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Taking Action Yourself: in Scotland

If you are not satisfied with the council’s response, you can take action yourself. If you live in Scotland, you can take action in your local sheriff court. You can either argue that the noise amounts to a statutory nuisance or you can sue a noisy neighbour for damages.

Statutory nuisance

An action for statutory nuisance has to be raised by 'summary application' to the court. The clerk of the court should be able to help you with the formalities.

If the court is persuaded that there is a statutory nuisance, it will serve an abatement order, and the person responsible may be prosecuted and fined if the noise does not stop.

If you spend money in bringing the proceedings (such as fees for solicitors), the court can order the person responsible for the noise to pay your expenses. But if you lose the case, you may have to pay their legal costs and other expenses.

You are legally required to give the person responsible for the noise at least three days’ notice of your intention to take your case to court. It is a good idea to send the notice by recorded delivery.

Action for damages

You can also raise a 'small claim' (for claims up to £3000) or a 'summary cause' (for claims between £3001 and £5000) in the sheriff court. Both procedures are relatively inexpensive and straightforward. In most cases, you should not need a lawyer, but you can use one if you prefer.

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