Some of the worst wars are neighbour wars.
When the pressure gets too much, the forum of last resort is often Facebook community groups. There, we see appeals for people to change what they are doing. Noise is often mentioned. Avondale’s Eastdale Road featured in the news, with over 70 noise complaints about loud music at one property since March, when the tenant moved into a Kāinga Ora house. Noise control could not carry out enforcement action under Alert Level 3&4 protocols.
Tenancy Services says ‘quiet enjoyment’ means being able to enjoy reasonable peace, comfort, and privacy, and allowing others to enjoy the same.
Tenants have the right to the ‘quiet enjoyment’ of the house they rent. This means the landlord can’t harass the tenant or interfere with their reasonable peace, comfort, and privacy.
Tenants also need to respect the peace, comfort and privacy of their neighbours or other tenants. The landlord should take any reasonable steps to make sure none of their tenants interfere with each other’s quiet enjoyment.
The mandate of Kāinga Ora is now ‘sustainable tenancies’ which limits their options to sanction unruly tenants. Neighbouring Kāinga Ora tenants can be just as badly affected by rowdy neighbours as anyone else, but apart from going on list requesting a transfer with a long wait time, they may have no options.
As urban intensification leads to more people occupying less space, problems between neighbours get magnified as they live closer together.
Peace, not war, is the easiest option for us all to have quiet enjoyment of our homes.