Nicole Li and her husband Neil are not happy with their neighbour’s air conditioning unit and have complained to police and council about it. Picture: Sam Ruttyn
Nicole Li and her husband Neil are not happy with their neighbour’s air conditioning unit and have complained to police and council about it. Picture: Sam Ruttyn

Neighbours at war over ‘loud’ air conditioner

POLICE have been called 100 times and made 30 visits to two Sydney neighbours locked in a bitter suburban battle over the "aggressive" use of an air conditioning unit.

Carlingford couple Nicole Li and Neil Huang say their lives are miserable because of their neighbour Dr Fatemeh Nazaran's cooling system, which sits between their detached homes in a Carlingford cul-de-sac named Camelot Court and "sounds like an aeroplane engine mixed with a rubbish compactor".

 

The Huangs, who have three young children. claim the air conditioning unit within 2m of their lounge room and less than 4m from their bedroom is being used "aggressively".

But 52-year-old grandmother Dr Nazaran said: "It is my civil right to use my airconditioner. Yet if I forget to turn my airconditioner off at 10.05pm the police are there at 10.30pm."

Under NSW regulations an air conditioner that can be heard in any habitable rooms of a neighbouring home must not be used before 8am or after 10pm on weekends and public holidays, or before 7am and after 10pm weekdays.

Dr Fatemeh Nazaran says she has every right to use her air conditioner at home. Picture: Tim Hunter
Dr Fatemeh Nazaran says she has every right to use her air conditioner at home. Picture: Tim Hunter

Relations between the neighbours have become so bad police have visited 30 times and responded to more than 100 calls in the past 18 months.

Dr Nazaran, a GP who lives with her daughter's family, said when police have knocked on her door as late as 3.30am "people must think that we are drug dealers".

"The police have come around at least 10 times," she said.

"I'm a doctor for God's sake. Doctors are the most trusted profession. Reputation is everything, yet this guy is ruining it."

The air conditioner unit causing problems between neighbours. Picture: Tim Hunter
The air conditioner unit causing problems between neighbours. Picture: Tim Hunter

Parramatta Council have twice measured the unit's noise and determined it does not constitute a nuisance. The NSW Environment and Protection Authority came to the same conclusion.

Council measured the unit's sound at 5.7dB, a level Mr Huang claims is wrong because it was taken from his front yard rather than his home.

 

 

The top 10 noise complaints in the City of Sydney local council area in 2018.
The top 10 noise complaints in the City of Sydney local council area in 2018.

The council claims they were denied access to his bedroom to get a closer reading.

A Parramatta Council spokesman said: "Council has provided every reasonable service in regards to the matter and will not be taking any further action."

Nicole Li and husband Neil Huang say the ‘loud’ air conditioner is disrupting their sleep. Picture: Sam Ruttyn
Nicole Li and husband Neil Huang say the ‘loud’ air conditioner is disrupting their sleep. Picture: Sam Ruttyn

Mr Huang claims he measured the sound at 10dB, the equivalent of rustling leaves but softer than a whisper.

Ms Li, 41, said the issue is having a serious effect on their health and forcing them to sleep at friends' houses.

"We raised this matter with City of Parramatta Council in August 2017 and followed up with hundreds of emails and calls, but it still not resolved," she said.

 

Mr Huang confirmed he had also complained to council about his neighbours' solar panels, a wall and shade cloth, saying "we are trying to deal with everything in an official way".

Air conditioners have become a growing source of neighbour noise complaints as more people live in apartments and the city's detached homes have become bigger, and closer to their neighbours.

A NSW Police spokesman said: "Attending to these complaints redirects police resources from more serious matters."



Drink-driver’s behaviour ‘outrageous’

premium_icon Drink-driver’s behaviour ‘outrageous’

JOSHUA Ian Clemitson copped the wrath of a magistrate.

Youth ruin month of work to catch feral pigs

premium_icon Youth ruin month of work to catch feral pigs

Now council staff have to start the feeding process all over again as the pigs...

GKI: Let’s get this project started

premium_icon GKI: Let’s get this project started

Altum Group are ready to get to work on GKI Resort Development and will begin as...