Flat Chat Forum Neighbour noise Current Page

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  • #57659

    My neighbours downstairs have 2 small kids. I’m working from home. These kids seem to scream day and night and no one says a word. Well today enough was enough. 5:15pm they are on the balcony right below me. The 2 kids SCREAMING their lungs out. Squealing and screaming. A woman who I assume is their grandmother or family member just laughs. I opened the window and yelled SHUT THE HELL UP.

    I was beyond breaking point. 5 days a week they scream and shout it is the worst noise ever.

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  • #57689

    This is a classic case of of competing individual rights bashing up against each other.  However, while owners corporations can’t ban children, you do have a right to the peaceful enjoyment of your home.

    It’s up to the parents to moderate the behaviour of their kids.  If they can’t or won’t do that, then they have to face the consequences.

    Perhaps a sympathetic letter asking them to tell the kids not to run around at home, to keep their vocalising to a reasonable level and to be quiet when they are on the balcony might get better results than shouting off yours.

    There’s a 50-50 chance that you will get a negative reaction on the basis of “you can’t tell me how to raise my kids regardless of how badly I’m doing it”.

    But at least you will have an answer to the first question you will be asked when you ask the strata manager or committee to step in: “Have you approached your neighbours with your issues?”

    There are no such creatures as StrataCops, so you are going to have to take this on yourself, at least initially. If the strata manager and committee refuse to get involved (they quite possibly will) you can make a complaint yourself to Fair Trading, where you will be invited to take part in mediation, and then to NCAT.

    But you have a legal right to a reasonable level of peace and quiet; no one has the right to allow their kids to make excessive noise.

    Right now in NSW, parents can still take their kids to the park (not so much in Melbourne).  That’s the appropriate place for running around and screaming.

    One word of caution – don’t get drawn into a war of attrition with these neighbours.  Tit-for-tat “informal” actions – like playing loud music at a time when they want peace and quite – can only lead down a very dark road.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 5 days ago by .

    You can always play the sympathy card. If you don’t want to personally confront them, drop a note in their letterbox advising that you suffer from severe migraine headaches and perhaps their offspring could keep their noise down a tad.


    Yes, i’ve had the same problem for over a year. I live in 23m2 stud with no escape from a single room. The tenant above (same sized studio) has a noisy toddler who continually runs around squealing and thumps/jumps on the floor most of the day and into the night. We have two parks close by but they don’t use them. Strata Manager doesn’t want a ‘media outbreak’ so minimal action.

    i’m 75 years old, a vulnerable person and had a hospital visit 6 weeks ago related to the continual stress. I’ve been told to go to Tribunal, but also warned that if a child’s involved it will favour the tenant. Also the reviews from others who used this method are negative.

    What can we do?


    Hi Divanhey,

    I empathise with your situation.

    In the past I too (for other matters) have been directed to the (NCAT) Tribunal. A process that is long winded, bothersome, requires an effort to prepare for and is not cheap. And even if you have all your ducks lined up, the result at NCAT is often a lucky dip.

    May I suggest instead you approach NSW Fair Trading (telephone 13 32 20) and ask for a Mediation session. Fair Trading will explain this in detail, You can also go to their website, https://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/, but I suggest you call them first.

    The process requires you to fill in an online form containing your position.  You email the form to Fair Trading and a few days later they will email or call you with a Fair  a time they selected for the Mediation between you and the other party, with Fair Trading staff hovering around to help reach an agreement. Your complaint will be sent by Fair Trading to the other party.

    This process:

    1. Is free, whereas NCAT costs $27 (if you’re an eligible pensioner) or $108 if you’re not.

    2. Your neighbour getting an email, letter or phone call from Fair Trading will show him or her you’re serious

    3. While your neighbour can legally ignore attending Mediation, your next step can be NCAT where you can mention you tried Mediation but he or she did not bother attending.

    One more thing: both Mediation sessions and NCAT hearings put you in a good position if you have been “REASONABLE” in your attempts to bring the matter to the other party’s attention and that you’re fair minded in reaching a solution. Before you apply for Mediation (ie fill in the form) I suggest you write (letter or email) to your loud neighbour complaining of the noise and making clear how it impacts you: eg given the state of your health, the aggravation and stress caused by the noise is a concern to my general practitioner (assuming the GP agrees with your view). Send a copy to the managing agent of your building, chairman of the strata committee and your GP.

