Can you stop your neighbour's noisy dog? Here is what the law says

Dogs are man’s best friends but if one of your neighbours four-legged pet is keeping you up all night while barking it may not feel like that.

By Matthew Mohan-Hickson
Monday, 13th June 2022, 11:10 am

It can get annoying fast, as can a dog that is whining at all hours of the day.

But what can you do about your neighbour’s annoying dog?

If a pooch is whining or barking during the day, the owner could be at work and not realise their pet is being noisy - so it could be worth politely letting them know.

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What can you do about a neighbour's noisy dog?

Or if the dog is barking and making noise in the evening, you should civilly let your neighbour know.

But what if they don’t respond after trying either of these tactics?

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What does the law say?

If you can’t resolve the issue between you and your neighbour over the noisy dog, it can be reported to the council.

Council officers may investigate the issue if they believe it to be a statutory nuisance – under the Environment Act 1990.

What is a statutory nuisance?

A statutory nuisance is something that, under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, affects a person’s health or causes disturbance to them in their property.

Nuisance can broadly be defined as something that unreasonably affects somebody's use and enjoyment of their home and property.

Noise is the most frequently complained of nuisance issue although there are other things that can be considered as nuisances.

These include smoke (e.g. from garden bonfires), dust, odour, and accumulations.

The Environmental Protection Act 1990 lists other specific types of nuisance.

The following are unlikely to be a statutory nuisance:

- A one-off party

- Neighbours arguing

- A lawnmower used during the day

- A baby crying or dogs barking occasionally.

While council’s have no control over the following:

- Road traffic/revving engines on the public highway

- People shouting/laughing or screaming on a public road or footpath

- Air traffic noise

How to report a noisy dog to the council

If you believe that your neighbour’s barking dog constitutes a statutory nuisance here's how you can report it.

The complaint must be reported to your individual council for the area you live in.

So to help you report it – here’s a link to each council:

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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