How Much Can a Noisy Neighbour be Fined?
In our recent blog post, Dealing with a Noisy Neighbour, we touched on the fines that might be issued by your local council or magistrates’ court with regard to nuisance neighbour noise. We stated that, should your neighbour prove non-compliant (to a noise abatement order, for example), a substantial fine is likely to be imposed.
But how big a hole is said fine going to knock out of your nuisance neighbour’s bank account? It’s a perfectly valid question, the answer to which may well help you to persuade your neighbour to see things your way during the negotiation phase of the noisy neighbour process.
According to the government’s own website:
If someone breaks an abatement order about noise from their home, they can be fined up to £5,000. If it’s noise from a factory or business, the penalty can be up to £20,000.
But, in practice, it's not quite so cut and dried as that.
A 43-year-old from Wigan was prosecuted for ‘causing a nuisance or annoyance’ for four years. He pleaded guilty to failing to comply with a noise abatement notice on four separate occasions and was fined £130, with £200 costs. Magistrates also imposed court charges of £170 alongside the Criminal Behaviour Order.
A Midlands man was fined £1,100 by Leicester Magistrates Court and ordered to pay £400 costs and a victim surcharge of £110 for late night singing and hammering at his home.
A noisy neighbour in Leamington was fined £800 fine by Nuneaton Magistrates Court for breaching a noise nuisance abatement notice. Magistrates also ordered him to pay full legal and investigation costs of £1,722 plus a victim surcharge of £80.
A Buckinghamshire man was issued with a noise abatement order after playing loud music late at night. After breaching the order on six occasions, the man was issued with fines and costs amounting to £4,400.
But all of the above fade into insignificance when compared to the noisy neighbours story that follows.
Sarah and Ahmed El Kerrami, of Kensington, were successfully prosecuted by their neighbour below, Sarvenaz Fouladi, after the noise created due to their wooden floors became intolerable. The judge, Judge Parfitt, issued an injunction, ordering work on the floors in the flat to significantly reduce noise levels. He also instructed that Miss Fouladi be paid compensation of £107,397.37, rising by £40-a-day until the work is done.
While that last example is a far from typical case, it may be worthwhile bringing it up if you want to convince your neighbour that they'd be better coming to a mutually agreeable arrangement than risking litigation.