It looks like a quiet suburban street.
But tenants in a single-storey brick and weatherboard home on McLeod Rd in Te Atatū South have been making one hell of a racket and life a misery for their neighbours.
The property has triggered the most noise complaints this year across the whole of Auckland: 89 complaints have been lodged since January 1.
Auckland Council says the complaints were nearly all recorded in the eight months to August, when it’s believed the troublesome occupants were finally turfed out.
That means noise control officers were called to the property about three times every week during the raucous tenancy.
The Herald was unable to track down the property owners, but visited McLeod Rd to speak to locals, none of whom wanted to be named.
One neighbour said he suspected the property had been used as a “P house” with connections to the Head Hunters gang.
“They were running girls from the house. Cars sitting running in the driveway, stereos going. It was terrible. It was run like a gang house.”
The man estimated he’d filed at least 50 noise complaints during the year until noise control told him they would no longer respond “so I just stopped complaining”.
He said the loss of sleep had been “devastating”. He was thrilled when the tenants finally moved out after court bailiffs arrived at the property to evict them.
“They’ve gone, thank God.”
Another neighbour believed the offending occupants had been a family with older children.
Her own family were hugely relieved the noise-makers had left.
“They were so noisy. Every night they kept on fighting and shouting. Screaming and screaming, oh my gosh.
“We are so happy that they moved.”
The woman said police responded to the property several times.
The tenants had kept a pit bull dog which was allowed to roam free on the street, making her fearful about leaving her own home.
And despite the terrible din, the woman said she did not make any noise complaints, “because I don’t want to have any trouble”.
Another resident said the tenants were “pretty noisy, up until late, like 2-3 o’clock, with a lot of cars coming in and out” at all hours of the night.
Council compliance response noise and investigations team leader David Frith said the council recorded 43,849 noise complaints between January 1 and November 13 across Tāmaki Makaurau.
This compared with 49,722 during the whole of 2021.
More than half of the 2022 complaints were assessed by officials as “no noise” (17,481) or “not excessive” (13,717).
Excessive noise direction (End) notices were served on 5339 occasions, requiring the property’s occupants to rein in the noise for 72 hours or risk having noise-offending equipment seized or being slapped with a $500 fine.
Noise control officers served 214 non-compliance with End notices and seized stereos or other equipment 98 times, dishing out 76 infringement fines.
More than 1200 noise complaints were referred to police.
Frith said complaints about the McLeod Rd property “ceased almost entirely in August”, with just one further complaint recorded on October 17.
“There were no issues of excessive noise found on any site visit made by noise control officers. Therefore, there was no basis for any warnings or notices to be served, nor any enforcement action to be taken.”
Te Atatū MP Phil Twyford said anti-social neighbours were “a curse”.
“They make life miserable for the people who live around them. As local MP I deal with these issues almost on a daily basis. It is heartbreaking sometimes to see good people driven to distraction by noise, and sometimes violence and intimidation.”
State house tenants were not always to blame, Twyford said.
“Private rentals are just as bad, if not worse.”
For noise, Auckland Council noise control should be the first port of call and neighbours should keep a written record of complaints, Twyford said.
“If you are not happy with the service you get from council, then get on to your local councillor and ask them to take it up. If the problem is intimidation or violence, call the police, and again keep a written record of all complaints.
“Another avenue, if the rowdy neighbours are renters, is to take the issue up with their landlord and remind them of their responsibility. As always, call your local MP for advice or if you feel you need someone to advocate for you.”
The McLeod Rd address pales in comparison to last year’s record-maker - a bunch of rowdy street preachers trying to save the souls of Queen St shoppers who clocked up 326 noise complaints in 2021.
Meanwhile, picturesque Cable Bay Vineyards on Waiheke Island is currently being prosecuted by the council for alleged noise restriction breaches, though the vineyard’s lawyers have blamed rowdy crickets and passing aircraft for the din.