Dealing with disruptive neighbours
Everyone is entitled to live peacefully in their home regardless of where they live, or whether they rent or own a property. You're not expected to tolerate excessive noise or physical or verbal abuse from a neighbour.
Disruptive behaviour is anything that unreasonably or repeatedly interferes with the peaceful enjoyment of your home. This can include:
- excessive and unusual noise or smell
- threats, intimidation, offensive behaviour or assault
- continual trespass
- theft, vandalism or graffiti
- noise and disturbance from domestic arguments
- street fighting and verbal abuse between a neighbour and their visitors.
Disruptive behaviour does not include:
- unpleasant, strange or annoying neighbours
- noise and activity associated with normal daily life - eg children playing.
Dealing with disruption
If you feel your safety or the safety of others is at risk contact the police on 131 444 (or 000 in an emergency).
1. Talk to your neighbour first
- be prepared to be reasonable and compromise - you are entitled to live peacefully and so are they
- don't engage in arguments with your neighbour or their visitors
- don't threaten or be aggressive towards your neighbour or their visitors
- don't engage in any illegal activity - eg trespass, vandalism.
Advice and assistance in dealing with disputes and disruption are provided by:
- Consumer and Business Services (if the neighbour causing the disturbance is renting the property from the owner)
- Community Mediation Services
- Legal Services Commission.
2. Keep written records
Keep a detailed written record of each specific disturbance:
- where it happened and a description of the event
- how it affected you
- what action you took - eg reported animal noise to your local council.
3. Report incidents to the appropriate agency
Specific agencies can take action over certain types of behaviour. Keep a copy of any letters you receive from agencies about your complaints and keep a record of your contact with them.
Police - phone 131 444 (emergencies 000) for:
- if you feel your safety or the safety of others is at risk
- noise problems late at night eg loud music and parties
- graffiti, vandalism and suspected illegal activity
- reckless or dangerous driving.
Housing SA for:
- noise from air conditioners, machines, power tools and household appliances.
Your local council for:
- trees, rubbish or the general condition of your neighbour's property
- animal problems - noise or strays. Barking dogs
- abandoned vehicles and street parking.
- when you suspect an animal has been abandoned.
The property owner or body corporate manager for:
- parking and vehicles, community corporation carparks
- trees, rubbish or the general condition of private property
- abandoned properties
- fencing, boundary and encroachment issues.
On this site
- Find your local police station - South Australia Police
- Neighbours and the law - Legal Services Commission