Legal Remedies for Dealing With Noisy Neighbors
UPDATED: September 17, 2013
It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.
We strive to help you make confident law decisions. Finding trusted and reliable legal advice should be easy. This doesn't influence our content. Our opinions are our own.
If you have a noisy neighbor, you're not alone – and the situation is not hopeless. You have a number of possible remedies available. Before taking legal action, it is always advisable to try simply communicating your complaints directly to your neighbors. Talk to them. If that doesn’t work, send them a letter. Talk to a landlord if it is a rental situation. If none of these options produce results, a call to the police may solve the problem. If it doesn’t, you may consider suing for nuisance in civil court.
A nuisance lawsuit is usually a small claims matter. The basis of the claim is that the noise produced by the neighbors interferes with your legal right to "quiet enjoyment" of your property. In the lawsuit, you should ask for a monetary figure that represents adequate compensation for the disturbances you have suffered. While most small claims courts do not allow lawyers, your damages may be such that you will need to seek help from a higher court. In that case, it is advisable to enlist the services of a lawyer to assist you in calculating your damages figure and filing the initial suit, if not actually representing you in court.
Once you get to court, you will need to provide proof of the disturbances and explain how they have interfered with your quality of life. You will also need to provide proof of your earlier attempts to obtain relief by other means, such as letters or calls to the police.
Witnesses, recordings, photographs, police reports and testimony of other neighbors can all be helpful in winning your lawsuit. Whether or not you are monetarily compensated for your trouble, the lawsuit may be enough to get the attention of your neighbors and/or their landlord, and then the noise or disturbance might stop.
To have the best chance of winning your case and obtaining compensation from your noisy neighbor or, at the very least, an end to the undesireable behavior, consult with a lawyer as soon as possible.