Statutory noise is the excessive noise or nuisance that interferes with other people's rights to the use and enjoyment of their home and community. It is a criminal offence and specifically includes the following:
Noise is the most common form of nuisance. Where the noise arises from the Tenant, it is generally dealt with in terms of the Tenancy Agreement between the Landlord and the Tenant. The Landlord may also claim possession of the property by serving a Section 8 Notice on the Tenant, in terms of Ground 14, which deals with excessive noise. For more information on Section 8 Notices and the grounds for possession, see Section 8 Notices.
Where the noise issues arise from the neighbours as opposed to the Tenant, the local authority can be contacted to deal with the problem. The local authority has a duty to investigate complaints of noise and/or nuisance and will usually send an environmental health officer (EHO) to determine whether there is evidence of statutory nuisance. In these cases an abatement notice may be served on the person(s) responsible for the noise and/or nuisance in which they are requested to either cease or limit the noise and/or nuisance. It is a criminal offence to disobey an abatement notice without reasonable cause.
Where the Landlord is unsuccessful in this regard, it may be necessary to approach the courts for relief. The Magistrates Court can be approached for an abatement order in terms of Section 82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. The person making the noise and/or nuisance must be given 3 days notice of the Landlord's intention to bring proceedings in court.
The following civil actions may also be brought against the person making the noise and/or nuisance: