Noise Pollution

Everyone has experienced at some time 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, 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, then consult your council to see what they can do.

If the problem is beyond the powers of the council, then consult your solicitor to see what legal action can be taken to deal with the problem. 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, then the police have the power to issue a similar notice. The police can issue on-the-spot fines if, after telling the offender to stop or mitigate the noise, it starts again within 6 hours.

If we at Matthews Williams can assist you on this or any other legal matter, feel free to phone me or one of our solicitors or call into our office for an appointment. For further information contact us.

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