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Recording noise nuisance, and alleged trespass

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  • Recording noise nuisance, and alleged trespass

    My next door neighbour has extremely loud barking and howling dogs, which they deliberately leave alone for long periods of time in their living room that directly adjoins my own (semi-detached) property. The dogs bark and howl throughout the week while the neighbour is at work and also at weekends, and they have done so since shortly after the neighbour moved in three years ago. We originally negotiated a solution that involved the neighbour putting the dogs outside with access to a shed during the day - which minimised the noise I directly experienced, but this was soon abandoned by the neighbour for reasons unknown and the situation returned to its previous levels of annoyance and disruption.

    After having my further complaints to them openly mocked, it seems pointless to attempt to negotiate further and I have now reached the end of my patience with the ongoing disturbance. In gathering evidence of the noise to offer to an outside authority, I have been recording the noise on a handheld device. In the process of doing so, I have placed my arm through the hedge adjoining our properties up against the corner panel of a bay window in order to obtain the best possible recording.

    I assume that I have been seen doing this, as the neighbour has now left a note in their window facing the hedge informing me that "You are trespassing on my property and you have been reported". There is no further information and I will not be asking them about it as we are no longer on speaking terms. I have remained in my own front garden when recording the noise, and have done nothing more than put my arm through the hedge with the recording device held up against the neighbour's living room window.

    Have I broken the law of trespass by doing this? It has now been over a week since the notice went up and I have not yet heard anything from whoever the neighbour has allegedly 'reported' me to, so perhaps the neighbour was simply trying to intimidate me into not complaining. If so their action has backfired, because only until now was I hesitant to escalate the matter further through official channels.

    Meanwhile the dogs continue to bark and howl exactly as before.

    To be on the safe side from now on, I will restrict myself to recording the noise from indoors and/or from my garden without moving any part of my anatomy through the hedge or placing it over the fence.
    Tags: None

  • #2
    Noise officers would only be interested in the noise as heard in your garden or inside your property, so sticking your hand through the hedge to geta better recording is probably damaging your case more than helping it ( excuse being it can't be that loud if you have to trespass on their property to record it etc...) To be a statutory nuisance, the barking would have to be excessive and unreasonable in the circumstances and interfere significantly with how you use and enjoy your home. Have you spoken with the council at all?

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/noise-nu...ith-complaints
    https://www.doglaw.co.uk/barking/
    If a complaint is made to a Council, they have a duty to investigate it. The Council may serve a Noise Abatement Notice and the recipient has 21 days to appeal. If the barking continues then they may prosecute under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and if convicted the offender may be ordered to pay an unlimited fine and the Court may impose a Criminal Behaviour Order.
    “We may not win by protesting, but if we don’t protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.” Hetty Bower

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    • #3

      Hello, I had been in two minds about contacting the council about the nuisance as I didn't particularly want to escalate things further (its a big step to take and I don't thrive on confrontation), but the neighbour's action here has I think made me reconsider.

      EDIT: I've been making the recordings on a 'for possible use in the future' basis so far.

      Am I then safe on the grounds of 'trespass' ?

      Thanks for your advice so far.

      Comment

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