Taking formal steps to deal with noise in strata
While apartment living is a shared living space, some noisy neighbours can be less considerate than others. If your issue with noise in strata is ongoing and you’ve already tried a friendly conversation and taken the necessary informal steps, then here’s more serious steps you can take as below.
Here are three formal steps you can take to deal with noise issues in your strata property:
- A noise abatement order can be applied for from your relevant state governing body (NCAT, QCAT, VCAT)
- If breaches of these orders continue to occur, fines can be imposed
- If the problem continues and there is a second breach within 12 months, the strata committee can apply to the state governing body for orders including that your neighbour pay a fine to the owners corporation.
Specific ways to deal with noisy strata neighbours in your state:
In New South Wales
If the strata committee does not act, any owner may apply to NCAT for orders about the dispute. Any owner or the owners corporation can apply to NCAT for orders. For more information on NCAT and how to make an application, see the NCAT website. Before applying to NCAT, you should attempt mediation. NCAT may refuse to accept an application if there has been no attempt at mediation. Find more information on how to handle noise issues in NSW here.
If you wish to make your compliant formal, you would have to submit a Form 1 to your body corporate and take their help to resolve any disputes. Your body corporate manager can also help you with further details.
If self-resolution or committee mediation fails, you can apply for dispute resolution with the Commission of Body Corporate and Community Management (BCCM). Read about this process on the government page here. You can also click here download our free guide to find more helpful tips around body corporate living.
If you don’t notice any change, or feel intimidated, you can escalate the issue by asking your committee to issue them with the relevant Notice to Comply, then seek a fine if they continue to make noise. If this does not resolve the issue you can apply for mediation/conciliation through the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).
Other authorities to refer to:
Making a noise compliant to local council
Local council can also act under the nuisance provisions of the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008. Councils are obliged to investigate noise nuisances. Under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act, councils can serve prevention notices on residents and business people requiring them to control offensive noise.
Making a noise compliant through The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA)
The Environment Protection Act 1970 makes it an offence to cause unreasonable noise from any residential premises. Residential noise may be considered unreasonable at any time of the day, depending on its volume, intensity and duration, and the time, place and other circumstances in which it is emitted. The EPA works in partnership with local government, Police and Roads and Maritime Services to enforce noise control regulations. You may also be able to report neighbourhood noise issues to your state’s EPA office.
If you’d like to find out more on formally managing noise issues in your strata property, download our FREE Community Living guide on managing disputes. Or for a consultation to review your by-laws by our Kemps Petersons Legal team, click here.