Taking serious steps to deal with noisy neighbours in your strata property
While apartment living is a shared living space, noisy neighbours can be less considerate than others. If your issue is ongoing – you’ve already tried to have a friendly conversation and taken the informal steps, then here’s some of the more serious steps to deal with noisy neighbours in strata.
Here’s two key topics we cover in dealing with noisy neighbours in strata through more serious steps:
PICA Group’s top five serious steps to deal with noisy neighbours in a strata property:
- Start with a friendly, honest conversation
In the first instance, try to have a friendly, honest conversation as the first step in dispute resolution. You may wish to communicate with the neighbour personally, and then preferably in writing, as this may be needed as evidence of self-resolution later.
Let your neighbour know that the noise levels are disturbing your enjoyment of your property. Sometimes they may just not be aware how sound can travel, or they may not be aware of the by-laws or rules of the scheme.
The benefits of self-resolution could assist with stopping the issue from getting more serious. It’s also faster and cheaper and could lead to a better relationship with your neighbour, which in turn should stop further disputes.
- Address the matter formally if your noisy neighbour doesn’t cooperate
If the friendly approach fails and your neighbour is not willing to adjust their noise levels, the next steps is to take the matter to the strata committee.
Approach the committee to write to the owner and mediate on your behalf. Your strata manager can also help you with the matter. Your letter should include dates and times of the noise.
If other owners or occupiers are also concerned you could consider making a joint complaint or sending your complaints at the same time.
- Issue a “Notice to Comply with a By-Law”
The strata committee may raise your complaint with your neighbour. If this does not fix the problem and they think that your neighbour is in breach of the by-laws or building rules, they may issue a “Notice to Comply with a By-Law”.
The notice will inform them of which by-law they have breached, explain how they have breached the by-law, and warn them that if they continue to breach the by-law or rule, they may apply to the relevant state governing body (NCAT, QCAT, VCAT) to seek an order.
- Go to mediation
If peaceful talks with your neighbour and a “Notice to Comply with a By-Law” has not worked, an owner or the strata committee can also make use of a specialised mediation services that are available from your relevant state governing body (NCAT, QCAT, VCAT).
- Adjudication – specific ways to deal with noisy neighbours in your state:
If all the above steps have failed, a noise abatement orders 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.