Noise restrictions – what you need to know

With the likelihood revelry is on many people’s agenda as the festive season fast approaches, it’s time to brush up on some Ps and Qs when it comes to sharing community space.

Of all the things likely to raise hackles in any shared community, noise takes prime position at the top of many a fallout list. Whether it’s parties, power tools, or pets, here is our guide to balancing peace and quiet with the sometimes noisy neighbourhood of strata living.

Parties

Considering a Christmas party, a celebratory 21st or just kicking back to some tunes on a Saturday with five of your finest mates? Sounds great, but a little consideration goes a long way to ensuring that party you’re so enthusiastically enjoying doesn’t attract the ire of neighbours.

The fact is most states have different laws when it comes to noise restrictions so you should brush up on your local legislation before cranking up the stereo and emailing a lengthy list of invites.

The rule of thumb is: noise should not be audible in the habitable rooms of a neighbour’s home overnight. The time varies from region to region but is often 7pm to 7am on weekdays and a couple of hours later on weekends, and in places like South Australia and Queensland excessive noise can be reported at any time of day.

Tip – If you are planning on throwing a party, let your neighbours know in advance. Something as simple as a note or message advising them of your event, its start and estimated finish time, and the type of noise they are likely to hear, goes a long way to fostering tolerance. You can even invite them.

As a rule of thumb, always check with your building’s by-laws and what restrictions have been set in place. This way there is no confusion, and any acrimony between neighbours can be avoided. If a party is raging next to you, then the best call of action is to call the police.

Power tools

Planning on some weekend renovations to reinvigorate your investment? Awesome, but just be mindful of how those power tools are likely to impact your surrounding community, particularly your immediate neighbours if you share communal walls.

A general guide is; tools down come nighttime, with the cutoff time often 7pm or 8pm and start time no sooner than 7am in some states, 8am in others and later at weekends. Of course, always check with your building’s by-laws to avoid any misunderstandings regarding power tools.

Tip – In strata titled communities, any planned renovations should be discussed with the body corporate and that’s not just due to noise. Alterations like removing walls can impact the integrity of the entire building, while there are often guidelines for how the exterior of your property should look. And nothing’s sure to draw attention quite like a jackhammer firing up.

What if your neighbor completely disregards the rules? The best advice here is to first take it up with the building manager first, then the strata manager if there is no recourse. If there is no compliance, then the police would be the final course of action.

Pets

Oh how we love our four-legged friends but oh the mischief they can cause, especially when we’re not home to monitor their activities.

Noisy pets are generally handled by local councils with different guidelines as to what constitutes excessive barking or anti-social behaviour.

Tip – A good way to avoid complaints is to make sure when you are home your pet is properly exercised and when you’re not, they have something to do. If in doubt as to whether your dog gets vocal in your absence, use a noise activated audio recorder, and let your neighbours know you are working to resolve pet behavioural issues.

If a neighbour’s pet is driving you round the twist, consider raising it with them before you go to authorities. Often they have no idea their “best friend” is barking or up to no good when they’re not around.

The final word

At its heart strata living is about consideration and tolerance in a shared residential environment, and a little forethought goes a long way to keeping the peace (and quiet).

At Strataspot our emphasis is the enjoyment of this shared environment. Our cloud-based platform allows residents, owners and building managers to connect with ease, keeping them abreast of guidelines for your building and providing a means to alert others of upcoming events. You can learn more about our services for managers, owners and residents here.

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