5 Common Neighbour Disputes and What To Do

Neighbours everyone loves good neighbours, but sometimes there can be some issues that lead to disputes.  We have gone through our archives and here are some of the common questions ITC followers ask ITC or ask on ITC Lane Cove Chat about how to deal with neighbours.

Obviously, the first thing to do is to speak to your neighbour and voice your concerns and try and work out the issue together.  If you fail to reach an acceptable solution you may need to take it to the next level.

Noise

What do you do if you neighbour insists on using the leaf blower early in the morning or likes to do home renovation works in the morning or in the evening.  Below is a table showing noise time restrictions and who to contact.

Barking Dogs

All local councils have statutory powers to deal with barking dogs. Under the Companion Animals Act 1998, a council officer can issue a nuisance order to the owner declaring the dog a nuisance if it barks or makes another noise that keeps occurring or continues to such a degree that it unreasonably disturbs neighbours.

For example, if you complain about a noisy dog, the council officer can investigate to substantiate your complaint. This may include collecting evidence such as written statements from neighbours, asking you to keep a diary of when the noise occurs, and visiting the property where the dog is kept (check with your council about what evidence is required).

If the complaint is substantiated, the officer can issue a nuisance order. Before doing so, the owner of the dog must be given prior notice of the officer’s intention to issue a nuisance order. The notice must specify what aspects of the dog’s behaviour need to change to prevent the disturbance from continuing. It must also inform the owner of their right to object to the proposed order, and that the objection must be in writing and submitted within 7 days of the notice being issued. If an objection is received, the officer must then consider whether it is appropriate to issue the order. Once an order is issued, it remains in force for six months and cannot be appealed against.

If the owner does not comply with the order, the offender is liable for a fine of up to $880 for the first offence and $1650 for the second and each subsequent offence.

To report a barking dog call 9911 3555 or by fill out this online form.

Street Parking taken up by Boats or Camper Trailers

Lane Cove Council can take action on a boat that is parked for a long period of time in your street, but they cannot act on a camper trailer, storage box or a box trailer.

From 1 September 2017 Lane Cove Council has been permitted to take action to impound boat trailers parked continuously on a street for more than 28 days. This is different to the previous law which only permitted rangers to impound a vehicle or a trailer where the ranger was of the view, on reasonable grounds, that the boat or trailer has been abandoned or left unattended.

The 28-day relocation/moving provision is intended to ensure that boat owners return to their on-street parked boat and trailer at least monthly so as to check on its condition, and acts as a disincentive to persons residing outside the local area. It is believed that if someone has to move their boat every 28 days they are more likely to park their boat near their place of residence.

My Neighbour Won’t Contribute to the Cost of a New Dividing Fence

Does your fence look wonky?  Are you unhappy with your fence?  Is your fence wooden when you want a colourbond fence?  What do you do if you don’t like the fence you share with your neighbour?

Disagreements over dividing fences can be a source of annoyance and friction between neighbours. Sometimes a simple disagreement over a fence can escalate into much more serious situations with police involvement, AVOs and the breakdown of what otherwise had been a good relationship between neighbours.

In New South Wales, the Dividing Fences Act 1991 (DFA) regulates the dividing fences between neighbouring properties and who is responsible for the cost of fencing work.  The DFA addresses how the cost of a dividing fence is shared between adjoining land owners, where an owner wants to erect a dividing fence or wants work done on an existing dividing fence.

The cost of a dividing fence includes the cost of all related fencing work, such as preparation of the land, as well as the design, construction, replacement, repair and maintenance of the fence.  It does not include the cost of any work on a retaining wall required to provide support for land, trimming, lopping or the removal of vegetation except for the purpose of fencing work for a sufficient dividing fence.

You will be required to pay 50% of the costs.  However, you are not required to pay any additional cost if your neighbour wants a fancy fence ( ie a fence of a higher standard than is required for a sufficient dividing fence).

Further info here.

My Neighbour is a Hoarder/Dumper

NSW local councils can take action under the Local Government Act 1993. The Act permits council if land or premises are not kept in a safe or healthy condition, to make an order requiring the owner or occupier to refrain from doing certain things to ensure that the safe and healthy condition is maintained.

If you see any rubbish which has been illegally dumped you can report it to the council by calling 9911 3555 or by filling out this online form.

If the hoarder is a family member or friend, Catholic Care has a programme to assist people to deal with hoarding issues.  More info here.

What are some other issues that impact your relationship with your neighbour in Lane Cove?

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