What can you do about neighbourhood noise?
In the first instance, approaching the person making the noise may solve the problem amicably. Often people are unaware their activities are affecting others.
Council's Planning & Environment Department addresses significant noise nuisances, taking action if the noise is considered a public nuisance.
Under the Protection Operations Act 1997, local councils can serve various notices on people occupying homes and businesses, requiring them to control offensive noise and advising them what noise levels are acceptable.
For a comprehensive list of noise sources regulated in residential areas, visit the Environmental Protections Agency's (EPA) website.
To make a complaint regarding a significant noise nuisance please contact us.
How to prevent neighbourhood noise problems:
- Let your neighbours know in advance if you are going to be doing something noisy like having a party, doing building workor using a chainsaw etc.
- Be mindful of your neighbours when playing amplified music or using power tools etc.
- Keep the noise in your backyard or on your balcony down so it won't disturb your neighbours, especially during the evening and at night.
- Avoid revving the car's engine repeatedly when you turn on your car's ignition.
- Choose quiet models when buying equipment such as air conditioners, pool pumps, and gardening equipment including leaf blowers and lawn mowers
- Think about the impact on your neighbours when installing household equipment such as air conditioners, pumps and rainwater tanks.
- Enclose pool and spa pumps to muffle the noise so it doesn not reach your neighbours and run pumps only when necessary within the permitted times.
If a dog is well looked after, it will generally not bark excessively and disturb neighbours. Dogs tend to bark for a reason – if they are chained up, hungry, thirsty, bored, sick, lonely, neglected or being provoked by a roaming dog or the cat next door.
If a neighbour’s dog is barking excessively, talk to the owner first. Your neighbour may not realise their dog is bothering you, especially if it barks when they aren’t home. In many cases, the owner will be happy to find a solution to the problem.
The council can also follow up complaints about barking dogs. You should keep a record of when the dog barks, the duration, frequency as well as the behaviour of the dog. The ranger investigates complaints and can issue a nuisance order to the dog’s owner. Heavy fines apply if the owner fails to act on the order and stop the barking.
Please note the Council would only investigate in the case of:
- The presence of animals creating nuisance
- Animals being dangerous or harming health
- Unhealthy premises and offensive odours.