    This way the neighbour cannot say he or she did not receive your email or letter.

    Good luck.


    Strata Manager doesn’t want a ‘media outbreak’ so minimal action.

    Lack of action doesn’t guarantee lack of media interest.  It’s a pathetic excuse and they need to do their job.

    i’m 75 years old, a vulnerable person and had a hospital visit 6 weeks ago related to the continual stress. I’ve been told to go to Tribunal, but also warned that if a child’s involved it will favour the tenant.

    I strongly recommend that you talk to someone at Marrickville Legal Centre whose lawyers will explain your options and the best way to move forward, and may support you (for free) at Fair Trading or the Tribunal, if need be. Click on this link, fill in the form and take it from there.

    MLC may be based in Marrickville but it is charged with looking after vulnerable strata residents, usually free of charge,  across the state.




    May I suggest instead you approach NSW Fair Trading and ask for a Mediation session …

    You seem to be implying that the owner can choose between Fair Trading and NCAT.  This is not an either-or choice.  Except for in a small number of exceptions, you MUST seek mediation at Fair Trading before you can expect NCAT to be involved.

    The normal process in a situation like this would be:

    1. Approach the neighbour and politely ask them to do something about the noise.
    2. Failing the approach in 1, start gathering evidence such as:
    • a diary of when the noise occurs and what form it takes,
    • signed statements from visitors and neighbours confirming the noise nuisance
    • audio recordings of the noise (you can make them on most smartphones)

    3. Apply to Fair Trading for mediation.

    4. If that doesn’t work, apply to NCAT for orders.

    But, as I said above, first have a chat with Marrickville Legal Centre and they will give you free advice on how to proceed and may represent you at a hearing if approriate.  NB:  You don’t have to live in Marrickville – they cover the whole of NSW.



    Jimmy T is correct when he writes:

    You (TrulE) seem to be implying that the owner can choose between Fair Trading and NCAT. This is not an either-or choice. Except for in a small number of exceptions, you MUST seek mediation at Fair Trading before you can expect NCAT to be involved.

    To clarify, I recommended Mediation because the Divanhey mentioned in her post that she was told that the Tribunal was an option. It seemed to me that she was unaware that Mediation is also an option. As Jimmy T notes, Mediation is often a necessary prerequisite to going to NCAT.


    We have suffered the kids above us for 7 years. First it was the toys thrown out the windows from the 5th floor. This progressed to roller skates inside which can be heard 2 floors down, now they have basket balls which they play with till midnight. No care no consideration.


    I sympathise a lot sydneyguy, I am in the same situation except its an ADULT.  I have drawn the short straw and moved into a great flat that ticks all the boxes except with the loudest voice known to man as a neighbour.   With summer coming up, and more doors and windows needing to be opened, I am dreading it.  Very difficult to minimise voices rather than car engines, music, machinery.


    Unfortunately, Covid has introduced us all to situations that none of us ever anticipated, and hearing kids play next door, or across the road is one of those.

    In Qld; I can hear the 2 and 6 year old children across the road and 3 doors down and empathise with their mother who is distressed at their behaviour and level of noise. Yet, as a Grandmother I am forever asking my own 4 and 6 year old grandsons to ”use your inside voice, please stop screaming, don’t run up the stairs” but it’s all to no avail. They remember my request for 60 seconds and then do it all again.

    The children aren’t naughty, or being disrespectful they are just being kids and are boisterous little boys who have lots of energy.

    I’m wondering if Sydneyguy can talk to the parents and maybe assist them, as they may not like this either. Could you afford to buy the family a pass to Water World, or zoo or some activity nearby so they will leave home during the day. In Qld family passes are affordable for 12 months for Movie World etc.

    Also, is there is a Family Day Care Centre that the children can attend, that the family don’t know about? Maybe the  parents want that too but don’t know how to access these things.  Maybe you could drop pamphlets into their mail box that would enable them to take the children out during the day.

    I know you may not be looking for these answers but we are all entering a new era of work at home, and lockdowns and we have to do the best we can to survive.

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Flat Chat Forum Neighbour noise Current Page