Neighbours

Neighbours shaking hands by fence

Knowing our neighbours helps to build a great community.

Let's Chat program - how does it help?

Council's Let's Chat program is about creating stronger, more connected neighbourhoods.

It helps residents to work out long-lasting solutions to neighbourhood problems.

Council asked to the local community to help develop this program, see Your Say Tweed.

Chat about the problem with the person first

Letterboxes

Most neighbours sort out problems together, which leads to better outcomes.

Before taking formal steps to make a complaint about your neighbour (noise for example), you should attempt to talk about the issue directly with the person - try to work out a solution together.

Most people are happy to help, and they may not know there's a problem until you chat to them.

Tips for talking about issues together

  1. Get to know your neighbours early – say hi! This helps if problems come up in the future.
  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 are happy to help if they know there's a problem – give them a 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 neighbour's 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.

Noise

When dealing with a noise issue, download our Dealing with noise pack(PDF, 317KB). It includes advice on conflict resolution, resources to help you get started and information on noise restrictions.

See Noise

How to get help

If you're trying to resolve issues with your neighbour but need help, Community Justice Centres can give specialised advice.  

Community Justice Centres

If talking to your neighbour isn't an option or doesn't work and the problem continues, contact the Community Justice Centres. These centres specialise in settling differences between neighbours. They can arrange mediation 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. Call 1800 990 777.

Strata scheme issues

Contact the NSW Department of Fair Trading for help resolving strata scheme issues. Call 13 32 20.

Lady brings elderly neighbour some groceries. Neighbour Day

Neighbour Day is Australia's annual celebration of community. It usually takes place at the end of March, and encourages people to connect with those who live in their neighbourhood.

Neighbour Day is the perfect time to say thanks for being a great neighbour, and for being there to lend a hand. It could be over a cuppa, a picnic in the park or a message of support.

Council is a supporter of Neighbour Day celebrations. To register your event visit Neighbour Day.

For enquiries about Neighbour Day contact Relationships Australia on 02 6162 9300 or email information@neighbourday.org.