Unless you live in a rural area, chances are high that you’ve been kept awake at night by chronically noisy neighbours. Inner-city and suburban residents are always gambling with their wellbeing when they move into a house or apartment – it’s impossible to know what the surrounding neighbours are up to, and the possibility of them being fantastic, quiet, and friendly is as likely as them being anti-social, disruptive, and noisy. With an ever-growing body of research showing that unexpected or unwanted noise can have a serious impact on our bodily health, it’s important to know your rights when it comes to reporting disruptions in your neighbourhood. Let’s take a look at them.
The First Step: Seek an Amicable Solution
Any legal or governmental professional will tell you that the quickest, simplest, and cheapest solution to neighbourhood nuisance noise is to talk amicably with the offending party. Constant parties, domestic violence, or other noise situations which may involve potential danger are perfectly acceptable scenarios in which to contact law enforcement, but outside of that? If renovations, yard work, musical instrument practice, or loud animals are disrupting your home experience, you’re well within your rights to discuss ways to mitigate that noise with your neighbours. Solutions may be establishing a tighter schedule or nighttime cutoff with them, helping pay for some noise reduction infrastructure like wall padding or a fence, or it could be that simply making your neighbours aware of the issue can resolve it fully.
If That Doesn’t Work: You Can Contact Your Local Council
Your local shire, council, or city government has workers available who are trained to measure, assess, and resolve noise complaints according to local regulations. By bringing your council into the mediation process, they are able to present objective evidence to your noisy neighbours that will prove beyond a reasonable doubt that their noise is infringing on the residents surrounding them. They can also provide you with the tools to help facilitate your case if it does escalate to court, such as noise diaries and record-keeping equipment, and provide advice on how to limit the noise’s impact within your home without involving the offending neighbour at all.
The Last Resort: Contact A Lawyer
Resolving a noise complaint through the courts or a tribunal should always be a last resort. It can come at a serious financial and emotional cost, not to mention the amount of time you need to commit. To succeed in a legal claim to prevent noise interference, you need to prove without a doubt that the noise has had a material and unreasonable impact on you and your lifestyle. This means submitting formal complaints with documentation, extensive record taking or both the offending noises and your own life schedule, and tracking any attempts you’ve made previously to mediate and/or resolve the situation – all before a lawyer ever becomes involved. Resolving these kinds of disputes can take years to resolve through the legal system, resulting in significant legal fees and permanently damaging any chance you had to resolve the issue amicably, even when your claim succeeds.
Everyone has the legal right to use and enjoy the property they live in without that right being materially and unreasonably being interfered with. But successfully enforcing that right often proves to be much more difficult than it may seem on the surface. If a noise issue can’t be resolved peacefully between parties, that’s when our vigilant code enforcement officers step in to gather all the information needed in order to keep their communities safe. Nine times out of ten, their work is what leads to amicable resolution of noise disputes before courts ever become involved. This is why we developed NoiseNet: to make their work easier, quicker, and more powerful. If you’re a code enforcement officer looking to level up your noise complaint resolution process, head over to https://go.noisenet.com/ today to learn more.