What is unreasonable residential noise?
Residential noise is noise that originates from a residential property or its immediate surroundings.
If you are having difficulty dealing with residential noise and have not been able to resolve the matter with those making the noise, you can report the noise to the City to investigate.
How you can address noise issues
Talk to your neighbour
In most instances, those causing a noise problem don’t realise they are impacting on others. A friendly chat can often lead to a simple resolution.
These resources may assist:
- Environment Protection Authority Victoria website: Different types of noise and how the law controls them
- Dispute Settlement Centre Victoria website: Starting the conversation
Talk to the property owner or your Owners’ Corporation
Property owners can have a role in managing noise in some situations.
Consumer Affairs Victoria have more information about how to make a complaint to property owners and owners’ corporations.
Dispute Settlement Centre Victoria may be able to assist with recommending a mediation pathway.
Making a complaint about ongoing residential noise
Before reporting a noise issue to the City, there are a few important things to consider:
- Engaging a regulator can strain your relationship with your neighbour
- This process can feel focussed on a problem rather than a solution
- This process may not lead to the resolution you seek
Residential noise issues can be reported to the City for investigation on 1300 002 642.
How complaints are handled
Many noise complaints reported to the City are ‘one off’ events. In these situations the City is not able to gather the required evidence for the noise to be proven ‘unreasonable’ and won't be able to assist.
The City’s Authorised Officers can investigate residential noise and determine whether the noise is unreasonable.
In making this determination, officers consider:
- The source of the noise
- Volume and intensity
- Characteristics of the noise
- Time and setting
It is important to note that some sources of residential noise are outside our regulatory scope, such as voices, children playing, noise from wildlife and noise from unknown sources.
When undertaking an investigation, Authorised Officers aim to gather evidence to inform their determination. You may be asked to assist by providing information in the form of a disturbance log, a statement or by providing access to your property.
Each investigation is unique and Authorised Officers will select the methods they deem most appropriate to gather evidence. Not all circumstances call for noise recordings or measurements. If a measurement is required, please note that our Authorised Officers can only accept measurements from our calibrated, specialised measurement equipment.
Where Authorised Officers determine that noise is unreasonable, the City will also consider how best the matter is resolved. Often the City determine that noise matters are best settled privately between parties.
The City will only take enforcement action where it determines that it is the most appropriate way to address unreasonable noise. Once a determination has been made, the City will notify you.
After receiving a noise complaint, the City’s Authorised Officers may determine that the noise is outside the regulatory scope of Local Government. If this is the case, you will be notified.
If your noise problem is happening out of business hours and is anti-social or threatening, please contact Victoria Police on 000 at the time of the disturbance.
If you are experiencing noise from a new development, please contact the developer or builder directly. Their contact details or company name are usually displayed on signage and work vehicles.
Residential construction noise can be reported to the City for investigation on 1300 002 642.
The Environment Protection Authority Victoria website has more information on how to deal with noise issues.
To report noise from commerce or industry, please contact Environment Protection Authority Victoria on 1300 372 842.
For more information about environmental health please contact our office on 1300 002 642 or [email protected]
What happens when a customer lodges a nuisance complaint with our office? Here's a guide to a nuisance investigation procedure.