Is your neighbor’s blaring music, barking dogs, or other loud disturbances impacting your ability to enjoy your home? If so, you don't have to live that way any longer. You're well within your right to request them to be quieter and pursue legal action if they refuse. Here's what to do.
Create a Record of Your Neighbor's Noisy Activities
You need a written record of the neighbor’s nuisances to pursue the matter further. So, start this journey by recording every excessive noise complaint you have.
Write down the time and date when the noise happens, what it sounds like, and how long they have been disruptive. If you can record the noise without drawing attention to yourself, do so.
Get to know your local noise ordinances as well. Then, highlight all the entries when the neighbor’s loud activities break the law.
Talk to Your Loud Neighbors Directly
Although it might sound unlikely, your neighbors might not realize that their noise levels impact your quality of life. In some cases, like a dog barking while at work, they may not realize it’s happening.
So, to get everyone on the same page, talk it out with your neighbor to start. Take a friendly approach when you broach the subject while assuming they’re unaware that their noise levels are an issue. Ask them nicely if they could turn down the noise levels a bit, and thank them for hearing you out.
If you cannot approach them face-to-face, consider sending a certified letter. Write out your grievances in a matter-of-fact way. Ask other neighbors impacted by the noise to sign off on the letter.
Check your Local Laws
Depending upon where you live, your neighborhood is going to be governed by local statutes and possibly a Home Owner's Association contract. Google to see if your town has a "noise ordinance" that your neighbor may not be following, as many places have rules around how loud and when the sound can occur.
A Home Owner's Association may also govern your neighborhood and home. This collective may have rules and consequences for breaking those rules surrounding noise disturbances. Your neighbors may not listen to you, but they may be incentivized by the financial consequences that often come with breaking local ordinances or the HOA contract.
Ask a Mediator to Help You Discuss a Solution With Your Noisy Neighbors
Mediation is a great way to work through the problem before alerting the authorities. You’ll need to schedule a meeting with a mediator and invite your neighbors to attend. The mediator will serve as a neutral third party to facilitate fair discussions and encourage mutually beneficial problem-solving.
With help from the mediator, it might be possible to figure out a way to decrease the noise levels or stop it altogether. They will present various solutions to both parties, so everyone in your neighborhood can live in peace.
File Official Noise Complaints Against Your Neighbors
Give your neighbor a few weeks to resolve the problem, and then start filing official noise complaints if they don’t. To do that, call the non-emergency line for your police department whenever the noise occurs.
If they have time, officers will come out to assess the noise levels and speak to the residents. They will also get a brief statement for you and discuss any additional steps you should take.
Any other neighbors impacted by the noise should call in their complaints simultaneously. The city is more likely to take action against the offenders when multiple households find the noise bothersome.
File a Case Against Your Noisy Neighbors in Small Claims Court
If nothing else works, you may need to file a case against your loud neighbors in small claims court. You will need to go to your local courthouse to do so. While there, fill out some paperwork and submit it to the court clerk with your filing fee.
Within 90 days, you should get a hearing date for your case. In the meantime, get all your evidence together: the record of the noisy activities, police reports, and video recordings.
Then, arrive ready to present your side of the story backed by all your evidence. Your noisy neighbor will get a chance to do so before the judge rules on the case.
Using the presented information, the judge will make a ruling on the case. If the judge rules in your favor, your neighbor may need to abate the nuisance immediately. On top of that, they may even need to pay monetary damages for any losses you incurred due to the high noise levels.
Hopefully, you won’t have to go to small claims court to get your neighbors to quiet down. But if you do, then filing a complaint with the court is an effective way to stop the excessive noise.
At Dispute, the small claims filing process is made easy and affordable through our app. Let the app manage all of the paperwork, court dates, and filing. All you have to do is check your user dashboard for updates on your case. Our tools make it easy to manage the details for any state and county. All you need to do is put together evidence and show up for your day in court.