Posted on: February 9, 2009 Posted by: Nicole Harding Comments: 22

You have to be up for work tomorrow morning at some awful hour, and your 20-something year old neighbours are blasting their obnoxiously loud music out of their open window. Even if their music wasn’t keeping you up, your kids can’t sleep either, only adding to your frustration. Your performance at work continues to slip, your kids can’t concentrate at school, and your spouse is irritable. What do you do?!

If you’ve seen Seth Rogen’s film, Neighbors, you’ll know that elaborate schemes can often backfire and lead to more problems. Luckily, our lives rarely reflect the wacky problems that take place in movies. Here is a list of 7 ways of how to get rid of noisy neighbors.

1. Talk to them.

You might not be the most confrontational person, but too often we let problems linger until we’re ready to explode. Walk over to your neighbors’ house in person and have a conversation with them. Don’t leave a note or telephone message, as this comes off as condescending or passive-aggressive. If you don’t know them well, introduce yourself. If you do, try to start a casual conversation before discussing the issue. Chances are, they don’t even know how loud they’ve been and would probably appreciate you letting them know.

Phrase it gently, without harsh judgement. Let them know that you’ve been having difficulties sleeping. When they realize their behavior has had a negative impact on your life, they’re far more likely to sympathize than if you lay into them with a curse-filled yelling match.

Also make sure to be specific and make suggestions. What is an appropriate time for them to be playing loud music, or keeping the windows open with guests? Could they entertain their guests indoors or in the basement? Offering suggestions, rather than making demands always leads to greater success. You can catch more flies with honey, as they say!

2. Keep the dialogue open.

Once you’ve established there is a problem, it’s important to stay on top of the behavior. They might lapse, or forget how loud they can be after a few months of keeping quiet. Ask them to give you advanced noticed if they’re having guests over, so that you have the option of making other arrangements.

If they become particularly loud, give them a call or walk over to their place to let them know. You might be their best gauge on the volume levels! Most importantly, maintaining the dialogue breeds a mutual respect, which will often lead them to towards caution when entertaining guests.

3. Form a neighborhood group.

Remember, there’s always strength in numbers. Maybe your other neighbors are equally annoyed by the noise. Maybe they have their own problems with a different culprit. Either way, if you can establish a neighborhood committee to discuss and deal with problems, you might be able to peer-pressure your loud neighbors into abiding by a set of rules.

Having more people inform the noisemakers of the problems they are causing might help the message sink in better. At the very least, it’s much easier to confront a potential stranger when you have backup!

4. Call the landlord or property manager.

This suggestion only applies for those who live in rental properties. Often you might not know if your neighbor is renting or owns their unit. It’s easy information to find out by looking online or visiting your local municipal records department.

Landlords hate customers who cause problems for them. Any fines or infractions that occur get billed directly to them, and even if the renters pay up, insurance rates can increase because of consistent fines. Contacting the landlord or property manager can be a quick solution without involving law enforcement, and is usually the most effective!

5. Phone the police.

If your loud neighbors refuse to stay quiet or treat you with disrespect, it is time to phone the police. Always call your local non-emergency line because 9-1-1 operator lines need to remain open for serious emergencies, even if this feels like one! Most police officers have the authority to enforce noise complaints at any time in the day, not just after a set curfew time.

Be aware that police operators have your phone number and address. Officers can and will inform your neighbors of who called the police if they are asked. This can sometimes lead to unpleasant situations, but at this point, you’ll try anything, right? Even if your neighbors immediately turn the volume back up after the police leave, the complaint and warning is recorded and leaves them open to hefty fines if further abuses occur. Feel free to call the police as many times as necessary until the message sinks in.

6. Call your local by-law enforcement.

Often by-law officers have far more power to punish your no good neighbors than the police do. Look up your local by-law infractions for excessive noise, and inform your neighbors of the potential costs of continuing their nosiness. If that doesn’t work, call the direct line for your municipality and place your complaint with by-law enforcement. Often they are less busy than the police and can respond quicker.

In some areas, they don’t even need permission to enter the home and write fines for infractions. The more times they are forced to visit a particular property, the more likely they are to write fines for other offences they might observe. If you persist, maybe the fines will ensure they can’t afford rent or keep up with their mortgage payments!

7. Move away from the area.

Unfortunately life can indeed be like the movies sometimes. Pranking, scaring, assaulting, or arson are not solid solutions to your problem. As much as you’d love to get some serious revenge, there are serious legal consequences for physically or emotionally beating your neighbors into submission.

