An Auckland couple say incessant noise from their Kāinga Ora neighbour is destroying their lives, leaving them at breaking point with chronic insomnia and stress.
The offending property in Avondale’s Eastdale Rd has amassed a staggering 72 noise complaints to Auckland Council since the female tenant moved in in March.
Neighbours – some of whom have slept in their car to escape the racket – are pleading with authorities to act before the situation boils over.
The constant noise reports have seen the woman handed seven excessive noise directions (END), requiring her to limit noise for 72 hours.
In a rare move, she was served with an abatement notice last week, but officials admit they are currently powerless to seize her stereo due to Auckland’s Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.
Fed up residents told the Herald the woman blasts bass-heavy music every day for hours at a time – sometimes late into the night.
Screaming and fighting was also a problem, and some residents claim they have been intimidated by the tenant and a patched gang member who frequently visits the state house.
One neighbour said he and his partner had made nearly 90 complaints in the past seven months, some of which appear not to have been logged.
They’d now resorted to wearing noise cancelling headphones in the house, rarely went outside and had twice slept in their car to avoid the constant blaring music.
The man said the situation had affected their physical and mental wellbeing. His partner was in tears when the Herald called and he had developed chronic insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder, and hyper-sensitivity to music.
The nine-week Covid-19 lockdown had made the situation even more unbearable, he said.
“It’s been seven months of hell.
“I cannot live like this. It’s eating us. It’s taking all my energy.”
As well as constant phone calls to Auckland Council, the man had repeatedly contacted Kāinga Ora, police and even his local MP.
The couple could no longer stand the noise and planned to put their home on the market.
They felt Kāinga Ora should evict the woman “to restore peace” as she clearly had no regard for her neighbours or community.
Another neighbour said the constant noise was “pretty nasty”, sending jarring vibrations though his house.
He had also made repeated noise complaints but said nothing changed.
“You can’t sleep but everyone seems to have their hands tied.
“It’s really affected our mental health. You just feel like giving in sometimes.”
Auckland Council Compliance Response and Investigations team leader David Frith said noise control officers had served the occupier with seven ENDs since March, seized stereo equipment during an earlier visit, and issued an abatement notice this month.
“The abatement notice requires that the occupier stop causing excessive noise, with potential fines of up to $750 per incident. It also permits the seizure of noise making equipment, and should the abatement notice be breached, further prosecution can be undertaken.”
The council had been working with Kāinga Ora on the case and provided the agency with copies of noise reports.
Kāinga Ora regional director North and West Taina Jones said the Avondale situation had been challenging, particularly during level 3 and 4 lockdowns.
“Kāinga Ora has received numerous complaints regarding noise and has tried to encourage our customer to show more consideration for neighbours.”
Clients were “supported to be good neighbours, responsible, considerate and law-abiding”. Kāinga Ora could issue a breach of tenancy notice in extreme situations.
Jones would not say what further action it had taken without the tenant’s agreement.
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