It’s a fact of life – unless you choose to live in the middle of nowhere, you’re going to have neighbors. Neighbors can be great – they can become friends, they can help provide better security for your building or your neighborhood, but they can also be trouble.
Whether they’re playing dance hit at earth-shaking levels until 2am, holding noisy all-night parties, own a dog that never stops barking, or simply yelling at each other all day with their windows open…. you’ll soon start feeling your stress levels rising. If you have particularly noisy neighbors, what legal options do you have available?
Dealing with noisy neighbors can be frustrating, but good news – the law is on your side. The first thing that you need to do to deal with noisy neighbors is to check the local laws that pertain to noise ordinances in your area. The county courthouse can help here, though you can also call the police department. If you live outside the city limits, you might not have any recourse here, but check with the sheriff’s office anyway.
Once you have found out what laws you can use in your favor, you need to obtain a copy of them and then forward those laws on to your noisy neighbors. You can send them an email, or write them a polite note and stick it under the door – whichever you feel comfortable with. Often, this is enough to make the noise stop, or at least lessen the noise issue. If that doesn’t work, though, you will have to take legal steps to deal with your noisy neighbors.
Make sure that the noise ordinances are being contravened by your noisy neighbors and then make a call to the police while the noise is going on. The police will visit your neighbors and tell them to keep it down – this usually does the trick. Often, a single visit from the cops is more than enough to calm down noisy neighbors.
For repeat violators, keep a record of exactly when the noise starts and stops, and get as much evidence as you can – for instance, you can videotape the noise with a camera, proving that it is dark and showing what time it is. Keep your ‘noise log’ updated, then when you have enough evidence, you can enlist the help of the police to send them to court. You will have to testify against them, but if you are successful, the result will be a fine of many hundreds of dollars which they will be legally obliged to pay. That should persuade them to turn the volume down – for good.