If you’ve tried all of the other steps, it might be time to consider making a change. Your noisy neighbors might never leave, and if they clearly aren’t responding to legal enforcement, moving elsewhere might be your best option.

You undoubtedly value your health and the well being of your family over your residence. If you’re having serious problems because of noisy neighbors, we recommend finding somewhere else to live. It’s not the ideal solution, and can be expensive, but you really can’t put a price on your overall well being, right?

Unless you plan on moving to the countryside, everyone has to deal with noisy neighbors at one point in their lives. It can be intimidating and frustrating having to deal with these people, especially when they should already know to be more respectful. Your work, your children’s schoolwork, and your spouse’s sanity might all on the line. Don’t let another sleepless night pass without following our advice to get rid of noisy neighbors!

22 People reacted on this

  1. Live in a rural area. Had a neighbor who insisted on reving up a old truck while trying to get it to run right all hours for days at a time. Waited till he went to work, took the tools, drained all the oil out of it. That night vroom, vroom, BLAM!!!! End of problem
    He also liked to drive like a maniac up and down the road. Another neighbor flagged him down, when he got out to see what he wanted, the neighbor beat the hell out of him ! Problem solved!

  2. Hello

    I want to know if I have some rights. This person walks his 2 dogs everyday and drives my 3 dogs crazy. It disturbs me and upsets my dogs. If this person walks his dogs once a while may be okay, but he walks too often. I asked him politely to please walk his dogs at other path close by – approx. same distance. This path is very nice and public. There is no private properties on this path. Also explained him his dogs drive my dogs crazy also other neighbors, too. And told him its impolite to let his dogs urining private properties. He does pick the the feces, but urine is still nasty. He refuses to take his dogs elsewhere and keeps coming to my Cul-de-sac everyday. He said he has the right to walk on my street. I understand that but he is disturbing my peace. There was one incident that could be avoided only if he walks his dogs elsewhere. When my dogs got off my car for a ride, my dogs saw this dog walker with 2 dogs, they ran to him. Now I got $300 fine for it. He creates so much problem and still coming here. I want to know is there any way I can file a complaint or do I have right to peace? He is disturbing my peace and my dogs, too. Any feedback or help will be greatly appreciate. Thank you.

  3. Jim, do you live in my neighborhood ? My problem is, I’m a single mom, and in our ‘nice’ neighborhood, 4 houses of pure trailer trash have moved in..some have been here quite some time. They all hate me, and it all stems back to the neighbor right beside me. You would not believe what all they have done to my property, and now they have older boys, they have bought them all sports cars. These kids like to street race their cars. The cops have been out here a couple dozen times, but can never catch them. The parents , talk to them ? They get out drinking beer with their kids , racing cars around WITH their kids. I don’t have the option of moving, and unfortunately my house sits right in the middle of these neighbors. Now to top everything else off, they are so into street racing that they’re working on a new sportscar in their garage, at all hours of the day and night. We have movie night on Friday nights ? Not tonight. We were trying to watch a movie, but they were revving the engine up so loud, we couldn’t hear the words in MY own livingroom ! I know, they know it bothers me, and that probably makes their day. They teach their kids to be disrepectful to me.
    What can I do ? Seriously, I’m so so over this. I wish I could sneak over there and drain the oil, but I have no clue how to, and I’d probably be the one to get arrested.

  4. On the positive side, the following parts of this article are great:

    1) Your home is your one sanctuary from the frenzied hurly-burly and noise of the Big City. You expect to go home and have time to lay back, relax, and have some peace and quiet. All seems to be well and good, until your rest and relaxation is disturbed by the noisy racket going on next door.
    2) Get at the Source
    3) Set a Good Example

    However, NONE of the followings suggestions are any good:

    1) Put Up With It (why should you? Are you kidding?)
    2) Tell Them Off Politely (confrontations tend to cause more harm than good! Just try it and you will see!)
    3) File a Formal Complaint (if you take it to Court, it’s a very slow process, you will fully antagonize the offending party, and only the lawyers will win!)

    Top: There is a far better, far more effective, and far more civilized solution. And it’s also totally legitimate! No, you don’t beat him up! And no, you didn’t destroy his property!….. I live in a dense, urban environment in a big city, and the walls are paper thin. I have a neighbor who used to turn on a horribly loud noise he called music; he used to do it about every other day. I waited till the noise was on, and called the cops on him. This way A) there was no confrontation, B) I remained anonymous, C) the cops were able to act upon my complaint. They came out almost right away, restored the peace, and gave the guy a warning. After three warnings, they also gave him a ticket. Since that ticket, there has been no more noise! End of the problem! Problem solved!

  5. I live in a small neighborhood,with houses close together. My neighbor has a trampoline in her front yard and now a medium sized pool in the side yard next to mine in the back. She encourages all the neighborhood kids to come jump and swim and scream as much as they want for hours at a time. Usually between 3 and 9 pm when my husband and I come home from work and want to sit outside and enjoy some time on our porch or patio. I have tried to talk cival to her about not letting them contantly screem and she blew up at me and says that I am being a selfish b* because I dont have children and I dont understand that this is what children do, they have fun and they laugh and they play. It’s way more than children having fun. It’s really gotten out of hand and is really a neusance of noise. What can I do to solve the issue with her? I know that children need to play and have fun but I also think that any good parent wouldnt let them disturb the entire neighborhood with their constant screaming. If I could put a wall up around my entire yard I would, but I really think I have a right to some peace and quiet.
    Here First

  6. if a person is being annoyingly noisy in the middle of the night,they generally either realise that they are and just don’t care or are being noisy intentionally to annoy.
    someone cranking their music up at 2am or sitting outside in their boomcar withe volume jacked up,generally knows they’re being overheard by neighbors and in fact,often times they’re actually TRYING to gain attention.i go to the extreme immediately.if my neighbors are bassing my walls loudly at 2am or if they’re outside hanging in the parking lot boomcarring,i call the police.not the emergencu number,but the main number.i complain about about a’disturbance’.aftera certain time of night it’s called disturbing the peace.In the city i live in,the police are usually glad to respond,because what they realise is that most of the time,the noisemakers are rude and usually smarta$$e$ and frequently intoxicated or been smoking dope or both.the cops in this city have a zero tolerance attitude,even regarding late night noise.when calling the poice if the dispatcher asks if me if i want to speak to the officer when he comes out,i say no.that way all dispatch does is call in the complaint and give the responding officer the address of the offense taking place.not my name or address.if i say yes,the officer WILL be informed of my name and address of i always say no when i’m asked.this way the cop comes out,he takes care of the situation and nobody knows who called.and if need be,if the situation continues,i call a second and even a third time if necessary.usually that second time the cops will cite them with a hefty fine for disturbing the peace.usually ina situation like that,noisy neighbors will get the idea and the noise will cease.if it doesn’t and they continue , they’ll evenyually be fined enough times that they’ll move or get evicted.persnally i’ve found that just about every neighbor that moves in next door to me (for the past 6 years)is up all hours of the night..till 2 or 3am.i don’t understand why this is so common,but it seems to be.apparently most people don’t go to bed anymore before 1 or 2am.or is it just me??

  7. What to do when ALL options have failed? My neighbours constantly blast their music or tv and yell and slam their doors as loud as they can and even pound on their walls. They have also started to leave fish out to “dry” in the sun…but ROT in the sun is more like it. They refuse to talk to us, claiming that they do not speak english, and the City bylaw office and police refuse to do anything about them. Now what!?

  8. There are 5-7 people living next to me in a one bedroom apt. They always have music playing and talk loudly…my landlord just put up boards to block some of they noise but they think that they can make more because of the new insulation. Half of them aren’t legal and just this friday they had a party up to 5:30am. I called the landlord and complained. They just lied to him and told the landlord that they were sleeping. Also 2 of the tenants work for him at the restaurant downstairs from me. I want to get rid of them for good…they had once moved out …then they moved back in AGAIN!!!! I grow tired and frustrated with them and they do not care and lie through their teeth.

  9. I have a single female neighbor. She’s in her 20’s or so I’m guessing. She has a new big screen T.V. that came with a sickeningly loud surround sound system with massive “Bass” capabilities. She lives alone,…yet even while she’s at work her apartment is filled with people!? Every day!! My wife and I have tolerated her and her friends antics for nearly a year. We’ve even called the police twice. She’s been arrested more times than I’ve eaten breakfast! We have a small building with 4 apartments in it. We’re on the top floor next door to this idiot. Her direct downstairs neighbor is in her 80’s and our best guess is that she can’t hear a darn thing anymore. Our walls “LITERALLY” vibrate to the beat of the music they play next door. Once it even brought down an antique mirror we had hanging on our wall. It’ was a fun mess of broken glass to clean up. My neighbor has had numerous men in her apartment,…most of them live there on and off. But of course ,…”they’re just visiting!!!”,..LOL Yeah,…7 days a week they’re just visiting,…sleeping,..showering,…and clogging up our parking lot with so many cars there’s hardly ever a parking space for my wife or myself when we get home from work !!! We have a very nice car,…and we don’t want it vandalized. But I’ve had experiences in the past where I’ve complained in one way shape or form about the noise or whatever from a neighbor ,…only to find my windshield of my car smashed in the next morning,…and of course,…”NOBODY SAW ANYTHING!!!!”,…LOL People are just jerks 99% of the time. There’s truly no definite solution to the problem,….and shooting em’ll just land you in jail. So we tolerate the ignorant. What else is there to do?

