Talking to your neighbour
This section has information about talking to your neighbour about any noise issues.
Before a problem becomes too big you should consider talking to your neighbour about the issue. Your neighbour may not realise that their noise is affecting you. You may not realise how your noise is affecting your neighbour.
You and your neighbour may be able to agree on a level of noise that both of you are happy with. It may also help you to avoid going to court and to maintain a good relationship with your neighbour.
there is an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) between you and your neighbour, before
talking to your neighbour, you should get legal advice. There
may be restrictions on the contact that you can have with your neighbour.
How to talk to your neighbour
Before you talk to your neighbour you should think about what it is you want, for example do you want them to:
- lower the level of noise or change the time they make noise, or
- agree about a level of noise you can make or agree a time when you can make noise.
If you are clear about what you are asking from them, you will have a better chance of coming to an agreement.
You can try to communicate with your neighbour:
- face to face
- on the phone
- by writing a letter, email or text.
If you have a good relationship with your neighbour, you can talk to them by simply knocking on their door. If you have approached your neighbour at an inconvenient time, arrange another time suitable to both of you.
If you are not comfortable meeting your neighbour face to face or they are rarely home, you can try talking to them on the phone.
If you find it difficult to talk to your neighbour directly or you want to keep a written record of the attempts you have made to resolve the dispute, you can send a letter, email or text.
Keeping a record of any attempts to resolve the problem may be useful if you need to go to court later on.
Sometimes sending a letter, email or text can cause misunderstandings that can lead to more conflict with your neighbour, particularly if you haven't spoken to them about the problem before. Consider carefully how your neighbour might react and if they might be more likely to come to an agreement with you if you communicate with them personally.
Sample: Letter to noisy neighbour
Sample: Letter responding to noise complaint
For more information and tips on talking with your neighbour, see How to talk to your neighbour.
If talking to your neighbour has not resolved the problem, you can try free mediation through a Community Justice Centre (CJC).
At mediation, you and your neighbour can discuss the issue with the help of a neutral person called a 'mediator' to try and settle the dispute. A mediator will make sure that everyone has a chance to talk and the conversation is polite. A mediator can guide both sides towards an agreement that everyone can live with.
For more information, see the Mediation topic on this website.
If you cannot come to an agreement, one neighbour may make a complaint to the police or local council. If your neighbour lives in strata or is a tenant, there may be a complaint to the owners corporation, the managing agent or the landlord. Finally, a neighbour may make an application to the Local Court for a noise abatement order.
For more information on what may happen next, see: