How Long Can An Alarm Legally Sound?
For strata scheme buildings in New South Wales, an occupier of any premises must not cause or permit a building intruder alarm installed on those premises to be used so as to emit noise that can be heard within a habitable room in any residential premises, (regardless of whether any door or window to that room is open), unless the alarm is so constructed and regulated that:
(a) in the case of an alarm installed before 1 December 1997 it automatically ceases to sound, whether continuously or intermittently within 10 minutes after being activated by a detection device and it cannot be reactivated (except by a different detection device) until it has been manually or automatically reset, or
(b) in the case of an alarm installed on or after 1 December 1997 it automatically ceases to sound, whether continuously or intermittently, within 5 minutes after being activated by a detection device and it cannot be reactivated (except by a different detection device) until it has been manually reset.
It is important to note that it makes no difference if the alarm is sounding due to a break in or because the alarm is faulty.
The occupier of a lot in a strata scheme is responsible for the associated alarm system and could be fined if it sounds for longer than the permitted time.
What If My Neighbour’s Alarm Keeps Sounding?
The police and council officers have powers to issue penalty notices for alarms that sound longer than the period specified above Council officers may also issue notices that require a faulty alarm to be repaired or replaced.
In addition to the above, an owners corporation can resolve to issue a notice to comply with by-law 1 against the owner or occupier whose alarm is causing a nuisance to neighbouring residents in the scheme.
Owners Corporation’s Right Of Entry To A Lot
An owners corporation has no power of entry to an occupier’s lot in the scheme. The owners corporation must seek mediation with the occupier whose alarm is faulty to gain entry to their lot and if mediation is unsuccessful or is declined by the occupier, the owners corporation is required to seek an order under section 145 of the Strata Schemes Management Act 1996 to gain access to the lot.
If you need advice on any of the issues referred to above, please contact Michael Pobi on (02) 8710 3430.
Please note that the information contained in this article is not legal advice and should not be relied upon. You should obtain legal advice before you take any action or otherwise rely on the content of this article.