A neighbour continues to wake us at 2am. What can we do? – Peter, NSW

Q: A neighbour with a bedroom directly above ours has removed carpet and now has the odd rug, but otherwise floorboards. The building is a 1920s structure without good soundproofing. They thump around at 2am on a regular basis…waking us. My wife has ben forced to sleep in the kitchen. They are unreasonable and difficult. What can we do?

Noise concerns are one of the most commonly raised issues in strata communities. The close nature of living arrangements in strata schemes means the actions of owners and tenants can impact others around them.

Whilst each lot owner has the right to enjoy their property in their own way, they must not interfere with or impact another person’s lot or cause a nuisance or hazard to another resident. There is still hope – here is what you can do…

Communicate your concerns: The first step is to have an friendly, honest conversation with your neighbours and tell them how their noisy activities are affecting you. Often, communication can resolve many neighbour concerns.

Review your by-laws: Every strata scheme has its own by-laws, which are a set of rules that covers the behaviour of residents, it’s important to check with the owner’s corporation on your individual strata scheme’s current by-laws. If your current by-laws are unclear, you can have your by-laws amended by filing a motion in an annual general meeting (AGM) and seeking a decision through special resolution.

Mediation: Your strata committee can mediate on your behalf and request the owners to be more mindful of their neighbour’s right to peaceful enjoyment of their property as well. Sometimes, it helps to have an unbiased, but knowledgeable third party (in this case, your strata committee) mediate disputes and communicate building rules more effectively.

You can read the full description outlined by NSW Office of Fair Trading here.

Also you may want to take a look out our e-book on NSW Strata Legislation here.