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Email Link   Noise

Everyone reacts differently to noise. Noise can disturb neighbours, disrupt sleep and sometimes, impact people’s health. What can be unbearable for one person may pass almost unnoticed by another.

If you are bothered by noise, it is better to speak with the person responsible first. Here are some tips to help resolve conflict and come to a solution.

Complaints about your neighbours – what can you do?

Chat about the problem with the person first

Most neighbours sort out problems together. This leads to better, lasting solutions.

Before taking formal steps to complain about noise, you should attempt to discuss the issue directly with the person and try to work out a solution together.

Most people are happy to help and they may not know about the problem until you chat with them.

Tips for talking about issues together:

  1. Get to know your neighbours early – say hi! This will help if problems arise later.
  2. Try to step back from the issue and consider if it is truly worth raising – is it a one-time event, or something minor that you could let go?
  3. Most people will be happy to help and might not have known about the problem – give them the chance to fix it first.
  4. Differences of opinion are normal, try having a casual chat to resolve a conflict.
  5. Try to avoid blaming the person– be open and say things like ‘I noticed (…). When this happens, I feel (…)’
  6. Keep the conversation on track – be calm, listen and check you understand what is being said.
  7. Work solutions out together – be flexible and try to understand your neighbours needs and restrictions when finding a solution.
  8. It’s ok to take time to solve problems-– you might not find a solution the first time. Keep trying.
  9. Once you’ve had a chat, give them time to do something about it.
  10. Safety is key – if you think you may be put in danger raising an issue, get in touch with the Community Justice Centre or Council.
  11. If you try resolving issues together and need help, Community Justice Centres, Council or other government agencies can also give specialised advice.

Ways you can seek help

Community Justice Centres:

If talking to your neighbour isn’t an option, or doesn’t work and the noise continues, contact the erline: none'>Community Justice Centre (CJC). These centres specialise in settling differences between neighbours. They can arrange mediation between yourself, the person responsible for the noise issue and a CJC representative to help solve the problem.

This process is free and has a high success rate. They can help you and your neighbour find a peaceful resolution. Ph: 1800 990 777 for more information.

NSW Department of Fair Trading:

Contact the erline: none'>NSW Department of Fair Trading for assistance in resolving strata scheme issues. Phone 13 32 20.

Be a Good Neighbour:

When can Council help?

If you need to report your noise issue to Council, we’ll need a few things including:

  • Type of noise;
  • Source of noise, including the address.
  • A record of the noise for 14 days including the time, dates, and duration. You can find a link to a template to record the noise in the Dealing with noise information pack (182kB PDF).

We will investigate and outline to you the actions that can be taken.

As a first response, we advise the owner of the noise source of the issue and encourage them to explore options to prevent the noise. Should the noise continue you will need to let us know. Further investigation and evidence maybe required.

If you want to take action independently of Council, you can seek a noise abatement order from the local court.

Who else can help?

Some types of noise are better handled by other agencies or organisations such as NSW Police, NSW EPA, Roads and Maritime Services, and Airservices Australia.

Residential noise – time restrictions and contacts

Time of day restrictions are in place for residential noise. This enables residents to use and maintain their properties whilst also preventing undue disturbance on neighbours. Council can assist when noisy equipment is used during restricted times or when noise is considered offensive.

Noise typeTime Restrictions
(Noise should not be able to be heard in a habitable room)
Power tools and equipment
  • 8pm to 7am on weekdays and Saturdays
  • 8pm to 8am on Sundays and public holidays
Musical instruments and electrically amplified sound equipment
  • Midnight to 8am on Friday, Saturday or any day before a public holiday
  • 10pm to 8am on any other day.

For antisocial behaviour or disturbances outside of normal business hours:
Police Assistance Line: 131 444.
Air conditioners and heat pump water heaters
  • 10pm to 7am on weekdays
  • 10pm to 8am on weekends and public holidays
Motor vehiclesVehicle noise is acceptable when leaving and entering residential premises.

Other vehicle noise should be restricted between:
  • 8pm to 7am on weekdays
  • 8pm to 8am on weekends and public holidays
Refrigeration units fitted to motor vehicles
  • 8pm to 7am on weekdays
  • 8pm to 8am on weekends and public holidays
Pool pumps and spa pumps
  • 8pm to 7am on weekdays and Saturdays
  • 8pm to 8am on Sundays and public holidays
Barking dogs and Keeping of Animals

Council: (02) 6670 2400 or 1300 292 872

Nuisance noise created by barking dogs is noise that consistently occurs or continues to such a degree that it unreasonable interfered with the peace, comfort or convenience of another person in any other premises.

Noise TypeWho to contact
Industrial/commercial noise
Large industrial complexes NSW EPA: 131 555
Commercial premises, smaller factories, and backyard workshopsCouncil: (02) 6670 2400 or 1300 292 872
Clubs/Pubs/Licensed premises (including music and patron noise) Office of Liquor and Gaming: 1300 024 720 or complete the Complaint Form.
Council: (02) 6670 2400 or 1300 292 872
Construction noiseCouncil: (02) 6670 2400 or 1300 292 872
Transport Noise
Aircraft noiseAirservices Australia: 1800 802 584 or complete the Complaint Form.
Noisy motor vehicles (including trail bikes) NSW EPA: 131 555
Police Assistance Line: 131 444
Council: (02) 6670 2400 or 1300 292 872
Road traffic - Local roadsCouncil: (02) 6670 2400 or 1300 292 872
Road traffic - Freeways, tollways, main roadsRoads and Maritime Services: 13 22 13
Recreational boating, jet skisRoads and Maritime: 13 12 36
Amplified music from vesselsRoads and Maritime Services: 13 12 36
Water Police: 02 9320 7499
Council: (02) 6670 2400 or 1300 292 872
Other Noise
FireworksSafeWork NSW: 13 10 50
Intruder alarmsPolice Assistance Line: 131 444 (including antisocial behaviour or disturbances outside of normal business hours).

In Vehicles manufactured:
  • before 1 Sept 1997: more than 90 seconds
  • on/after 1 Sept 1997: sounding for more than 45 seconds
In Buildings installed:
  • before 1 Dec 1997: sounding for more than 10 minutes
  • on/after 1 Dec 1997: sounding for more than 5 minutes

Also see - EPA - Managing Intruder Alarm Noise
Noise in public placesCouncil: (02) 6670 2400 or 1300 292 872
Police Assistance Line: 131 444 (including antisocial behaviour or disturbances outside of normal business hours).
Keeping of AnimalsCouncil: (02) 6670 2400 or 1300 292 872
Or see Keeping of Animals

Great resources about noise


Air Conditioners

Think about your neighbours when installing equipment such as air conditioners and hot water heat pumps away from your neighbours’ bedroom and living room windows or have the equipment acoustically shielded. The FairAir Noise Calculator will assit with this.

Neighbourhood Noise

You can download the Dealing with Neighbourhood Noise brochure from the NSW Environmental Protection Authority’s website. The website also has information on dealing with noise.

Aircraft Noise

Buying or moving into a new home? Think about the impact of aircraft noise at your new location. For further information please see the Air Services Australia website.

Last Updated: 11 October 2018