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Being a Good Neighbour

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, in order 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 tenant and it is shown that the quiet enjoyment of your home has been undoubtably disturbed by them.

Noise issues

Housing Choices cannot intervene in matters that involve common place noise that can arise when tenants live in close proximity to each other. The noise must be unusual and excessive before you should consider advising Housing Choices of the situation.

With the information you provide us, we will investigate your complaint and consider whether your neighbour’s behaviour is a breach of their conditions of tenancy by being unusual or excessive. A determination will then be made as to how we will manage the situation so that a suitable outcome is achieved. For one off incidents, like a rowdy party, the best course of action is a call straight to the Police.

Visitors

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, you can report this information to Housing Choices for follow up.

What is disruptive behaviour?

These are some examples of what constitutes disruptive behaviour:

  • Excessive or 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 – for example: children playing

What you can do

These 3 steps can be used as a guide when you feel your quiet enjoyment is being affected by your neighbour:

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 or by emailing infosa@hcsa.org.au to make a report of a neighbour dispute or anti-social behaviour.

If you consider that your safety is at risk, please contact the Police (SAPOL) on 131 444 in the first instance. This, and more detailed information can be found here or by contacting Consumer and Business Services on 131 882.

Download the Neighbourhood Dispute Form here

Good neighbour initiative

Housing Choices South Australia 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