“I want to leave my rental property because my neighbour plays his drums really loud at all hours. I’m getting different answers from my agent about the best course of action. Can you offer me any suggestions on dealing with the neighbour before I think about breaking my lease? – Wendy
Wendy, we asked General Manager at Jellis Craig’s Property Management Department, Sophie Lyon to offer her insight into your question.
When is acceptable noise no longer acceptable?
Sophie said if you are residing in a building overseen by an Owners Corporation (or Owners Council), the owner or agent should be complaining to them, as noise restrictions and regulations come under the OC rules – guidelines that all occupants are required to comply with.
“Likewise, there are noise pollution laws that vary from state to state, so if they are being breached you can call the local police,” she said.
“If the neighbour is not renting, then while they will be required to comply with noise pollution laws, they can’t be compelled to leave so it’s not a total solution.”
When to make a noise complaint
“If the property is not owned by the same owner, then they also have limited ability to control the neighbour’s behaviour. The agent could definitely the neighbour and ask them to be more considerate, just to see if this has any impact.”
Sophie said that in the event that none of these solutions see a change in the neighbour’s behaviour, then moving out may be your next option.
“However, any lease break comes with penalties such as rent until the property is re-let, pro-rata letting fees and advertising,” she said.
“Effectively, you are compensating the owner for not remaining in the property for the agreed lease period. You certainly can endeavour to find a replacement tenant that would suit the owners requirements as well, but they do need to be approved by the owner before they can take over your lease and there may be a transfer fee applicable.”
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Sophie Lyon is the General Manager of Property Management at Jellis Craig in Hawthorn, Victoria. She has also served as the Director of the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) in Camberwell, Victoria, since 2016. Sophie is professionally active and is a former Vic President of the REIV and an REIV-accredited trainer. Before her time with Jellis Craig, Sophie worked with Philip Webb Real Estate for more than 10 years in Mitcham.