Noisy Neighbours

Question from Meaghan updated on 30th June 2011:

I am renting a property in Dunedin. I'm having an issue with the folks in the rental next door. I have had to call the DCC multiple times every weekend (and now recently week nights as well) just to deal with noise control, which of course if anyone who has used this service knows, does absolutely nothing! Usually the music just gets turned up even louder after a call. I'm tired of not being able to sleep at night and want to be able to contact the owner of the building next to mine to lodge a complaint with them. How do I find out who the owner is? How do I get them to respond to my complaint as my own living space is becoming unhabitable because of the noise issue?

Our expert Jeff Montgomery responded:

The Residential Tenancies Act 1986 (the Act) applies only to the relationship between a tenant and landlord. It does not cover the relationship between tenants and neighbouring properties (unless both properties have the same landlord).

I suggest you speak to your local council to find out who the owner of the neighbouring property is and try contacting them to highlight your concerns and to try to resolve the situation (you may also wish to check if your landlord knows the name of the owner).

If you are unable to resolve the matter, you may wish to seek independent legal advice from your local community law centre or Citizens Advice Bureaux to clarify what options are available to you.

The Department of Building and Housing provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.

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