If you find yourself on the receiving end of a dog noise nuisance complaint, get in touch with our animal law solicitors.
We offer a reduced cost fixed fee telephone appointment for only £60 for up to 20 minutes and will utilise over two decades’ worth of experience to offer legal advice.
Whilst there is no set definition as to what constitutes nuisance barking, owners can find themselves in a legal dispute over the matter. As a general rule, it will be regarded as a statutory nuisance if the noise is of a character which makes it intrusive or irritating.
Factors taken into account in making this assessment include:
- The volume of the barking
- The duration of the barking
- The time of day in which the barking takes place
If a dog noise nuisance complaint is made to a Council, they must investigate. The Council will usually serve an informal warning letter but if this fails to resolve the issue they may then serve a Noise Abatement Notice (or a Community Protection Notice). There are 21 days to appeal against this Notice. If the barking continues, the person responsible for the dog may be prosecuted under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
If convicted of breaching a Noise Abatement Notice, the offender may be ordered to pay an unlimited fine and the Court may impose a Criminal Behaviour Order, which could have the effect of requiring them to reduce the number of dogs owned.
Alternatively the Council may use the procedure under the Anti-social Behaviour Crime & Policing Act 2014 for a Community Protection Notice).
If your neighbour approaches you with a complaint that your dog is barking excessively, we recommend that you do the following to prevent a dog noise nuisance complaint being made:
- Make your own enquiries to check whether it is, in fact, your dog that is the cause of the problem.
- If it is your dog that is the cause, take action to reduce the amount your dog barks. This could include changing your daily patterns or investing in dog behaviour modification training. Speak to a local behaviourist who may be able to help.
- Tackling noise nuisance from a barking dog isn’t going to be straight forward and there’s unlikely to be a ‘quick fix’.If it’s boredom barking, then perhaps look to give the dog more exercise and if it needs to be left alone then leave it with distractions such as stuffed Kongs.You could consider getting a pet sitter / taking it to doggie day care / get a family member to check on the dog while you’re out.If it is separation anxiety and it’s not possible to leave the dog with company, then your dog could be getting extremely distressed when you go out.
If someone has submitted a formal complaint to the Council about your dog barking, get in touch with us. We can offer legal advice and even represent you at Court should the complaint go that far.