Forum: Noisy neighbours but no-one’s listening


It’s the stuff of strata nightmares.  The apartment upstairs is owned by an overseas investor who probably doesn’t know what’s going on.

It’s been sub-let by a landlord who has a number of properties and doesn’t care what goes on in any of them as long as they get the rent on time.

And the tenants – well, they’re just acting out their “Animal House” fantasies playing loud music all day and long into the night and early morning.

“Can we pass a by-law preventing tenants from sub-letting their properties?” wails a desperate neighbour, whose own tenants in a block in Bondi have had enough and are threatenting to quit.

Probably not.  That could be seen as interfering with the owner’s right to lease their property as they see fit.

But there are plenty of other avenues, especially if you have the right by-laws in place.

First, right there in the “model” by-laws for newer strata schemes is one that says residents “must not create any noise on a lot … likely to interfere with the peaceful enjoyment of the owner or occupier of another lot.”

Then there’s “an owner or occupier of a lot must take all reasonable steps to ensure that invitees of the owner or occupier … do not behave in a manner likely to interfere with the peaceful enjoyment of the owner or occupier of another lot.”

There are very similar clauses in the statutory by-laws for older, pre-1996 schemes.  The model by-laws for newer schemes would need to have been adopted. The pre-1996 by-laws are there by default and updated by strata law.

Next there’s the EPA laws which, according to this pamphlet, say that residents mustn’t make excessive noise that can be heard in another home after 10 pm on “school nights” or after midnight at weekends or before public holidays.

And finally, there’s the big stick of Noise Abatement Orders which can be gained in extreme cases at your local court and are a crime to ignore.

So forget any new by-laws; just make sure your existing ones are up to date … then give them Hell!  More on that HERE.

Elsewhere on the Forum

  • Can a majority of members disband the strata committee?  That’s HERE.
  • Can we pass a by-law to stop residents turning their cars on the driveway?  That’s HERE.
  • Building reports for new blocks are compulsory, but who pays for them? That’s HERE.
  • Why are my strata levies so high?  That’s HERE.
  • How can I stop the common property cleaner from coming on to my lot when he ignores emails from the manager?  That’s HERE.
  • Majority at an AGM wants to transfer responsibility for windows and balcony doors to individual owners.  What kind of vote would that take – simple majority, special resolution, or unanimous?  That’s HERE.

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