Time restrictions on loud music
In NSW, there are restrictions on noise from musical instruments and sound systems which are commonly used at parties. Noise from music that can be heard in any habitable rooms of a neighbouring residence must cease during certain times: midnight to 8am on Friday, Saturday or any day preceding a public holiday and 10pm to 8am on any other day. An offence occurs if the noise continues after a warning has been given by a council or police officer.
If you're the host of the party
There are a few things you can do to make sure that your partying doesn't disturb your neighbours.
- Notify your neighbours in advance. Tell them about your party plans. Give them your contact details so that they can contact you directly (rather than the police) with any concerns. Having advance warning may reduce concerns on the night of your party.
- Ask guests to be quiet when they leave.
- Move indoors. As the evening gets later, move music and guests inside.
- Be considerate with your sound system. Make sure your speakers are not facing towards a neighbour. Also think about turning down the bass as this is often what bothers neighbours.
Complaints about noisy parties
Talk to your neighbour
Try to solve the problem amicably by talking to your neighbour. They may not realise that their celebration it is creating a nuisance or is too loud.
The brochure ‘Dealing with neighbourhood noise' outlines the steps you can take to prevent noise issues.
Contact the local police or council
If talking to your neighbour is unsuccessful and the noise problem persists, contact your local authorities. They can investigate your complaint and issue a nuisance order or penalty notice.
Contact the local police station
By phone: 131 444
If loud parties are a repeated problem, 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.
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.