Residential & Commercial Noise
Whether you are making noise or are being affected by another person’s noisy activities there are things you can do to keep the peace.
In general, it is an offence to make unreasonable noise that can be heard inside another person’s home outside certain hours.
With many more of us working or staying at home people can become more aware of noises made by their neighbours. Typically, these noises include amplified music, power tools, pool/spa pumps, chainsaws, mowers, air conditioners and heaters being operated at night time.
This table is applied to noise being emitted from a residential premises affecting a person in another residential premises.
If you are experiencing ongoing and unreasonable noise in a residential area, there are several ways to fix the problem:
1. Talk to your neighbour
Before you take any action, you should talk to your neighbour. Your neighbour may not even be aware of the noise they are making.
If you don't feel comfortable speaking with your neighbour:
- use our sample letter (needs updating)to help write a letter you can put in their mailbox.
- find some tips on how to start the conversation with your neighbour on the Dispute Settlement of Victoria's website.
2. Talk to your Owners' Corporation (formerly Body Corporate)
If you live in a body corporate or apartment, direct your concerns to the manager of the Owners’ Corporation.
Consumer Affairs Victoria has more information about how to complain to your Owners' Corporation.
Normal working hours for activities during residential construction normal working hours to manage all civil construction, building and demolition noise, including contractors operating machinery and using power tools and help to prevent unreasonable noise. These are:
- Weekdays – 7 am to 6 pm
- Saturday – 9 am to 1 pm.
Noise guidance for businesses: Residential construction | Environment Protection Authority Victoria (epa.vic.gov.au)
To report noise from a commercial or industrial enterprise or experiencing music noise from a venue call EPA’s 24-hour pollution hotline on 1300 372 842.
To report late night parties or other antisocial behaviour call Victoria Police on 131444 or 000.
The police have powers to direct the noise maker to cease making the noise and issue fines.
To lodge a request about ongoing residential noise or noise from a rural property please contact Council on
5671 2211 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can report unreasonable residential noise to the Council that is ongoing and there is a repeated pattern of noise events.
Most residential noise complaints will be investigated by the Councils Environmental Health team but on occasions it may be referred to the Community Safety Team, the EPA, Police or an Owners' Corporation.
During the investigation an assessment will be made to determine if the noise being emitted is in breach of any noise laws and what actions that can be taken to minimise the impact of the noise on others.
To substantiate your complaint the Council may request you to keep a diary to tell us where the noise comes from, how it affects you, for how long and often it can be heard.
We recommend you use the “The Noise App”, a free downloadable for Apple and Android smart phones. The App that allows you to keep a digital diary, take short recordings of the noise and report to Council when it is occurring. You can download the app here on either Apple or Google Play
If the Council has reason to believe an offence has been committed a formal notice or letter will be sent to the person emitting or allowing the noise to be emitted requesting the noise be abated to the satisfaction of the Council. A failure to do so can lead to fines being issued and prosecution in Court.
If it is determined that the matter is best dealt with privately the investigating officer may recommend mediation through The Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria - this a free dispute resolution service which routinely helps resolve common neighbourhood disputes involving noise, fences, trees, animals and drainage.
Barking dogs and noise from other domestic pets, birds, poultry etc. can be reported to Council and are investigated by the Councils Community Safety Team.