NEW Noise or nuisance


Report a noise or nuisance

The Council’s Noise and Nuisance Team deals with residents’ complaints about noise and other nuisances.

We have a dedicated team of officers on duty 7-days a week to respond to all complaints within the following service hours:

  • Sunday to Thursday, 7am - 3am
  • Friday and Saturday, 7am - 5am

You can also report a problem outside of these times via our online form or by telephone, and we will respond as soon as we can after 7am.


Reporting a new issue

When reporting an issue, you will need to provide us with the following information:

  • type of noise or nuisance
  • the location of the noise or nuisance  
  • the date you noticed the problem
  • to confirm if the noise is happening now
  • a description of the problem or incident
  • to provide evidence (optional)
  • to provide your contact details

Already reported this issue:

If you have already reported a specific issue to the Council and have an open complaint with the Team, please provide:

  • your 6-digit case reference number (on the letter or email we would have sent you)
  • the email address you used to first report the problem.

How to report (day or night)

If you have a new or ongoing complaint the quickest and easiest way to report a noise or nuisance anytime day or night is by filling in a simple online form. This will direct our complaint straight to the noise team on duty who will call you back.


Report it online now


You can also call 020 7361 3002 to report your complaint

Your call will go through to our call center and it may take longer for the complaint to be received by the officers on duty

Please provide:

  • your name
  • address
  • telephone number
  • details of where the noise is coming from
  • For ongoing complaints please have your existing 6 digit case reference number to hand. You can find this (explain)


What to expect

  1. We receive your complaint

    Once you submit your complaint it will be received by the officers on duty.

  2. We call you within 30 minutes

    An officer will aim to call you back within 30 minutes.

  3. An officer will visit you within 1 hour

    The officer will arrange to visit you within an hour of receiving the complaint – it is important that we are able to visit you and witness the problem and assess its impact inside your property. The officer will advise you of the estimated time of their visit – our aim is to visit you within 60 minutes of your initial call, but this is subject to the demand on the service which can be very high during the summertime.

  4. We will let you know what action will be taken

    Once officers have visited and assessed your complaint, they will be able advise you what action will be taken. The action taken will depend on what has been witnessed by officers.

Frequently asked questions

What types of noise and nuisance can I report?

The issues that we can investigate include:

  • Parties and loud music/TVs 
  • Construction site noise, vibration and dust 
  • Alarms – intruder, vehicle and fire
  • Smells from commercial premises 
  • Noise deliveries at unreasonable hours
  • Noisy nightclubs, pubs, restaurants and cafes
  • Noisy equipment such as kitchen extract systems and air conditioning 
  • Smoke from bonfires
  • DIY noise during antisocial hours
  • Barking dogs
  • Artificial light such as floodlighting and security lights
  • Gases and fumes

These issues can be investigated as statutory nuisances, and are set out in s79(1) Environmental Protection Act 1990.

What can I not report?

The team has no powers to certain issues, including: 

  • Noise from aircraft/helicpopters – any issues should be reported to the Civil Aviation Authority 
  • General traffic noise
  • Nuisances in the street such as raised voices and shouting (unless directly linked to a licensed premises such as a pub)
  • Domestic cooking smells
  • Normal domestic activities at reasonable times e.g. vacuuming, use of a washing machine, footsteps and talking 
What action can you take? 

We can take both formal and informal action.

A warning letter sent to the property being complained about, or verbal advice, is usually the first action we take. This will usually be when a complaint hasn’t been witnessed or if it’s the first time that a problem has been reported.  We will try and resolve complaints using informal action first.

Formal action is taken when we have witnessed the complaint and decide that is causing a statutory nuisance (explained below).  If we think the problem will continue or happen again, we will serve a legal document known as an abatement notice on the person(s) causing the problem, using powers in Environmental Protection Act 1990. After this, if the problem is witnessed again we can prosecute or issue a Fixed Penalty Notice.  In the most serious cases, we can apply to the courts for a warrant and seize equipment, including sound systems and musical instruments.

We use separate powers to control noise and vibration from construction sites, and to stop noisy intruder (burglar) alarms.

What is considered a statutory nuisance?

There is no definition of a statutory nuisance in the legislation – s79(1) Environmental Protection Act 1990 – it is based on common law decisions (case law) over many decades.  In its commonest form, a statutory nuisance is a situation which is causing unreasonable and substantial interference with a person’s use of their property – such as repeated disturbance caused by loud music from a neighbour’s property. 

When officers assess if your complaint is a statutory nuisance, they will consider several factors:

  • the reasonableness of the activity causing the problem 
  • the level of disturbance caused 
  • the time of the day 
  • how long the disturbance lasts
  • how often the disturbance happens
  • is it a deliberate disturbance?
  • Is the activity and disturbance reasonable for the type of neighbourhood? 
  • is the complainant unusually sensitive?

Generally, the issue must regular and for a period of time that makes it unreasonable and excessive. It must be more than just annoying or irritating. There is no legal right to absolute silence, and you cannot expect to never be inconvenienced by your neighbour’s activities – there should be some ‘give and take’ between neighbouring properties. 

What hours are construction sites allowed to operate?

In Kensington and Chelsea, construction sites can carry out noisy works (audible beyond the site boundary) during the following times:

  • 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday
  • At no time on Saturdays, Sundays or Bank/Public Holidays.

We enforce these hours by serving legal notices on contractors and building owners under s60 of the Control of Pollution Act 1974. We also have restricted hours for demolition and concrete-breaking, which should only take place between 9am – 12-noon, and 2:00pm to 5:30pm, Monday to Friday. 

When can I play loud music, and how loud is loud?

There are no legally defined times when you can play loud music or maximum noise (decibel) level. It is possible to cause a noise nuisance at any time of the day or night. There may be times set out in your tenancy agreement or lease (typically 11pm to 7am) during which noise should be kept to a minimum. These provide a good guide as to what is likely to be considered reasonable, but they cannot be enforced by the Council.

You should always try to contain music within your property as far as possible, particularly in the evenings/nighttime when you should consider using headphones if you think your neighbours may be affected.


We frequently receive complaints about the playing of loud music late at night and party noise. Parties should be held at reasonable times and any noise should ideally be contained within the property as far as possible, particularly when neighbours may be trying to sleep. As it gets later into the evening, music levels should be lowered to a level where normal conversation is possible, any guests outside brought in, and windows and doors closed.  
We would strongly recommend that, if you are holding a party or gathering which may generate noise, you inform your neighbours in advance and give the time when the event will finish – and make sure you keep to this finishing time.  Occasional parties where noise is kept to reasonable levels and neighbours have been given advance notice, are likely to be acceptable. Frequent parties where residents are unreasonably disturbed are likely to cause complaints and may lead to legal action being taken by the council. 

What do I do if I have received a complaint letter?

Please contact us.  If you feel that the allegation in the letter is untrue or inaccurate, it is important that you speak to the team so that the matter can be discussed, and your response recorded.  Equally, if you think that you probably did create a disturbance for your neighbours it is always best to get in touch and explain the circumstances.

It is possible that you didn't realise that you were disturbing your neighbours. We can give advice on how to minimise noise in future. 

What can I try before reporting to the council?

Ideally, any noise or nuisance problem should be addressed early.  If you feel comfortable doing so, you can speak to the person causing the problem.  This should be in a constructive and reasonable manner, and you should calmly explain how their behaviour is affecting you. This may be the quickest and most effective way to resolve the problem. It is possible that they didn't realise that their behaviour was causing any disturbance.


Last updated: 20 June 2024