Noisy parties

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A party can be held to celebrate anything from a housewarming to a birthday - or just because you want one! Unfortunately, noise nuisance from parties can be a problem. However, on the whole, if a party is well organised it reduces the likelihood of neighbours complaining.

We understand that people have the right to hold parties and to enjoy themselves in their own property. However, people do not have the right to unreasonably interfere with the use and enjoyment of neighbouring properties.

Parties, especially late night parties, can cause a great deal of distress to neighbours, causing loss of sleep and even illness.

Advice for those considering holding a party:

  • Neighbours - Inform your neighbours but don't leave it until the last minute. Aim to give people around a weeks notice, either in person or with a letter. Don't just tell your immediate neighbours - think about anybody who might be affected in your area. If you live in a flat, you will need to consider the people above and below you, as well as those on the same floor - ask them to contact you if they need to express any concerns.
  • Finish time - Tell people what time you expect the party to finish, and try to stick to this time. Make sure your chosen finish time is reasonable!
  • Noise level - Check the noise level during the evening. From time to time go outside to check. The volume should go down later in the evening and things should get progressively quieter. If you have been in a room with loud music you may not hear as well as usual, so give your ears time to adjust or make allowances when you check.
  • Speakers - Think about where your speakers are positioned and how this will affect the houses or flats next to you. Keep them away from party walls and don't point them towards windows. Don't stand them on the floor if people live underneath you, and try not to have the bass control too high.
  • Windows - Try to contain the music in one room with windows closed. As things warm up, it can be useful to have a separate room away from the music where windows can be opened and people can cool down.
  • Garden - If your party spreads outside into the garden, be extra careful about noise, as you will be more likely to receive complaints.
  • Gate crashers - Make sure you know all of your guests and that you can trust them to enjoy themselves without causing disturbance to others.
  • Leaving the party - If it is the early hours of the morning, ask your guests not to shout their goodbyes. If they are driving away, get them to do it as quietly as possible, without slamming car doors or sounding horns.

So - have a good time, but give due consideration to your neighbours!

If you are affected by noise from a party

You can contact us during working hours on 01473 432000 or call the out of hours emergency number: 01473 433444, to raise your complaint.

We may be able to take action if the problem is particularly serious and the police are available to assist us.

Legal action for noise nuisance

Please remember that you are responsible for the behaviour of your guests. Any legal action for noise nuisance would be taken against you, not against them.

The Courts can impose a maximum fine of £5,000 for serious noise nuisance. In some cases, with the cooperation of the police, the council have seized stereo systems on the night of the party.

If you intend to hold a party you can contact us for further advice. You could also leave a contact telephone number which would enable us to contact you first, should any complaints be received.

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Contact Details

Environmental Health,
Ipswich Borough Council,
3W Grafton House,
15-17 Russell Road,