Noise during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

We've had an increase in the number of noise complaints we've received when compared to this time last year.

We encourage residents to talk to the person responsible, before they report noise problems to us, as they may not realise the noise they're making is affecting others.

If the problem is not resolved you should start a noise nuisance diary. This will help when you report the problem to us.

These are unprecedented times when more people are at home. In line with government advice, we encourage residents to be considerate of their neighbours and more tolerant and patient if neighbours are making more noise than usual.

We've included some common examples of noise problems below and some guidance.

Pubs, clubs, cafes and restaurants

Entertainment venues are due to open soon, with outside areas being in use initially. Residents living close to these venues will have become used to them being shut.

As restrictions ease and businesses begin to open again noise from customers will return.

We ask that residents who may be affected by this noise be more tolerant than normal while businesses get back up and running.

To avoid disturbing nearby residents we will not be encouraging any amplified music during this time, only acoustic.

DIY noise

People may choose to complete those DIY tasks that they've been meaning to get around to.

Be considerate by only carrying out noisy DIY between 9am to 5pm. Try not to use noisy power tools for more than 3 hours a day.

Entertainment noise

You may want to catch up with your favourite box set or listen to your favourite artists. Be considerate by keeping the volume to a reasonable level that cannot be heard outside your home. It helps to keep the windows closed or use headphones.

Construction noise

The construction site near your home might normally be finished for the day when you return home from work. You might hear the work taking place on the site now you're home during the day.

Construction work is noisy. To work within the terms of the law and their planning conditions, construction sites must:

  • be managed well
  • keep to the hours of: 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday, 8am to 1pm on Saturday for noise generating work. No noisy work is allowed on Sundays and bank holidays
  • locate noisy activities as far away from neighbours as is practicable

Children playing

As schools across Medway closed on 23 March for an indefinite period, you may now hear your neighbour’s children playing or moving about at times when they would usually be at school. If they're asked to stay indoors as part of an isolation strategy they're more likely to be playing and moving around indoors.

If you're a parent please do your best to ensure that play activities do not disturb your neighbours.

If you're a neighbour hearing children, please understand that this is a difficult time for everyone and children may become restless when forced to stay indoors. This is particularly important advice when you have people living above or below you.

How we can help

We’ll continue to run a noise service. Some areas of the service have been restricted, but we're reviewing this all the time.

Report online

You can report an ongoing noise problem by completing our online form.

Report a noise nuisance