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What is a Noise Ordinance?

J. Beam
J. Beam

A noise ordinance is a law created at local levels that pertains to the amount of noise, duration of noise, and source of sounds other than ambient noise that affect a community’s inhabitants. Basically, the law defines which sounds are and are not acceptable at any given time so that residents can live comfortably within a community in terms of the sounds that they hear. A city or county noise ordinance is usually effective during certain times of the day. It typically applies at night during the times when most people sleep. Violations are often reported to police or local officials by individuals who are disturbed by sound and feel that an ordinance has been violated.

Sounds or noises that are usually defined in a noise ordinance are those commonly produced by residents, but many ordinances also include industrial and commercial facilities if they are located near residential areas. Examples of noises that might violate the law are barking dogs, loud music, power tools, cars or motorcycles with excessively loud engines, fireworks or explosives, and shouting. The ordinance is designed to keep a community’s residents comfortable in their own homes. In other words, if someone can hear noises while trying to sleep and those noises are intentionally caused by other residents in the area, he or she could report a violation of a noise ordinance. Many people have conflicting views of ordinances that limit sound, with the opposition claiming that such laws violate certain rights.

Playing loud music may be considered a violation of a noise ordinance.
Playing loud music may be considered a violation of a noise ordinance.

Noise ordinances are handled differently by every community, with some local officials continually reviewing their community’s ordinance and updating it as necessary. Some smaller communities may not enforce these laws at all. Other communities find that enforcing an existing laws are difficult because of different interpretations of the law.

People can find out whether there is a noise ordinance in their community by checking with local law enforcement officials or by reviewing their city’s official website. If someone believes a neighbor is violating a noise law, officials believe it is best to talk to the neighbor before making an official complaint. Local law enforcement should usually only be called if the neighbor cannot be contacted or is not responsive to complaints.

Discussion Comments


I have neighbors who just moved in across the street a few months ago. They have, like six cars. Four are buckets and two are newer cars, not to mention only three people drive in that house. Why do they need all those cars? They don't live on a 100-acre lot and there's no room for all that crap.

They are constantly moving cars around, sometimes parking them in front of my house. They have systems in those bucket cars and are constantly play the annoying bass. Seriously, why would you want to bring attention to your piece of crap car? Do they think they are cool or something. Maybe it's a guy thing. Shoot, I don't know, but it's irritating as hell. That noise hurts my ears.

They hardly park in front of my house anymore though, because of the faces I give them and plus I turn the hose on the cars if they do. But all the people who are saying quit complaining and deal with it, that's wrong. You need to respect your neighbors and live in a peaceful neighborhood. You may pay taxes, but so do we. Have some respect. Not everyone wants to hear your annoying music, or have your piece of crap cars in front of our houses!


I live in a small semi rural community in Orion MI. There is a new development across the street from me and they work literally from 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Now it is Sunday and they are doing the same. I did call the police to report it because they are not supposed to work on Sundays, but I am quite sure they were given a pass from our local government officials.


Noises like ice cream trucks, or police sirens, or kids and dogs playing outside are normal and tolerable. What's not normal is having to feel your body shaking and everything in your apartment because the person downstairs from you wants to "bang" the bass.

I really tried to be a good neighbor and "wait" til it stopped. But after two weeks of this, day and night for hours at a time (I've started writing it all down), after several complaints to management. (And I know they sent them a letter because I saw it on their door) I finally called the cops. I didn't want to, but my whole body was shaking from my nerves and anxiety. I spent the last two weeks of my life trying to figure out how to "live" with this and finally just decided I couldn't.

When living in apartments or communities, you should be considerate of those that live "around" you. Ear plugs will not help stop the vibrations. I use them all the time when I sleep and it's the vibrations from the bass through my bed that wakes me up. Hopefully this call to the police will help "restrict" the bass bumping and I can live in a somewhat peaceful environment. Hopefully.


