Noisy Neighbors? How to Handle Neighbor Disputes

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on August 01, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

There's no good way to put this, but noisy neighbors suck.

They play loud music at all hours of the night; they scream and throw tantrums; they have an odd affinity for power tools and revving their car engine; they bang around in their apartment at 3 a.m.

Besides taking the passive aggressive route and making your own noise, what can you do about it? Is there legal recourse for noisy neighbors?

Before you attempt to fight your noisy neighbors with the law, you should try to cut the noise with kindness.

Your first bet is always to ask your neighbors to keep it down. Go over, introduce yourself, and explain your problem. Be polite.

If they rebuff your request or require a second reminder, let your noisy neighbors know that, if it's a continued problem, you will have to speak to your landlord (if in an apartment) or with the police.

Again, you live near these people--be polite.

If the noise doesn't stop after the second warning, go ahead and complain, but first determine whether your neighbors are breaking building rules or local noise ordinances.

Unfortunately, local noise ordinances only prohibit certain types of unreasonable noise and only during certain hours.

They may limit construction and lawnmowers until after 7 a.m., or restrict loud music after midnight. These rules are usually promulgated by your city or county, so do a search for your local code.

If a police citation or a landlord complaint don't do the trick, you can also try to sue your noisy neighbors for creating a private nuisance. This is a tough one, so you'll likely need a lawyer.

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