Noise levels & restrictions

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Victoria provides information on appropriate noise levels and restrictions. Restrictions on various equipment and items, as to when they are permitted apply in residential areas.

Residential noise may also be considered unreasonable outside of the prohibited times taking into account its volume, intensity and duration; and time, place and other circumstances in which it is emitted.

Information to support residents in understanding the various equipment groups and practical scenarios of the application of the Regulations may be obtained from the noise section of the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) website.

The table below relates to residential noise and prohibited times that could be useful when understanding the obligations of residents using such equipment. The restrictions below also apply to tradespeople/contractors undertaking work on residential properties.

Group

Items

Prohibited Times

1

Motor vehicles (except a vehicle moving in or out of premises), lawnmower or other grass cutting device and any equipment or appliance not falling within group 2 having an internal combustion engine

Monday - Friday: before 7 am and after 8 pm.

Weekends and public holidays: before 9 am and after 8 pm

2

Electric power tool, chain or circular saw, gas or air compressor, pneumatic power tool, hammer or any other impacting tool, grinding equipment

Monday - Friday: before 7 am and after 8 pm.

Weekends and public holidays: before 9 am and after 8 pm

3

Domestic air-conditioner, swimming pool pump, spa pump, domestic heating equipment (including central heating and hot water systems) and a domestic vacuum cleaner

Monday - Friday: before 7 am and after 10 pm.

Weekends and public holidays: before 9 am and after 10 pm

4

Musical instrument, electrical amplified sound reproducing equipment (including stereogram, radio, television or public address system)

Monday - Thursday: before 7am and after 10pm.

Friday: before 7am and after 11pm

Saturday and public holidays: before 9 am and after 11 pm

Sunday: before 9am and after 10pm

5

Electric equipment or appliance not falling within Group 2, 3 or 4 including electric gardening equipment

Monday - Friday: before 7 am and after 8 pm.

Weekends and public holidays: before 9 am and after 8 pm

Note: The prohibited times apply when the noise from a prescribed item can be heard from inside a habitable room of another residential premises.

What to do about the noise?

Often the best approach is to discuss any noise issues with your neighbour first before involving Council or Police. Your neighbour may not know that a nuisance is being caused, if you approach them early on about the noise you can help make them aware of the problem and they can be more considerate in the future.

If approaching your neighbour does not resolve the problem, the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria may be able to assist. The organisation provides a free and confidential service to Victorians with a range of services to resolve disputes.

Seeking help from Council or Police

If the noise occurs after hours, is anti-social or threatening in nature, the Police should be contacted by calling 000 at the time of the offence.

If the noise is an ongoing occurrence you can seek help from Council's Environmental Health Unit. You may be required to fill out a noise log with specific dates and times that the noise is occurring, to be used by Officers as evidence.

Noise Log (820kb)

Please note: Council does not investigate people noise from parties, yelling, screaming etc.

What if I live in a Body Corporate or Apartment?

For people living within body corporates or apartments, the owner’s corporation must have procedures in place to deal with disputes of residents. Residents should make formal complaints to the Manager of the Owners Corporation if a nuisance is being caused.

Under the Residential Tenancies Act 1997, tenants must not cause a nuisance in any manner that causes an interference with the reasonable peace, comfort or privacy of any occupier of neighbouring premises. Landlords can take action against tenants that break these rules.

For more information regarding owners corporations and rentals, please contact Consumer Affairs Victoria on 1300 55 81 81.

What if I’m going to have a party?

If you’re planning a party, it is best to let your neighbour’s know via a quick letterbox drop or door knock to try and avoid any complaints about you.

It’s important to be considerate of our neighbours when hosting an event that may create a lot of noise, by following the guidelines as closely as possible you may be able to avoid any unnecessary problems.

It is also recommended that you also register your party with your local Police station to ensure Police are aware of the event and can provide timely assistance if things start to get out of hand.

Commercial Noise

Factories/Large commercial properties

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) sets limits under its (Control of Noise from commerce, industry and trade) Policy. The EPA is the responsible Authority to investigate noise reports about major industries.

Loud Noise from PA system from a school

Please contact the Department of Education’s South Eastern Victoria regional offices on 8765 5600.    

Noise from buildings on Council Land

For buildings on council land including sporting clubs, halls and community centres please contact Council’s Leisure Facilities department on 9705 5200.

Motor Vehicle noise

It is an offence to own or use a noisy vehicle that exceeds noise limits of the Environment Protection (Vehicle Emissions) Regulations. Residents can report a noisy vehicle to the Highway Patrol at their local police station. The Police will assess the vehicle, if it is above the prescribed limits, they can refer the vehicle to the EPA for further noise testing.

Note: The prohibited times of Environment Protection (Residential Noise) Regulations do not apply to vehicles entering and exiting from a dwelling or left idling for a short period of time.  Council cannot enforce noise from vehicles on a roadway.

Environmental Protection Authority Survey – Noise regulations

The EPA’s Policy and Regulation Unit is currently reviewing the residential noise regulations and has developed a survey to canvas the views of Victorian households. Feedback from this survey will help the EPA develop new regulations to replace the existing ones when they expire towards the end of this year. To fill in the survey visit the EPA website