As a 40 year resident in my own home, having many new neighbors move into the semi-attached home, sharing a common wall, and never have I had problems with them, nor other neighbors on my block, until the last ones did sell, and in these two years, I have new, extremely noisy neighbors. My quiet is gone, as are my health and peace of mind. They've used contractors. When that noise ended, and their use of heavy commercial machinery, then the new owners would begin their own hammering, drilling, sanding, etc, 24/7.

I have endured not only loud noises from construction work, but video games, music, loud yelling sounds, but have also ingested sawdust (possibly lead, asbestos, mold, and/or wood) within the two year period, but over the past five months or so, I've ingested highly toxic fumes, that caused irreversible damage to the lungs, and am currently waiting for further results to come back.

My peace of mind, health and home have been hindered since these people moved in. I've spoken to them and received manipulative, deceptive responses, and have gotten nowhere. The police, fire department and EMTs were at my home twice. Each time, these people would open up their home to ventilate and then leave. No one was able to go in.

What rights do I have and where do I turn? Agencies I've spoken with are 311, Dept of Health, Department of Environmental Protection, etc. I have been going to doctors, having tests to determine my ailments that I wouldn't have had to go to.


It's interesting that people who feel that making excessive noise is their right and expression of freedom. But they seem to have no problem with denying others their right to freedom of living a life of peace.

This mentality is not freedom, but bullying. I want to express my freedom but your right for freedom to live a life of peace and with the absence of stress is not important. Freedom does not exist when the rights of people are denied.


People need to take a chill pill. You can't expect everyone to be quiet just because you don't like music. I play my music because I want to feel the bass and as loud as I like it. If anybody complains about my band practice in my home, I tell them to get some earplugs and chill. I pay taxes and rent. It's in the constitution that we as a nation are free to express ourselves.


Many complaints are justified, while others are not. I live/own a house in a neighborhood where a religious woman at the far end of the street complains about any noise, while she is loud with her own Christian group meetings outside her home sporadically.

Time after time, the cops have stopped by and every single one has said the noise was not loud, even at 2:30 a.m., three times in a row on a bad night and twice at random times. And it is rare for me to be even up by then.

Random, anonymous calls point to her because no one else lives in a 360 degree area from my home, since they are vacation homes. She lives on the farthest end where no sound travels (which has been verified by cops). The cops have said it's not disturbing, and refuse to do anything for me and hate being called out by me, but once in a while you get a rookie cop, or some are flat out rude.

The house owner then has to deal with it while they remain hidden! They don't investigate anonymous calls because it has gotten to the point a home owner feels trapped in there own home. Windows open or close. There is always some sound.

If house A gets constant anonymous calls with no action taken, they should force them to make a proper complaint to expose them. Anonymous callers lie sometimes to make a situation worse by saying a party is taking place, loud music, walls rattling, etc., and when cops the come out, it's someone watching a movie, some music, and the sound is nowhere near amplified to that level of "earth shaking". They are protected, because they are "hidden." The police also make no real report, which makes it hard to file complaints on an individual who is basically harassing others anonymously.. Now they can fine $300 in my area apparently. At the end of the day, it's based on how the cops are feeling.


I live in Kingsville, Texas. The sound of train sirens/whistles (whatever you want to call them) coming through is totally crazy. It's every morning and night. A lot of the people I've talked to about it are angry too, but no one seems to know how to stop it. I've lived in several Texas towns but I've never experienced anything like this. Weird.


I love these people with their "It doesn't bother me so you're a complete idiot that needs to shut up if it bothers you" mentality. Well, undoubtedly there is something in this world that does bother you and hopefully, if there is any justice in the world, when you complain to someone about that thing that does bother you, the person that you have the gall to complain to will tell you to shut up and deal with it like you do to others. There is something wrong with people who can't sympathize with someone, unless they are bothered by it also.


To anon278073/ Post 68: You are clearly inconsiderate to believe that it is OK for anyone to play their music as loud as they want for as long as they want. People like you create bad situations in all aspects of life.


