Residential noise

There are times when the noise you are making in your neighbourhood may be considered unreasonable to your neighbours.

The best approach for dealing with noisy neighbours is to talk to them and work together on a solution to settle the problem.

The Department of Justice have some helpful videos on discussing neighbourhood problems.

You may feel anxious about approaching your neighbour, but remember that they are sometimes not aware they are disturbing you. Talking about the noise early on can help make neighbours aware of the problem and be more considerate in future.

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) have a document called Annoyed by Noise? for tips for talking to your neighbour. 

The legal information

Section 48A(5) of the Environment Protection Act defines noise as being unreasonable if certain items of equipment are audible in a habitable room of a neighbour's house outside of prescribed hours.

The EPA's Noise Schedule specifies these items of equipment and the prohibited hours under the Environment Protection (Residential Noise) Regulations 1997.

Noise from the Prescribed Items in the noise schedule must not be heard in a habitable room of another residential premises during the prohibited times for that item.

It should be noted that equipment used outside prohibited hours may be unreasonable, depending on the circumstances of use.

At all times a person must not emit or cause or suffer to be emitted unreasonable noise from any residential premises.

This means that you should not generate noise which could be deemed to be unreasonable to your neighbour.

If the noise is ongoing and unreasonable you can make a noise complaint to Council.

Page last updated: Monday, 6 July 2020