Residential Noise

Residential noise can affect the comfort of a neighbourhood. There are many steps you can take to reduce unwanted noise and its impacts on your neighbours. Please contact the City to Make a Complaint/Report an Issue.

Living in residential areas means that we often share noise with our neighbours. Noise is described as unwanted sound, of which there could be many sources within a residential area that can cause a disturbance including:

  • Equipment such as Lawnmowers and Power tools

  • Steroes and Parties

  • Security Alarms

  • Air Conditioners

  • Musical Instruments.

There are many steps you can take to reduce unwanted noise in your neighbourhood.

Problems with noise in my neighbourhood

If you are having problems with ongoing noise in your neighbourhood, approach your neighbour and respectfully explain how the noise is affecting you. Try to come to a resolution so that your neighbour may be able to continue the activity, perhaps for a shorter duration or at a time when you will not be home. If you would like one of the City’s Authorised Noise Officers to investigate, please submit a Public Health Complaint Form.

You may be asked to complete a record of events, noting the date, time and duration of the noise emissions over a fortnight. Please note the City cannot investigate one-off parties or noise occurrences.

Residential equipment

Many types of equipment used on residential properties can create excessive noise. These include lawnmowers, power tools, blower vacuums and hammers. 

You can use this equipment under the following conditions:

  • For no more than two hours per day (intended as a two hour block, rather than short bursts throughout the day totalling two hours)
  • Between the hours of 7am and 7pm Monday to Saturday, and 9am and 7pm Sundays and public holidays.

Parties and stereo noise

If you are planning a party, please follow these guidelines to maintain good relations with your neighbours:

  • Let your neighbours know in advance that you are having a party, provide them with your number to call if they find the noise too loud.

  • Turn the music down at 10pm and off at midnight.

  • Monitor the noise at the boundary during the party and try place amplified music inside rather than having it outside.  Ask everyone to move inside the house after midnight.

  • Leave the clean up until the morning so the sound doesn’t disturb neighbours.

  • Ask your guests to leave quietly and say your goodbyes inside.

  • For everyday stereo use, the volume must be turned down at 7pm, and either off or to a level that cannot be heard at the property boundary at 10pm.

  • Keep the bass component of your stereo to a minimum.

Please note that fines can be issued if complaints are received about regular noise emissions.

Security alarms

  • Alarms are important security devices but can cause excess noise if accidentally triggered. Please ensure:

  • You are familiar with your alarm system and can operate it correctly.

  • The alarm has been installed by a Licensed Security Agent.

  • The alarm has auxiliary power backup.

  • The alarm is in a location that minimises the possibility of damage or interference.

  • The length of the siren is limited to a maximum of 10 minutes.

  • The sound level of an external siren is limited to 90 dB(A), three metres from the perimeter of the building.

  • The alarm is kept in good working order and serviced at least once a year.

  • Windows/doors are properly closed before activating the alarm and pets are outside.

  • Vermin and insects are not prevalent.

  • Trees, shrubs and branches are well away from windows/doors.

 
WA Police have the power to silence audible alarms if it has been causing unreasonable noise for at least 30 minutes.
Find out more about unreasonable noise from security alarms.

Air conditioners

Residential air conditioners can contribute to an increasing level of environmental noise in our communities. Noise emissions from air conditioners must meet set decibel levels at the property boundary to ensure that they do not cause a disturbance to neighbours. Installers must carry out a noise impact assessment before an air conditioner is installed.

Please select the most appropriate air conditioner for your situation, either an evaporative unit, or a refrigerated unit, that will have the least impact on your neighbours. Small to medium sized refrigerated units will have a Sound Power Level label for the exterior component of the air conditioning unit. The lower the number, the lower the noise level.  You can obtain information on the Sound Power Level for an evaporative unit from the manufacturer.

Please consider the location of an air conditioner installing it. The external components of the air conditioner should be positioned as far away from the closest neighbour. 

Musical instruments

Practising musical instruments for a long time, or at inappropriate times, can cause a disturbance. 

Please respect the following guidelines for using musical instruments:

  • For no more than 1 hour per day (intended to be in a 1 hour block, rather than short bursts throughout the day totalling 1 hour).
  • Between the hours of 7am and 7pm Monday to Saturday, and 9am and 7pm Sundays and public holidays.

Always play the instrument inside, and keep all windows and doors closed. Please conduct all band practice in a musical studio. If your neighbour is meeting these requirements, but the noise is still causing a disturbance, discuss the issue, and try to agree on a more appropriate time for the instrument to be practised. 

More information and contact

Please contact Health Services about residential noise on 08 9411 3444 or at healthteam@cockburn.wa.gov.au.

Please contact the City to report an issue or make a complaint

Related Documents

Document name Downloadable files
Health Services Record of Nuisance Events Form PDF document
Social Media Share Links below open in a new window

Contact

Address

9 Coleville Crescent,
Spearwood 6163

Po Box 1215, Bibra Lake DC,
Western Australia, 6965

Visit the City of Cockburn homepage