You may be frustrated with the noise from your neighbor’s house, but without knowing how communities make noise laws to deal with loud situations, it may be hard for you to get resolution on this kind of problem. Knowing about your local noise laws can help you make good decisions in getting the peace and quiet that you need.
Local Noise Laws
It’s important to understand that a law limiting noise pollution, often called a noise ordinance, is a local law set out by your local government. In a city or borough, there is a board making these decisions. In rural areas, noise pollution laws may be set at the county or township level depending on your state.
What Noise Ordinance Laws Look Like
For some types of noise, such as barking dogs, the local noise ordinance might include a specific limited length of time that barking can go on, such as 15 minutes or half an hour. There are also a lot of noise ordinances specific to the time of day, such as orders for quiet time between nine or ten at night and eight o’clock in the morning. The noise ordinances are set depending on several factors, including past problems with a specific household or business.
Find Out about Your Local Noise Laws
Knowing about your local county or city nose laws is as simple as contacting your local government. Figure out what urban area or rural jurisdiction your location falls into, and call the office to request a copy of the ordinance on noise violations. You can also visit local meetings alone or with a group of neighbors to get your complaint heard by the local government.
Local Zoning Laws
If the noise that is bothering you is coming from an informal home business, that enterprise may not be completely in compliance with local zoning. Knowing zoning law is another way that you can be proactive in your community and keep on top of what’s happening to the properties around you.
Noise Violations for Renters
If you are renting and experiencing a noise pollution situation from another resident, you may not need to bring it to the local board at all. Your landlord may be able to resolve the situation based on what’s in the lease agreement. Take your issues to the landlord first before taking it to local government.
Small Claims Court
There are also limited provisions in local small claims courts for bringing a suit against a neighbor over noise violations. However, these tend not to be worth the money and time spent engaging them. For some who are really worked up over noise issues, court may be an option for getting the case resolved. There are also ‘mediation’ options that may be offered by your local government for sitting both parties down to talk about how to handle noise issues.
All of the above will help locals deal with a noisy situation around their homes when they need to get the peace and quiet they deserve as local residents.