Dáil Éireann - Volume 613 - 02 February, 2006
Written Answers. - Environmental Policy.
Mr. F. McGrath Mr. F. McGrath
216. Mr. F. McGrath asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the strategies in place to deal with noisy neighbours; the way in which people deal with this issue; and if he will work with the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform and Dublin City Council on this matter. [3646/06]
Mr. Roche Mr. Roche
Mr. Roche: A number of legislative measures are in place to address the issue of noise nuisance. Under the Environmental Protection Agency Act 1992 (Noise) Regulations 1994, a local authority or any person may seek an  order in the District Court to have noise giving reasonable cause for annoyance abated. The procedures involved have been simplified to allow action to be taken without legal representation. A public information leaflet outlining the legal avenues available to persons experiencing noise nuisance is available from my Department and on the Department’s website, www.environ.ie.
In the case of noise nuisance being caused by individuals in private rented accommodation, the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 imposes minimum statutory obligations on landlords and tenants of private residential tenancies. Tenant obligations under the Act include an obligation not to engage, or allow visitors to engage, in anti-social behaviour which is defined as including persistent noise that interferes with the peaceful occupation of other dwellings in the neighbourhood. The Act also imposes an obligation on landlords to enforce the tenant obligations. There is provision in the Act for third parties, adversely affected by a failure on the part of a landlord to enforce the tenant obligations, to refer a complaint to the Private Residential Tenancies Board in accordance with the procedures in the Act. However, it should be noted with regard to the board’s dispute resolution service, that if an alternative legal remedy, such as the remedy provided for under the Environmental Protection Agency Act 1992 (Noise) Regulations 1994, is available and is pursued by a person, that person may not also refer the matter to the board.
Noise nuisance and other problems caused by local authority tenants are also covered under legislation. The tenancy agreement, which is the legal basis of the relationship between the local authority and its tenants, will generally contain provisions in relation to the type of behaviour that is acceptable and that which is not. The local authority is empowered under section 62 of the Housing Act 1966 to initiate proceedings to secure an eviction where a tenant has breached the conditions of the tenancy agreement. I am satisfied that adequate statutory provisions are in place to address neighbourhood noise nuisance. My Department consults and liaises with other Departments and local authorities on associated issues on an ongoing basis.
Dáil Éireann 613 Written Answers. Environmental Policy.