Noise/music complaint from tenant

Hi all,

I have a tenant who is playing his drums (I believe they are like conga drums) and my tenants in the flat beneath have raised a complaint about the level of noise and timings of the day. I understand he was playing some nights till 8am (though not longer than that and has actually stopped in the evenings now at my request).

I raised it as an issue to the tenant and he told me he tried to go down and speak to them amicably but they didn’t open the door. When he did see them, they allegedly said they had no issue. However, I still got a complaint a couple of months later. At this point we had just come out of lockdown, but still in the pandemic how we are now. I went to do an inspection on my flats and I spoke to them individually. The drum player said again he has reduced his hours and tried to speak to the people beneath, but they insisted they had no problem. During their inspection, I asked the tenants who complained to inform me if he plays late again or it becomes an unbearable nuisance. Instead, some 6 weeks later, after not hearing from them at all, they sent me a hostile text to inform me that if I don’t evict the tenant, they will take legal proceedings against the both of us. Obviously, at the moment, the government has made it hard to evict a tenant.

I approached the drumming tenant by email and he called me straight back whilst at the door of the tenant below the door. He had me on speaker and quite politely spoke to the complaining tenants about hours of the day they would agree are acceptable for him to play drums. They agreed 10 am to 3pm (which I heard, and it was not that he would play continuously during those hours). During this whole situation, I found the drum player understanding of what I was saying and he seems to have made some compromises to reduce the hours of the day he would play. These are now standing work hours and about 2/3 of the business day, thus not disturbing anyone morning or evening/night.

Sooner after I emailed the tenants who complained to confirm they’re happy and they told me they are not happy and do not agree and will pass it onto the relevant authorities as they feel I have not taken the necessary action.

Does anyone know what authorities the tenants may approach? Is this an instance where the council can use a compulsory purchase order against me? Are the hours of 10am to 3pm acceptable times?

There is another recent post on here regarding noise.

They would have to complain to the Environmental Health Officer at the local council and they would tell both tenants what they considered fair etc. (You could even tell the complaining tenants who to contact them it’s all between them).

EH then send out a diary for three weeks to the complaining tenants. If necessary I believe EH can give out recording equipment to capture the noise levels and duration.

Whatever the Environmental Officer decides is what they must all abide by.

Seems like you have done all you can. Now let the EH take over.


Really don’t think they will issue a compulsory purchase order against you.

It’s a simple case of noise disturbance which they will rule on.

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Thanks for the info! I must have missed that recent post!

Yes, I didn’t think a compulsory purchase order would be necessary here, but because the tenant mentioned it once or twice, it played on my mind.

I believe I cannot be held legally liable for the actions of someone else, and I believe I have done all I can do far as a landlord. Even if I decide to evict the tenants (which at this point I don’t see necessary), they would not vacate for 6 months it seems so yes, EH is their best option.

Thank you

It’s easily missed!

I don’t know if it’s the same in all local authorities but that is the procedure for mine.

Good luck !

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comp purchase is a load of tripe… Ask local authority about their "noise "officer. Then they get stuff in writing .Personally if I knew an applicant was a drummer he would not get into my flat ! Its D D . (drummer discrimination)


Another one for your ever growing list Colin!

you can tell I am in the warehouse in between insulation customers and nothing else to do. I have swept up !

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Unfortunately, we had no idea of the drums at the time!


Why doesn’t that surprise us!

Perhaps another question to add to the pre-screening list is do you play or own any instruments?

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Hi Mustafa

As far as I am aware that the resident should report to local authority noise pollution department.
They might ask resident to keep diary and might able to record the noise.

Landlords cannot complaint on behalf of their tenants that what I have been told in past from the noise pollution department.


i understand that,… its something not many would think of asking about.

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Thank you for the information. I will tell the complaining tenant

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Be careful Colin, you’ll be getting labelled a “music hater” if you discriminate against drummers… :slight_smile:

Just one more to add to the list, HB, pets, smokers, children and musicians. Pity the tenants can’t just pay the rent and live somewhere else - ah utopia…

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Personally, I used to tell my tenants who disturbed others that it was unacceptable at any time, day or night. Who knows what the other tenants lifestyles are, they may be night shift workers needing to sleep in the daytime. They all pay their rent and are all entitled to live peacefully, evict the nuisance tenant and retain all the others.

I spent an absolute fortune on sound insulating my flats, even to the levels close to cinema standards with acoustic hangers etc, but nothing will prevent disturbance from an inconsiderate tenant.

A drummer, or any other musician for that matter, should have a proper music studio to carry on such activities. It’s completely unreasonable to expect to be able to play in a rental flat with close neighbours.

Hang me for my hard line attitude if you wish, but you know I’m right!


I would never expect a tenant to put up with something I wouldnt, and someone on drums is out of order. Sounds as thought the tenant is intimidating the one below who feels threatened and darnt say anything to the face of the drummer.

I think the drummer is an unfair, selfish twat. Evict him.

  1. I would have told tenant with drums to stop as it’s a noise nuisance not negotiate times.

  2. And a landlord IS RESPONSIBLE for his tenants actions when knowingly allowing it.

  3. No one is going to compulsory purchase your flat.

  4. You should never put complaining tenants in the position you did. For instance, if they had complained to EH, it would be kept confidential who complained. Until point of court action as they would have to make a statement. It’s a massive data protection issue!! You are not allowed to discuss other tenants correspondence to other tenants. It was unfair of you to put call on speaker phone between them.

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Hi Mustafa.
Do you mind if I share my experience of a noisy neighbour?

My complaint is about 24 hour music, which started about 5 months ago.

The music was coming from the back of the house in the next street, their back garden is literally 100 feet from my own flat.

First I contacted the council by email (mid June). They sent me an info pack & form to fill in.
An Environmental Health Officer got in touch and asked more questions and actually warned me the process could be long and drawn out (covid making things even slower). She said after 2300 would be the best time to visit as no one is allowed to play any music between this time and 0800. She arranged a night time visit at the weekend. A few weeks later, The Noise Team arrived at 2350 (50 mins late) Sadly, they heard nothing, there are quiet parts to music, some of it doesn’t bother me, but when those drums(?) kick in, they can last for 25 minutes - at any time of day or night.

The Noise Team noted I had a hearing defect, speech is a problem for me but everyday noise isn’t.
They stayed 15 minutes, no longer because of Covid. Then left.

A few days later, the EHO emailed me to say they heard no noise (it didn’t pick up until about 40 minutes after they left). She suggested buzzing from my fridge freezer was one of the noises I was hearing and also said I might be suffering from Tinnitus and Musical Hallucinations. She advised me to seek help from a Doctor and even said he could speak to her if need be.

It’s mid September now and while this has being going on, I have been looking at rental elsewhere. I’m in social housing at the moment (been here 15 years) and have up until the noise problem, never looked at private renting. I’ve applied to see a few properties but a not so good credit rating will probably kill any chance I have.

Mustafa, Is your tenant in the West Yorkshire area by any chance? Surely not the same?

Kind regards

PS I want a landlord like Leslie!! “I think the drummer is an unfair, selfish twat. Evict him.”

That is appalling what the EH officer said about you. Surely they must know the noise comes and goes?
Can the Housing Association help at all?


Hi Amy,

Maybe the way I explained it wasn’t clear, but I didn’t put anyone on the loudspeaker. I was on the phone with the tenant who drums and he went down to the flat below to politely discuss it and it put me on loudspeaker whilst they were speaking. I had no idea he was doing that as he didn’t say anything until he knocked on their door. We were just talking about the situation up until then.