Can I file a disturbing the peace or nuisance complaint against my noisy neighbors?

Full Question:

My next door neighbors, especially their kids are so loud during the day, it's ruining my life. The mother owns the house and her son & wife live there as she can't make the house payment on her own. The whole time she's had the place, every renter, visitor, etc has been so loud that even visitors to my house have commented. My blood pressure is going thru the roof and they're the only house in the neighborhood that has kids. Otherwise this is an extremely quiet neighborhood with mostly retired people and that's how it was when I moved in (before my neighbors). Can I file a disturbing the peace or nuisance complaint with the sheriff?
04/22/2009   |   Category: Real Property ยป Neighbor Rel...   |   State: California   |   #16093


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.

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