Neighbourhood noise

Neighbourhood noise

Noise source

Time restrictions for using noisy equipment at a residential premise where they can be heard in the living area of neighbouring properties

Power tools

Swimming pool pumps

Lawn mowers

Leaf blowers

Chain saws

8pm to 7am Monday to Saturday.

8pm to 8am Sundays and public holidays.

Musical instruments


Sound systems

Public address systems

10pm to 8am Sunday to Thursday.

12 midnight to 8am Friday, Saturday and any day immediately before a public holiday.


Hot water heaters

10pm until 7am Monday to Friday.

10pm until 8am Saturday, Sunday and public holidays.

Motor vehicles, except when entering or leaving premises

8pm to 7am Monday to Friday.

8pm to 8am Saturday, Sunday and public holidays.

Refrigeration units fitted to motor vehicles

8pm to 7am Monday to Friday.

8pm to 8am Saturday, Sunday and public holidays.

Resolving a noise problem

Before getting in touch with the City, you should consider contacting your neighbour to work out a solution to your noise concern.

If this approach is not successful and noise is recurring, you may consider contacting a Community Justice Centre. The government-funded but independent organisation specialises in settling neighbour disputes without getting into lengthy or expensive legal processes.

A complaint can be made to the City if the above is not successful in solving the problem. It is important to keep records of all relevant details, including action already taken and the offending property address.

Please note the City can only assist and take action on your behalf if the presence of offensive noise has been established.

If you are affected by offensive noise, you can seek a noise abatement order under law. Please visit the NSW EPA website  for more details.

Strata schemes

The Strata Schemes Management Act 1996 sets out a process for resolving disputes. This includes mediation and formal orders by the strata schemes adjudicator and/or the residential tribunal.

Under the Act, each strata must have a set of by-laws. The model by-law concerning noise provides that "an owner or occupier must not make noise at any time within their lot or on common property that is likely to disturb peaceful enjoyment of another resident or anyone using common property". 

The best approach for resolving a noise dispute within a strata scheme is to try to talk to your neighbour first.

You can speak to the owners' corporation or the residential tribunal if that is not successful.

If the noise continues, you can apply for mediation through the NSW Department of Fair Trading.

Only if you are unable to resolve the matter with these steps should you then contact the City.


City of Sydney02 9265 9333


Community Justice CentresNSW EPA: Noise abatement ordersNSW Department of Fair Trading: Resolving strata disputes

Last updated: Monday, 29 December 2014