Noise is the single largest issue of complaint made to local authorities in the UK, and according to  the World Health Organisation, noise is a disease burden that is second in magnitude only to air pollution. Residential noise accounts for the largest proportion of noise complaints.
For a noise to amount to a statutory nuisance there needs to be more than a mere annoyance, but rather something that will have a significant impact on the health and well-being of anyone affected. It is well established that even where one person finds a noise annoying it may not amount to a statutory nuisance. Noise is subjective; loud music played in a detached property may not cause a nuisance, but the same level of music in a block of flats may well do. Individual sensitivities should not be taken into account – those assessing the noise must assess how it will affect the average person. A number of factors need to be taken into account when judging whether noise amounts to a nuisance, for example, the time of day, the character of the neighbourhood duration of the noise, and frequency of the noise.
In a recent case that our experts were involved, the leaseholder of a flat refurbished the apartment by changing the layout and the suspended flooring system. After the works were completed, the Claimant (the neighbour living in the flat below) started complaining about the noise transfer through the separating floor from activities of the family of this leaseholder.
Our expert was appointed to provide a Court compliant report in order to assist the Court. The assessment involved long term noise and audio monitoring inside the Claimant’s apartment whilst it was unoccupied. The noise survey made it possible for our expert to gain a deep understanding of the noise impact, in order to assist the Court in identifying whether statutory noise nuisance existed in this claim.
In addition, the report was also used to support an injunction requiring the occupants of the flat causing the nuisance to temporarily move out whilst the Court considered the case in detail. Our report also included a series of mitigation measures in order to assist the Court in its final decision.