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Last revision: 21/11/2023
Available formats: Word and PDF
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This document is a letter written to a neighbour who may be causing a nuisance to one person, or to an entire neighbourhood. The primary goal of this letter is to ask the neighbour to stop the activity that's causing a nuisance. Sometimes, relations between neighbours can get tough, to the point that a friendly phone call or text message won't stop the activity that is causing the nuisance. Although it is unfortunate, writing a letter can be a firmer way to make sure the neighbour knows that they must stop the nuisance activity.
This letter may be an initial request to ask the neighbour to stop the activity or it may be sent after attempts have already been made to get the neighbour to stop the nuisance activity. In a nuisance letter to a neighbour, the sender should be sure to give the neighbour enough information about the nuisance-causing activity so that they know exactly what to stop.
How to use this document
This letter asks the neighbour to stop engaging in the behaviour that is creating a nuisance.
The sender can also tailor the letter to relate to the specific type of nuisance that is being experienced. The nuisance may be a private nuisance, that is impacting only one person, or it may be a public nuisance, causing harm to the whole neighbourhood. The nuisance may be a noise, a smell, pollution, light interference or something else.
The sender can decide exactly how they would like to come across to the neighbour. It can be sent to a friendly neighbour, who is likely to gladly comply, or it can be sent to a troublesome neighbour that may not be likely to give in to these requests without some forceful language. The sender can choose whether the tone of the letter will be nice, neutral, or strict.
If the neighbour is troublesome, and unlikely to comply with the request, then this letter may also be useful down the track as evidence that the sender attempted to deal with the nuisance at an early date. Therefore the sender of the letter may choose to send it by registered post or may keep some other record of delivery, in order to confirm that the letter was received by the neighbour.
Nuisances are generally dealt with under the common law in Australia. However, in some cases, legislation or regulations of a particular state or territory may cover a particular type of nuisance.
However, in many cases, any relevant legislation or regulations reflect the elements of common law nuisance.
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