01 January 2012

My neighbour's doing something dodgy!!

Complaints about neighbour's property are very common. They include barking dogs, noise emissions (especially from air conditioners), illegal development, vermin, overgrown undergrowth and light spill.

  • Barking dogs; This was talked about in a separate blog.

  • Noise emissions; The most common complaints are about air conditioners. They should not be making noise above 45 decibels at the nearest dwelling. This is a matter for the Environment Protection Authority: Council has little influence other than goodwill.

  • Illegal Development; If you think your neighbour has built something that they do not have approval for then you can check by typing in the address at the following location;

This will give you some information about the development. If you can't find anything at the address then the chances are approval either was not needed or was not obtained. If you have further concerns let me know the address and I will follow this up for you. Council can request that a retrospective application be lodged which will then be judged on it's merits.

  • Vermin; If you are concerned about rats living next door (remember in Adelaide it is said that you are never more than 6 metres from a rat). My class didn't believe this one until one of the kids hit a ceiling tile and the rats moved!

  • In regard to the presence of vermin on the property an Environmental Health Officer such Maria Xanthis (mxanthis@unley.sa.gov.au) can take the following actions:

    - Conduct an inspection of the property. If an insanitary condition exists i.e. putrescible waste, faeces, rubbish etc or if a food source is identified, a letter can be sent to the property owner to clean up or remove the food source.

    - A fact sheet regarding prevention and control of mice in and around buildings could be attached to the letter for further information.

    Advice for the complainant:

    -The fact sheet could also be sent to the complainant as it provides information on how to prevent and control vermin.
    -The complainant can also obtain some rat baits from our council as we supply them or contact a pest controller.

  • Overgrown Undergrowth; Council Rangers make an assessment of the overgrowth on the property in regard to fire risk. If the Council Rangers identify a fire risk then the Council Rangers will write a letter to the property owner to destroy and remove all flammable grass, weeds and other growth upon the land, so as to prevent an unreasonable risk of the outbreak of fire. You need to let Council know where you believe a problem exists.

  • Light spill; This is particularly a nuisance when your residential property abuts a commercial property. The issue of light spill should have been conditioned to the approval for the development. If this is so then it is a matter of compliance. If you let me know where the issue exists I can get a compliance officer to assess the situation and work toward a remedy.

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