@anon278073: It doesn't matter if the lamps were damaged or not. The music shouldn't have been that loud to start with. The lamps weren't damaged, which is good, since they belong to my landlady. But I could literally feel my chest thumping in time to the music. Not fun.

I "noodle." My husband plays keyboards professionally.

No, being considerate doesn't mean not complaining. The word considerate means one is thoughtful of the rights and feelings of others. This means you certainly have the right to play your music, but should also be thoughtful of those who are around you.

And earplugs do not block out the kind of volume you're describing. I've tried it, believe me.

And no, I'm not suggesting you shouldn't be able to use your sustain and amps. I think you know that. You know exactly what I mean.

However, in 20 years, I'll still be able to hear. A life 100 percent about music will be a miserable one when you're deaf as a post. Just ask Beethoven. And that's a heavy price to pay. Karma, my friend, is a witch.


@amypollick: Were the lamps on your mantelpiece damaged in any way because of this music?

That's great that you and your husband "noodle" on the keyboard.

Electric instruments can work in conjunction with headphones, but when applied lose all the beauty of sustain that comes from the induction of feedback between the speaker and the pickup. Are you suggesting that electric instruments should not be allowed to sustain the way your keyboard does?

The neighbors are welcome to play all the music they want, as loud as they want, and make all the noise they want. They make noise all day every day while I am sleeping. I've never complained to anyone. Not complaining is what being considerate is all about. Try earplugs if you can't sleep.


@anon277641: My, my. Such hostility, here. Why would I complain about *music*? When it isn't music. I love music, but not every kind. I complain when the "music" is so loud, it is literally shaking the lamps on my mantelpiece, and it's from a car stereo next door! That's too loud.

My husband plays keyboards, and I also sing and noodle around on the keyboard, so it's not like we're anti-music or "never learned to play an instrument." We don't have a crying baby and our lawn gets mowed maybe once a month.

It's about having some consideration for the people around you. They pay rent just like you do, and they deserve to have a little peace and quiet, too.

In an apartment situation, learning to be considerate of other people is an important lesson. My husband and I lived in an apartment for many years. When he practiced his keyboard, he used headphones so he wouldn't disturb anyone else.

Maybe your life is 100 percent music, but that's not the case for everyone. You have a right to play your music, and others have the right to complain if it's too loud. Hearing a constant noise when one is trying to sleep wears on the nerves after a while.


Why would any complain about music? Music in not noise, so the noise ordinances don't really apply. The SPL and dB limits on the books are ridiculous. According to the law, flushing the toilet at 10 PM is disturbing the peace. If you can't sleep, try earplugs. If you call the police and they can hear you talking on the phone, the music around you is obviously not loud. Shut up, stop complaining and let me live my live (which is 100 percent music).

I don't complain about your crying baby or lawnmower. You have no idea what loud is! Also, just because you are on a day schedule doesn't mean everyone is, and we night owls put up with your non-musical cacophony while we try to sleep.

Don't call the police because you're a wimp who never learned to play an instrument. Just enjoy the music.


What about my upstairs neighbors hooking up their live band equipment and playing literally, a concert of some punk rock. and kicking their floor (my ceiling) right from 9 p.m. until midnight and sometimes at 2, 3, 4 a.m. -- whenever they come back from their pubs or wherever.

I am about to throw something in there.


City workers are working on the sidewalk in front of my house, at 7 in the morning. What the hell do I do?


I had the cops called on me twice for having my computer speakers playing music too loud. The first one was three weeks after the second one. The second night, I got a $1093 ticket for violation of the noise ordinance.

I was cooking, my fiance and his friend were playing ps3, and we played music on the computer speaker. I care about people, but come on! It was a Friday night/Saturday morning! I don't know. There has to be a clearer line between people really being noisy and the person/people reporting it being silly.


