Got a neighbour with a bad habit? This might stop them 103



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We come from a time with the attitude ‘what goes on behind closed doors is none of my business’ but, as the population grows and we are forced or choose to live closer together, other people’s lives can encroach upon our own.

This is particularly the case when you live in an apartment, duplex or other style of housing that keeps your neighbours close. You can hear their every move and may be exposed to some of their more unsavoury habits.

Now a new law in NSW will seek to put a stop to at least one of these, with changes to strata laws meaning tenants whose cigarette smoke wafts over into neighbours’ living spaces could be fined up to $2200.

Too much barbecue smoke or a stinky cigar could earn you the same fine.

Fairfax media reports that under current laws, residents must not create a “nuisance or hazard” that negatively impacts on neighbours and interferes with them enjoying their lot or common property. At this stage, you can take a pesky neighbour to a tribunal for such behaviour.

But the new laws, part of a raft of 90 amendments to strata laws in this state, will be strengthened, adding smoke drift to what could reasonably be described as a “nuisance or hazard”.

Residents can take pesky neighbours to a tribunal if they breach the “nuisance or hazard” clause. Smoky neighbours would be issued a notice to comply if complaints were made and, if they fail to do so, the matter could be taken to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

A first offence would attract a fine of $1100, while a second in 12 months would cost $2200.

Tell us, do you welcome this new law or would you like to see it introduced where you live? Do you have an issue with neighbours’ behaviour, stinky, smoky or otherwise?


Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Overkill. Someone will take this action about a loo flushing. Wait and see.

    1 REPLY
    • I remember staying over at an Ex’s place many years ago now, ” 2002 , it was a new build all the modern con’s . But every night the persons upstairs had a shower, went to the toilet or the guy who snored behind the wall where our bed was, you heard everything, every plip plop, moan groan, all that water flushing, pouring down behind our heads. I know check very carefully what type and how much sound proofing is installed, which is usually not much! Somebody having a cigarette on their balcony would be a pitiful excuse to fine them. A smoky BBQ (who hasn’t had one of those before) if it were a persistent problem fine! Remember the washing day blues when you’d just hung out your white and the BBQ smoke and fumes poured over the fence! Suburban living today is a lot closer to you neighbours (ask ours, we get to see everything when the rise from their bed in the morning and retire at night! who needs tele? It’s now a fine line between living* and harassment!

  2. I have chain smoking neighbours too, it’s a nightmare. Have to keep all the windows on that side of the house closed and that still doesn’t stop it all.

  3. Smoking that occurs many times a day can be a legitimate reason if the neighbour isn’t prepared to cooperate. The odd smoke or BBQ shouldn’t be subject to this action.

  4. Houses and units are far too close to each other now, I am lucky I am far enough away from my neighbours. The worst we had were 3 units next door housing 3 family’s of Maori’s who would party all night, but thankfully they all go thrown out. And it is illegal for air-cons to be on if they are noisy and they interfere with you sleep.

  5. Our lovely neighbour walks his dog twice a day every day on our footpath and doesn’t pick up the doggy doos!!!

    5 REPLY
    • That’s really bad, we have concrete footpaths in my estate and someone regularly let’s the dog do this huge poo on the path, disgusting.

    • Someone once told me they bagged up the dog poo and put it in the
      owner’s mail box!! You could try that!

    • Judy Addison I threatened a man who let his dog do that on our front lawn each time he passed and didn’t pick it up with just that. Not only hasn’t there been any more but he has stopped walking past our place LOL.

  6. so I live in a set of villas, two of the 23 homes play loud music day and night, they have been asked and asked, to please turn it down, called police and council, nothing done, its a joke,

    8 REPLY
    • Same here. We live in a house and the people in the next house play loud music all day and night. We have approached the local council who say they can do nothing. The police have been called by us and others lots of times over the last 10 years, the music stops for 5 to 10 minutes then starts again. Police say they can do nothing more. Then across the road we have an and who practice all day in their garage (of course the door has to be open). Where are the laws to protect the quiet neighbourhood?

    • The owner lived there for 9 of those years. We were apply to see the back of him, but unfortunately the tenants are just as bad as he was.

    • We also own our house so are not in a position to move or else we would have long ago. North Queensland in summer with Windows closed to keep out the noise is unbearable. Waiting for Karma to catch up.

    • Why just pick on barbecue smoke and the like? What about the smell from candles and some pot plants, when a neighbour is allergic to them?

  7. I call it over kill,, who is going to police it,, who do these authority people think they are, a crock of shit,,,,,,

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