It’s party time again – deck the (lift) halls with boughs of holly, call the cops when next door gets too jolly.
But seriously you can and should have a great time at Christmas and New Year parties in strata without becoming a social pariah or getting yourself evicted from your rented flat. The only difference about party time in strata is that if you’re an idiot, you’ll upset a lot more people in one fell swoop.
First, let’s clear up a misconception about by-laws; they don’t say you can’t make any noise. They state that you shouldn’t make so much noise that it annoys your neighbours.
Having a party isn’t going to bother any reasonable person at this time of year. Recreating the dance clubs of Ibiza complete with wall-shuddering bass beats will get the response it so richly deserves.
Even at 6pm, your doof-doof could be in breach as by-laws operate 24/7 – there are no ‘curfew’ times. And remember, you are responsible for the behavior of your guests on common property so keep the drunks in the midnight choirs to a minimum.
State laws add another layer of control, setting times when you have to turn it down, whether you live in an apartment or a Vaulcuse mansion. In NSW excessive noise has to be turned down by 10 pm on week nights and 12 midnight on Friday and Saturday nights or before a public holiday.
If it isn’t, angry neighbours can call the police, and in an apartment block there could be a lot more phone calls about just one noisy shindig.
However, there’s a fair bit of leeway, especially at this time of year, and the easiest way to make sure the neighbours don’t complain is to invite them in.
But police will attend very noisy parties that go on very late and they have the powers to issue on-the-spot fines, clear the party or remove the sound system if need be.
You can find out how to deal with neighbour noise in NSW, whther you live in aan apartment or a house, HERE.
For strata in Queensland it’s a little more complicated: go HERE then click on “by-laws” in the ‘I want to find out about …’ box. For local government noise restrictions, here are the relevant links for BRISBANE and the GOLD COAST. In Victoria, go HERE for general noise restrictions and HERE for strata disputes.
But hey, it’s Christmas. Be nice to each other, have fun and we’ll see you next year. One question, though: how does Santa get into flats?