We live in the country in Montana and someone put out a noise complaint for our dogs barking! So the sheriff came out. Our law is so vague that it's ridiculous. It says any noise that disturbs anyone's comfort or peace. My dogs don't bark continuously. They bark when neighborhood dogs come by (whether their owners are walking them or they got loose), when our neighbors shoot guns or have a party where they sit outside getting loud and yelling at our dogs, when we get a delivery or when a visitor pulls up they bark until the visitor comes in (this happens all of four times in a month!). They never bark for more than five minutes at a time and they don't bark often. I know because I'm home all day almost every single day, being a stay at home mom.

So what can I say to the sheriff? I already called and told them to have him call me because I'd rather not get fined or have my dogs taken away over an ordinance that is so meaningless. I have two great Danes and an Irish wolfhound.


Wow! I guess having 10 teenagers talking just outside their home front door (I live in small townhomes, with four entrance doors to four homes and can hear all neighbors outside) is nothing compared to the stuff I've read on here.

As for the lady with tv on after 10 p.m., find another apartment to live in, preferably a place with brick walls, like my apartment has, and I pay only $600. Anyway, if you are annoyed at someone, just rat them out to the police anonymously. They will never know and you will get your peace. That's why they have the law anyway.


People have to understand that some people are more sensitive to noise than others. It has been scientifically proven that noise raises blood pressure. The violence in society is directly connected to overcrowding and noise.

Some noise can't be helped, but people who deliberately make noise, like the manchild, when they know it disturbs someone should be called out as social misfits.

The neighbor who complained because she couldn't sleep with a television playing was not out of line. Bedrooms ARE for sleeping. If someone can't sleep without a tv playing, why not wear headphones, or watch tv in another room until you get sleepy?

People just have to be considerate. Not an easy job for some, obviously.


I live near a train track. I don't have a problem with the train passing by every now and then, but tonight, the bell that rings to signal the train approaching is broken and like 30 minutes after the train had gone, the bell is still ringing and it's so loud.

I wanted to catch a nap from 8-10 p.m. and then study for my anatomy test, but this ringing bell has ruined all that. I did even record like 30 minutes of the malfunctioning ringing bell for almost 30 minutes. It stinks that I can't do anything.


According to my sheriff (whom I just called), "noise ordinance violation" can be "anything that disturbs your peace". There's this idiot manchild who is riding his motorized scooter up and down our street practically every single day.

My 57 year old dad went out to politely tell him to stop and I was pleased to see him speaking to the manchild in such a civil manner. (I watched the whole thing from my upstairs window.) Little did I know that my dad was trying to remain polite while the manchild was cussing him out and yelling profanity after profanity to him. (Where's the respect for elders?) The idiot zoomed off and started riding up and down our street with increased fervor, looking towards the direction of our house every time. He was bad before, but definitely not this bad.

I called the police on him, but unfortunately, the idiot disappeared right before the patrol car arrived. They're (the patrol car) still circling our block, but I swear: that idiot is watching the patrol car from his window, waiting to ride his scooter as soon as he sees the coast is clear.


How about this one for all you "shut up people"! I live above my apartment manager. We are "friends", well at least she thinks we are. We both have 4 year olds so we get along. Except the fact that she believes "bedrooms are for sleeping only." I have a TV in my room (right above her room) and cannot fall asleep without it. Yes, after 10 p.m., it is on, but it is on level 10-13 out of 60 and I can barely make out the words especially when the cheap heaters come on, but she always tells me to turn it down.

Not to count the morning before New Year's Eve, I had my 4 year old as well as my 9 year old who lives with my mother but I get her for the holidays. Anyway, that night I had slept on the couch and at 9 a.m., my girls came out and wanted to snuggle to a movie in the bedroom.

This was a Saturday and about 9 a.m., I started having my pictures falling off the walls from her literally kicking her wall (I had left my phone in the living room where I slept). The funny thing is my 9 year old cannot fall asleep to a movie so the TV was off all night and did not get turned on until 9 a.m. She came upstairs all huffy puffy, and I had her come in the room and listen to how quiet it was. She acknowledged that she could barely hear it in my room but said "I don't know but I can hear it in my room". Well of course you can, because your room is completely silent. Then she started saying that Saturday is her only day to sleep in. Well that's not my problem.

