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Noise Nuisance

Noise Nuisance

Noise is typically considered a nuisance when it is excessively loud, frequently repeated, of a certain pitch, or lasts for a long duration, any of which can cause disturbance. It may involve one or more of these factors to be deemed a nuisance.

However, when deciding whether to take action in relation to a noise complaint, Waterford City and County Council considers the question of public versus private nuisance.

In the context of such noise complaints, private nuisance applies where the noise in question is considered to be interfering with an individual’s enjoyment and use of their property, while public nuisance would apply where there is a threat to the health and/or comfort of the public as a whole.

Waterford City & County Council would generally not take on such cases of private nuisance, as the issue of noise nuisance can be subjective and what one individual perceives as nuisance, another may not. Waterford City & County Council can offer advice to the complainant as to the steps they may take, should they wish to proceed with such an action.

Accordingly, Section 108 of the Environmental Protection Agency Act 1992 makes provision for any person affected by noise nuisance to make a complaint to the District Court and to seek remedy of the issue.  A judge will therefore determine if the actions of the other party is reasonable or not and may impose conditions or restrictions on the person concerned.

Householders seeking further information on residential noise nuisance should refer to The Free Legal Advice Centre’s (FLAC) information pamphlet: Neighbour Disputes which is available in the downloads section at the end of this page.

Making a Complaint about perceived Noise Nuisance

Under the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009, tenants of local authority housing are obliged to avoid any nuisance (including noise) to the occupiers of any other dwelling. If the noise persists, tenants may be in breach of their tenancy agreement and the local authority can take steps to enforce the terms of the agreement.

Members of the public wishing to report perceived noise nuisance from neighbours, are in the first instance, advised to make every effort to resolve the issue bilaterally with those concerned, and to read the Environmental Information Service Guide to the Noise Regulations at the end of this section.

Barking dogs

Persistent dog barking that causes a nuisance to others is a legal offence.  This is a civil matter and cannot be dealt with by the Dog Warden or the Local Authority.

If you are affected by a neighbour’s dog barking, firstly you need to talk to the owner of the dog and let them know that this noise is disturbing you.  The owner of the dog may not realise their dog’s behaviour is causing a disturbance to other residents.

If you don’t get a satisfactory response from the dog owner, you may make a complaint to the District Court, as above.  For further information, please contact the District court service or visit the website.