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Complaining neighbors and the law with drummers

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Complaining neighbors and the law with drummers

Postby Dodger » Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:32 pm

Hey

Right so i have just moved in to a student house and one of my house mates is a drummer

at the moment he has bought his full acoustic drum kit with him but a very small 3 peace electric kit with perhaps a 20 watt amp

a couple of nights ago we had a small jam i had my guitar amp on nice and low to repect my other house mates and my new neighbors and my drumming friend did the same. we played for an about an hour and also had a small possible 10-20 min go on his African drum which obviously was a little bit loader

were not quite sure of the exact time we played however it was almost definitely before 8 o'clock (we were actually guessing about 6pm but in the interest of fairness we tried to the think of the maximum it could have been)

the day after we get a call from our estate agent (who is actually lovely) explaining that complantes had been made saying that he was playing drums excessively load at 3am. well i know its a very un-student thing to do but we were actually in bed at 3 o'clock because we had a late night the night before.

so obviously they are lieing because they seem to hate that students have moved into a road mainly populated by 50+ members of the community

furthermore my drumming friend is doing a music degree so does actually need to practice his instruments!

so what i want to know is where does the law stand on this?

when are we legally aloud to practice instruments? i have sources saying from 7am -11pm but others saying 8am - 8 pm (which to me sound very responsible)

also he wants to bring his "proper kit" soon as for a drummer i imagine it isn't nice playing a 3 piece electric kit all the time when he had enough space for his real kit.

i accept our community do want it peacefully quite but A) they don't need lie about it and B) we have a right to practice our instruments

and its not just that we have had other complaints regarding car parking, putting out bins in front of the house rather then behind and even the fact that one of out house mates has blue hair!!! they do just seem to hate us

sorry if i'm posting this in the wrong place but just wanted advice mainly on the noise ect

its not even like we can soundproof because its rented accommodation and were students and cant afford it!

thanks for any help

Jack
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Re: Complaining neighbors and the law with drummers

Postby The Elf » Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:50 pm

Others can probably comment on the legal aspects. Regardless of this, however...

Whether you are right or wrong in the eyes of the law I believe your best course is to try to find a reasonable solution by speaking with your neighbours to find a mutually agreeable solution. Many people can be disarmingly sympathetic when they are approached on a personal level.

As a wiser man than me once said: "To jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war".
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Re: Complaining neighbors and the law with drummers

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:04 pm

The 'law' isn't the way to deal with this... The issue is one of noise nuisance involving, at a first stage, the council's environmental health people. I suspect if it goes down that road your landlords will simply want to evict you as being too much trouble!

Student houses within long-term residential areas will always generate some level of friction. From the neighbours' points of view, they've just enjoyed a lovely quiet summer where they could park easily on a nice quiet street with no one 'weird' coming and going at all hours... And now they've got to deal witha load more cars, some blue-haired weirdo who doesn't know where to put the bins, and a megadeath rock band playing at death-defying levels in the middle of the night! It's not surprisng that they might be worried and over-reacting a little.

In all seriousness, the very best thing you and your house mates could do is go around and introduce yourselves to your new neighbours. Apologise for any parking difficulties. Explain what you're studying. Explain that you'd like to practice your instruments but that you don't want to inconvenience them. And see if you can agree on a set time and duration each day that won't upset them but meets your needs reasonably too. AND THEN STICK TO THE AGREEMENT!

The bottom line is that you need to get on with your neighbours because if you don't, they'll make your life hell in any way they can. They live there and moving probably isn't an option for them, so it will be in their interests to get you out one way or another if you behave 'unreasonably'. You can't win this using the 'law' card.

Being realistic, extended practice sessions on a full acoustic drum set in an untreated room is likely to be a step too far. There must be practice rooms at the college that would be more appropriate for that kind of set up. And what you think might be a 'quiet jam' probably sounds worrying loud to a neighbour.

There are laws, obviously, but rather than getting high and mighty about 'your rights', think about your responsibilities and respect to your neighbours, and about their rights too.

Finding a mutually agreeable compromise really is a much better way forward. Trust me! SO while you do have a right to pracice your intruments, they have rights to not being disturbed by noise nusiance.

