Noisy Neighbors: What to Do After Multiple ComplaintsOctober 22nd, 2009 by Staff Writer
Many of us, as either homeowners or renters, have dealt with noisy neighbors at some point in our lives. This can be an issue of a household down the street making a lot of noise, or people in an apartment above or next to others disturbing the peace and quiet of those who live with them in the same building.
At first, you might just call the local police on a neighbor for a noise violation, but for more than one incident, this can cease to be effective. The police might tell you that the noise issue is a “civil situation”, and they may stop coming to repeated calls. That’s when you have to take more action to deal with unreasonable noise from neighbors. Many who are up against this take any and all of the following actions to follow up on a noise situation that happens continually.
Talk to the Landlord or Property Manager
If the local police are willing to cite a neighbor who is too loud, they will probably first ask complainers to contact a property manager if the loud party are renting rather than paying a mortgage on a home. The local law enforcement will want to know that the property owner has been advised of any problems, because often, the landlord is the one who is responsible to deal with the situation.
Talk to Your Neighbor Directly
It’s often advisable to let the guilty parties know that actions are pending against them. You may not have wanted to talk to your neighbor during the first few noise violations, as it’s often more convenient to send the police and let them speak for you. However, if you’re going to pursue further action, your loud neighbors are going to figure it out at some point, and the situation can possibly be resolved by dealing with them up front.
Document the Noise
One of the next steps for any further action is to do what you can to document the noise situation. This can take any of a number of creative forms including audiotapes, video or eyewitness testimony from other neighbors.
Visit your Local Government
It’s important for those seeking resolution on noise issues to know that in almost all cases, there is a local government board that runs the local police department. These municipal governments have local ordinances against noise, and in front of these boards is where you may want to pursue enforcement on noise issues.
Take Your Case to Small Claims Court
If the local Government Board is unresponsive to your problems, you do have the alternative of taking your case to a local civil court where you can represent yourself in a grievance. This way you can avoid sky-high attorney costs. You won’t be able to sue for a large dollar amount, but you will get the noise violations exposed at the judicial level. In some cases, you may also be able to bring suit against your landlord for possible violations of the intent of the lease document, where renters are often guaranteed reasonable peace and quiet in their homes.
The above process can help you bring repeated noise violations to a successful resolution.