Who Do I Call for a Noise Complaint?

Peter Chambers

Feb 22, 2023

dealing with noise complaints

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After a long day of work and activities, you settle onto your couch with your favorite beverage prepared to watch the next episode in whatever show you’re binging at the moment. Unfortunately, your neighbors are hosting yet another party on a weeknight and you can’t hear the television much less relax. You’re probably wondering “who do I call for a noise complaint?”

Many people are reluctant to say anything about unwanted noise. You might feel it is their right to do what they want in their own home, which is true to a point. However, if their activities make living in your space uncomfortable more than occasionally, it’s probably time to do something about it.

You have a right to peace and quiet in your home. While occasional parties and loud noise happen, when it interferes with a regular sleeping schedule or your enjoyment of your property, it’s time to take action. 

Take Emotions Out of the Situation

Lending Tree conducted a survey of 1,537 people and found 73% of Americans dislike one or more of their neighbors. If someone aggravates you, it’s natural to wish they didn’t live there. However, the reality is that you’ll have to deal with them until they or you move on. If you’re renting, the term might be shorter, but if you own, you’ll deal with them for a number of years.

Start by removing your emotions. You may be tired if their noise kept you awake all night. Allow a little time to think through how you want to handle the situation. Seek advice from people who seem to handle conflict well. Once you have a plan of action, here are some options for who do I call for a noise complaint.

Who Do I Call for a Noise Complaint if I Rent?

If you’re in an apartment, start by phoning your leasing office. Make sure you know which other tenant made the noise as sounds can echo in apartment building hallways. Ask the office what the rules on noise are and explain the situation. 

If you rent a home, you’ll need to check your local ordinances on noise. Every area has different rules about hours of quiet and what constitutes a nuisance. Your landlord may not be able to do much as he has no control over people who own the homes around you. Read your lease carefully about reasons you can break your rental agreement should the situation escalate. 

Should I Talk to My Noisy Neighbor First?

In an ideal world, you could knock on your neighbor’s door and have a civil conversation about how the noise impacts your quality of life. You’d come to an agreement on quiet hours and everyone would be happy. 

Unfortunately, some people don’t react well to such a discussion. How well do you know your neighbors? If they seem like they’d be open to a talk, go ahead and approach them cautiously. If you worry about it escalating things or retaliation, skip the talk and go straight to other channels. You may even want to report the noise anonymously.

Who Do I Call for a Noise Complaint Near Me?

If you understand the noise ordinances in your area and the sound is outside acceptable limits, you can phone law enforcement. Call the non-emergency line for your area and ask if someone can come out for a noise complaint. 

Typically, officers will go to the residence and let the occupants know there’s been a noise complaint. Some people may not realize how annoying their activity is to neighbors and a visit from the law enforcement may be all they need to settle down.

Unfortunately, others will say they will quiet down and will ramp things up even more once the officers leave as a sort of punishment to whomever called. Don’t hesitate to call law enforcement a second time.

What If the Neighbors Are Fighting?

You may live next to a frightening situation where you suspect domestic violence. Don’t hesitate to call the police emergency line. DV can escalate into a situation with injuries quite quickly. It’s better to err on the side of caution than to do nothing and have a neighbor hurt or killed.

While it’s possible the people arguing are only loud and verbal, it is also quite possible there is abuse involved. If your neighbors have the same landlord, phoning the police also puts the situation on record and can force your leasing company to abide by landlord/tenant laws for pleasant living conditions. 

Can I File a Nuisance Suit?

You have a right to live in a peaceful environment. If your neighbors consistently blare music until two a.m., throw things at each other that hit your apartment wall or otherwise disrupt peaceful living conditions, you can file a lawsuit against them.

A nuisance suit should be your last resort. Try other channels before you turn to such an extreme measure. Some areas even have neighborhood mediation groups that will try to solve issues neighbors have with one another. Even if the other measures don’t work, you’ll have a record of everything you tried to resolve the situation before taking it to court. 

Can You Break Your Lease Because of Extreme Noise? Maybe

If you live in an apartment building and the office refuses to do anything about ongoing nuisances, you may be able to break your lease under landlord/tenant laws. Talk to an attorney well-versed in rental contracts to see what your options are, as every case is a bit different. 

Hopefully, you can resolve the issue without turning to extremes, but if you’ve tried everything and the noise continues, you may need to take steps to ensure a quiet living environment. You have the right to some peace and relaxation in your living quarters. 

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