Dealing with Noise and Nuisance

Introduction:

Noise and nuisance is a common problem. Local authorities receive some 180,000 complaints a year relating to noise. Fortunately, there are remedies available to landlords, occupiers and also local authorities to combat serious cases which constitute a nuisance to other residential occupiers. The purpose of this factsheet is to explain what action can be taken, to summarise the legal duties and rights of the various parties, and to find out where to go for further assistance and information.

What is Nuisance?:

It is a criminal offence to create excessive noise or nuisance that interferes with other people’s rights to the use and enjoyment of their home and community. Such nuisance is often referred to as a public or statutory nuisance. Statutory nuisance is defined as a matter which is prejudicial to health or a nuisance and specifically includes:

  • noise emitted from premises such as noisy parties
  • noise from vehicles, machinery or equipment in the street
  • the state of premise such as verminous conditions
  • accumulations or deposits such as rubbish dumping
  • smoke, gas, fumes or noise emitted from premises
  • nuisance arising from the place or manner in which an animal is kept (e.g. overcrowding)

Landlord’s Duties:

A landlord has a duty to keep the structure, exterior and other parts in a state of repair, and to give his tenant’s the benefit of quiet enjoyment of the property. Allowing premises to fall into a poor condition prejudicial to health can constitute a statutory nuisance.

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