The Noise Act came into force in the Isle of Man in 2006. The details below are a simplified overview of the Noise Act and what should happen when a noise disturbance occurs and a complaint is made. It is not the full legal document. See downloadable documents for the full and official version of the Noise Act 2006.
Night time noise complaint
A complaint may be made to the local constabulary by a person in a nearby dwelling to the source of a noise nuisance. To constitute a night time noise complaint, the noise will have to be at an unreasonable level, and be between the hours of 11pm and 7am. There are exceptions, these can include agricultural land, emergency services, local authorities, and licensed premises and clubs, where restrictions exist that dictate sound levels and times of operation.
The warning notice
On investigating a complaint, the police may issue a warning notice to the offending person. If so, the notice will confirm that the authorised officer believes the noise to be unreasonable, and state when the noise has to stop. It will also warn the person to whom the notice is given that they may be guilty of an offence.
The notice should be given to the person believed to be responsible for the noise. If such a person cannot be found, then the notice, addressed to the occupier, should be placed in conspicuous view on the premises. The notice must also contain details of when the noise took place and what will occur if the alleged offender does not comply with its requirements.
A person found guilty of committing an offence could be issued with a fixed penalty notice, which will contain the timescale by which the person has to pay the fixed penalty, the amount involved, and to whom the penalty should be paid. The fixed penalty notice can be given to a person directly or, if this is not possible, then it will be addressed to the occupier and be placed in a conspicuous position on the offending premises. On the 15th day after the fixed penalty notice has been issued, if no payment has been received, a reminder letter will be sent to the offender giving them a further 7 days in which to submit payment. If payment is not received after this extended period proceedings will commence to pursue the outstanding amount involved.
Powers of entry and seizure
If noise continues after a warning notice has been served, the police may enter the premises involved, and either disarm or seize the source of the noise (this includes electronics and animals). If necessary, the police may use reasonable force as long as a warning notice has been issued in respect of the noise, and that noise has continued after the notice was issued. At that stage anyone who obstructs the police in dealing with the source of noise would be committing an offence of obstruction. The penalty for such an offence is up to 3 months imprisonment and/or a £2500 fine.
Guidance in making a complaint
If you wish to make a complaint about a night time noise complaint, please follow the advice below.
In all cases, the problem should be reported to the Isle of Man Constabulary via Police Headquarters tel: +44 1624 631212.
The report should be made when the noise is ongoing as it should be witnessed by a police officer so action may be taken.
You should also subsequently report the incident to your housing authority.
Noise during other parts of the day
The information contained on this page relates to night time noise. However, a noise problem may occur during the day time. For advice on how to address that type of problem, visit the anti social behaviour page. If the problem persists, find out what you can do by reading the neighbour noise problems page.