Being a good neighbour

Many of our properties are situated close together and, like all communities, are home to a diverse range of people with different lifestyles, cultures and family compositions.   Being a good neighbour means being mindful and respectful of others, particularly in terms of noise, the behaviour of visitors and pets and the use of shared areas such as parking places, laundries and gardens.

For the most part we all have great neighbours and with Housing Choices Tasmania, if you have a good neighbour, you can reward them through our Good Neighbour Initiative.

Good Neighbour Initiative


Do you know someone who is a particularly good neighbour and ticks some of the boxes below? Housing Choices Tasmania would like to help you thank them and recognise their contribution to the community by rewarding them.

  • friendly and helpful
  • provides assistance to others
  • contributes to the local community
  • is mindful of others
  • has performed a good deed
  • respectful of others privacy and lifestyles
  • maintains their property
  • alerts others to danger.

If you would like to know more, please contact your Housing Officer.


Residents’ rights and responsibilities


Housing Choices Tasmania recognises that all residents have rights – As a Housing Choices Tasmania resident you have a right to:

  • expect a positive and respectful relations with your housing provider, us.
  • the peaceful enjoyment of your home
  • complain about tenant(s) who you feel are violating your right to the peaceful enjoyment of your home
  • access support, information and services to enable you to maintain a successful tenancy.

Residents, also have responsibilities, when you sign the Residential Tenancy Agreement, you are agreeing to abide by the terms of this agreement and to meet all your tenancy obligations. This means you should not:

  • cause or permit a nuisance
  • interfere, cause or permit interference with the reasonable peace, comfort or privacy of any neighbour
  • use the residential premises or cause or permit the premises to be used for any illegal purpose and intentionally or negligently cause or permit any damage to the residential premises.

Under the Residential Tenancy Agreement, you are responsible for your own conduct as well as the behaviour of all other household members and any visitors to your property.


What kind of behaviour is unacceptable?


Unacceptable behaviour is behaviour that causes, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress to other people. It is behaviour that unreasonably interferes with other people’s rights to use and enjoy their home and community, such as:

  • excessive and/ or repeated noise
  • intimidation, abuse or harassment
  • aggressive and threatening language or behaviour
  • vandalism
  • nuisance caused by vehicles, such as where they are parked or the way repairs are being carried out
  • nuisance caused by pets.


There are a few simple things you can do to prevent disputes with a neighbour

  • Be considerate towards your neighbours when you are doing something noisy.
  • Let them know before you start and try to avoid making noise when people are likely to be sleeping.
  • Co-operate if a neighbour asks you to reduce noise
  • Be tolerant to your neighbours if they have a different lifestyle from yours
  • Don’t use your property for illegal purposes such as drug dealing
  • Don’t harass people in any way
  • Don’t use violent or abusive language or behave in a violent or abusive way.

What can I do if I am experiencing problems?


If you are experiencing any problems with noise or nuisance, it is very important that you calmly deal with it as soon as you can. Sometimes a dispute may occur because of a misunderstanding between you and your neighbour.

We encourage early intervention for neighbours in dispute. Your first step should be to approach your neighbour to resolve the situation between yourselves. We can assist you to manage that conversation, including how to explain the problem from your point of view, the impact that it is making and how it could be resolved. If you feel you cannot speak with your neighbour directly, you can also, ask about mediation where a trained and independent person can speak with both of you to discuss how you may want to resolve the problem.

If the problem relates to a breach of tenancy that is negatively affecting you, contact your Housing Officer – he or she may ask you to keep a nuisance and annoyance diary. This is a document that records the date, time and details of any incident that occurs. If the problem relates to any type of harassment or abuse, we may refer you to specialised services that can offer you support and assistance. We may also ask you to keep a nuisance and annoyance diary.

Housing Choices Tasmania cannot take direct action where the problem in your neighbourhood or block of units involves criminal activity. You can report this directly to the police.


Ending your tenancy


You may find yourself in a situation where you want to end your tenancy agreement with Housing Choices Tasmania. You will need to ensure you advise your Housing Officer of your intention to vacate, giving at least two weeks’ notice. You must also provide a forwarding address together with up to date contact details.

To avoid any unexpected repairs charges following your departure from the property you should also download the Vacate cleaning checklist to ensure the property is left in a suitable condition. This will give you a check list of things to look for in making any repairs and/or undertaking a final clean of the property.

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 or re-decorating, this will be fully explained to you.

You can telephone your Housing Officer if you are not sure about the procedure, or if you have any questions.

Neighbour disputes

At Housing Choices Tasmania, we are committed to ensuring any issues that may arise in your neighbourhood are easily resolved. Please use the Neighbourhood Dispute Guide to lodge and detail the progress of your complaint.

Neighbourhoods are made up of people representative of varying ages, household compositions, cultures – who are respectful of each other and our differences.

Housing Choices Tasmania 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 Tasmania 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 disruptive?


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).


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 – e.g. children playing.

Disruptive behaviour


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


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 – e.g. 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 Tasmania encourages residents to recognise good neighbours. To nominate a good neighbour please use the form below, or contact your Housing Officer for more details. Download the Good Neighbour Nomination Form here.

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 Tasmania

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.