NSW: Q&A How To Deal With the Noisy Tenants In The Apartment Above

Question: I’d like the noisy tenants in the apartment above me to be aware of the disturbance they are creating and the lot owner to change the flooring and comply with sound proofing requirements. Is this achievable?

The lot owner upstairs changed their flooring from carpet to timber floor without approval from strata. Since then, I’ve been constantly disturbed by footsteps and banging noises. The situation has been amplified over the last few months after four very noisy tenants moved into the apartment.

They wake me up very early every morning with banging and slamming noises.

Visitors to my apartment agree the noise is unbearable. I have spoken to them numerous times to let them know that their footstep noise, banging or dragging noises all are clearly heard. I feel like my peace and enjoyment in my own unit has been compromised.

I’ve contacted my owners corporation and strata manager numerous times. They either don’t reply to my emails or said I am too sensitive with the noise. They have told me that if I take the matter to Fair Trading, I will most probably not win the case. They have advised me not to bother.

I have been trying to record the noises on my mobile phone to prove how frequent and how loud the noises are. Is it legal to record these noises? As a next step, should I involve the police?

What should I do next? Ideally, I’d like the noisy tenants above me to be more aware of the disturbance they are creating, or for the lot owner to put down rugs or change the flooring to comply with sound proofing requirements. Is this achievable?

Answer: You will need to determine which by-laws apply to your scheme.

You will need to determine which by-laws apply to your scheme.

The standard by-law below may apply:

14 Floor coverings

  1. An owner of a lot must ensure that all floor space within the lot is covered or otherwise treated to an extent sufficient to prevent the transmission from the floor space of noise likely to disturb the peaceful enjoyment of the owner or occupier of another lot.
  2. This by-law does not apply to floor space comprising a kitchen, laundry, lavatory or bathroom.

Based on the information provided below, the Owner of the lot is in breach of the by-law.

Further, you state that the Owner did not obtain approval for the change of flooring from carpet to timber. This renovation is a minor renovation requiring ordinary resolution of the Owners Corporation/approval of the strata committee depending on the by-laws applicable to your scheme.

The above matters should be drawn to the attention of your strata manager.

You may wish to pursue your rights through NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal and mediation.

You may wish to ask the Police to investigate the noise on your behalf.

In terms of whether it is legal to record the noise, generally we do not believe this to be illegal. In fact, you would need to prove the unreasonable noise if you were to pursue your rights. We also recommend you keep a detailed diary of the times, dates and duration of noise.

Finally, you may wish to apply for a Noise Abatement Order through your Local Council.

This post appears in Strata News #345.


Have a question or something to add to the article? Leave a comment below.

Visit the original publication at Look Up Strata. Do you have a question relating to your property or development? Contact us!

Please note that this article is provided for information purposes only and is not a substitute for professional legal advice.