How to Deal With Noisy Neighbors

Jun 7th 2024
If you have a noisy neighbor, approach your neighbors calmly and politely to discuss the noise issue. You should also keep a record of the noise incidents, noting the dates, times, and nature of the disturbances. This documentation can be helpful if you need to discuss the issue with your neighbors, landlord, or local authorities. If your neighbor doesn’t change their behavior, reach out to your landlord or property manager. They may be able to mediate the situation or take action to enforce noise regulations.

Whether it's the folks next door throwing a party and blasting loud music all night, or maybe your upstairs neighbors are stomping around and it's driving you crazy, loud neighbors can drive you crazy. Here's what you need to know about dealing with noisy neighbors.  

hash-markTable of Contents

How to Deal With a Noisy Neighbor Problem
The Issue Of Loud Neighbors: Do You Have a Legit Problem?
What If Your Neighbors Are Playing Loud Music During the Day?
How to Deal With Noisy Neighbors Upstairs
How to Deal With Noisy Neighbors Next Door
How Do You File a Noise Complaint?
Can I Call the Police If My Neighbors Are Too Loud?
Can You Sue a Neighbor for Noise Pollution?
Dealing With Noisy Neighbors Bottom Line

hash-markHow to Deal With a Noisy Neighbor Problem

  1. Talk To Your Neighbors
  2. Consider the Circumstances
  3. Notify the Landlord or HOA
  4. File a Noise Complaint

1. Talk to Your Neighbors

The easiest way to handle a loud neighbors is to speak with your neighbors and let them know the noise is disturbing you. Before you do anything drastic, you should politely approach your neighbors and ask them to tone the noise down. Most neighbors don’t realize how much noise they make until people tell them to knock it off. If you ask them nicely, it will often solve your noisy neighbor problem as they'll be more considerate of your needs. 

2. Consider the Circumstances 

It's also important to consider the situation when dealing with loud neighbors. Ask yourself if this is going to be a regular occurrence. If your neighbors are currently working on a home remodeling project, you might decide to bear it. These kinds of situations will eventually solve themselves once their project is finished.

Other times the best way to deal with noisy neighbors is to remove yourself from the situation, especially if it's only temporary. Ask yourself if you can just take a walk. This is clearly just a temporary fix, but sometimes, it’s better to be reasonable. For example, if your neighbors’ noise is due to a Sweet 16, it might be better to leave the kids to have their fun for the night. 

3. Notify the Landlord or HOA

Another way to deal with a noisy neighbor problem is to notify the landlord or homeowners association. Take this step if the situation doesn't resolve itself or your neighbors don't want to stop making excessive noise. When you notify the landlord or homeowner's association, explain that the noisy neighbors are being uncooperative and that it's causing you a major disturbance. Landlords and HOAs want all of their residents to be happy, so they will quickly notify your neighbors that they need to keep the noise down. 

4. File a Noise Complaint

If all else fails, it's time to look up local laws so that you can file a noise complaint. You'll need to see if they’re breaking noise ordinances regularly, and if they are, you can call the police. In most cases, the police will send an officer down to let your neighbors know they are being too loud. If they continue to break the noise local noise ordinances and you need to call the cops again, they'll start issuing your neighbors fines, which will act as a strong deterrent and hopefully stop the excessive noise for good. 

hash-markThe Issue of Loud Neighbors: Do You Have a Legit Problem?”

Before filing a noise complaint, assess if your neighbor is noisy beyond normal standards. Almost every neighborhood has at least one family that is a little louder than the rest. So, before you go crazy, realize you’re not alone in this. There are plenty of people who tend to have issues with noisy, terrible neighbors from time to time.

It’s important to realize that there are annoying noises that you may need to cope with, and there are issues that go beyond typical noise issues. If you’re dealing with occasional dog barking problems or kids in the yard, take a deep breath and try to tolerate it

When to File a Noise Complaint?