Go make friends with them before it all becomes really combative and unpleasant.

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Re: Complaining neighbors and the law with drummers

Postby Emmet » Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:05 pm

use this for doing stuff in the accommodation with the electric kit.

http://www.jamhub.com/

for all other stuff, use a rehearsal room.

Everybodys happy. Have fun.
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Re: Complaining neighbors and the law with drummers

Postby Dave Gate » Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:30 pm

I presume you meant that he HASN'T brought his full acoustic kit . . .

I went through as similar thing many years ago when my housemate (a DJ) and I decided to make some music. After a complaint from our neighbours we sat down with them and agreed acceptable times for us to be a bit noisy, and in return got an agreement that their kids wouldn't use my van as a football target.

Talking nicely and giving and taking can work wonders. Even blue-haired people need some respect, sometimes.
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Re: Complaining neighbors and the law with drummers

Postby The Korff » Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:47 pm

I reckon a lot of noise complaints come from the fact that neighbours don't actually know when the noise is going to end, so they get very anxious and complainy as they don't know whether they'll be able to sleep that night! So, as mentioned, the best bet is to be as polite and humble as possible, explain to them that you don't intend to annoy them but that you need to play your instruments sometimes, and try and reach a compromise based on what days of the week, and times of day, would be most convenient for all concerned.

Cheers!

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Re: Complaining neighbors and the law with drummers

Postby Handlestash » Wed Sep 21, 2011 4:12 pm

My mate Gary was living in the second to last house of a terrace and every now and again had to babysit his girlfriend's dog who, of all things, barked on occasion.
One day the old lady next door called over and very irately complained about the barking.
Now, she also had a dog who literally never stopped barking day or night but when Gary mentioned this and she said, 'that's different, that's supervised barking'.

Lovely.
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Re: Complaining neighbors and the law with drummers

Postby Guest » Wed Sep 21, 2011 4:18 pm

Korff wrote:I reckon a lot of noise complaints come from the fact that neighbours don't actually know when the noise is going to end, so they get very anxious and complainy as they don't know whether they'll be able to sleep that night! So, as mentioned, the best bet is to be as polite and humble as possible, explain to them that you don't intend to annoy them but that you need to play your instruments sometimes, and try and reach a compromise based on what days of the week, and times of day, would be most convenient for all concerned.

Cheers!

Chris


As someone who has to live next to extremely loud neighbours who insist on partying regularly into the small hours of the night, I have to say I would be greatly appreciative of being forewarned, (or even for an apology afterwards, if it went on longer than originally thought). My neighbours do neither, and consequently we both get quite peeved when they decide to go outside smoking pot and drinking and getting very noisy before finally at 4am they decide they're tired. It's also quite annoying that they choose to watch TV loudly every night until midnight (on the nights they're not partying) with all their doors and windows wide open. They're not students, but neither do they seem to do much in the way of work - which is quite problematic for us, as we both work 9-5(+) jobs! Sleep is precious to us hard-working folk

We'd feel much happier about it if a) our neighbours were friendly (they've yet to say hello), and b) gave us warning they were planning to hold these noisy parties as then we wouldn't think they were totally inconsiderate. So... in terms of your situation, I speak from personal experience when I say that making friends with your neighbours and coming to an agreement would definitely help matters - if they know in advance that you'll be jamming loudly until 8pm on weeknights but possibly 10pm on a weekend, and then it'll be absolutely quiet in time for sleep, I'm sure they'll be happier than if you have sporadic loud jam sessions with no warning! You might find as time goes on that they even take an interest in your music, you never know!


