Strata Lawyer & Strata By Laws Sydney        02 8324 7565

Quite often residents living in strata schemes are unaware that their daily activities may cause a level of noise which another resident finds intolerable and/or offensive. Although by-law 1 (Noise) regulates noise in a strata scheme and an owners corporation can take steps to enforce its by-laws against the resident that is making the noise, the owners corporation has no statutory duty to do so. Too often I hear stories that a resident had to take action against the resident who was making the noise via mediation and then NCAT Adjudication.

Although local council and the police have powers to stop offensive noise, what can you do if you are dissatisfied with the response from your local council or the police. You can seek a noise abatement order which is a court order issued to stop offensive noise or to prevent offensive noise from recurring.

A resident or a person in a commercial or industrial premises who is affected by offensive noise can seek a noise abatement order under section 268 of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997.

Offensive noise is defined in the above Act as being that, by reason of its level, nature, character or quality, or the time at which it is made, or any other circumstances:

(a) is harmful to (or is likely to be harmful to) a person who is outside the premises from which it is emitted, or

(b) interferes unreasonably with (or is likely to interfere unreasonably with) the comfort or repose of a person who is outside the premises from which it is emitted, or

(c) that is of a level, nature, character or quality prescribed by the regulations or that is made at a time, or in other circumstances, prescribed by the regulations.

If the Local Court is satisfied that your neighbour is causing an offensive noise or that the noise is likely to recur, the Court may order them to stop the noise or prevent a recurrence. If the person fails to comply with the order, they could be prosecuted.

An order can be appealed to the Land and Environment Court within 21 days of making the order.

If you have any queries about noise abatement orders, please contact us.

Please note that the information contained in this article is not legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. You should obtain legal advice before you take any action or otherwise rely upon the contents of this article.