Abatement Of Offensive Noise
Everyone has experienced nuisance noise coming from a neighbour’s property. What to do? It depends on the type and frequency of the noise.
The Protection of the Environment Operations Act (POE) sets out in considerable detail regulations which apply to all sorts of domestic appliances and machinery, internal and external. It deals with such things as air-conditioners, lawn mowers, electric power tools, musical instruments and amplifiers, pool motors, and car and burglar alarms.
It sets hours during which appliances and machinery can be used and maximum noise levels. Your local council can deal with a wide range of problems, such as barking dogs or other continuing noises. One-off noises, such as a noisy neighbourhood party, are best dealt with by the Police.
If there is a continuing problem, it is best to have a talk with your neighbour. If that fails, consult your council. If the problem is beyond the powers of the council, then consult your solicitor to see what legal action can be taken. In many cases the Local Court has the power to make a “noise abatement order”.
Breach of this by the noisy neighbour can lead to fines and other more serious penalties. If there is a “one-off” problem, the Police have the power to issue a similar notice. They can also issue on-the-spot fines if, after
telling the offender to stop or mitigate the noise, it starts again within six hours.
If we at Matthews Williams can assist you on this or any other legal matter, feel free to contact our office for an appointment.
By Mark Olson