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Private action

If the Council cannot take action, or if you prefer to take private action yourself, you may wish to pursue a solution yourself- whether by informal or legal action. You should be satisfied that;

  • you know for certain who is responsible for the nuisance bothering you
  • you have discussed your problem with them and been unable to reach an agreement
  • your problem is serious enough to warrant the course of action you plan to take

Often the best way to deal with the problem is to go to talk to the person or company responsible for the nuisance and point out the problem. You may find they are unaware that they are disturbing you.

Legal action should be a last resort. It can be unpleasant, expensive and will inevitably further sour the relationship between you and your neighbour.

Complaining to a Magistrate's court about a statutory nuisance

If the local authority is unable to take action for you, or if you do not wish to involve it, you can complain about a nuisance problem direct to the Magistrates' Court under Section 82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

If you believe that you are being unreasonably affected by someone's actions or omissions amounting to a statutory nuisance, you may contact the Court, tell them you wish to make a complaint under Section 82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. You will probably need to visit the Court where the procedure will be explained to you and you may be asked for evidence of the problem. This will show the Magistrates that you have an arguable case. The maybe a fee to pay to the Magistrates court.

If the court decides in your favour it will make an order requiring the offender to abate the noise nuisance and specify the measures they will have to take to achieve this. The order may also prohibit or restrict a recurrence of the nuisance. The court may also impose a fine at the same time as making the order.

If the court finds that the nuisance existed at the date of making the complaint, they will award you the reasonable costs incurred by you in bringing the action against the noise maker. These costs will be awarded whether or not the nuisance still exists or an abatement order is made. If an order is made the court will generally require the noise maker to pay your costs.

If the case is dismissed, you will normally incur your own costs in bringing the case to court and you may incur the costs of the other party.

Should the noise continue, any person contravening the requirements of an abatement order without reasonable excuse can be found guilty of an offence under the Act and can be fined.

If you would like further information you might find the links below useful:

How to resolve neighbour disputes

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