BTW... in terms of the law, you are legally entitled to make noise during the day (such as playing instruments/partying). Any noise between the hours of 11pm and 7am is considered "noise pollution" and can be reported to Environmental Health - although usually it's a long and tedious process to get the council to listen, and this in itself doesn't immediately mean the law will be involved - usually that only happens when E.H. have been on your case for a long period of time gathering evidence, and then you are prosecuted. I don't think you have any worries in this regard - as long as you make friends with your neighbours and don't play loudly between the hours of 11pm and 7am REGULARLY (and certainly without forewarning people) you should be absolutely fine. This doesn't mean your landlord will be 100% happy though, but you don't need to worry about prosecution. See http://www.environmental-protection.org.uk/noise/environmental-noise/noise-pollution/ for more info.
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Re: Complaining neighbors and the law with drummers

Postby hollowsun » Wed Sep 21, 2011 4:23 pm

I always found (back in the day) that going to the neighbours with a smile and maybe bunch of flowers or a box of Roses chocolates (other gifts are available) to explain that you'd be making a bit of a racket between X and Y-o-clock (but you'd try and keep it down) tended to work quite amicably. They can make arrangements to maybe go out for the evening, visit friends, go to the pub, whatever.

It only works if it's not every night but just occasional.

It's the same with parties, etc.. Just let the neighbours know in advance and as Elf says, they can be very accommodating.

One of the worst things (as a neighbour) is some racket starting up and you have no idea when it will end (even more so if the (ahem) 'musician' is a hopeless, talentless, tone deaf tosswit ... not that I am suggesting that you are, of course!).

It's a bit of a societal problem - people thinking they can just do what they want without any consideration to anyone else. It's bugger all to do with 'rights' and all that ... just good manners with a smattering of that old notion, common sense!

Nice to see you're sensitive to the issue - so many aren't (as I can testify with several neighbours I've had - see above with regard to hopeless, talentless, tone deaf tosswits!).
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Re: Complaining neighbors and the law with drummers

Postby hollowsun » Wed Sep 21, 2011 4:27 pm

Jennifer Jones wrote:As someone who has to live next to extremely loud neighbours who insist on partying regularly into the small hours of the night, I have to say I would be greatly appreciative of being forewarned, (or even for an apology afterwards, if it went on longer than originally thought). My neighbours do neither, and consequently we both get quite peeved when they decide to go outside smoking pot and drinking and getting very noisy before finally at 4am they decide they're tired.
Come on, Jennifer... be honest - you're just miffed because you're not invited!

You don't have Zukan living next door do you? Sounds like a day in the life for him!
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Re: Complaining neighbors and the law with drummers

Postby Guest » Wed Sep 21, 2011 4:29 pm

hollowsun wrote:Come on, Jennifer... be honest - you're just miffed because you're not invited!

Trust me, there's only so much drug-induced guffawing over someone being "up the duff" and "preggers - what a funny word!" you can tolerate in one evening
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Re: Complaining neighbors and the law with drummers

Postby hollowsun » Wed Sep 21, 2011 4:57 pm

"Preggers" is a funny word though...

But one I'd expect to hear over a good picnic hamper and a generous jug or three of Pimms taken outside the orangery or the summer pagoda...

"I say, Tarquin - "preggers" ... that's a bloody funny word, what?"

My butler is - like yourself - very much at odds with such coarse abbreviations.

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Re: Complaining neighbors and the law with drummers

Postby dmills » Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:39 pm

Years ago, I had a neighbor that did that ONCE, I responded by accidentally leaving a radio tuned to a Russian shortwave station turned all the way up from when I left the house at 8AM till I got back (My radio was at least as loud as his hifi, particularly as I had not expected the 'woodpecker' to start up while I was out!).

Arc welding during football contests (especially if you arrange the arc feeder cable into an artistic coil on the other side of the wall from their telly) is another good way to make a point about excessive noise (2,500 ampere turns or so from an industrial inverter TIG will cause a CRT telly some 'issues').

To the OP, go and talk to them, there is a good chance that something reasonable can be worked out.

Regards, Dan.
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Re: Complaining neighbors and the law with drummers

Postby James Perrett » Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:26 pm

Jennifer Jones wrote:
BTW... in terms of the law, you are legally entitled to make noise during the day (such as playing instruments/partying). Any noise between the hours of 11pm and 7am is considered "noise pollution" and can be reported to Environmental Health - although usually it's a long and tedious process to get the council to listen, and this in itself doesn't immediately mean the law will be involved - usually that only happens when E.H. have been on your case for a long period of time gathering evidence,

I think you need to stick a 'reasonable' in that first sentence Jenny. For example I know that there are certain restrictions on the hours a builder can make noise and I suspect that there are many other restrictions. An acoustic drum kit certainly isn't what I would call a reasonable noise level and I would expect any drummer to only play when the neighbours were happy - or if they'd built a properly soundproofed practice room.

