Neighbour disputes


Neighbourhoods are made up of people representative of varying ages, household compositions, cultures – who are respectful of each other and our differences.
Housing Choices South Australia promotes and encourages positive interactions between our residents and the wider community.

In any community there needs to be a certain amount of tolerance between neighbours. It can make us feel unhappy, scared or anxious when a person is unpleasant towards us, or someone’s behaviour is a bit odd, erratic or not in keeping with our own values or standards. Despite that, none of these things in isolation are grounds for a complaint about your neighbour. We can often observe things that make us feel uncomfortable, but we don’t really know what is going on for the other person.

Complaints that are based on one person’s judgement about someone else’s behaviour or lifestyle choices are not usually able to be addressed by a landlord. Under the law, for your landlord to intervene in neighbour disputes effectively, you need to be able to establish that your neighbour’s conduct has disturbed your quiet enjoyment of your home. In these types of situations, Housing Choices will be able to take steps to help resolve the situation, but only when your neighbour is also a Housing Choices resident, and it is shown that the quiet enjoyment of your home has been undoubtably disturbed by them.

Your Housing Officer can provide you with assistance and information relating to neighbours, noise and disruptive behaviour.


Noise issues


Housing Choices cannot intervene in matters that involve commonplace noise and activity associated with normal daily life that can arise when residents live in close proximity to each other. The noise must be excessive before you should consider advising Housing Choices of the situation.




When a tenant allows people onto their property, they are responsible for the behaviour of those people and as such, if the behaviour of a visitor is excessive or unusual and interrupts your quiet enjoyment, please review the information in Dealing with Disruptive Neighbours for suggestions on how to resolve such issues.


Is your neighbour distruptive?


Everyone is entitled to live peacefully in their home regardless of where they live, or whether they rent or own a property. You are not expected to tolerate excessive noise or physical or verbal abuse from a neighbour.

If you feel your safety or the safety of others is at risk contact the police on 131 444 (or 000 in an emergency).

Disruptive behaviour


Disruptive behaviour is anything that unreasonably or repeatedly interferes with the peaceful enjoyment of your home.


This can include: 

  • excessive and unusual noise or smell
  • threats, intimidation, offensive behaviour or assault
  • continual trespass
  • theft, vandalism or graffiti
  • noise and disturbance from domestic arguments
  • street fighting and verbal abuse between a neighbour and their visitors.

Disruptive behaviour does not include: 

  • unpleasant, strange or annoying neighbours
  • noise and activity associated with normal daily life – eg children playing.

Dealing with disruption: 

  • Talk to your neighbour first
    be prepared to be reasonable and compromise – you are entitled to live peacefully and so are they
  • Try to stay focused on the issue you want to address. Don’t bring up other problems that may have happened in the past.
  • don’t engage in arguments with your neighbour or their visitor
  • don’t threaten or be aggressive towards your neighbour or their visitors
  • don’t engage in any illegal activity – eg trespass, vandalism.
  • keep a detailed written record of each specific disturbance
  • where it happened and a description of the event
  • how it affected you
  • what action you took – e.g. reported animal noise to your local council.


Report incidents to the appropriate agency


Specific agencies can take action over certain types of behaviour. Keep a copy of any letters you receive from agencies about your complaints and keep a record of your contact with them.


Police – phone 131 444 (emergencies 000) for:

  • noise problems late at night eg loud music and parties
  • graffiti, vandalism and suspected illegal activity
  • reckless or dangerous driving
  • and if you feel your safety or the safety of others is at risk.

Your local council for: 

  • trees, rubbish or the general condition of your neighbour’s property
  • animal problems – noise or strays and barking dogs
  • abandoned vehicles and street parking
  • noise from air conditioners, machines, power tools and household appliances.
  • If you have followed these steps and still find that your concerns have not been resolved and the nuisance
  • continues, or you do not feel confident or safe to approach your neighbour to discuss, make contact with
  • Housing Choices by calling 1300 312 447.

To make a report of a neighbour dispute or anti-social behaviour or download our Neighbourhood Dispute Form here.

Good neighbour intiative


Housing Choices South Australia encourages residents to recognise good neighbours. To nominate a good neighbour please please contact your Housing Officer for more details.

Kindness award program


Residents acknowledging kindness shown by another resident. To nominate a fellow resident, email Community Development via the link below.

Ending your tenancy


You may find yourself in a situation where you want to end your tenancy agreement with Housing Choices South Australia.

You will need to:

  • Complete the attached Termination of Tenancy Form, or
  • write a letter to your Housing Officer giving at least two weeks’ notice including your new address.
  • You should also download the Vacate Cleaning Checklist to ensure the property is left in a suitable condition.

Before you vacate your home, your Housing Officer will make an appointment to visit you and to make notes about the condition of the property. If you need to carry out any repairs, this will be fully explained to you.

Your Housing Officer will discuss the process for returning your Rental Bond and if any claim will be made against it.

If the tenant (person whose name the lease is held with) leaves the property or dies a succession of tenancy may be considered to the partner or an adult child who has resided as a member of the household for a minimum of 12 months.

Your Housing Officer will assist with the End or Tenancy or Succession of Tenancy process, please contact them.