Be sensitive to the noise you make in your home and yard. Things like blaring music, using a lawn mower, leaf blower or power tools, barking dogs, noisy parties and loud cars, motorbikes and powered bicycles can annoy neighbours, particularly late at night or early in the morning.
If you’re going to have a party, let your neighbours know ahead of time and tell them what time the party will finish so they’ll know when to expect some quiet. It’s good to invite them if you can.
Pets can be a big bone of contention between neighbours. Always clean up after your pet, don’t let them stray into your neighbour’s yard and try to stop your pets from making excessive noise.
Keep your garden and yard trimmed, neat and free of rubbish
If you have a disagreement or problem with your neighbours, it’s important to deal with it directly and tactfully, as soon as possible.
Always try to resolve the problem directly with your neighbour first, by having a face-to-face chat. Don’t use text messages or email which can be easily misunderstood.
Try to stay calm positive and polite and focus on the problem, not the person. Be clear about the issue and what you want them to do or agree to.
Explain the issue clearly and what you want them to do or agree to. Listen to their concerns and consider them seriously. When a person feels they have been listened to and understood, problems are often easier to work through and resolve.
If you’re anxious about approaching your neighbours because of past experiences, you speak different languages or you’re not sure how they’ll react, the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria has lots of helpful advice on how to handle this.
If you and your neighbour can’t agree, or talking with them doesn’t fix the problem, you can try meeting with an impartial professional mediator to help resolve your dispute.
The Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria offers a free and confidential mediation service – however they have temporarily closed their general service to focus on assisting renters and rental providers to resolve disputes listed for VCAT consideration.
Always try resolving the matter with your neighbours first, by talking to them in person in a calm, friendly way.
If talking with them or mediation doesn’t work, or the issue is related to suspected criminal behaviour, you can report your neighbours to the appropriate authority.
If the matter relates to a council or local laws issue, such as fences, excessive noise, burning off, unsightly premises, fire hazards, or dangerous, noisy or wandering pets, contact your local Council. Find your local council here.
If it’s related to a loud party in the early hours, or a neighbour is harrassing you or threatening violence, you can call the Police Assistance Line on 131 444.
If the matter is related to family violence and you suspect someone may be in immediate danger, call Triple Zero (000) straight away.
Also call Triple Zero (000) if someone’s life, property or your personal safety is under immediate threat and you need emergency services to come urgently.
If you suspect a neighbour of criminal or hoon behaviour, call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or lodge an online report.
Neighbourhood Watch Victoria acknowledges the 38 mobs, the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we operate, live, and gather as employees and volunteers. We recognise their continuing connection to land, water and community and pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging.
At Neighbourhood Watch, we believe everyone has the right to feel safe and welcome. We are committed to ensuring diversity, inclusion and equity are embedded throughout our organisation – in the work we do, the services we deliver and among our staff, volunteers, and the communities we work with.