Noise can disrupt a person’s life, causing a lack of sleep and unnecessary stress.
Noise is considered unreasonable if it interferes directly or indirectly with the health, welfare, convenience, or comfort of any person in any premises. Under the Environmental Protection Act 1986 it is an offence to create unreasonable noise.
Did You Know?
Regulations adopted under the Environmental Protection Act allow for maximum levels of noise at certain times of the day and night.
Loud noises late at night or very early in the morning are likely to impact more on your neighbours than making noise during the day.
The City’s Environmental Health Officers are authorised under the Environmental Protection Act and play a key role in managing environmental noise pollution issues. They are able to respond quickly to complaints and assess the situation by using sophisticated sound monitoring equipment.
Major Sources of Noise
- amplified noise and noise from patrons of hotels, clubs, bars, restaurants and sporting facilities
- building sites
- home parties and gatherings
- air conditioners
- swimming pool and spa pumps
- live and recorded music
- home workshops using wood or metalwork machinery
Noise from Power Tools
If you are using power tools such as saws, drills and lawn mowers, use them at times and places that will minimise annoyance to your neighbours. The best places are inside enclosed garages, in your house or behind a barrier, and out of direct line of sight to neighbours windows and doors.
Hand-operated equipment can be used for up to two hours (accumulative) on any one day*:
- between 7am–7pm Monday to Saturday
- between 9am–7pm Sundays or public holidays.
* These restrictions do not apply to a construction site - see Building Sites below.
Noise from parties can be disturbing, particularly if it is excessively loud or happens regularly.
If you intend to have a party and don’t want to upset your neighbours try these suggestions:
- Close all windows and doors
- Don’t use speakers outside the house
- Start your party earlier so that it can finish earlier
- Turn the music down by 10pm to ensure the music is not audible inside your neighbours home after this time
- Ensure your guests leave quietly
- Let your neighbours know about the party in advance and its expected finishing time.
Complaints concerning excessive noise can result in the police or council seizing equipment and fines in excess of $1000.
Swimming Pool Pumps
Swimming pool motors commonly create noise problems, particularly in summer. This is often when noisy equipment is left operating overnight or in the early hours of the morning. Pool owners are encouraged to run the pool pump during day time hours when higher levels are permitted.
Noise from air conditioners can disturb neighbours. The noise can disrupt sleep, interfere with normal daily activities and can have significant impacts on people’s health. Installation of an air conditioner that emits unreasonable noise is illegal. Before installing an air conditioning unit it is important to consider whether the location is likely to have an unreasonable impact on your neighbours. Air conditioners should not be located adjacent to neighbours windows, bedrooms or living areas. The best location for refrigerative air conditioners is generally facing the front or rear yard. Placing the unit at the side of the house close to a neighbours house is likely to create excessive noise, as the noise is trapped and reflected between the walls and the eaves of the houses.
The City of South Perth may require relocation of a noisy air conditioner or modification to reduce the noise if the air conditioner does not comply with the Regulations.
Builders are permitted to work Monday to Saturday between 7am and 7pm. No noisy works are permitted on Sundays or public holidays without prior approval from the City's CEO. The CEO will not approve Sunday or public holiday works unless they are absolutely justified and they must meet a strict set of conditions. If approval is granted, all nearby residents will be notified of the work 24 hours before it commences.
Equipment used on building sites which is close to residences should always be maintained in good order and be fitted with good quality engine exhaust mufflers, so that noise emissions are minimised. Radios should be operated on building sites so that they are not audible from nearby homes.
Sending a Noise Complaint to the City
If you are annoyed by noise created by neighbours, there are a number of things you can do.
Try speaking with your neighbour about the noise. Often people do not realise they are causing you a problem and in many cases will be happy to do what they can to help.
If this approach is not possible or successful, send an email to email@example.com and outline the type of noise, location of the source and time of occurrence. Alternatively, complete a Complaint Form available from the Civic Centre or by contacting City’s Environmental Health Services on 9474 0777.