Report a noise nuisance


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We investigate complaints of ongoing and excessive noise. In many cases we can take action.

What is noise nuisance?

Noise nuisance is an unreasonable level of noise that has a negative impact on others. 

We decide if something is a noise nuisance based on what the average, reasonable person would find unacceptable, and what can legally be defined as a statutory nuisance.

We can investigate noise from a range of sources, such as:

  • loud music, parties or entertainment venues
  • construction
  • DIY
  • alarms (intruder and cars)
  • animals
  • fireworks

Report noise nuisance

What isn't noise nuisance?

No house or flat is totally sound-proof, so everyone should expect to hear some noise from neighbours. Some people may be more sensitive to noise, or ‘tune into' noise from next door, but the courts don't accept that sounds from everyday living are noise nuisance.

Everyday living sounds can include: 

  • child noise and babies crying
  • doors slamming
  • use of showers and toilets
  • people knocking at a neighbour’s door
  • domestic disputes 

This also includes where the sound insulation in the floors or walls isn't good enough to reduce the sounds of everyday living.

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What you can do Click to get info

If possible, discuss the problem with the person or organisation making the noise. Often they can stop or reduce the impact of the noise.

Problems can often be quickly resolved by talking to your neighbour, explaining how their actions are impacting on you and agreeing to a compromise that is an acceptable solution for all. Often people are unaware that they are causing a problem and most will be glad to take action to reduce the disturbance. If you think it is inappropriate to approach the perpetrator then we would recommend that you do not do so and contact us for further advice.

If the problem persists further information can be found in the noise information pack:

Noise Action Guidance (PDF)

The pack contains:

  • the powers the council has to stop a statutory nuisance
  • the powers that you have to take your own legal action

Rented property Click to get info

The council has designated Waltham Forest as a Private Rented Property Licence Area. This means that we can now address the impact that some landlords and their antisocial tenants can have on a wider community and it is one of a number of measures that we are adopting to tackle antisocial behaviour and is designed to raise standards in the private rented sector and drive out unscrupulous or inept landlords.

If you live in rented property and share the same landlord as your neighbours, or you know the landlord of the property where the noise is coming from, you should discuss the problem with the landlord in the first instance. Most tenancy conditions include a requirement that tenants do not cause a disturbance to neighbours. Your landlord will be required to take actions if serious disturbance is being caused.

If the problem persists further information can be found in the noise information pack:

Noise Action Guidance (99KB Word doc)

The pack contains:

  • diary sheets
  • the powers the council has to stop a statutory nuisance
  • the powers that you have to take your own legal action

Fireworks Click to get info

The Fireworks Regulations 2004 prohibits the use of fireworks between 11pm to 7am, with these exceptions:

  • until midnight on 5 November (Bonfire Night)
  • until 1am following the first day of Chinese New Year
  • until 1am on the day following Diwali day
  • until 1am on the day following 31 December (New Year’s Eve)

Construction noise Click to get info

We expect construction work is noisy between:

  • Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm
  • Saturday 8am to 1pm

But not on Sundays and bank holidays.

For more information on construction noise see pollution control: construction.

DIY noise Click to get info

DIY work is not covered by a code of practice but our policy is to require that noisy DIY be carried out:

  • Monday-Friday 8am-6pm (until 8pm if done after work)
  • Saturdays 8am-6pm
  • Sundays/Bank Holidays 10am-4pm

If working in the evening, we advise that noisy work be done at the start of the evening.

Work that is not audible outside the premises can continue beyond the recommended hours.

We will investigate allegations of work being carried out outside of recommended hours and can serve an abatement notice under the provisions of the Control of Pollution Act 1974 to restrict the hours of noisy works.

Noisy alarms Click to get info

Intruder alarms

We have powers to deal with noisy alarms that do not stop after 20 minutes.

We suggest that you have a nominated key holder for your property and that you provide us with the contact details of that key holder so that we can get in touch with should your alarm be accidentally activated. See documents below:

If the alarm is still sounding after an hour, and the owner/occupier/keyholder has not been found, we can deactivate the alarm. We will try to silence it from the outside, but if this is not possible we can apply to a local magistrate for a warrant to enter premises and deactivate it. This will usually be done the next working day but can be carried out the same day.

If we must forcibly enter a property we will use a specialist locksmith to open doors and will take all precautions not to cause damage to the property. The owner of the premise is legally responsible for the cost of having the alarm silenced by the noise team.

Alarm cut-out devises

Intruder alarm systems should be fitted with a 20 minute cut-out device to prevent prolonged ringing. It is an offence (fine up to £2,000) to permit an alarm system to ring for more than 20 minutes.

Car alarms

If the alarm has been triggered accidentally, we will make every effort to contact the registered keeper of the vehicle. If that person cannot be found, and the alarm is still sounding after an hour, we will serve a notice and use a specialist locksmith to deactivate the alarm.

We can recover all costs involved in disabling a car alarm from the registered keeper and can have it removed from the road.

Noisy animals Click to get info

Most noisy animal complaints are about barking dogs (though they can include other animals such as cockerels). As barking normally only lasts a short while or is intermittent, it can be difficult for a noise officer to assess the level of nuisance or catch the culprit in the act.

For more information about noise problems see our noise information leaflet.

Aircraft noise Click to get info

We are limited as to what action we can take regarding aircraft (including helicopter) noise. Complaints or enquiries related to the environmental impact of aviation should be made to Aviation Related Environmental Enquiries13 by:

         Aviation Related Environmental Enquiries
         Directorate of Airspace Policy
         K6 G7
         CAA house
         45-59 Kingsway
         London WC2B 6TE

You can also make complaints about noise from airports to the British Airport Authority:

  • London Heathrow: 0800 344 844
  • London Gatwick: 0800 393 070
  • London Stansted: 0800 243 788

Other organisations dealing with aircraft noise issues include:

  • Civil Aviation Authority: 020 7453 6525
  • Airport Operators Association: 020 7222 2249
  • Aviation Environment Federation: 020 7248 2223
  • British Air Transport Association: 020 7730 6931
  • Department of Transport: 0300 330 3000

Outdoor events Click to get info

For more information about control of noise at outdoor events please see our Code of practice and guidance notes for concerts and outdoor events (PDF).

These events are controlled by London Stadium 185 (LS185) and not the London Borough of Waltham Forest.  Should you have any queries or complaints about any of these events we advise that you contact LS185 directly.

You can find a full list of the confirmed events on London Stadium 185’s website or contact:

If you don't have access to a computer, you can visit a Library Plus branch where you can use a self-service pc to log your request/report.  Staff are available to support you if you need it.​​​​​​​

Contact Click to get info

Read this noise action guidance information first.  It'll give you advice which means you might not have to complain. 

If that doesn't work.

Please fill out the noise complaint form and someone will contact you to assess your situation.