Resolve neighbourhood noise issues

Before taking formal steps to complain about noise, you should attempt to contact your residential neighbour or local business to work towards an appropriate solution.

You’ll need to complete a noise diary for 10 days before contacting us

Project Status: When you need to do this

What you need to do

Noise nuisance recording logDOCX · 92.44 KB · Last modified

For after hours complaints

Noise complaints made after hours are referred to our rangers who aim to follow them up as soon as possible. If the situation is complex and difficult to fix, rangers will refer the complaint on for a more thorough investigation.

Before you start 

If you’re affected by offensive noise, you can also seek a noise abatement order yourself. By acting independently of the City of Sydney you can lodge your own evidence of the noise impact.

Visit the NSW EPA website for more details.

Fact sheet: neighbourhood noisePDF · 87.9 KB · Last modified

Resources

NSW Environment Protection Authority also has a range of resources available for dealing with noise, whether your complaint relates to your neighbours, alarms or motor vehicles.

Strata schemes

The Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 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 isn’t 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 us.

Time restrictions for various noise sources

Noise source Time restrictions for using noisy equipment at a residential premises where they can be heard in the living area of neighbouring properties
Power tools, swimming pool pumps, lawn mowers, leaf blowers and chain saws
  • 8pm to 7am Monday to Saturday.
  • 8pm to 8am Sundays and public holidays.
Musical instruments, radios, sound systems, and public address systems
  • 10pm to 8am Sunday to Thursday.
  • 12 midnight to 8am Friday, Saturday and any day immediately before a public holiday.
Air-conditioners and 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.