Responding to a noise abatement direction
If your neighbour is bothered by noise coming from you or your property, they may have contacted the police or local council and made a complaint.
The police or your local council may give you a noise abatement direction.
What is a noise abatement direction?
A noise abatement direction is a direction requiring you to stop offensive noise. Offensive noise is noise that:
- is harmful or likely to be harmful to a person outside your premises, or
- interferes unreasonably or is likely to interfere unreasonably with the comfort or repose (relaxation) of a person outside your premises.
This might be because of the level of noise, the time the noise was made, its nature, character or quality, or any other circumstances.
The direction can be issued by your local council or by police. The direction does not have to be issued at the time the noise is made. It can be issued within seven days of the noise occurring. It can be in writing or it can be verbal. The direction lasts for up to 28 days from when it was made.
The police and local councils have powers to seize (take) equipment used to make offensive noise.
Sample: Sample noise abatement direction
What if you don't agree?
You cannot appeal a noise abatement direction. The person who made the direction can revoke (cancel) the direction as can another authorised person, for example another council officer or police officer.
If you feel the direction should not have been made, you may consider writing to the agency that made the direction and ask for the direction to be revoked. Your letter should explain your reasons. If you are considering this step, you should get legal advice.
What if you continue to make the noise?
A noise abatement direction lasts for up to 28 days from the day it is issued. If you continue to make the type of noise specified in the noise abatement direction during this time, you may be breaching the direction.
Breaching the direction is an offence. You may be given a penalty notice (fine) or charged with an offence each time you breach the direction.
If you have been given a penalty notice (fine) for breaching the direction and you don't agree with it, you can elect to challenge the fine in court. If you are charged with an offence or elect to go to court you may face a higher penalty if you are convicted (found guilty).
For more information about how to challenge your fine in court, see the Fines topic on this website.