Neighbourhood noise and intruder alarms

Excessive noise from neighbours can be frustrating and can cause a lot of unnecessary stress and worry. This can include loud music, power tools used in DIY, intruder alarms and barking dogs.

What can I do?

You can follow some simple steps to avoid causing a noise nuisance, for example:

  • Consider and consult your neighbour if you are planning any noisy activities, and avoid causing any disturbance at night.
  • Don’t have parties too often or too late.
  • Keep music to a reasonable volume or listen on headphones, especially at night.

If you have an intruder alarm installed on your premises, you have a legal responsibility to ensure it does not cause a nuisance to your neighbours. This means making sure your alarm is fitted with an automatic cut-out device, which stops the alarm ringing after 20 minutes from activation. You should also notify us of the details of two key holders by completing this form.

If you are being troubled by noise, you can approach your neighbour to explain politely that you are being disturbed. However you should approach the matter carefully if you feel that your neighbour might react angrily.

If the problem continues, you can take your own action under section 82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. You can find more information contained with the Council's Noise Nuisance information booklet.

Alternatively, you can report a noisy neighbour to the Council.

Noise complaints relating to Trafford Housing Trust properties are dealt with by the Customer Hub of the Trust.

What the Council will do

The Pollution team resolves the majority of complaints about neighbourhood noise by advice and informal action. Where this action is not successful, a Noise Abatement Notice can be served on the perpetrator under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Before taking this action, officers have to be sure that the noise is causing a ‘statutory nuisance’. This means that we have to prove that the noise is prejudicial to health and/or is causing an unreasonable and persistent disturbance to your lifestyle.

You will be asked to complete diary sheets through the investigation to log the dates and times when the noise affects you. If your diaries show that a nuisance may be occurring we will contact your neighbour to attempt to resolve the matter informally. However if this is not successful, we will install recording equipment into your home or visit to gather more evidence.

Noise nuisance is covered by Part III of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. This law empowers Local Authorities to deal with noise from fixed premises. Before action can be taken we have to be sure that the noise constitutes a statutory nuisance. If so, and all means of resolving the matter informally have been exhausted, we will serve a Noise Abatement Notice under section 80 of the Act requiring the noise to be abated within a specified time period. You can find out more about how the Council deals with neighbour noise in this booklet.  In some circumstances we can seize equipment too.

If your neighbour’s intruder alarm rings excessively and a key holder cannot be found, officers may carry out works to deactivate the alarm in default. The cost incurred is then recovered from the householder and can involve charges for a locksmith, an electrician and the officer's time.

There are some occasions where we are unable to take action. If we decide that formal action cannot be taken, you will be informed and be given advice about taking action yourself if you wish to do so. You can find more information within the Council's Noise Nuisance information booklet.

The Council also deals with anti-social behaviour through the Safer Trafford Partnership.