Oh, and she said she has a doctor's note that states that she is almost legally deaf in her left ear, which I know is a lie. I go downstairs and help her find rent checks, etc. and always sit on her left and she has never asked me to speak into her right ear. So after 10 p.m., am I not allowed to listen to my TV at a reasonable level? Not even a level that I can barely hear? Just because her philosophy is that "bedrooms are for sleeping only," I have to follow that rule too. Makes no sense to me!


I've been listening to the renters' generator for the last three hours. I figure they can't pay their electric bill. I've seen their dog when it chased me up to my door, with no tags. Their kids admitted to smashing out plastic covering over our air conditioning unit, the landlord never paid us the $160 odd dollars for the expenses.

This is it, if they run this at night. I'm calling the cops and reporting all their crap.


From my experience, speaking with your neighbor can only make things worse (in the USA), even if you are friendly and nice about it. People will either get very defensive, deny there is a problem, or they will pretend to be cool with it and when you are gone they'll make the noise even worse. Also, if the people making the noise are over 18, you shouldn't have to speak to them about it in the first place. People know when they are being obnoxious. So it's painfully obvious that they already know they are being noisy. These are the type of people whose parents never disciplined them and/or always relied on mommy and daddy to speak to them about their behavior.

Another thing is, with violent crimes skyrocketing these days, why should we place ourselves in potential danger by going next door and knocking on the door of a stranger in the first place? I might not even know these people. It is also a common misconception that everyone is friends with their neighbors when that is not realistic. Most people have a circle of friends, but most the time they live elsewhere as people meet at various places. So, the stranger factor plays a big role in who your neighbors are. Also sometimes they don't even answer their door.

For example, this one time I went to a lady's house to ask her if she could do anything about her dogs barking day and night. Her front door was open and the glass door was shut. She was obviously home but didn't answer the door, as not two but four dogs were barking at the glass. So I left a note. Later on, she yelled at me about how I "hid behind a note and should have spoken to her face to face." and that "If I waited until she got home we could talk face to face". It was apparent that she was home but was the one hiding. So, my point is that the there are often games being played.

Once up at UMaine Orono, some rich kid was making noise all night long so I spoke to him. As it turns out, he got worse with his noise and the resident director and resident assistant turned a blind eye to him. This is because universities such as UMaine-Orono often play favorites to certain groups of people, making the rules unfair in the dormitories. Even though I had 9 a.m. classes and was trying to sleep at 1 a.m. on a school night, it didn't matter to this rich brat (actually he was an older non- traditional student) and it apparently didn't matter to Umaine, which only cared about money. This guy could pick what classes he needed so he could optimize his party time. Even though he did well in school, it's because he was snorting adderall and Ritalin constantly and getting special attention from professors and other instructors.

So, you see, speaking to people isn't always the way to go, nor is using the rules set by your landlord or school. I believe that most of the time, you need to use noise ordinance laws set by your town to stop it. You need to find a local agency, law enforcement, or even a lawyer to speak on your behalf. This is for threr main reasons in this day and age: 1. People simply aren't as smart or mature as they used to be 40 years ago (this is a statistical fact in the USA, and not just something I am making up). 2. Landlords, universities, and other places that have housing can and will follow their greed and not necessarily what is right, they are often hypocrites about their own rules. 3. Statistics show that people are extremely violent and short tempered these days, so speaking to a neighbor (specially if you don't know them) can result in a dangerous situation.

For example, in the news, Orono, Maine, as well as nearby Bangor, Maine are two of the cities in the east coast hit hardest by bath salts use, a drug that causes extreme paranoia, delusions and even psychotic behavior. Now most people who use such drugs are usually loud party animals like college students, who, by the way, are most likely drunk. Even if you are nice to these people, what you say to them can spark a fit of rage. Most likely, if it's after midnight on a week night and someone has got loud music on, or is slamming doors all night, or is making a lot of other noise is usually partying. It's simply not safe to speak to someone like that.

