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Is a neighbour’s barking dog driving you crazy?

Complaints to local councils about dog barking increased by 43% between 2019-20 and 2021-2022, which is thought to be associated with increased dog ownership during lockdown and then many of those lockdown pets being left alone more when people went back to the office.

A dog barking for prolonged periods is classed as a “statutory noise nuisance” in law and owners can be taken to court if they do not do anything to stop it. Owners of dogs will often not realise that their dog is causing a nuisance to neighbours as the dog might only bark when it’s left alone in the house.  

If you are being disturbed by a barking dog, consider the fact that the owner might not be aware that the dog is being noisy when left alone. Therefore, your first step could be to let them know either by knocking on their door and politely raising the issue with them or by dropping a note through their letterbox. Some councils provide template letters to help you with wording. If they were not aware their dog was causing a nuisance, your neighbour might be very grateful to you for letting them know! 

If your approaches to your neighbour do not result in any improvement in the situation, you can report the issue to your local council which has a duty to investigate and might serve a noise abatement notice on your neighbour. All councils will have a policy and process on this, which you should be able to find on their website. The council might want you to provide evidence in the form of a journal outlining when you have been disturbed by the barking dog over a set period of time. Sometimes, councils will recommend mediation between you and your neighbour for noise nuisance and this is when a service like West Kent Mediation can help to facilitate discussions between you and your neighbour about the issue.

It’s worth bearing in mind that, if you are considering selling your home, any formal investigation by the council about noise nuisance would need to be declared to a potential new owner. Therefore, it’s advisable to try informal approaches first.

If you’re based in the Sevenoaks, Tonbridge and Malling, or Tunbridge Wells areas, contact West Kent Mediation to find out if we can help if you are being disturbed by a barking dog or any other neighbourhood noise nuisance. You can contact us by email via or by telephone on 01732 469696.

May 6, 2024
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