Residential noise may be deemed unreasonable at any time of the day, depending on its volume, intensity, duration, time, place and other circumstances. Specific types of noisy equipment have times during which their use is prohibited, however some equipment may still be deemed too loud even when used during the appropriate times.
Some activities can be easily identified as producing unreasonable noise, such as a loud music in the early hours of the morning, but some can be more difficult to decide such as a stereo being played loudly during the day.
By contacting Wellington Shire Council or Victoria Police, Officers can provide assistance to residents and may attend your property to listen to the noise, and possibly take measurements, to decide if it is unreasonable.
It may also be a good idea to keep a log of when the noise occurs, for how long it continues each time and how the noise is impacting you in the event that further legal action may need to be taken.
For a list of prescribed items and prohibited times please visit the Prohibited Times for Residential Noise page on the Environment Protection Authority website.
The best approach for dealing with noisy neighbours is to first try speaking to them in a calm and rational manner as they may not be aware that they are making an amount of noise that can be heard in your home. Often, making your neighbour aware that the noise is disturbing you can lead to a positive outcome for you both. Find some tips on how to start the conversation with your neighbour on the Dispute Settlement of Victoria's website.
If talking to your neighbour does not result in changes being made and the noise continues, there are other courses of action available to you through Wellington Shire Council and Victoria Police.
Officers can investigate and decide whether noise is unreasonable. They consider:
The Environment Protection Regulations 2021 cover specific sources of noise from residential properties.
The Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria can assist in resolving noise problems through mediation. Mediation relies on both neighbours attending a meeting with a mediator to discuss both sides of the story freely and honestly. This service is free and confidential.