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Re: Complaining neighbors and the law with drummers

Postby Guest » Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:43 am

James Perrett wrote:

I think you need to stick a 'reasonable' in that first sentence Jenny. For example I know that there are certain restrictions on the hours a builder can make noise and I suspect that there are many other restrictions. An acoustic drum kit certainly isn't what I would call a reasonable noise level and I would expect any drummer to only play when the neighbours were happy - or if they'd built a properly soundproofed practice room.

James.


AFAIK there is no restriction on playing musical instruments for practise/recital purposes, beyond the 11pm-7am quoted above. Builders have different restrictions as they make noise in the street (and generally a lot more of it, thus disturbing more people) and are usually restricted by individual councils rather than the law directly. I think they also have different restrictions because they use heavy vehicles and machinery, and this is separate to 'domestic' noise.

The problem with the word reasonable is it is entirely subjective Although you would find someone playing drums annoying, personally I wouldn't mind my neighbours practising musical instruments, should they wish to, during the daytime hours mentioned. What I do mind, however, is being kept up until dawn on a weeknight due to drunken and drug-fuelled partying... :P Actually, when I was younger, I used to live nearby a drummer. Sure, it was loud, but he only ever practised in the slot of time between being back from school and having dinner. As a result, nobody in the area particularly minded, as we all knew when it would happen and he was actually quite good! I know it is a legal term, but I think they usually define it by the consensus of a group of people as it is a subjective term.

To the OP: if you are worried about any restrictions on playing musical instruments, I would advise you to contact Environmental Health at his local council - however I suspect they'll say not to play very early or very late, nor for hours at a time, and also to talk to neighbours and make sure they are happy beforehand. It's great that you are considerate of your neighbours' feelings on the matter and sensitive to the appropriate and potentially inappropriate times to play. So many neighbours (like mine) don't give a damn about such things.
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Re: Complaining neighbors and the law with drummers

Postby Steve Hill » Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:13 am

Jennifer, I'm prety sure James is right: there's no "free for all until 11.00 pm" law, and different Councils have different local by-laws.

What would you say about a drummer living in a badly insulated flat above a couple with a new baby who needed to sleep, and wanted to practice for 15 hours a day? Also, the terms of many leases/tenancy agreements may restrict noise. If you are required not to make "unreasonable" noise, the definition of unreasonable may well be in the eyes of the complainer.

If a Local Authority issues a Noise Abatement Notice, following complaints, then you either shut up, or you risk a £5,000 fine and/or confiscation of your equipment.

Here's a fairly accurate advice leaflet from Wrexham Council (the first one I found) which pretty much sums up the position.
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Re: Complaining neighbors and the law with drummers

Postby NeilECaster » Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:00 pm

My band - full acoustic drums (rare non-mental drummer though) bass and two electric guitars, three of us on vocals - rehearse in one of my front rooms every Thursday between 7 and 10pm. We make a reasonable amount of reasonable noise. The house is detached, which helps. My next door neighbour has admitted that when we get really excited he has had to turn his TV up a couple of notches to hear what's going on.

Everyone nearby knows when we play and, more importantly, when we stop. We actually sound like a band playing music, no really, rather than a bunch of 'just started to learn' feedback wielding noise freaks.

So... the tricks are:

- Talk to people and explain that you're student musicians and let them know when you'll be playing and, especially, when you'll stop.
- Keep it musical.
- Keep it regular so people don't have to try and remember if it's music night.
- Limit the noise level to something appropriate to the location - and the room your in, mind those ears. If you need ear plugs cos it's too loud then I sympathise with the neighbours.
- Get a room for full tilt sessions or, better still, a gig!

Good luck.

Cheers.
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Re: Complaining neighbors and the law with drummers

Postby Guest » Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:11 pm

At the risk of entering into a debate with you...

Steve Hill wrote:Jennifer, I'm prety sure James is right: there's no "free for all until 11.00 pm" law, and different Councils have different local by-laws.

