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LawAccess NSW > Representing Yourself

Noise abatement orders

If you have a problem with your neighbour making noise, you can apply for a noise abatement order at the Local Court to try and stop the noise.

    What is a noise abatement order?

    A noise abatement order is a court order given to a person making the noise or the occupier of any property that the noise is coming from. The order requires the person to stop making the type of noise described in the order.

    An order made by the court operates from when it is made, unless a later day is set in the order, and lasts until it is revoked (cancelled) by the court.

    How do you get a noise abatement order?

    You can apply for a noise abatement order by making an application at the Local Court.  

    If your application is accepted by the court, your case will be listed for a hearing. Both you and your neighbour will have to attend the hearing. You will have to present evidence supporting the reasons why you think an order should be issued. To get an order you need to convince the court that your premises are affected by offensive noise.

    Step by step guide: Applying for a noise abatement order.

    You should try talking to your neighbour before making an application for a noise abatement order. If you cannot talk to your neighbour, you can try mediation. A mediator can help you come to an agreement that everyone can live with. For more information, see Talking to your neighbour.

    What is offensive noise?

    The court will issue a noise abatement order if you can prove on the balance of probabilities (that it is more likely than not) that the noise is 'offensive' and is likely to occur again. 

    Offensive noise is noise that:

    • is harmful or likely to be harmful to a person outside the premises where the noise is coming from, or
    • interferes unreasonably or is likely to interfere unreasonably with the comfort or repose (relaxation) of a person outside the premises where the noise is coming from.

    The court may consider things like:

    • the volume of the noise
    • how loud the noise is compared to other noise in the area
    • if the noise has any irritating characteristics, for example, if it is high pitched
    • the time the noise occurs
    • the frequency of the noise
    • how long the noise lasts
    • the effect the noise has on you and other people in your area.

    The evidence you present at the hearing should be about these factors.

    For more information about preparing your case, see Preparing for the hearing.