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LawAccess NSW > Representing Yourself

Noise complaints about tenants

If your neighbour is a residential tenant you can also make a complaint about noise to their landlord.

    Obligations about noise

    All tenants have terms in their residential tenancy agreement (lease) that mean that they must not:

    • cause a nuisance, or
    • interfere with the peace, comfort or privacy of a neighbour.

    They must also not permit anyone else to do these things.  This means that a tenant must not let their visitors or people living with them cause a nuisance or disturb their neighbours.

    If you are a residential tenant, your landlord has the obligation to take all reasonable steps to make sure their other tenants do not interfere with your peace, comfort or privacy. If you have a real estate agent managing the property, the agent also has this obligation.

    The landlord only has to do what is reasonable.  Your landlord cannot control someone else's tenant, so if your neighbour has a different landlord, there may be not much your landlord can do.

    For more information on tenancy, see the Tenants NSW website.

    What the landlord may do

    The landlord has a number of options on how to respond to a noise complaint.

    The landlord may warn the tenant that they are breaching (breaking) their residential tenancy agreement.

    If a breach continues the landlord may apply to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) for an order that your neighbour stop breaching the residential tenancy agreement.

    In the most serious cases the landlord may give the tenant a termination notice then apply to NCAT for an order terminating (ending) the tenancy. 

    What you can do

    It is a good idea to try and talk to your neighbour about the noise. They may not be aware that they are disturbing anyone or you may be able to try and come to some sort of an arrangement.

    If you are not able to talk to your neighbour, you can complain to the landlord or agent.

    If you and your neighbour have different landlords, you can make a complaint to their landlord, if you know who they are. If you and your neighbour have the same landlord, you can ask your landlord to take action. You should put your complaint in writing and keep a copy. Your letter should:

    • explain what you are complaining about
    • give details of the noise including time and date.

    If your landlord does not act in response to a noise complaint, you may:

    • write to the landlord warning them that they are breaching the residential tenancy agreement
    • apply to NCAT for an order that the landlord stop breaching the residential tenancy agreement.

    If you feel you cannot stay in the tenancy, you may be able to:

    • give the landlord a termination notice to end the tenancy
    • apply to NCAT for an order ending the tenancy.

    You should also get advice from your local Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service on what is the best approach for you.

    For more information on these options, see the Tenants NSW factsheet - When you want to leave

    If your neighbour is a tenant of FaCS Housing NSW (sometimes called Housing Commission or Department of Housing), you can make a complaint to FaCS Housing NSW about noise.

    For more information on FaCS Housing NSW policies, see the Housing NSW website.

    If your neighbour is renting from a community housing service you may be able to complaint to the community housing service. You can find a list of community housing providers on the FaCS Housing NSW website.