How to File a Complaint about a Neighbor in the UK

Most neighbourhood complaints in the United Kingdom involve noise or anti social behaviour. Noise or anti-social behaviour can cause misery for the person who has to endure such a nuisance. These kinds of nuisances are becoming more prevalent as the country becomes more crowded, with houses becoming smaller and closer together on many housing estates.

First, the individual has to decide whether making a complaint will make matters worse. The sad fact is someone who lives next door to a nuisance will have to remain next door after a complaint has been made. If matters are not resolved, things could get worse. In many instances, they do get worse. Also if you are a home owner, you’ll need to declare an official complaint against a neighbour when it comes to selling the house.

Noise nuisance is a real nuisance for some as the bass tones created by loud music become a monotonous thump though a thin walls. Noise nuisance isn’t always caused by just music; it could be a next door neighbour is conducting some sort of business from his home like car repairs for example or overzealous do-it-yourself type activities.

Noise nuisances should be reported to the local authority. Most authorities do take noise nuisance seriously and will act on a complaint. The local council will send a representative around to sample the noise for himself and speak to nearby neighbours to see if the nuisance is affecting over people in the neighbourhood. If he is satisfied that a complaint is genuine, he will install a device to record noise as it occurs over a period of a few days. These machines are very sensitive and will record the level of noise in case the council is forced to make a prosecution against the offender.

The council have powers to issue an enforcement order for the nuisance to stop. If the neighbour ignores the order, he will be taken to court. In severe cases, council tenants risk losing their homes for repeated offences.

Nuisances of anti social behaviour should be reported to the police. In recent years the police have had powers to issue ‘Anti-social Behaviour Orders’ (ASBO). Abuse of an outstanding ASBO will result in a court appearance and heavy fines. Photographic proof is very useful when making a complaint to the police. ASBOs can also now be issued for anti-social driving behaviour.