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Noise nuisance - How we deal with noise nuisance

More in "Noise nuisance"

The London Borough of Sutton Environmental Health Team operates a noise complaints service.

We offer a fair and balanced approach to investigating noise problems and will make every effort to improve or control the noise and offer you a service that is accessible, prompt and efficient.

We actively work with residents, businesses, developers and regional partners to control levels of noise. We can also carry out noise level assessment and monitor construction site development to protect the amenity and the well being of the borough.

We provide advice on: 
  • DIY, amplified music, musical instruments, domestic appliances, leisure activities, hobbies, parties
  • Car alarms (including breaking into vehicles to disarm the alarm)
  • Burglar alarms (including entering buildings to switch off the alarm)
  • Construction (including serving notices and taking action through the courts)
  • Street noise - stationary vehicles with engines running (but not defective or loud silencers)
  • Refrigerator units
  • Car repairs
  • Audio systems in stationary vehicles
We cannot deal with the normal everyday sounds of living in dwellings, such as children playing, people walking across their floors, washing machines, doors banging, dogs barking occasionally, reasonable periods and levels of music, people shouting, laughing and arguing, etc.

These things may be irritating on occasions, but they are not illegal or criminal activities, and the Council cannot take formal legal action on such matters.

In these cases, it may be possible for the Council to write informally to your neighbour offering some general advice on neighbour noise.

What you can do if you have a noise problem

  • Discuss the problem with the person creating the noise and try to compromise.
  • Contact the London Borough of Sutton's Environmental Health Team on 020 8770 5000 or report it using our on line form.
  • If the noise occurs outside of usual office hours and is from an alarm or loud parties affecting many households then contact the council on 020 8770 5000.
  • Keep detailed records about the noise problem using our noise diary sheets. These may be used in court proceedings.
  • Tell us in advance of possible noise events. 
  • Be prepared to attend court to give evidence. 
  • If we can't resolve the problem, read about environmental laws and  consider taking your own action

What we can do if you contact us regarding a noise problem

  • Respond to all service requests within two working days.
  • Visit on the same day for urgent problems. Provide a 24 hour service for car and intruder alarms.
  • Have a 24 hour response to complaints of very noisy parties that are affecting a number of neighbouring properties.
  • Discuss with you the best way to progress your complaint to find a practical and reasonable solution.
  • Make up to five visits to obtain evidence and assess whether a noise nuisance exists ("including out of hours" visits where necessary).
  • Use recording equipment where appropriate.
  • Consider legal action to stop noise nuisance where sufficient evidence can be obtained.
  • Provide noise diary sheets for your use. Contact you before we close your complaint.
  • Ask you what you think of our service.
  • Offer advice and support on taking your own action if we cannot resolve the problem.

Council or housing association tenants

If the person responsible for the noise is a tenant of Sutton Housing Partnership or of a housing association, contact them directly as they may be able to take action.