or down stairs especially if you live in a flat or terraced house. Shut doors gently and use the handle - don't push it closed.

If you have laminate or wood flooring consider adding rugs to areas with high footfall or where children play.

Barking dogs

Complaints about dogs barking often happen because dogs are left at home alone for long periods of time. There are practical steps dog owners can take to minimise dog barking and prevent noise nuisance. Find advice online from reputable providers such as the RSPCA, or talk to your vet.


If you're planning a large DIY task, talk to your neighbours about what you want to do and any parts of it that might be noisy. Most people will be understanding and accommodating, but you should be prepared to compromise if there are times that your neighbour asks you to avoid for a genuine reason.

In any situation, unless it's an emergency, don't do this sort of work in the evening or early in the morning, particularly at the weekend.

Report a noise complaint


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