For example, a few years ago in Old Town Maine near UMaine Orono, a 50 year old man went next door to ask some college kids to keep the noise down and was beaten up badly by two college guys. One of their girlfriends was reported to have yelled, "kill him.” Another situation I heard about in Bangor was when a woman was home on vacation and her neighbor was making a lot of noise. After she asked him to keep it down, he then began to stalk her and steal her mail. Apparently, he was an unemployed vet in his 30s suffering from PTSD and other mental disorders, which would explain why he was home during the middle of the day and not at work.

So you clearly see the modern day dangerous of knocking on someone's door. Besides, like I said, people know when they are being noisy, and should need speaking to. It would be one thing if they are doing cleaning or house repairs but a lot of times it's just immature people being immature. These are people who think in their minds that they have a right to be obnoxious until someone complains and even then, they still won't stop.

One last thing: Statistics show that both maturity levels and test scores have dropped in the USA over the last 40 years to an all time low. Also, the US population has increased dramatically. This technically means that the dumb immature people outnumber the smart ones. So, you have more of a chance of being in a bad/dangerous situation with your neighbor these days. That is why we need laws to help protect the peace.

Now all that said, I don't want people to whisper all the time or stay quiet 100 percent of the time because I never said that. But there are times of the day when it's important to be quiet and respectful. There was a day and age when people automatically did this on their own. Now, I strongly believe that we need noise ordinances more than ever. And if people see that as a form of harassment, I think they are just showing their immaturity and insecurity as adults. - JulieS


Noise ordinances can and are used as a form of harassment. As the article suggests, you should speak with your neighbor first - this would be common sense for most people, but not my neighbors.

Despite having two cell phone numbers to reach me on, they decided it was better to begin calling the police every time I turn my TV on after 10 p.m. The missus had said many years ago the mister was a very light sleeper. Nevertheless, they choose to live in a townhouse and use the city ordinance as a weapon, rather than trying to co-exist.

And since the drop of a pin wakes him, do you think they would spend a penny to get their house insulated? I spent $300 covering the wall in foam wedges to try and deaden the sound. The police came twice in just over a week and didn't even know they came the first time. The same officer came a second time and he wanted to argue, even though on the second call there was no sound when he arrived, which was within 20 minutes of the call, because the sounds were only made for 10-15 minutes. Yet he wanted to stand outside arguing with me, probably louder than any noise I had made, for 20 minutes.

Worse, I have checked the decibel levels outside with no sound from inside and in the summer time, with crickets, and the total decibel level is already above the ordinance level. Which means if the police hear so much as a mutter inside your house and take a measure, they can fine you - a total crap law.

It's a minority of people who get these kinds of ridiculous laws passed, which then allow officials to harass people on behalf of petty, gutless neighbors who could've just called and said "Hey, can you turn that down a little?"


Apparently now it seems to be an offense to shout and swear in your own home. I was reported to the police because someone walked by and heard noises coming from my home so I got quizzed by a police officer for 20 minutes.

I live in a village and 15 months ago someone rang social services on me (anonymously, of course) and I nearly got my kids taken from me.

Do people in this village have nothing better to do and now this? I feel like I'm being harassed. When you can't even shout in your own home.

Has anyone else experienced this? Please let me know. Wish I'd never moved to a village people where people don't mind their own business and instead pay attention to mine. Why can't people leave me the hell alone?


You guys have got to be kidding me. Some of you have legit stories, but seriously, most of you are like "My life is horrible because someone five houses down has loud speakers in their car." There are worse problems in the world. Kids put a lot of time in effort into those kinds of things. It gives them something to do and work for, and they could be doing far worse things. Some of you act like loud bass in a car is the end of the world. It's really not that big of a deal.


you guys need to shut up and stop complaining.


What good are all of these posts if there are no suggested solutions?


I have been hearing a pounding sound in my house and when I listen outside I can't locate where it is coming from, though it is not nearly as loud as I hear it in my house. It is very loud at times and lower other times but there is always some evidence of it. I am awakened at 4 a.m. with the pounding noise. I thought it was the railroad, but it is too constant to be that.

