Noise from home renovation and residential construction
Permitted hours for power tools
Noise from power tools and equipment (including electric, battery operated and pneumatic tools) that can be heard in any habitable rooms of a neighbouring residence must cease during certain times: 8pm to 8am on Sundays and public holidays, and 8pm to 7am on weekdays and Saturdays.
An offence occurs if the noise continues after a warning has been given by a council or police officer.
Local councils, police and courts have the authority to control offensive noise caused by any article at any time. This includes power tools used during the times they are permitted to be audible by the Noise Control Regulation and other tools such as hammers.
The work may be subject to planning approval such as a development consent or complying development certificate, which may contain requirements such as permitted construction hours.
Length of project
There is no time limit for how long neighbours can undertake renovation projects.
There is no general requirement for people affected (including renters) by noise from renovations to be compensated.
Noise control legislation
The noise provisions in the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 and the Protection of the Environment (Noise Control) Regulation 2008 and how councils and the police may asses offensive noise are explained in the Noise Guide for Local Government.
Dealing with noise
The brochure ‘Dealing with neighbourhood noise’ outlines the steps you can take to prevent noise issues.
Talk to your neighbour
Try to solve the problem amicably by talking to the person responsible for the noise. They may not realise it is creating a nuisance.
If the problem persists, contact a Community Justice Centre (CJC). These centres specialise in settling differences between neighbours. They can arrange mediation between yourself, the person responsible for the noise issue and a CJC representative to help solve the problem. This process is free and has a high success rate.
Contact the local police or council
If mediation is unsuccessful and the noise problem persists, contact your local council. They can investigate your complaint and issue a nuisance order.
Contact the local police station
By phone: 131 444
Seek a noise abatement order
If you want to take action independently of the council, you can seek a noise abatement order from the local court. There are fees for applying for a noise abatement order.