Last updated: 6 December 2023

Next review: 6 December 2024

What is noise nuisance?

Noise nuisance is unreasonable sound that affects others. We have a duty to investigate noise complaints and to take action if a noise is found to be a statutory noise nuisance.

Noise problems that we can deal with

  • loud music and parties or entertainment venues
  • noise from construction works
  • plant or equipment noise
  • alarms
  • animal noise, such as regular and prolonged dog barking

Noise problems that we can’t deal with

  • normal household noise such as washing machines, vacuuming, footsteps, children
  • noise from commercial aircraft flights (contact the Civil Aviation Authority)
  • noise from road traffic
  • fireworks (there are restrictions on times when fireworks can be let off, these are enforced by the Metropolitan Police – call 101 to report issues)

Dealing with your noise problem

  1. We recommend trying to talk to the person who is causing the noise affecting you, in the first instance. They might not even know there is a problem and may be willing to try to address the issue. If you feel unable to do this, read our Noise Action Guidance (PDF file).
  2. If the noise is coming from a rented property, contact the landlord. Most tenancies state that residents must not cause a disturbance to neighbours. This means the landlord can act. If the noise is coming from a Council or Housing Association property, you should contact your housing or tenancy officer.
  3. If you report a noise problem to us, unless it is a construction or alarm noise problem, we ask you to log six incidents on different days so that we can better understand the nature of the problem and how to investigate it, including the times that we are most likely to be able to witness the noise. An advisory letter is sent to the address or location that is the source of the problem when you report the first incident. If the problem continues, a noise case will be raised after you report the sixth incident and one of our noise officers will contact to commence an investigation.

Construction noise

We expect construction work to be noisy between:

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

But not on Sundays and bank holidays.

There are certain exceptions where work may be carried out outside these hours, including:

  • Emergency utility works
  • Railway works necessitating track closures
  • Highway works on major traffic routes

DIY works undertaken by people in their own homes can be undertaken at any reasonable time but should have regard to the disturbance that may be caused to neighbours.

Help with completing online forms

For those without computers, you can use a self-service PC in any Waltham Forest Library

Staff there can help you to log in and create a MyAccount.