We all live with everyday noise, and are likely to have different views on what noises we find annoying. Nobody has a right to absolute silence, but you should be able to enjoy your home and garden without being affected by unreasonable levels of noise.
You can report excessive noise to us on our online form. Please read the information on this page before you fill the form in.
What action you can take
If you're having problems with noise from a home, garden or business, we'd always recommend that you try to sort it out informally, before contacting us.
Many noise problems, particularly those involving neighbours, can be resolved by approaching them and explaining politely that you're being troubled by noise. You may find this difficult, but often people are unaware that they are causing a problem. Most will be glad to do what they can to reduce noise.
If you live in a Housing Association or rented property, it's worth discussing your problem with your landlord. They may be able to take action under the terms of their tenancy agreement.
Read more about resolving disputes with neighbours, and when to involve us on the government website.
If the noise is coming from a pub or club, the licence holder will usually appreciate you telling them about it first. They'll often try to reduce the level of noise, rather than risk us taking any action that could affect their licence.
If you don't feel able to do this, or it hasn't resolved the issue, you can ask us to investigate the noise.
Noise that you can report to us
You can report the following types of noise to us:
- noisy neighbours (loud music, parties, alarms, DIY at unreasonable hours, shouting)
- noise from commercial premises (entertainment, alarms, ventilation systems)
- noise from industrial premises (factories, construction sites, demolition, alarms)
- noise in the street (car alarms, street entertainment)
- animals (barking dogs)
We don't investigate noise due to:
- domestic violence
- rowdy behaviour in the street (contact South Yorkshire Police by calling their non-emergency service on 101)
- vehicle noise
What you'll need to tell us
You can't make an anonymous report to us. We won't share your name or contact details with the person or business you're reporting.
You'll need to provide:
- your name, address and contact details
- where the noise is coming from
- what it is
- when it happens and how long it lasts for
- how it affects you
- anything you've done to deal with it
It would be helpful if you could fill in our noise diary over a period of 2-4 weeks, to give us some more information about the noise and how it affects you. You can upload this, as well as any photos or videos you may want to include, with your online form.
By law, we can only deal with noise that is defined as being a 'statutory nuisance' in the Environmental Protection Act 1990. For noise to be classed as a statutory nuisance it must be:
- considerably affecting you and your enjoyment of your home or garden
If we decide to take legal action we may ask you to provide a statement and attend court as a witness.
What happens next
When we receive your form we'll use the information you've told us to decide if we can look into the matter. We'll also ask you to fill in our noise diary, or send us some other evidence, if you haven't already uploaded it with the form.
If we decide to investigate the noise, we'll usually write to the person or business to ask them to resolve the problem to avoid any further action. We won't give them your name or contact details.
Depending on what you've told us, we may visit the area at the time you've told us the noise occurs. We can also install some noise recording equipment in your home, with your permission.
In most cases we'll need to witness the noise, before we can take any formal action.
If we're satisfied that the noise is a 'statutory nuisance', we can serve an abatement notice on the person causing the problem (under Section 80 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990). The notice will state what the person must do to reduce the noise, and by when.
If they don't comply with the notice we can take legal action. If we decide to prosecute we may ask you to provide a witness statement and attend court. We'll tell you what's involved in this and support you through the process.