Noisy neighbors: What is your recourse against a noisy neighbor?

Since most Americans reside in metropolitan areas, it’s likely that many of us deal with the difficulties of being so near to other people. However, the never-ending kegger next door or the insomniac neat freak above who insists on vacuuming at three in the morning don’t necessarily have to be obnoxious annoyances. You’ll be able to get your well-earned z’s with the assistance of some legal information and a decent pair of earplugs.

There are limitations to the decibel levels that the law will permit when diplomacy fails. The issue of excessive noise is covered by ordinances in the majority of localities. Consider New York City, one of the world’s noisiest cities. The use of loudspeakers, radios, stereos, TVs, and automobile horns in public locations is forbidden by municipal regulation. The rule also forbids construction noise on weekdays after 6 p.m. Infractions of “quality of life” regulations are within the administrative court’s authority, the Environmental Control Board. Infringers have two options: pay a fine or appear in court to contest the infraction. By contacting your local government, you may learn which organisation enforces noise abatement laws in your city and what those laws are.

But what if the loudest areas are not the streets but rather your apartment complex? A friendly conversation with the troublesome neighbor should first work. If not, discuss soundproofing the walls or having your landlord or flat management deal with the bothersome neighbor on your behalf with your landlord or manager. A leaseholder has the right to “quiet enjoyment” of the land under common law. You may be able to take legal action against your landlord if you urge them to do anything about the noise levels and they refuse.

Early lease termination is the most likely remedy for violating the quiet enjoyment agreement. You won’t be responsible for the remaining rent, but you will need to get the moving boxes out. If relocating is not an option, you could choose to sue the loud neighbor for private annoyance. Remember that if you urge the court to quiet down, you might need to hire an attorney. If you don’t have the money to retain a lawyer and your claim is just for monetary losses, small claims court is another possibility.

Always provide notice to the bothersome neighbor and give him or her a copy of the neighborhood noise abatement regulation before taking any of these actions. Make sure to record your activities in case it becomes necessary to engage the landlord or police authorities.