Complain about noise that's finished
Summary: How to contact the university, landlord and others to complain about a recent event that affected you.
Step 1: Complain to university
Send your complaint to the relevant university (see below), including as many as possible of these key details:
the street address of the property
the times when the event took place
how loud it was (could you hear it 20, 50, 100 yards away?)
a description of what was happening
the presence of doormen, if any
if relevant, what time you went to complain
who you spoke to
what response you received
the impact the event had on you
if you contacted Operation Beech, provide feedback
University contact details:
University of Bristol
Community Liaison Manager
University of the West of England
Community Liaison Manager
(If you don’t know which university they’re with, email both and ask them to check their address registers.)
Step 2: Copy me in
I’d be grateful if you would send a copy of your complaint to me (Andrew Waller) at firstname.lastname@example.org with the house address in the subject line. Collating this information helps my efforts (in conjunction with residents groups) to push the university, the police and the council for a better response to these problems. I may also report basic details of the event on this website (see my incident reports). This may include quoting selected comments from emails I receive. I will not publish the house number of the property, nor identify the sender of the email, or any residents or students named in it.
Step 3: Others to contact
I recommend copying information about noise incidents to all the other bodies who are potentially involved, not just the relevant university:
Landlords and/or agents
Most student properties are HMOs (Houses of Multiple Occupation) licensed by Bristol City Council. To obtain details of landlords and agents contact the Private Housing Team at email@example.com. The landlord/agents may well be unaware what took place in their property. They have a duty to try to curb anti-social behaviour, so should raise the matter with their tenants.
Local beat police
If you called 999 or 101 during the incident (or Operation Beech), the police may already be in contact with you. If not, you could report it to 101 and ask the local beat team to follow up with you. Sometimes they will visit houses after a party and underline that such behaviour is unacceptable. You can also go to the Avon & Somerset Police website, select the Your Area tab, then navigate to your local beat page. Click the green Contact the Team button to open a message window.
Bristol City Council
— Noise now falls under Neighbourhood Enforcement. There is an online noise complaints page here, but it's designed for people who are experiencing “ongoing” problems with noisy neighbours and you will be asked to fill in a 14-day noise diary. There is no provision to report student parties: the page says “We can’t investigate one-off complaints.”
— The Private Housing Team is responsible for licensing landlords and agents and ensuring they meet legal duties to manage properties correctly. This includes a duty to ensure tenants don't disturb neighbours, and to handle complaints properly. If you complain to a landlord or agent and get an inadequate response, report it to Private Housing at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can find contact details for your ward councillors here.
Step 4: Talk to neighbours
If your neighbours were also affected by the noise, urge them to complain too. It can also be useful to contact your local residents group, if you have one. There are some links here. (If there isn't one for your area and these problems are frequent, maybe you'd like to create one, or at least form a WhatsApp or email list. I may be able to put you in touch with other residents in your area.)
Step 5: Join up!
If you want to stay up to date with what's happening noise-wise, please sign up to receive my newsletters. I am pursuing various conversations with the bodies listed above and hope there will be progress to report from time to time.
Version: September 2019
This page presents my advice. Users must make their own judgment. If you complain in person to people creating noise, try to remain calm and business-like, and avoid inflammatory words or action.