From barking dogs to midnight band practice, noisy neighbours can turn our lives upside down.
As tempting as it can be to hire a couple of local heavies, there are peaceful ways to (hopefully) resolve any issues you may be experiencing with your neighbours. Here are some of your options.
Knock on the door
First, try simply approaching your neighbour about the issue. In many cases, neighbours are simply unaware of just how noisy they are being so addressing the issue in a calm manner could bring about a peaceful resolution. Some flexibility on your behalf may be required, for example, agreeing that drum practice is fine on weeknights between 4pm and 5pm but not on Sunday mornings.
Keep a record of what was said and when – you may need this.
If the noise persists, contact your nearest Community Justice Centre (CJC) – your state or territory justice department can provide details.
CJCs are government-funded centres that specialise in settling neighbour disputes through mediation. It’s a free service so it costs nothing to give it a shot.
Contact your council
If your neighbour won’t consider mediation or the noise persists, speak with your local council about a noise abatement notice. This is where your records of the noise and how you’ve dealt with it to date will be useful.
If the council believes your neighbour’s noise is interfering with the comfort of your home – and it’s likely to recur, it can issue an order directing your neighbour to control the noise.
Head to court
If you’re still reaching for the ear plugs, and you’re prepared to wear the cost of legal fees, it could be time to head off to the local court.
If the court agrees that your neighbour’s noise is over the top it can issue an order to stop or prevent the noise. Failure to comply could see your neighbour prosecuted.
It may not build a foundation for neighbourly love but it will bring some much-needed peace and quiet into your life.