​ሕግንና ደንብን በተመለከተ እርዳታ ማግኘት ይፈልጋሉን? - Amharic | هل تحتاج لمساعدة قانونية؟ - Arabic | ܤܢܝܼܩܵܐ ܝ݇ܘ̤ܬ ܠܗܲܝܵܪܬܵܐ ܩܵܢܘܿܢܵܝܬܵܐ؟ - Assyrian | Need Legal Help? - Auslan | Treba li vam pravna pomoc? - Bosnian | Burmese â Need Legal Help? | 需要法律帮助吗? - Chinese Simplified | 需要法律幫助嗎? - Chinese Traditional | Trebate li pravnu pomoć? - Croatian | ضرورت به کمک قانونی دارید؟ - Dari | Wïc Kuɔɔny në Wɛ̈t Löŋ? - Dinka | آیا به کمک حقوقی نیاز دارید؟ - Farsi | Gadreva na Veivuke Vakalawa? - Fijian | Kailangan ninyo ba ng tulong na panglegal? - Filipino | Besoin d’aide juridique ? - French | Χρειάζεστε βοήθεια σε νομικά ζητήματα - Greek | क्या आपको कानूनी सलाह चाहिए? - Hindi | Butuhkan Bantuan dalam Masalah Hukum? - Indonesian | Hai bisogno di assistenza legale? - Italian | ត្រូវការជំនួយលើបញ្ហាផ្លូវច្បាប់ឬទេ? - Khmer | 법적인 도움이 필요하십니까? - Korean | Ви треба ли помош со правни работи? - Macedonian | कानूनी सहयोग चाहिएको छ? - Nepalese | Necessita de ajuda com questões jurídicas? - Portuguese | Вам нужна юридическая помощь? - Russian | E Manaomia Fesoasoani i Mea Tau Tulafono? - Samoan | а ли вам треба помоћ у правним питањима? - Serbian | Ma u baahan tahay Caawimmad xagga sharciga ah?- Somali | ¿Necesita ayuda con cuestiones jurídicas? - Spanish | சட்ட உதவி தேவையா? - Tamil | ท่านต้องการความช่วยเหลือทางด้านกฎหมายไหม? - Thai | Fiema’u ha tokoni Fakalao? - Tongan | Yasal Danışmaya İhtiyacınız mı var? - Turkish | Cần Được Giúp Đỡ Về Luật Pháp? - Vietnamese |
LawAccess NSW > Representing Yourself

​Complaining to the council

Complaints about ongoing noise problems can be made to your local council.

    How to complain to council

    Different councils may deal with noise complaints differently. Contact your local council to find out about their noise complaints process. They may:

    • ask you to complete a complaint form
    • ask you to complete a log or diary listing the times and dates, duration and type of noise
    • ask you to write a letter or send an email.

    You should set out clearly what you are complaining about. It may help if you have a record of the time, date, duration and volume of the noise you are complaining about. If any of your neighbours have also made complaints you should let your council know.

    Some councils may suggest you try mediation before they will take any further action.

    Sometimes councils will not act on neighbourhood noise complaints. If your council will not act, and you are unable to settle things with your neighbour through talking or mediation, you may consider making an application to the court.

    For more information, see Applying for a noise order.

    Investigation

    Your local council may investigate your complaint. Steps in an investigation may include:

    • sending a letter to your neighbour or visiting your neighbour
    • visiting your home to assess the amount of noise
    • taking readings of the level and type of noise
    • asking you to complete a log or diary on the noise.

    The more information you can give the council, the more you help their investigation. 

    AlertAny information you give to the council, may be given to your neighbour.

    Mediation

    Your local council may suggest mediation between you and your neighbours.

    Mediation is a process where a neutral person called a mediator helps people talk through a problem to try and find a solution. A mediator does not decide who is right or wrong; they focus on helping people to find a compromise.

    For more information, see the Mediation topic.

    Action by council

    After investigating a complaint, council officers will decide what action to take. They have a number of options and the steps they take will depend on the type of noise.

    Breach of noise restrictions

    The law sets times restricting certain types of noise if the noise can be heard from inside your property. For more information on noise restrictions, see Noise restrictions.

    If your neighbour has breached noise restrictions, the council may first give them a warning to stop the noise.

    If a person continues to breach a noise restriction within 28 days after a warning, the council may issue a penalty notice (fine) or charge the person making the noise with an offence.

    Nuisance cat or dog orders

    A nuisance cat or dog order is an order issued by a local council to the owner of a cat or a dog.  

    Nuisance can include making persistent noise or noise that unreasonably interferes with the peace of someone else. Nuisance could also be another action like a dog that roams the streets or destroys property.

    A nuisance order requires the owner to take steps to prevent the animal from creating a nuisance. For example, it may require the owner to reduce the amount of barking.

    The owner will be given notice of intention to issue an order before council will issue a nuisance order. The notice tells the owner that council intends to make an order and explains what the order will be about.

    The owner has 7 days to object to the order. If they do not object, council may go ahead and make the order. If they do object, council must consider the objection and then decide whether to go ahead with the order.

    A nuisance order lasts for six months.

    Prevention notices

    A prevention notice is a formal notice in writing issued by the local council to a person making noise or the occupier of any property from where the noise is coming from. A prevention notice can be used for any sort of noise including animals, people and equipment.

    The notice explains what action needs to be taken to prevent the noise from occurring again.  For example, the notice may require noise insulation around the equipment creating the noise. 

    If your neighbour is served (given) a prevention notice they must comply with the notice immediately unless the notice specifies a later date. There is no end date to a prevention notice.

    If your neighbour does not agree with the notice, they can file an appeal in the Land and Environment Court within 21 days of being served. If they appeal you will be notified.

    Noise control notices

    Local councils can issue noise control notices to limit noisy activities to a particular noise level. The notice may restrict the noise to certain days and/or certain times of the day.

    Noise control notices may be issued for various types of noise, including noisy animals, people and equipment.

    If your neighbour is served with a noise control notice they must comply with the notice immediately unless the notice specifies a later date. Once a noise control notice is served, it stays in force until the council varies (changes) or revokes (cancels) it.

    If your neighbour does not agree with the notice, they can file an appeal in the Land and Environment Court within 21 days of being served. If they appeal you will be notified.

    Noise abatement direction

    Local councils can issue a noise abatement direction. A noise abatement direction is a formal notice that requires the person to stop making the noise or to limit the noise to certain days and/or certain times of the day. Council can issue the direction if the noise occurred within the last seven days.

    What if the noise continues?

    If the noise continues after council has issued a notice, order, or direction you should contact the council. Council officers may investigate further and if there is a breach of the notice, order, or direction council may issue them with a fine or charge them with an offence. The council officers may also seize the equipment used to make noise.

    If the order or notice has not resolved the problem, you can apply for a noise abatement order at the Local Court.

    For more information, see Applying for a noise order.