  10. I am a rentstabilized tenant living in a quiet building in Lower Manhattan. Sometime over the last 6 months, a new tenent moved into the apartment above mine and has become a real problem with noise, especially at night. Granted, his floor may not be soundproofed, he moves furniture, walks back and forth on his heels constantly, drops heavy objects, drags items across the floor at midnight, 2 A.M. and once dropped something that sounded like a bowling ball that resonated so loudly, it jolted me out of my sleep. I’ve asked this neighbor to please be quiet at night. He said he worked late at night. The second time I knocked on his door and asked what he was doing at 4:20 am that woke me up. (sound of bowling ball).He said he did not know what I was talking about and that I was imagining things. He slammed the door in my face after I told him that I would call the police if he did not stop his continuing noise. This neighbor seems to have some type of obsessive compulsive disorder that causes him to walk back and forth throughout the night moving things, dropping things while walking around on his heels. I am not sure how to respond next.I would at leat like to have peace and quiet at night between 10 PM and 8 A.M.

  11. We are stuck in an era of selfishness, where no one cares about their neighbors and noise pollution and anti-social behavior run rampant. I’ve moved so many times because of rude neighbors, that I’ve been forced to live out of my suitcases and plastic boxes. I don’t even have a frame for my bed because it’s easier to just move a queen size mattress on top of my car in case I have to yet again move out of an apartment.

    I was evicted from my last apartment because I kindly asked my new neighbor to quiet her feet. She’s 5’5″, weighs 115 lbs, and stomps like she weighed 325 lbs or more. I had lived in my apartment for over a year and always got along with my landlady, though I began to realize after a year that she was beginning to give me the cold shoulder, for some odd reason. Then when my new neighbor (a dean of student services at a local college) moved in ans stomped around worse than the two overweight girls that used to live in that apartment, I rang her doorbell, she came down, opened the door, I introduced myself, and she said “Oh, I’m making too much noise up there, aren’t I”. I said “Well, yes, but it’s just a matter of walking on the balls of your feet instead of your heels.” She became angry and defensive and made a dramatic scene when our landlady walked into the foyer. I felt uneasy.

    The next day or so, I was rudely awakened by a big BOOM, then heavy thumping footsteps for an hour or so. I was trying to sleep and was angry, but regained my composure enough to go upstairs and ask her to please walk a bit quieter. I did knock in her door lightly. No answer.I knocked a little harder. No answer, I knocked a little harder, and she swung open the door and gave me an angry look. I was in my robe, weary, tired, but said in a soft voice, “I’m really trying to get some sleep.” She yelled at me, “Well, if you don’t like it, talk to the landlady! I don’t have time for this! I’m getting ready for work!”

    I went back down to my apartment and began crying and had an anxiety attack. My teenage daughter was there to comfort me. I cried myself to sleep after that witch upstairs left for work. I slept until noon. I never did talk to my landlady about the situation because I was too scared to confront her about the problem. Though she’s in her 70s, she tends to be rather cold and intimidating.

    Later that day, there was a knock on my door, and there was my landlady giving me the meanest look and a pink piece of paper that was a Notice To Quit Tenancy. She yelled at me and called me a bully and said “I hope you didn’t treat the other tenants like this!” I was dumbfounded. I told her that all I did was ask the upstairs tenant if she would walk a little more quietly. But my landlady insisted on calling me a bully, though I was the one being bullied.

    And now, nearly a year later, I’ve come to realize that I was evicted because I drove an old beater of a car and didn’t have a vast social network of friends who could help increase my landlady’s personal wealth through real estate sales. I served no purpose to her except to pay rent and help shovel the snowy driveway when she once again fired her maintenance man for drinking. I didn’t have a college degree, I was living on Disability, but I told her I was looking forward to starting college in the Fall and I was making and selling things online. I’ve also realized that as a woman who is over 6 feet tall, short women hate me and find me threatening. It feels like I’m the big, gentle Great Dane who is being attacked by mean little Chihuahuas just because they thing I’m a threat.

