1. My neighbour says I cannot play my music at night because it disturbs him. What rules are there about when I can play music?
The law does not stop people from making any noise. The law does have restrictions on the type of noise people can make and when.
You should not be playing music that can be heard inside your neighbours home, between midnight and 8am on a Friday, Saturday and any day before a public holiday and between 10pm and 8am every other day.
Outside of these times, councils and police can also restrict noise that is offensive.
For more information, see Noise restriction.
1. My neighbour and I had an argument about the noise of his dog barking. What can I do to fix this disagreement?
There are a number of ways you can talk to your neighbour about a problem. You can talk face to face, on the phone or write a letter.
Whatever method you use, try to keep calm and be clear about what you are asking for. Think about what would be a good compromise.
If you need help, try mediation. Community Justice Centres provide free mediation services.
For more information see Talking to your neighbour.
1. My neighbours have a swimming pool pump that makes a huge amount of noise every night. Who can I complain to?
You can contact your local council.
Pool pumps should not be running between 8pm and 8am on Sundays and public holidays and between 8pm and 7am every other day. It is an offence to breach these rules and council may give your neighbour a warning and if this is ignored they may send an infringement notice or charge them with an offence. For more information on noise restrictions, see Types of noise.
For more information on making a complaint, see Complaining to council.
2. My local council told me I could apply for a noise abatement order. What is that?
A noise abatement order is a court order served on the person making the noise or the occupier of any property from where the noise is coming from. The order requires the person to stop making the type of noise described in the order. If the noise continues, the person may be fined.
You can make an application to the Local Court for a noise abatement order.
For more information, see Noise abatement orders.
1. My landlord says that my downstairs neighbours have complained about my dog barking. What will happen now?
All tenants have terms in their residential tenancy agreement (lease) that mean that they must not:
Your landlord has a number of options on how to respond. As an initial step, your landlord may warn you that you are breaching the residential tenancy agreement.
In some cases the landlord may apply to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) for an order that you stop breaching the residential tenancy agreement. If the landlord decides they want to terminate the agreement, they may issue you with a termination notice and then apply to NCAT for a termination order.
For more information, see Noise complaints about tenants.
2. I got a notice from the local council that said they were going to issue a nuisance order about my dog. What can I do?
A nuisance order is an order made by the council to the owner of cat or a dog. An animal may be declared a nuisance because of the noise it makes, for example, if a persistently barking dog is declared a nuisance, it means that it is a criminal offence if the dog continues to make that noise. The order will set out what you need to do to stop the nuisance.
Before council will issue a nuisance order they must send you a notice of intention to issue a nuisance order. You have seven days to respond. If you do not want the order to be made, you should write to council explaining why you do not think an order is needed.
For more information, see Nuisance orders.
3. My neighbour has applied for a noise abatement order at the Local Court. What happens now?
A noise abatement order is an order from the Local Court that you stop making specified noise. You should read the application carefully and get legal advice.
If you and your neighbour can come to an agreement you may not have to go to court. For more information on how to come to an agreement, see Talking to your neighbour.
If you want to oppose the order, you will need to go to court. For more information, see Responding to an application for a noise abatement order.