Nuisance noise caused by neighbours makes up the vast majority of noise complaints in Ireland. However, there are regulations governing their actions. The main regulations come under the Environmental Protection Agency Act 1992 (Noise) Regulations 1994.
Private Rented Tenants:
Those in private rented accommodation are dealt with by the Residential Tenancies Act 2004. The act helps impose minimum obligations on landlords and tenants of private residential properties including:
- Tenants are not to engage, or allow visitors to engage, in anti-social behaviour, which disturbs the peace
- Landlords must enforce these tenant obligations
Under the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009, tenants of local authority housing are obliged to avoid any nuisance (including noise) to the occupiers of any other dwelling. If the noise persists, the tenants are in breach of their tenancy agreement and the local authority can take steps to enforce the terms of the agreement.
There is also leverage in the act for people to complain to the Residential Tenancies Board, if they feel the landlord is not acting accordingly. All privately-rented properties must be registered with the RTB. You can check if a property is registered by contacting them.
Local Authority Tenants:
Local authority tenants usually have regulations on their behaviour written into their tenancy agreement. This is the legal basis of the relationship between the local authority and its tenants. Local authorities' power, in this case, comes under Section 62 of the Housing Act 1966. They have the authority to secure an eviction, where a tenant has breached the conditions of their tenancy agreement.
The first point of contact, if you have a complaint regarding a local authority tenant, is your local authority.
Nuisance noise caused by a private home owner comes under other regulations. In this case, the person experiencing the noise nuisance will have to avail of the powers of the Noise Regulations. They state that any individual person, or a local authority, may complain to a District Court seeking an Order to deal with the noise nuisance.
Installers of alarm systems are required to have licences from the Private Security Authority. In order to get a licence, they have to adhere to certain standards, including maximum times for the sounding of external alarms – the maximum under the European standard is 15 minutes. The local authority, the EPA or an individual may take action under the EPA Act to deal with breaches of these standards.
Some local authorities have issued guidelines that owners/occupiers of alarmed property should nominate at least two keyholders who can be contacted in the event of the activation of the alarm. Local authorities may also serve a notice under the Environmental Protection Agency Act, 1992. New, tougher measures were proposed by the previous Government, such as giving power to the Gardaí to turn off alarms - on the outside of premises - that are causing annoyance.
The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) is responsible for controlling noise from aircraft. The EU rules on noise at large airports are implemented in Ireland by the European Communities (Air Navigation and Transport Rules and Procedures for Noise Related Operating Restrictions at Airports) Regulations 2003.The Dublin Airport Authority release reports on noise from the aviation industry in Ireland, see the latest one here. In 2019, the Aircraft Noise (Dublin Airport) Regulation Bill was introduced to deal with noise levels at Dublin Airport and to minimize noise pollution with regards to further developments on site.
No standards have been set for the operation of car alarms.
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