- For Attorneys
There are various strategies for dealing with noisy neighbors. Some of these include:
-Discussing the problem with or writing a letter to the offending neighbor
-Calling the police/sheriff's office to file a complaint
-Asking the landlord or neighborhood body to remedy the situation
-Filing a lawsuit for breach of warranty of habitability, peaceful enjoyment, infliction of emotional distress, nuisance, harassment, etc.
-Talk to a councilperson about passing a local noise ordinance
Depending on the bylaws of a housing association, a tenant may be required to have certain soundproofing measures. I suggest contacting city hall or the police department to determine if a local noise ordinance has been passed. It may be possible to petition your local representative to enact a noise control ordinance if one doesn't already exist. Most local governments have some form of noise control based on either subjective nuisance or disturbance based standards, or an objective decibel based standards, or a combination thereof. Many of the subjective noise ordinances seek to control excessive noise that is of such character that it "tends to annoy, disturb or cause physiological or psychological harm to a person with normal sensitivities." Improvements in sound measurement technology and federal noise initiatives have led to a trend among local governments to adopt detailed objective decibel-based noise regulations that incorporate noise emission limitations and noise assessment criteria. These ordinances are often combined with traditional nuisance based regulations that allow for a two-pronged approach to noise control.