OK, well I didn't ever say it was a free-for-all so you are slightly exaggerating what I originally said
I do agree that possibly my wording of "you are legally entitled" might be misleading, as both you and James are right to say that the word 'reasonable' and 'unreasonable' are used in law to decide whether or not a sound level is a nuisance. As I already said though, this term is entirely subjective - even in law. It's the council officials on that day who decide if it's a nuisance or not, so it's all a matter of personal opinion.

What I have said is that although there is no law against making noise during the day, local councils have the authority to place restrictions on certain activities. I think there is some legal stuff about 'excessive' noise, but someone practising a drumkit inside a house for an hour or two could hardly be classed as 'excessive'. I also said that there is a legal restriction on the amount of noise you can make between the hours of 11pm and 7am - see the link I originally supplied here which states that:

Environmental Health wrote:Night time noise
The Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 amended the Noise Act 1996 and enables local authorities in England and Wales to tackle night time noise emitted from dwellings and gardens between the hours of 11.00 pm and 7.00 am.


I stressed in my second post that local councils often place further restrictions, but these are not usually 'law' in the same way. I also said that local councils often advise people who wish to play musical instruments that they are ok to do so as long as they a) checked with the neighbours, b) didn't do it really early or really late and c) didn't play for hours at a time.

Steve Hill wrote:If a Local Authority issues a Noise Abatement Notice, following complaints, then you either shut up, or you risk a £5,000 fine and/or confiscation of your equipment.


Again, you're exaggerating. According to the E.H. website, this is what actually happens:

Environmental Health wrote: To enforce these powers [listed above] local authorities must ensure that an environmental health officer takes reasonable steps to investigate complaints about noise emitted from dwellings. If the officer is satisfied that noise exceeds the permitted level, a warning notice may be served on the person responsible. If the warning is ignored, the officer may issue a fixed penalty notice of £100, enter the dwelling and confiscate the noise making equipment (obstructing confiscation carries a fine of up to £1000), or prosecute (fine up to £1000).


As you can see in this explanation, it's often a more drawn-out process than you made out.

I agree with you that 'reasonable' is an entirely subjective term. I already said this. With regard to your hypothetical situation, which, let's be honest, shows an extreme, then yes the playing of drums above a 'badly insulated flat with a new baby who needed to sleep' for 15 hours a day is a completely unreasonable level of noise in basically anyone's view (except the drummer in question). But it doesn't seem to be entirely similar to the OP's situation who just wants to be able to play his instruments for jamming sessions every so often and who has already demonstrated he is considerate enough not to want to annoy neighbours...
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Re: Complaining neighbors and the law with drummers

Postby Ant Gamble » Thu Sep 22, 2011 3:09 pm

This doesn't work for everyone.....

I got the neighbour to join the band. Problem solved.
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Re: Complaining neighbors and the law with drummers

Postby Kiwibu » Thu Sep 22, 2011 3:22 pm

I commend you for soliciting the opinions of others and it is precisely that perspective that holds the most weight here. The homes surrounding your rental likely represent the largest single investment the owners will ever make - they want to protect that investment which includes preserving the appearance (trash, cars, etc?) and character of their neighborhood. You as a short term resident must respect that fact. The only "rights" relevant here are that of the owner's quiet enjoyment of their property.

What about those hard working folks who come home after a long day of toil only to hear the BOOM BOOM of the kick drum? Even if it is done at a reasonable volume and in a musical context, the sound of that frequency is not directional and can be felt as well as heard from some distance. I submit that while the law may not protect the neighbors prior to 11PM or so, you certainly should feel an obligation to keep the noise reasonable (go outside and have a listen yourself) and restrict it to normal business hours when folks are most likely working or least likely to be disturbed by it.

As for the drummer's ability to practice, there are several options already mentioned above to include headphones for the electronic kit, a jamhub, acoustic treatment of the space (low budget duvets, etc.).

As others have commented, a simple chat with the neighbors will also go a long way to creating a more harmonious relationship. Your obligations now that you are "on your own" should be no different from those you had while living with your parents. By the way, as you age you will come to understand those who have worked hard to earn something will do what they can to preserve it and those who have not often look to take it away, or at best have little respect for it.

