This question from an NSW lot owner concerns an outdoor lighting nuisance. Thank you, Leanne Habib, Premium Strata for providing a response.
Question: Is it a breach of strata by-laws if a neighbouring property has a light which shines directly into my room at night, causing outdoor lighting nuisance?
Is it a breach of strata by-laws if a neighbouring property has a light which shines directly into mine at night, and lights up our room? We are in NSW. Where may I find the official advice on this information?
Answer: If the light is coming from another unit in your building, then yes.
If you say the light is coming from another unit in your building, yes, Section 117 of the Strata Schemes Management Act, 1996 (NSW) would apply because the light is light pollution and causing you a nuisance.
You make an application for Mediation, then if unsuccessful or refused by the other parties, you commence action at NCAT.
117 Owners, occupiers and other persons not to create nuisance
- An owner, mortgagee or covenant chargee in possession (whether in person or not), lessee or occupier of a lot must not:
- use or enjoy the lot, or permit the lot to be used or enjoyed, in such a manner or for such a purpose as to cause a nuisance or hazard to the occupier of any other lot (whether that person is an owner or not), or
- use or enjoy the common property in such a manner or for such a purpose as to interfere unreasonably with the use or enjoyment of the common property by the occupier of any other lot (whether that person is an owner or not) or by any other person entitled to the use and enjoyment of the common property, or
- use or enjoy the common property in such a manner or for such a purpose as to interfere unreasonably with the use or enjoyment of any other lot by the occupier of the lot (whether that person is an owner or not) or by any other person entitled to the use and enjoyment of the lot.
- This section does not operate to prevent the due exercise of rights conferred on a developer by the operation of:
- in the case of a freehold strata scheme, section 28L of the Strata Schemes (Freehold Development) Act 1973, or
- in the case of a leasehold strata scheme, section 52 of the Strata Schemes (Leasehold Development) Act 1986.
- In this section, “lessee” of a lot in a strata leasehold scheme means a sublessee of the lot.
Update: Section 117 is now Section 153 of the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 (NSW). While section 117 is not identical to section 153 (now), it is substantially in the same terms.
If it is from a neighbouring property (ie outside of your strata building) this would still constitute light pollution and nuisance (general tort law). Community Justice Centres operate to mediate such issues. If unsuccessful, you would need to contact a lawyer to commence action for nuisance.
This article is not intended to be personal advice and you should not rely on it as a substitute for any form of advice.
This post appears in Strata News #110.
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