How to Make a Noise Complaint (2019 Update)
Are loud noises coming from next door constantly keep you up at night, or disrupting your quiet evening? Read about how to make a noise complaint here.
What is a Noise Disturbance?The definition of noise disturbance or ‘offensive noise’ can differ according to the legislation of each Australian state or territory. Generally, the noise may be harmful, or unreasonably interfere with your comfort. It may also be a noise hat is restricted by local regulations. These include chainsaws and home theatre systems.
How to Make a Noise Complaint
Talk to the Person Causing the NoiseThe person or people making the noise may not be aware that their conduct amounts to noise disturbance. Before taking any formal action, try to address the issue with them and work out a suitable solution. You should try to be considerate when bringing a noise complaint, as your neighbour may not realise that there is an issue. Further, it may be an issue that’s hard to control, such as a crying infant.
Contact your Local CouncilLocal Councils are allowed to serve notices on the occupiers of homes or businesses. These notices can request them to stop offensive noise or clarify the level of noise that is appropriate. Notices cover noisy animals, or equipment such as swimming pool pumps, power tools or radios. A notice can restrict the amount of time an activity is conducted in the day.However, people who receive a notice can appeal against it. If the person causing the noise does not comply with the notice, the local council may issue a fine or prosecute them.
Seek a Noise Abatement OrderIf your neighbours are being consistently noisy, with noisy appliances or a barking dog, you can take action without assistance from the local council or a regulator. You can do this by requesting a noise abatement order from your local court. You can also ask your legal adviser for help, or find a suitable lawyer online to advise you. Fees apply if you decide to seek a noise abatement order.If the Court approves the order, they may request your neighbour to stop the noise or prevent it from recurring. If they do not comply with the notice, the local council may issue a fine or they could be prosecuted.Similarly to a notice, the person charged with causing the noise can appeal against the order.
Contact the PoliceIf you contact the police to make a noise complaint, the police can:
- Issue a warning to the person responsible for the noise; or
- Issue a noise abatement direction, which directs the person to stop making the noise.
Licensed venues entertainment propertiesWhile licensed premises such as pubs or clubs may create unreasonable noise after business hours, these businesses are subject to city controls, such as prescribed noise limits. These limits are designed to balance with the existing background noise of the area. You can contact the body that regulates the noise of licensed venues such as pubs and clubs in your area, or, get in touch with a business lawyer.
ConclusionNo longer do you have to save up for a good pair of heavy-duty headphones. All residents have a right to enjoy their property without incessant outside noise. By knowing what your rights are, you can save yourself the stress and contact your local council or the police.
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Sydney is a Paralegal at Lawpath working in our content team, which works to provide free legal guides to enhance public access to legal resources. With a keen interest in Tort and IP Law, her research focuses on small businesses, and how they can better navigate complex legal procedures.