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!