It's day 12 of our festive blog series: Whilst we all like to get into the festive spirit it's not much fun if you're living next door to those drummers. In this final instalment of the festive blog series we consider what action can be taken against noisy neighbours.

Living next to noisy neighbours can become incredibly frustrating, but what can you do about it, especially when the activity, such as drumming, is not in itself illegal.

If the noise levels are so bad that they start to interfere with your enjoyment of your land then the activity could be deemed a nuisance. There are different types of nuisance and the test for whether an activity can be deemed a nuisance is subjective and case dependant. That does not, however, deter people from taking legal action against their neighbours which is demonstrated by a considerable amount of case law in this area.

If a nuisance is being caused, you could potentially seek legal remedies for loss caused by the nuisance, together with injunctive action to prevent the activity from continuing. That could be actual physical damage (although this is rare with noise nuisance) or loss of enjoyment of your land or property, which could result in a reduction in value.

The court will have to balance a number of factors when considering whether a nuisance is being caused such as:

  1. Location - certain activities in rural areas may be more of a nuisance than the same activity being carried out in a city location
  2. Time of day – is the activity being carried out during the night/day
  3. Duration and frequency of activity
  4. Malicious act – is the activity a reasonable use of the land
  5. Evidence – have you got enough examples of the activity being carried out

This is a tricky balancing exercise for the court and the circumstances in each case will differ.

Another important point to factor in is whether you want to enter in to court proceedings with a neighbour when you have to carry on living next to each other in the future. It is always worth trying to resolve such matters amicably if at all possible. This is especially important if you are thinking of selling your home as any disputes with neighbours must be disclosed during the sale process. Getting the right advice can assist you in resolving the matter in the right way.

Please see our full series of festive blogs here.