How to deal with noisy neighbours

Reader's Digest Editors

Noisy neighbours can drive you crazy, and that's why there are laws in place to preserve peace and quiet. Here's how you can take action. 

Scope out the situation

steps for dealing with noisy neighbours

Before you take any drastic steps, do some preliminary work:

If you feel able, contact the offending neighbour about the problem. It may be that they are unaware that the noise they are creating is offensive. 

Find out if your other neighbours are also irritated by the nonstop drum and bass and enlist them to back up your complaint. Organising the nearby community can be effective in quieting things down. 

Call the police to find out what constitutes a noise-law violation in your area and ask how you can prove that your neighbour has gone beyond the limits. 

Read more: How to build a community with your neighbours

 

Getting help

The next time the stereo is on full blast, call the police with your complaint. Unfortunately, in some cases, the police will arrive after the noise has stopped. If that's the case, consider buying or renting a decibel meter, which can record the noise levels as they occur. 

If the readings exceed the legal limits, you will probably be able to convince the police to be more attentive to the situation. They may place their own decibel meter on your property before taking action. 

 

Turning down the sound

get neighbours to turn down volume

If the noisy neighbour is found to have violated your local noise ordinance, they will probably receive a warning for a first offence. After that, the neighbour will receive a citation and have to pay a fine—unless they decide to contest the matter in court. 

If the neighbour is then found guilty, they may be fined and ordered to pay court costs. 

Repeat offences will lead to increased fines and failure to pay those fines could lead to contempt of court. 

If your neighbour continues to be noisy, even after they have been fined, they may also be guilty of disturbing the peace, or disorderly conduct. This could lead to far more serious action being taken against them.