    There is no neighborly etiquette anymore. And we, as decent quiet people, are always the ones who suffer.

  12. Renters have far too many rights. Everywhere my wife and I have lived in the city of Phoenix Arizona, some self serving human garbage always manages to move in next door or across the street from us. I am sick and tired of moving from one area to another in hope of living with the peace and solitute that all home owners deserve. Statistically, anytime renters or illegal aliens move in nearby, the area always becomes devalued and the good decent people who can move out end up leaving.

  13. I have a neighbor who across from me who’s constantly putting music on so loud that u can hear it in the whole building, as for talking loud in the hall way. I have knocked on her door and spoken to her about it, but she doesn’t care, she does it even worse after I have spoken to her in a nice way. Im a sick person, I have brain tumors. I get bad cronic headaches. Im trying to be nice but its going to get out of hands, what can I do? This situation is day and night, her answer is I pay rent. Please feed me back for some help

  14. Yeah we have neighbors from know the trashy kind who burn trash and light fireworks that shake the whole neighborhood. We’ve tried to voice our concerns and they seem sympathetic at first, but its all a front. They keep on doing their thing despite everyone else’s feelings. So now we complain directly to them face to face once, and, if the disturbance continues, we call the cops and/or fire department depending on what the issue is. I figure they’ll move someday being sick and tired of all the visits from the authorities.

  15. I am 45 and have a neighbor that moved here 9 months ago. He is 68 and lonely. I love to sit outside on our patio but it seems he always is looking for me. He brings over stuff and my fiancee says don’t accept them, he’s looking for a way in. I feel guilty because I’m afraid to offend people. But now I won’t even go outside. I am going to confront him again and hopefully this time he will get it. I feel like I’m watched all day and besides that he constantly leaves food. He get’s the food from the Salvation Army because it’s available. I’ve already respectably told him we are not in need of food. What I feel bad about is he makes this stuff and leaves it on my back porch and it’s food that other needy people need! He’s come over when we are grilling and says stuff about the amount of food we’re cooking that could feed an army. The guilty trip. So I send my fiance to give him a plate. Now it’s becoming habitual. He told me that if my fiance and I weren’t together he would be hitting on me. I’m tired of my stupidedness to be friendly and allow, what I feel like, a perpetrator into our lives. But I will confront and not out of anger. I believe that’s the only to do it.


  16. Classical music played at a reasonable level will get you peace and quiet within days -once it worked within minutes of my neighbor starting her usual racket (rap played at top volume with excellent speakers)and she left in huff 10 minutes later(I had just turned on my cd player-no speakers even!).After doing that a few more times she quieted down and soon moved out to her boyfriend’s.It has worked wonders every time I have had to resort to it.Now I love classical music and even opera .

  17. There is nothing, I mean NOTHING you can do for neighbours from hell.
    Talk to the people? Don’t make laugh. The kind of inconsiderate jerks that dont’ care about the peace and comfort of others are often the same type that get off on being a pain in the rear.
    Call the police? Depending on the disturbance they can do nothing – not their fault. On some they WILL do nothing – mostly because they have more urgent matters than your crappy neighbour or they may actually be sympathetic (policmen have noisy dogs too).
    Talk to the owner? They can’t kick out a renter for ‘no reason’. Heck, they probably wouldn’t want to. If they don’t live close by, why would they care. If they do, their renter wouldn’t be a problem in the first place.

    I’m afraid all you can do is
    a) put up with it
    b) move
    c) take matters in your own hands

    Choose according to your nature.

  18. I have the worlds wort neighbor he blasts his music whenever he wants and refuses to stop even when the police attend . and the worst thing is he is an owner so i dont know if my strata can really do much. does anyone know what i can do legally ??? i live in british columbia canada and i would love to drag this S**t into court and hear someone say he is being forced to pay a ten thousand dollar fine.

  19. @Kay. I’m so sorry to hear that. I really do feel and understand what you’re going through. My stress has increased so much just because of noisy neighbours and I’m actually seeing doctors for various physical manifestations of stress. I set an example right from the beginning, even this article mentions it, but my neighbours do not care. The people here in this European country haven’t been brought up to think of their neighbours. I’m the decent person and look where I am. I’m the one who’s suffering so I definitely hear you. I may have to move overseas.

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