Before filing a complaint, check if the noise qualifies as one of the below:

  • Excessive Noise During Quiet Hours: Weekdays from around 8 PM to 8 AM are off-limits for wild parties in most areas. However, your specific hours may vary depending on where you live and what kind of neighborhood you’re in.
  • High Decibel Noise Levels: How loud the noise is can play a factor. If it’s over the level of a buzzsaw, you probably have a right to a noise complaint. 
  • Noise Frequency: Most neighborhoods will look the other way if it’s a one-off, like a birthday party. If it’s a daily thing, you have a genuine problem. 
  • Noise In High-Density Areas: No one will care if you shout and holler in the middle of a field. In the middle of a massive apartment complex, things will be different, though. People will notice, and they will get annoyed.
  • Unnatural Noise: Things along the lines of dogs barking might get tossed out, but if you constantly hear music playing at night, things will be different. Excessively loud music is something controllable, which is why most courts will expect people to be on their best behavior.
  • Criminal Noise: Do you hear loud drug deals going on? Are there signs that the noise might be tied to potentially illegal activities like motorcycle racing or gunfire? You may have a legitimate issue that impedes on your safety.

hash-markWhat If Your Neighbors Are Playing Loud Music During the Day?

Your neighbors can play loud music during the day as long as it doesn’t violate local noise ordinances. Typically, that means that unless the music is excessively loud, there’s not much you can do. A good way to determine if they’re too loud is to turn on a vacuum cleaner. If you can hear your neighbors’ music over the vacuum cleaner, it’s likely too loud, and you can file a noise complaint. 

hash-markHow to Deal With Noisy Neighbors Upstairs

The best option is to approach them and let them know the excessive noise is disturbing you. Be polite when you speak with your upstairs neighbors, but explain that they’re too noisy and disturbing you. In most cases, they’ll be more considerate and tone down the noise. However, if they do not take your warnings seriously, you can consider taking the issue to the landlord.

hash-markHow to Deal With Noisy Neighbors Next Door

A noisy next-door neighborhood can be a major nuisance. While your first instinct may be to try to soundproof your home or to get revenge, the simple truth is that it’s best to confront them about the problem. Be nice when you approach your neighbors about the noise problem, as you don't want them to feel you were rude or in their face. Most of the time, they'll do their best to keep the noise down, but if they don't, your next step would be to file a noise complaint with your landlord or the city. 

hash-markHow Do You File a Noise Complaint?

To file a noise complaint, send a written letter explaining your grievances to the landlord or HOA. Before you mail it, make sure that you read over the contract to ensure that you didn’t break any rules. Otherwise, you might end up in a long, drawn-out squabble over rule-breaking.

Keep in mind that the way you file a noise complaint depends on your current housing setup. Most Homeowner’s Associations and landlords will have a noise clause as part of the contract that lets you stay there. Knowing what the clause states is crucial here.

It’s worth pointing out that breaking noise codes multiple times can lead to an eviction and also cause a drop in property value. If this is a repeat problem, you can expect most landlords and HOAs to step in.

hash-markCan I Call the Police If My Neighbors Are Too Loud? 

Yes, you can call the police if there is no other way of solving the issue. If you don’t have a landlord or an HOA that you can write to, there’s another way to get the peace and quiet you want. If the noise complaint is severe enough, you’ve tried to get them to cease, and they are just not letting up, you can call the police on them.

Can You Call 911 for a Noise Complaint?

No, you can’t just call 911. 911 is a hotline reserved explicitly for emergencies, and a noise complaint isn’t an emergency. To call the right police group, use your local non-emergency line instead and explain the situation.

The only time you should call 911 for a noise complaint is if you hear sounds that suggest domestic violence. Domestic violence is a criminal matter, and a person’s life could potentially be at risk. If you hear a noise that sounds like a fight breaking out, please call 911!

hash-markCan You Sue a Neighbor for Noise Pollution?

Yes, you can sue your neighbors over the noise they’re making. This is because it’s considered to impede your enjoyment of your living space. This is usually a civil suit that’s done in small claims court, so you don’t even need a lawyer to get the claim to be successful.

Sometimes, you’ll have neighbors who are not going to let up, no matter how nicely you ask them or how many times cops arrive. It’s rare, but it happens. At this point, it’s safe to say that you are now dealing with a serious problem when it comes to enjoying the value of your home. If you choose to do this, make sure that you have ample evidence in the form of written letters and police reports.

If you can, record some of the noise as it occurs. The more evidence you have, the more likely it is that your case will succeed. As one can imagine, most bad neighbors will stop if it hurts their wallets.

hash-markDealing With Noisy Neighbors Bottom Line

There’s good news and bad news about dealing with a noisy neighbor problem. The good news about having noisy neighbors is that you’re not alone and that there are multiple things you can do to reduce the noise you hear daily. In most cases, the person who complains is the person who “wins.”

The bad news is that not all noise is preventable and that if you approach certain events the wrong way, you could make enemies among your neighbors. So, no matter what approach you take, tread carefully. You don’t want to be “that” neighbor.