Noise Control Advice - Parties

Out of Hours Noise Service

Please be aware that Oxford City Council no longer provides an out of hours weekend noise service and will not attend night time noise complaints. You can report incidents of nuisance noise online via our report it form or email If you are reporting disorder in the street, drunken or rowdy behaviour this should be reported through to Thames Valley Police.

If you are planning a party

  • Try to hold the party somewhere where your neighbours will not hear the music. Perhaps you could hire a hall for the party.
  • Warn your neighbours in advance - not just those who live next door, but people across the road and those who back on to your property.  This gives them the option to go away for the night, if they can. You could even consider inviting them. 
  • Don't think that because your neighbours have been pre-warned you can be as loud as you wish. Your neighbours still have the right to complain even if you had advised them of the party. 
  • Give your neighbours a finishing time - one that is reasonable, and stick to it. Even the most tolerant of neighbours won't accept being kept awake all night.
  • Give neighbours a telephone number to call if they need to let you know of a problem and, if they call you, respond appropriately.
  • Keep music levels down, especially the bass, and do not hire in a disco at your home. Think carefully about where you put the speakers, to minimise sound breakout and do not play loud music outdoors. Reduce music levels after about 11pm when neighbours may want to sleep.
  • Bring people inside before 11pm even if you start the party outdoors, and close windows and doors, to control noise more easily.
  • Don't invite too many people for the size of your property so that everyone can be indoors, and make sure you know your guests, so that you can trust them, as you will be responsible for them.
  • Ask your guests to leave quietly, without slamming your door or their car doors, beeping horns or shouting/laughing outside your house.
  • Do not have parties too often, as complaints are more likely when people are disturbed regularly.

If your neighbours are planning a party

  •  Remember that people are allowed to have parties, but this is usually an occasional occurrence associated with a special event, such as a birthday. Frequent loud parties that cause disturbance can be considered to be unreasonable. 
  • Speak to your neighbour about the party beforehand and tell them your concerns. They may be able to reassure you that the event will not be unreasonably loud. Try to reach an agreement on the time the party will finish, when people will be brought indoors and when music will be turned down.
  • Ask for a telephone number you can ring in case you are disturbed and to save you knocking on the door at night. 
  • Consider going away that evening so that you are not disturbed. 

The Noise App

The Noise App is a software application that can be downloaded from Apple and Android app stores.  The free application allows residents to record noise issues on their smartphone or tablet and then sends the recording directly to the City Council to investigate.

The new system means investigators can receive noise recordings almost immediately and act more quickly if the noise is particularly bad.

Once you have recorded the noise, forward the recording to