I am on Long Island and went over to Grumman, thinking it might be from their plant, but the combination of sounds were such that I couldn't separate the sounds from the one I am hearing. My neighbor has different kinds of machines going. For one, it could be that the dryer's sound travels through some material in my house, though that means that the dryer would have to be on for many hours. It is unbelievably annoying. Any information would be helpful.


Our upstairs neighbor has always been a little annoying. She used to live alone and it sounded like she was stomping around (it's very possible she wasn't; she could've been walking normally and it sounded like she was stomping) and for a while we'd hit the ceiling whenever it got annoying. Then she moved her airhead boyfriend in several months ago, things got worse.

He's a bit of a heavy guy and doesn't take his shoes off when he walks around and the stomping got worse. He loves playing loud music or turning the TV up, which sounds like it's surround sound, so loud that it's shaken the chandelier in our living room once or twice.

We talked to him once. My boyfriend was exhausted from a long day of work and it was late enough that there was no reason it needed to be so loud. My boyfriend asked him "would you mind turning that down?" What did he say? "Oh sorry. I didn't know it was that loud!" Next night, what happens? You guessed it. We haven't talked to him since but we have thrown a shoe or two at the ceiling, and it works whenever we do it, but if we don't, it goes on until 11-11:30 just about every night. I'm home alone during the day and he usually is to and if he pulls it then, I turn my music up louder than his and after a little while he quiets down.

But I'm expecting a baby in a few months now and I know he's not going to change. Should we talk to him again or just call non emergency? I just hope when the baby's here it screams so loud in the middle of the night it wakes them up and annoys them.


I am from Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Here is what our neighbor on our left and right looks like: Loud dogs, threats, drunks, crack heads, teen gangs, big trucks, disrespect, arrogance, parties, loud music, self centered, beers, smokes, garbage, lawnmowers at 9:30pm, vehicle damage.

This has been a part of our life, while we were working hard, and raising our kids. It seems to be how neighbors are around here, even in the richest neighborhood of the city.

As soon as the housing market gets better, we are out of this city.


Was this on Independence day weekend? I wouldn't complain if that's the case. People are celebrating their family who are deployed in Afghanistan/Iraq/anywhere else, risking their lives. People are celebrating their freedom, and those who died for our country. “The rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.”

If it's a rare occurrence don't be a wet blanket. People spend a lot of money on these fireworks for the 4th of July to have a good time and celebrate America's independence. You can put up with the noise for a little while. You don't need to be rude with your petty little problems. I mean it doesn't even get dark until nearly 10 o'clock on the 4th of July. Major cities' fireworks don't even get done until 10:45pm. There are a lot of legal fireworks in my state that are just as noisy as the illegal fireworks. On the 4th of July at 11:15 p.m., our neighbors complained that they had to get up to work at 3:30 a.m. I'm sorry that my life doesn't revolve around your schedule. I'm not lighting off my fireworks in the daytime. It kind of defeats the purpose.

I work second shift and sleep until 2 p.m., and when your dogs are barking all day keeping me awake, do I complain? There's not a noise ordinance about fireworks on Independence Day, but there is a noise ordinance about barking dogs.


I hate intrusive noise, and my neighbor's dogs took the cake. They barked all day long, and my neighbors refused to do anything about it. The first thing you need to do is get it on video. Then set up an online video channel and post all of your footage for everyone to see. I tried talking to my HOA, and they wouldn't do anything, so I publicly shamed my neighbors on our neighborhood website. It worked. Also, talking to a noise violator is pointless and potentially dangerous. It almost always has the opposite effect.

Now my city wants to build a 1,700 seat amphitheater next to my house (500 feet away). They conveniently exempt themselves from their own noise ordinances! I think we're going to have to sue them. People pooh-pooh talk about civil rights. Don't! Intrusive noise is a violation of your civil rights, and you have a right to fight for peaceful enjoyment of your home!


right now i have a neighbor who has a home theater system which he has at max volume. the bass from the sub woofer is very annoying. sometimes he has this device on until 2 in the morning. i spoke to him about it but it seems to have gotten worse. i don't want any trouble with anybody. could someone give me advice?


