Put A Lid On It!! Neighbors, Noise and How to Alleviate the Nuisance
Do you have noisy neighbors? Does it interfere with your sanctuary at home? Do you wonder if it will ever stop? If you are currently in a situation where your neighborly noise is getting out of control, here are some steps that you can take to help muzzle the problem:
1. Talk to your neighbor
Based upon individual comfort levels of noise, neighbors are oftentimes unaware that they are even creating a disturbance. Therefore, your first step is to talk to your neighbor(s) and try to resolve your differences in person. Sometimes simply bringing the situation to light solves the problem, quickly and easily.
2. Obtain a copy of your local City/County ordinance
If you cannot resolve your differences by speaking with your noisy neighbor, your next step is to get a copy of your local noise laws. City and County ordinances prohibit unreasonable, excessive noises; i.e. continuously barking dogs, blasting car and home stereos, televisions, etc. In fact, non-compliant neighbors can be subject to a warning or even a fine.
You can find your City/County ordinance at your local city hall or public library. Make a copy to give to your neighbor as a friendly, civil reminder to bring the volume down. In addition to this, keep a personal log of all annoying activities for future reference.
3. Warn your neighbor in writing
If steps 1 and 2 do not deliver results, you can warn your neighbor again—this time in writing. While you should never make deliberate threats, kindly inform your neighbor(s) that if the noisy situation does not improve, you are ready to notify the authorities. Enclose a copy of the previous noise ordinance with your letter and keep a copy of the letter for yourself, in the event you are forced to sue your neighbor in court.
4. Call the Police
If you have taken all of the steps above and your neighbor(s) still refuses to pipe down, call the police. Of course, you can call the police on a noisy neighbor the first time the noise gets too loud, no matter what the situation. But the police will be more sympathetic to you if they see that you have tried repeatedly to solve the problem in the past.
5. Sue for Nuisance
If nothing is still being done to rectify the noisy situation, you can sue your neighbor(s) in small claims court. This is bound to get your neighbor’s attention and warrant some kind of compliance, as within the lawsuit, you can ask for money to compensate for the duress and disturbance the situation has caused you from enjoying the comforts of your own home.
Before heading into court, you will need to show the following:
• The existence of excessive and disturbing noise
• A diminished enjoyment of your property due to the noise
• A repeated attempt to talk with your neighbor(s) to quash the noise; i.e. the first copy of the City/County ordinance, your warning letter, etc.
• Any police reports, recordings or testimony of neighbors and/or other witnesses.
The amount of money you can ask for in small claims court is up to $5,000, depending on your justified level of disturbance; i.e. loss of work, etc.
Further, are you a tenant of a rental property? Apart from City/County ordinances, standard leases and rental agreements contain clauses that entitle you to “quiet enjoyment” of your home. A non-compliant neighbor can be held in lease or rental agreement violation and can be evicted by the landlord/property owner as a result.
With persistence and patience, and sometimes enlisting the help of a qualified Landlord-Tenant attorney, even the most uproarious neighbors can be changed to purring street-mates. Good luck.
Additional Real Property Articles
What are 'Acts of God' clauses in insurance policies?
Traditionally, homeowner’s insurance policies have contained an exclusion clause for damages caused by “acts of God”, a catch-all term that covers … More
What is the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA)?
RESPA is a federal regulation that governs certain aspects of the closing and settlement process in a real estate transaction. Designed to protect consumers who … More
Buying a Home
Buying a home is a big step in everyone’s life, and for many people, obtaining a mortgage loan in order to buy a home is the most significant debt that they … More
Making an Offer to Purchase...With Contingencies
It is exciting to find a home that you want to purchase. You may walk through the home and admire the floor plan, the architecture, or the style of the home and … More
What You Need to Know About Your Home Inspection
Before you purchase a home it is important to have a thorough inspection done by a qualified home inspector. You might think that you’ve found the right … More
How to Obtain Homeowners Insurance
A home is a big investment both for you as the buyer and for the bank that has your mortgage. Most mortgage providers will not loan you money unless you insure … More
Property is often bought and sold for business purposes. It makes sense, from a public policy perspective, to encourage the buying and selling of property so … More
Qualified Personal Residence Trusts
For many people, their primary residence is one of their biggest lifetime investments. It might constitute a large part of their estate and a large part of the … More
Sharing Your Property With Tenants
If you are lucky enough to own a piece of property that has a backhouse, cottage or granny flat on it then you may wish to rent that structure out for additional … More
Installing a Fence Can be a Good Legal Strategy
You’ve heard that common saying – that good fences make good neighbors? Well, it turns out that the saying is true and for more reasons than the … More
Real Property Sub-categories
Property Development and Construction
|Real Estate Short Sales|