Noisy renovations can be a bit of a headache. Who enjoys the sound of power tools like electric drills, saws, and lawnmowers? Trying to be sane in the middle of noise, dust, and fumes coming from next door can be quite frustrating. As a neighbour, you can’t do much about it unless you move out temporarily during the renovation. But that is not usually the easiest and convenient way, right? What if moving out is not an option? What if you have a little one with you and the noise and dusts become a threat to your health?
Below are some of the things to do about neighbours with noisy renovations:
- Know your rights
If you are living in NSW, the use of power tools is prohibited between 8pm to 7am, except for Sundays when they are not allowed before 8am and after 8pm. In QLD, power tools should not be audible between 7pm and 7am everyday, except Sunday and public holidays, when restrictions are up to 8am. VIC residents on the other hand, must not use power tools before 7am and after 8pm on weekdays, while use of power tools must be limited after 9am and before 8pm on weekdays and public holidays. For South Australia, power tools can only be used from 8am to 8pm everyday, except Sundays, where use is limited to 9am to 8pm.
- Talk to your neighbour
First of all, before your neighbour conducted the renovation, he should have informed you as a courtesy to neighbours like you who will be bothered by the noise. This will avoid neighbour disputes and unnecessary confrontations. However, if your neighbour failed to do that, you should inform him of how it bothers you. He might not have thought well about the whole renovation process and the disturbance it may cause to the neighbours. To settle this, be the one to approach him and tell him your concerns. You can agree and come up with creative and doable solutions like having specific times of construction that are both convenient for you.
- Ask for mediation
If you already talked to your neighbour and he still failed to do some adjustments about the noisy renovations, it’s time to ask for mediation. This could come from your local council or strata manager. You can also seek help from an independent mediator from the Community Justice Centres (CJC). The mediation process usually involves no cost to you and to your neighbour as well. Mediations have high success rate and if the two parties agree with a resolution, this will solve your problem with noisy renovations.
- Seek for a noise abatement order
If you don’t want to go through the local council, you can go directly to the local court and seek a noise abatement order. Note that there are fees for applying for a noise abatement order.
- Soundproof your walls.
If you don’t want to embarrass your neighbour or bother yourself by complaining about their noisy renovations, soundproofing options for your property will be worth every penny. You only not get rid of the noise the renovation makes, but you also get rid of other unwanted nuisances like dogs barking at night, neighbours with loud parties, etc.
We all want to enjoy the comforts of our home while having harmonious relationship with our neighbours. Having a quiet and peaceful neighbourhood is teamwork between you and your neighbours. Aside from the rules and regulations governing our neighbourhood, our common and mutual respect for each other’s rights will always save us from trouble and dispute with our neighbours. Practice patience and understanding at all times, but also speak out your concerns when appropriate.
Finally, use Housenet the neighbourhood social networking site to keep up with your neighbourhood’s local news, promote community events, or buy and sell online with fellow residents in your area.