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Meet the team silencing noisy neighbours

Your home should be a sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of the outside world, but what do you do if you’ve got noisy neighbours driving you round the bend?

Life can become tricky when you have nuisance neighbours who like cranking up the music, having parties, or own rather vocal pets.

Unreasonable or excessive noise can annoy even the most even-tempered resident, it can cause disturbed sleep and be quite distressing.

If it’s a problem you don’t feel you can tackle alone, you can seek the help of the council’s regulatory services team.

It investigates complaints of excessive noise relating to residential premises, including loud music, televisions, and unreasonable voice levels. The team also investigates less typical complaints, such as dogs barking and cockerels crowing.

A ‘quiet’ word

Ewelina Kaczowka, an Ealing Council regulatory services officer, said: “In the first instance, we would encourage you to talk to the person who is causing the problem and explain how it is affecting you. We’ve often found that a simple word can prevent this from happening again.

“If you don’t feel comfortable speaking to your neighbour, or you have been unable to resolve the problem directly, you can report the problem to us. We will write to your neighbour to let them know a complaint has been received – your details will remain anonymous. If this fails to resolve the issue, we will visit to experience the noise ourselves, in person, and make an assessment.”

Legal action

In one recent case, the council received complaints from residents about a neighbour who was blasting techno music into the early hours of the morning. The blaring sounds were keeping them awake at night and causing distress. The regulatory services team investigated, and issued the noisy neighbour with a noise abatement notice – a legal document demanding that the noise is stopped.

But, officers continued to witness excessive noise from the home and after several attempts to mediate, the council applied to the court for a warrant and, with the police present, seized the music equipment worth approximately £600. The owner also received a court fine of more than £600 and a criminal record.

The right to peace and quiet

Councillor Louise Brett, the council’s cabinet member for decent living incomes, said: “Everyone has the right to peace, quiet, and enjoyment of their own home without excessive disturbance from others.

“The council take complaints of excessive noise very seriously and work hard to investigate complaints and take action against those who persistently cause excessive and unreasonable noise.”

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