This question about light pollution from neighbours has been answered by The Knight.
Question: I have a neighbour who has placed beautiful lights around their home but they leave them on through the night. Do I have any rights when it comes to light pollution from neighbours?
I live in Victoria. I have a neighbour who has placed beautiful lights around their home.
They leave them switched on throughout the entire night after 12 am and my bedroom is full of light, despite my thick curtains. The lights are very strong.
Do I have any rights when it comes to light pollution from neighbours?
Answer: Residents do have rights with respect to excessive lighting from neighbours.
Residents do have rights with respect to excessive light. Light pollution from neighbours is becoming an increasing environmental problem in urban areas not only affecting the health of humans but also that of flora and fauna. Direct light and glare from artificial lighting may create adverse effects on adjoining land uses, and thereby affect the amenity values of property owners and visitors.
To resolve such matter. you should first try speaking with your neighbours if you haven’t already done so, as they may not be aware of the impact their lights are having on their neighbours. It may be a simple matter of angling the lights in another direction or reducing the hours they are operating. Remember to approach whoever is responsible for the light in a calm and friendly manner.
If that fails and light pollution from neighbours is still an issue, you could lodge an official complaint via the Owners Corporation if you have a rule that would support your claim, e.g. a rule about creating a nuisance for another lot (a nuisance can be related to light). You would then follow the dispute resolution process with your Owners Corporation.
You may also want to try utilising the free services of the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria who can provide advice and mediation services to help you deal with the dispute.
Alternatively, if the first point above doesn’t work you may wish to try lodging a complaint via the EPA as there are Australian Standards that all outdoor lighting must comply (AS 4282 – Control of the obtrusive effects of outdoor lighting). The EPA may investigate, issue warning letters or impose a fine depending on the circumstances.’
This post appears in Strata News #177 & #258.
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- NSW: Q&A Light Shining Into the Apartment Causing 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.
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