Under our Neighbourhood Amenity Local Law, noise would be considered a “nuisance” if it creates “any condition which is liable to be noxious, offensive, dangerous or injurious to health or personal comfort". Being able to hear a noise does not necessarily mean that it is a nuisance.
A noise nuisance could include noise created by an animal, or any other persistent noise that unreasonably interferes with the peace comfort of other people.
If you have a noise problem with a neighbour, we encourage you to talk to them and work together to find a solution. Your neighbour may not be aware that they are disturbing you.
Before you approach your neighbour, plan what you are going to say. If you are pleasant and keep calm then they are more likely to respond positively. Try to find a time when you can remain calm and your neighbour will listen to your concern. The best approach might be to explain how the noise disturbs your need for peace, relaxation or sleep, and how this makes you feel. Try to focus on what you are hearing, rather than what your neighbour is doing.
If you don’t feel comfortable speaking with them in person, consider writing a letter. Not sure what to write? Use our sample letter.
If the problem is behavioural or occurs after hours, Police should be contacted at the time of offence.
The Prohibited Times for Noise document outlines the noise restrictions that apply to Victorian residents.
The EPA website offers advice and solutions to residential, commercial and vehicle noise issues.
If a dispute occurs, the reaching an agreement website developed by the Department of Justice provides useful videos, information, relevant links and contacts to assist residents on how to effectively resolve disputes.
If you are unable to resolve the issue with your neighbour you can contact us on 1300 368 333 or contact the Dispute Settlement Centre for further information or assistance.
Submit a noise complaint to Council
If you are unable to resolve the issue with your neighbour you can contact us on 1300 368 333. Your enquiry will be passed on to an Authorised Officer and you will be given a reference number.
The Officer will usually contact you before sending you the log sheets to get a better idea of the type of noise and find out how it is affecting you in your home.
The Officer will also contact the neighbour, either by phone or letter, to let them know that a complaint has been received and to ask them for more information about the cause of the noise. Your details will always be kept confidential and would never be released without your consent.
You will be asked to complete a nuisance log for 4 weeks, to demonstrate that it is a persistent and ongoing problem. You should complete the Statutory Declaration part of the log sheets and get your signature witnessed. Return the log sheets to Council as soon as possible after that time. The Authorised Officer will review the information before seeing if any further action can be taken.
Once Council has received your log sheets and if the Officer is satisfied that the noise is indeed a nuisance, they may educate your neighbour or serve a Notice to Comply on the neighbour. The Officer may need to witness the noise themselves and may work with you in order to gauge the intensity of the noise. If the neighbour does not stop the noise after the Notice to Comply has been served, further action may be taken, including infringements.
In extreme cases, Council can use other powers including the service of Improvement or Prohibition Notices under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008. Council can also prosecute the neighbour in the Magistrates’ Court. However, you may be called as a witness.
Victoria Police also have powers under the Environmental Protection (Residential Noise) Regulations 2018 to control certain types of noise, including loud music and parties, that occur during the prohibited times. They can serve a Direction that remains in force for 72 hours or issue an infringement notice.
If the matter is urgent, call 000 or the Police Information Line on 131 444 at the time of the offence.
Read our local laws about noise control
For more information about noise nuisance, read our Neighbourhood Amenity Local Law