Neighbour shames man's 'exceptionally loud' apartment habit: 'Is this antisocial?'

Noise complaints among neighbours in apartment blocks can be tricky – with this resident turning to other Aussies for help.

An Opera singer practises his vocal scales in his unit when is in close proximity to three other apartment buildings.
A Meadowbank resident in Sydney's west questioned whether his neighbour's Opera singing was a noise nuisance or not. Source: Facebook

Apartment living can sometimes bring about nuisances that residents simply need to make peace with, like waiting around for an occupied lift or listening to loud footsteps from the neighbour above. Yet one man's weekly habit has pushed the limits of what's considered acceptable, with Aussies unable to actually decide whether they would love it or hate it.

On Sunday a Meadowbank resident in Sydney's west captured footage of his "rather impressive" yet "exceptionally loud" neighbour practicing vocal scales in his unit, with his voice vibrating beyond his home and out into the courtyard, which is surrounded by other apartment blocks.

"The gentleman in question carries out the same scale over and over for approximately one and a half hours every Sunday," the neighbour said online. "Would it be fair to politely ask him to partake in his vocal practice somewhere [else]?"

He questioned whether others would consider it "antisocial behaviour" and admitted he found it quite "irritating".

After sharing footage of the singer in action, Aussies debated the neighbour's predicament, with some confessing the man did have a "great voice" but could understand how listening to him over and over again on the weekend could be a "bit much".

"Oh jeez, that would do my head in after five minutes," one said, while another suggested the neighbour should resign to the reality of "apartment living", yet the singer could at least "close his windows".

Some admitted they would enjoy the serenade with one person calling the neighbour "lucky" as he was getting an Opera show for "free". "Complimentary concert, no need to go to the Opera House," she joked.

However others weren't having a bar of it and called the operatic output a "terrible nuisance".

"It's definitely severely inconsiderate," one man said, suggesting he approach the singer and complain.

Determining whether noise from a neighbour is unacceptable or not can be difficult as criteria differs between councils and building strata schemes. However, across NSW any sound over five decibels above the background noise in an area is deemed a nuisance.

This can be difficult for residents to measure inside their home so councils often provide a list of questions for locals to ask themselves about the sound to help them to determine whether it falls into the unacceptable category.

In the City of Ryde, where the singing took place, council guidelines prompt residents to question whether the noise in question is "well above background noise", has any "annoying characteristics" such as tonality or impulsiveness and consider how frequently it occurs and how many people are affected.

Such noise complaints can be reported to council who can investigate the matter.

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