How to get your loud neighbours to quiet down

June 24, 2014

If your neighbours are too noisy, don't panic — there are things you can do to get the sound level back under control so you can enjoy your living space again.

How to get your loud neighbours to quiet down

No matter how nice your neighbours are, if they're too noisy it can ruin your living experience. Loud neighbours can wake you when you're trying to sleep, interfere with your ability to socialize and cause you to dread spending time at home.

A respectful talk can go a long way

If your neighbors are making too much noise, your first step is to speak up.

  • It's generally not a good idea to get the police involved until you've tried to deal with the problem yourself — at least not if you want to keep things civil between you and your loud neighbours.
  • Talking to your neighbours won't do much good if you come at them with anger. Wait until a time when it's relatively quiet and you are calm about the issue. If you can't stay calm, remind yourself that your neighbours may not realize they are disturbing you and probably aren't doing it on purpose.
  • Approach your neighbours politely. If you haven't met them before, introduce yourself and tell them you live next door, down the block, or wherever it is you live in relation to them.
  • Tell them that you can hear their music, conversation or other noise and explain politely that it disturbs you.
  • Feel free to offer an explanation such as, "I work long hours so I really need to be able to sleep," or "My baby wakes up at the slightest provocation," though you don't have to explain yourself if you don't want to.
  • End by politely asking your loud neighbour to keep the noise level down during certain hours.

Renters: consider contacting your landlord

If you live in an apartment or rented house, chances are that your lease includes stipulations about noise.

  • If talking with your neighbours doesn't resolve the problem, your next step might be to contact your landlord. He or she can confront the noisy tenants and remind them that excessive noise violates the terms of the lease.
  • Of course, this solution doesn't apply if you own your home. However, if you are a member of a homeowners association, the association may have similar rules about noise that you can use to your advantage.

Legal options

If the noise problems continue, you have two legal options:

  • Mediation: If you generally enjoy a good relationship with your neighbours, you might want to consider going to mediation. This is a process where you and your neighbour sit down with a professional mediator in order to negotiate a solution that works for everyone.
  • Calling the police: If nothing else has worked, the authorities may be needed to handle the situation. They can issue citations or make arrests if needed. This option often means the end of your relationship with your neighbours and should only be used as a last resort.
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