Good luck with your band.
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Re: Complaining neighbors and the law with drummers

Postby Frisonic » Thu Sep 22, 2011 5:02 pm

Kiwibu wrote:I commend you for soliciting the opinions of others and it is precisely that perspective that holds the most weight here. The homes surrounding your rental likely represent the largest single investment the owners will ever make - they want to protect that investment which includes preserving the appearance (trash, cars, etc?) and character of their neighborhood. You as a short term resident must respect that fact. The only "rights" relevant here are that of the owner's quiet enjoyment of their property.

What about those hard working folks who come home after a long day of toil only to hear the BOOM BOOM of the kick drum? Even if it is done at a reasonable volume and in a musical context, the sound of that frequency is not directional and can be felt as well as heard from some distance. I submit that while the law may not protect the neighbors prior to 11PM or so, you certainly should feel an obligation to keep the noise reasonable (go outside and have a listen yourself) and restrict it to normal business hours when folks are most likely working or least likely to be disturbed by it.

As for the drummer's ability to practice, there are several options already mentioned above to include headphones for the electronic kit, a jamhub, acoustic treatment of the space (low budget duvets, etc.).

As others have commented, a simple chat with the neighbors will also go a long way to creating a more harmonious relationship. Your obligations now that you are "on your own" should be no different from those you had while living with your parents. By the way, as you age you will come to understand those who have worked hard to earn something will do what they can to preserve it and those who have not often look to take it away, or at best have little respect for it.

Good luck with your band.

I'm not a lawyer, I've just used them a lot. These legal terms! Like the difference between 'reasonable' and 'proper'. It really only means something that you can negotiate and something that is beyond negotiation, often refering to costs, which is why solicitors and barristers like those words so much. I was waiting for 'quiet enjoyment' to pop up in this thread. As a legal term it has nothing to do with noise per say. The phrase was coined long before noise was regarded as much of an issue. Its about more direct pestering really. The right to use something, like a house or flat for example, undisturbed by others who might otherwise be knocking on the door or try to use it against one's wishes (landlords etc. - a word that has no place in the English language in the 21st century, where there is arguably little point in having Lords full stop). The RSPB and the National Trust tried using 'quiet enjoyment' erroneously against the RYA, when the RYA were defending windsurfers rights on water adjacent to nature reserves. I remember how much I enjoyed the day that argument got kicked out of court!

Reason, communication, common sense and a desire for good neighborly relations, as elegantly set out above are the only sensible ways to go. But I would encourage the OP to take no notice whatsoever of anyone who encourages him to make a distinction between a neighbor who rents their home and one who is an owner occupier. The law strives to be completely blind in this respect (it fails because it has been created in the favour of 'landlords' over several centuries). Do not allow yourself to be intimidated by the pervasive culture of property ownership that has got this country into such serious economic difficulties. The current student population, assuming most is in its late teens and early twenties should be having a serious conversation with its parents about quite what they thought they were doing, blindly inflating the pyrite property bubble and then dumping the whole economic car crash onto their children as if butter wouldn't melt in their mouths? A notion most of them are still unable to even grasp as being credible.

In the mean time remember Steve Marriott's immortal words "wouldn't it be nice to get on with me neighbors"... Although despite the sentiment he still only managed very limited success in this area, so don't use him as a role model.
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Re: Complaining neighbors and the law with drummers

Postby Steve Hill » Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:47 pm

Jennifer: I work for a law firm and am qualified in the field.

If you wish SOS to appear on record as peddling irresponsible and dangerous advice which may end up in a forum member getting fined or his drums confiscated, that's your choice. I will leave you to conduct your discussion under your own terms.
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Re: Complaining neighbors and the law with drummers

Postby nathanscribe » Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:13 pm

For what it's worth, I've had a number of dealings with the noise pollution folk in my home town and it is indeed a long, drawn out business. Basically making a complaint meant a couple of people would come out and measure levels, at least in theory - in practice, it was next to impossible to get anybody round at all as they only worked weekends (!) and sod's law was that when they did turn up, it was quiet (nothing spontaneous, all pre-arranged). Then it was all about filling in logs for several weeks, before submitting it for review. A total joke, in other words.

