Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Face Down the Music

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Face Down the Music

Article excerpt

Byline: KAREN WHITBURN

The pub opposite my home has live music on Fridays and Saturdays until2am. I am kept awake by the music and by rowdy people leaving. I have asked theowner to turn down the music but he is unsympathetic. He tells me a latelicence was granted by the council and there is nothing he can do once peopleleave the pub. How can I get a good night's sleep? Q

The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 gives councils new powers toreduce noise disturbance between 11pm and 7am.

The provisions are intended to empower local authorities to deal quickly andeffectively with one-off incidents of excessive noise from licensed premises.You should ask a council officer to investigate. If they do, and find the noiselevel excessive, they can serve a warning notice requiring the pub owner toreduce the noise. If the pub owner does not comply, and an offence iscommitted, a fine of up to [pounds sterling]5,000 can be imposed.

As no fixed decibel levels have yet been set, specifying what is an acceptablevolume, the investigating officer has discretion to decide whether or not toserve a warning notice. If they do not do so, there will be no offence. If anoffence is committed, then in addition to the fine, the officer has the powerunder the Noise Act 1996 to seize, forfeit and dispose of noise equipment thatcontinuously reaches the level specified in a formal notice.

Although these powers are useful in combating the noise nuisance you aresuffering, the success of an individual case will depend on the level ofnight-time services offered by your council and the diligence of theinvestigating officer.

A

I am moving out of my parents' home and into a flat, and shall be taking myfirst job this year. I left college in the summer and do not have a great dealof spare cash. My landlord requires me to pay a deposit but I am worried that Imight not get the cash back at the end of the tenancy. Will my money be safe? Q

Since April 2007, new arrangements have been put in place to protect tenants'deposits, and to ensure that they are repaid at the end of a tenancy agreementif the tenant has performed all of their obligations. …

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