feline1 wrote:I am pretty surprised, though, that your local council's Environmental Health people cannot witness breaches "outside office hours" - not least because one of the typical rules of legal thumb for whether noise constitutes a "statutory nuisance" is that it is occuring between 11pm and 7am...! How can they ascertain this if they only work 9 to 5!?
Brighton's lot will come round as late as 3am at the weekends.
This suggests to me another route: your council will have a formal Complaints procedure. If you follow that, and don't achieve satisfaction, you can take the matter to the Local Government Ombudsman. This would be a damn sight cheaper that taking the council to court.
I did some checking into this and it seems to vary for different Council authorities and they have no standard set of rules they work from..although you're right, they are supposed to come out and witness at "anti-social hours".
When I had the noise abatement notice issued and was wanting them to witness a breach, I called three times on different occasions when it would have been perfect. One time nobody answered as it was after 6pm I just got a recorded message saying they would call back, but nobody did..another time they said nobody was available to come out (during office hours), and another time they actually did come out but took so long the noise had dropped to a level the officer said wasn't a statutory breach unless it was occurring at that level after 11pm.
Redditch's EVH have some rule that they won't come out between 12am and 7am if my memory serves. And at the time when I was having most of my problems with the tenant it was when she had 3 people sharing the flat and they were partying hard until 2 or 3am with the music on loud.
I called the police and they said its not their job and to call Environmental Health, but gave me a crime incident number over the phone. Heh.
I actually had it out with EVH a big row with their senior guy who was a real Mr Know-All and one of those "don't question me" types. He tried to make out that their procedural rules on when they can come out, how long you can record for, over what duration etc, are all rules set down by central government under the Environmental Health legislation. When I told him they weren't and asked him to show me which parts of the Act stipulated those restrictions, he couldn't. Then he changed his tune to, "oh we know what the Courts will accept as evidence, we have to do how we think the case will succeed else its a waste of time and money". Utterly arrogant! Surely its for the judge to determine that.