Your home is your castle, which means that your neighbour's home is their castle, and sometimes castles go to war. Having a dispute with your neighbours is (unfortunately) so common, that in the UK, there's a whole reality show about it, and it's been on the air since 2014! While Australia hasn't yet televised these disputes, they certainly happen. You want to feel safe, comfortable and confident in your castle. So what are your options when the noise coming from the castle next door makes this difficult, if not impossible?
In Case of Escalation
While almost any neighbourhood dispute can be resolved calmly, this is not always how a situation plays out. It needs to be stated that it's unacceptable for your neighbour to ever become violent or threaten violence. If this should occur, withdraw from the confrontation as calmly and quickly as possible, and then contact the police, as this behaviour should not be tolerated. Hopefully a dispute will never escalate to that level, and in most instances it can be resolved in a neighbourly way. Much of the time, a friendly chat should be sufficient.
Isolated Incidents and Ongoing Problems
In some instances, a friendly chat might not even be necessary when the incident is clearly isolated. Perhaps a party was too loud and went too late, but unless this becomes a regular occurence, raising the topic might prove to be unnecessary. If the noise is continual, whether it's loud music, a barking dog, noisy appliances or even mowing the lawn at the crack of dawn, you should first talk to your neighbour. Discuss the problem with your neighbour in a polite, yet firm manner. The ease of this discussion can perhaps depend on how well you already know your neighbour. It can be prudent to note the date of this discussion in case the issue goes to formal mediation.
Resolving Your Conflict
If you cannot resolve the matter with your neighbour, your next port of call should be your local council. Many councils offer a conflict resolution service between neighbours, and this creates an agreement that each neighbour should adhere to. Of course, your neighbour might counter your complaint with a complaint at their own. Whether this is a legitimate claim or merely a defensive form of posturing is a matter for the conflict resolution process. But be aware that some compromises might be required.
Noisy neighbours can be a fact of life, but there is such a thing as noise that is too loud and happens too often.