I think to have stuff confiscated you'd have to be really caning it for a substantial number of people to phone the authorities, and for the to be good evidence of being absolutely indifferent to the suffering of others. This is just my own opinion based on my own experience, though. I've also been part of the cause of a neighbour leaping over the two gardens to try to strangle the lead singer, and then apologising to the police. Those were the days...

For the OP, my advice is to speak to the neighbours - be honest, be understanding, be ready to find a better place to practice if it begins to cause real trouble.

Is there no alternative method of muffling the acoustic kit for practice purposes?
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Re: Complaining neighbors and the law with drummers

Postby Guest » Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:33 pm

If you lived next door to me i would come round and jam the sticks up you arse.

Hope this helps.
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Re: Complaining neighbors and the law with drummers

Postby chris... » Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:35 pm

nathanscribe wrote: it was all about filling in logs for several weeks, before submitting it for review. A total joke, in other words.

Keeping logs doesn't sound that stupid.
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Re: Complaining neighbors and the law with drummers

Postby . . . Delete This User . . . » Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:41 pm

of course, if , like my wife, one of your neighbors works nights..... there is precious little chance of pleasing everyone.... and you need to look at electronic means, no acoustic kit......


find a local practice room or studio with down time, and keep the neighbors happy....

it's much easier than having find anywhere that would accept such things as a rental....

the "right to quiet enjoyment" of a person's property, actually sticks an oar in what many musicians think is "reasonable"


i have a composer client in london who cannot play their piano after 9 pm, as a condition of the lease on their property.... Piano.... not drum kit.....
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Re: Complaining neighbors and the law with drummers

Postby Mixedup » Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:10 pm

Steve Hill wrote:Jennifer: I work for a law firm and am qualified in the field.

If you wish SOS to appear on record as peddling irresponsible and dangerous advice which may end up in a forum member getting fined or his drums confiscated, that's your choice. I will leave you to conduct your discussion under your own terms.

I've also been around this subject a great deal, as a noise-maker, a nuisance sufferer, an SOS writer when researching articles on sound-proofing, and previously when working as a Stakeholder Communications Manager on some major building projects. I have to agree with Steve, in that while the environmental health and antisocial behaviour laws/guidelines do impose some specific limitations on noise-creation, they constitute only a fraction of the legal picture in the UK. A quick read up on the tort of nuisance, for example, might be in order...

All of this means that the OP really should heed the earlier advice not to take a stand on 'rights', because if it comes down to that, they will probably lose the argument. Is it reasonable to practice a loud instrument like acoustic drums to the degree required for professional performance in an untreated dwelling if that dwelling is in a residential area and close to other dwellings? Probably not. And all the less so if the university provides (as it must) suitable facilities for practice.

At the end of the day, a neighbour can easily make your life very unpleasant. You need to communicate with them and try to reach an understanding with them. If you can't then start booking the rehearsal rooms at college and make full use of the facilities you're paying for!
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Re: Complaining neighbors and the law with drummers

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:16 pm

Steve Hill wrote:Jennifer: I work for a law firm and am qualified in the field.


Not doubting it... but Jenny has quoted directly from the Environmental Protection website here:

http://www.environmental-protection.org.uk/noise/environmental-noise/noise-pollution/

Apparently, Environmental Protection UK is a national charity that provides expert advice. I've checked several local councils' websites all of which include links to this agency for further information about dealing with noise nusiance. From that it seems reasonable to me to presume that their site provides accurate information.

The EP.org site states:
Night time noise

The Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 amended the Noise Act 1996 and enables local authorities in England and Wales to tackle night time noise emitted from dwellings and gardens between the hours of 11.00 pm and 7.00 am. To enforce these powers local authorities must ensure that an environmental health officer takes reasonable steps to investigate complaints about noise emitted from dwellings. If the officer is satisfied that noise exceeds the permitted level, a warning notice may be served on the person responsible. If the warning is ignored, the officer may issue a fixed penalty notice of £100, enter the dwelling and confiscate the noise making equipment (obstructing confiscation carries a fine of up to £1000), or prosecute (fine up to £1000). In Scotland similar action can be taken under the Anti-Social Behaviour (Noise Control) (Scotland) Regulations 2005.An extension of the Noise Act came into force in February 2008, enabling local authorities in England and Wales to tackle night time noise from licensed premises.


