Everyone has the right to the quiet enjoyment of their home. But what if your neighbour‘s enjoyment isn’t quiet? What if it is loud, ongoing and intrusive?
The issue of noisy neighbours is one experienced everywhere, but in close living arrangements such as strata living, the impact is exacerbated.
Common noise complaints in strata schemes include music played too late and too loud, children and babies crying, dogs barking, wooden floors and doors slamming.
Noise can detract from peace and enjoyment, affect your quality of sleep, and over a prolonged period can contribute to the deterioration of mental health and wellbeing.
However, this doesn’t mean that whenever your sleep is interrupted you should yell at your neighbour, call the police, complain to the Body Corporate/Owners Corporation or threaten legal action.
As with all neighbourhoods, dealing with noise in strata titled buildings requires give and take. Residents must remember that people are allowed to make noise during the day, and even extending into the evening. The problem arises when people have different opinions about what time or what type of noise is acceptable. This depends on where you live, and who your neighbours are.
So, what happens when you have issues with a noisy neighbour?
Most importantly, speak with them!
It may seem very simple, but bringing up the problem with them is the most effective way to address the issue. If you don’t bring it up, they may think their behaviour is acceptable and the noise will continue. Sometimes, it can simply be that they were unaware that the noise they were making travels through into your apartment.
Dealing with a noisy neighbour when you’re low on sleep and have a raging headache from the music they were playing late into the night can be difficult. Make sure you remember to be patient and use common sense when talking to them.
We have summarised three resolution ideas below:
1 – Be clear and confident about what your issue is.
2 – Suggest a reasonable plan to handle the situation e.g. I’m happy with you playing music, but unfortunately, I can hear it loudly in my apartment. Can you please turn it off at 10pm?
3 – Do everything in your power to sort it out amicably, as you do have to live next to them afterwards.
If your attempts are unsuccessful:
When you can’t manage the situation yourself, it’s time to involve your building management. You can ask your Committee or Strata Manager to talk to the neighbour, or issue a breach notice if polite requests are ignored.
Keeping a diary of incidents and copies of correspondence can help in completing breach notices, and backing up your claim if it needs to progress further.
For community living to be harmonious, owners, occupants and management need to work together. Tolerance, patience and common sense need to prevail. The common goal should be making your community a place where people want to live and you enjoy living.
If you have any questions on issues relating to noise or anti-social behaviour, please contact your Body Corporate / Owners Corporation Manager or your Building Manager.
Blog prepared by SSKB – www.sskb.com.au
Author – Abbie Wilson