- The first step is to talk to the person responsible for the noise.
- Who you contact to make a complaint depends on the source of the noise.
- You need to record details about the noise in a diary.
Problem noises can often be resolved with a simple conversation. However, there are steps you can take if a noise continues to be a problem for you in your home.
Step 1: Talk to your neighbour
If you are having problems with noise around your home, we strongly recommend you first speak to your neighbour or the person responsible for the noise. Sometimes people aren’t aware they're making unreasonable noise or that they're disturbing you. The Environment Protection Authority website shows the prohibited times for residential noise.
The Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria has some good advice on how to approach your neighbour.
Step 2: Find the responsible authority
If talking to the person responsible for the noise doesn't resolve the situation and the noise continues to be a problem, then you need to find which authority is responsible for dealing with the noise issue; this could be Council or another authority, such as the EPA or the police.
For a list of who to contact for noise issues, see noise laws and responsible authorities.
Step 3: Record details of the noise
Please complete a noise diary initially for a 2-week period and email it to Health Services. Your diary sheets need to adequately reflect the problem. For the matter to be investigated, we need you to record:
- The times the noise occurs (dates and times of day)
- How long the noise continues for
- The specific type of noise that is of concern, e.g. air conditioner, music from radio
- Which room you are in when you can hear the noise
- An indication of its volume, e.g. compared to a vacuum cleaner
- How this noise affects you, e.g. Does it keep you awake? Does it prevent you from hearing your television? Does it wake your children?
The noise diary is essential for helping us determine the trend and scale of the problem, and to progress your complaint. Keep completing (and submitting) diary sheets every two weeks until Council makes a determination on the matter and lets you know. You must also be willing, if necessary, to give evidence in relation to this matter in a court of law.
Send the completed diary to Council via:
- email Health Services
- mail to Private Bag 1, Camberwell VIC 3124.
Step 4: Complaint assessment
Once we've received your noise diary, we assess the evidence to determine whether the noise is a nuisance under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 and/or unreasonable under the Environment Protection Act 1970.
We do this by visiting the location of the alleged noise and we may collect evidence, such as observations, statements, photographs, and sound meter readings as part of our investigation.
We also work with the person responsible for the noise to try to resolve the situation by offering suggestions on how to reduce noise to an acceptable level.
If the evidence does not support a nuisance, or we believe the matter is better settled privately, we'll give you advice on how to do this.
If you are unsure how to submit a noise complaint, or would like to discuss your situation with us, please contact Health Services on 9278 4444.