Given this very clear statement, it doesn't seem appropriate to me to suggest that Jenny was "peddling irresponsible and dangerous advice". Should that be the case we'd better let Environmental Protection UK know at once!

However, it would seem more irresponsible, not to say petulant, to throw such an accusation at Jenny and, by extension SOS, without at least providing further supporting information.

But it is interesting that this information does appear to be significantly different to the 'expert advice' you offered. Can you explain why, please? Has something been overlooked somewhere?

I appreciate that there is a lot of relevant legislation that deals with noise pollution, including (apparently), but not limited to:

The Land Compensation Act 1973 and the Noise Insulation Regulations 1975 and 1996- allows for grants for the cost of sound insulation in premises subjected to noise from new or upgraded roads or railways which result in excessive noise levels beyond stated thresholds.

The Environment Protection Act 1990 (EPA). Part III treats noise as a statutory nuisance. By virtue of the Noise and Statutory Nuisance Act 1993, Part III extends to noise nuisance from vehicles (e.g. car alarms but not traffic noise), machinery and other equipment such as loudspeakers, in the street

The Control of Pollution Act 1974 (COPA). Part III provides legislative controls for construction site noise and certain levels of street noise.

The Noise and Statutory Nuisance Act 1993. Contains amendments to the EPA and COPA and also deals with noise from vehicles, burglar alarms and street equipment.

The Noise Act 1996- This criminalises certain forms of night time noise and gives local councils power to confiscate certain kinds of noise-making equipment.

The Housing Act 1996 and the Crime and disorder Act 1998- Both Acts tackle anti-social behaviour including excessive noise.

The Pollution Prevention and Control Act 1999- provides local authorities and the Environment Agency with powers to control emissions from industrial processes including noise emissions.

The Building Regulations 2000- regulates building development by requiring that construction meets certain standards, including sound insulation standards

The Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001-amends the Licensing Act of 1964 and gives the police summary powers to close a licensed premises that is causing excessive noise.

Anti Social Behaviour Act 2003- provides powers to close down noisy premises if they cause a public nuisance.

Firework Act 2003 and Fireworks Regulations 2004-provides controls on the use of fireworks, especially in public places. These include an outright ban on the use of powerful fireworks by unauthorised persons and on-the-spot fines for anyone using fireworks during anti-social hours (11pm to 7am). Under-18s are also banned from possessing or using most fireworks in public places or at anti-social hours.

The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 (CNEA) amends the Noise Act 1996 and grants local authorities with powers to investigate complaints from residents about excessive night noise coming from licensed or residential permits

Obviously I'm not qualified in the field to comprehend these things, but couold you tell me if the ability to levy a £5000 fine (per your claim) is hidden in one of these? Or somewhere else perhaps?

Hugh

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Re: Complaining neighbors and the law with drummers

Postby Frisonic » Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:07 am


Excellent instance to bring to the thread, which is important to all musicians (and deserves more elegant moderation - come on guys, be your better selves).

For what it's worth, I rent in a multi occupation building and there is a slight discrepancy about when noise is acceptable. My lease to the guy who rents us the place says 7am to 10pm (standard shorthold tenancy agreement from a well known estate agent). His lease to the freeholder says 8am to 11pm. So what? The general drift seems to be that between 8am and 10pm the angles are on your side, provided you aren't making too much noise. Being nocturnal myself its a shag but I live with it, respecting my neighbors and the fact that the polite world has to revolve around children (thus that whole Monday to Friday, nine to five myth... well its a myth to many). Curiously I have been under pressure by a number of my new neighbors to break the rules just to annoy a certain other neighbor who everybody hates. "I don't want to get evicted" I said". "You won't" They said. Just more societal abuse of musicians!

But seriously, an earlier point was made that the quality of said noise makes a difference. I'm sure that's true. Another point that has consistently been made is that there are other places to rehearse as a band than home. I've got my eye on the boiler room myself, for the loud stuff... and if that fails there is a church hall close by... and if that fails there are nasty rental rehearsal rooms a short drive away for not much an hour, split 2/3/4/5 ways...
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