Send them a copy of noise/nuisance ordinance, get a noise meter (you can get them cheap from ebay), document and record the noise levels, times, monitor your blood pressure during these times and document effects, time of lost sleep, time of work missed due to health or lost sleep, copies of studies how noise causes stress, high blood pressure, copy of our ordinance, copy of your documentation, value on your sleep time, missed work time, any hospital or med costs and sue the hell out of them civil suit for money, often through magistrate, and pursue in court for payment.

They could end up in jail, if they want to make the noise bad enough, they can pay you to put up with it. The money may come in handy during this economy.


I believe people have the right to do what ever they want to. in the day they could play their loud music but when it comes to the night they should at least lower it or turn it off.

my neighbor to the right of my house calls the cops when i play the keyboard and it's not even that loud. then she writes a letter asking me to buy headphones.

for mother's day we played music very low and the guy towards the backyard asked us to turn it down cause he had some ceremony going on. a week later we had a BBQ and we played a different genre of music at the same level of volume like last time and he gave us a thumbs up.

sunday he had his son's birthday and there was a lot of shouting, screaming, loud music playing until 11p.m and no one complained. in fact, i couldn't sleep that night with all that noise. this just shows you some people are racist!


People just have no respect for anyone anymore. We have people next door that slam their car doors as hard as they can and then hit the alarm button over and over again. Sometimes I am sitting in a chair, and it is so loud, I jump and my heart races. Then we have some two houses down, that play music all night and day. The bass is a constant Boom noise.

All I can do is report the noise to the police. They can't do anything about car doors, because people have the right to shut their doors, but they do it so everyone hears them. I don't mind regular noise, like kids, people talking outside. But when it comes to music, racing cars, it is now my business. People just don't care anymore.

We live where the elevation is high so the sound carries, and its loud. I can hear everything someone is saying in their house if their window is open and so is mine. I heard them talking bad about someone. I don't think they know how much sound carries out here. I will plant more trees and bushes, I guess.


i have this neighbor who likes to shoot off his b.b gun at 9 p.m. and my bedroom window faces his yard so i have to constantly hear pop pop pop pop. i have complained about him several times now but it doesn't make him stop the nightly gun practice which really bothers me.


I think a noise ordinance is to reinforce the nuisance laws. It's easier to prove noise than nuisance. But just because your city does or does not have 24/7 noise law does not mean you cannot sue neighbors.

A neighbor has the right to "peaceful, quiet, enjoyment of property". It's a right. Some people can handle listening to their neighbor play the drums, others hate it. People have different lives, such as babies napping, shift workers, students needing to study, illness, etc. It can hurt people's nerves.

Would you like to listen to Britney Spears while trying to battle cancer? No. Be respectful.


To the person who said, "Drums are not against the law. Rock and roll is not against the law... Be reasonable and mind your own business." - you are the typical person who thinks he can just make whatever noise, whenever, and screw the neighbors.

Listen: your neighbors have the right to enjoy their property peacefully. Let me give you an example. If you choose to drink, that's your business. However, if you choose to drink and drive, you have made it my business too.

So, if you're crapping all over someone's right to peaceful enjoyment of their property, you have made it their business! Just make sure that you respect the rights of others because you may end up in civil court, using that well-earned band money to pay for court costs and judgments against you. We don't have to put up with that kind of crap.


I used to live in an apartment where I shared a wall with a family. The husband played an amplified upright string bass loudly through a huge bass amp. My complaints to the management produced no results; my complaints to the police produced minimal results; my complaints to the offender himself made matters worse.

I finally had enough of his loud bass making my windows and furniture buzz. This was a daily occurrence. A good friend of mine who's a railroad buff lent me a Nathan Air Chime (a diesel locomotive horn) that's a quad horn unit plus an air compressor. I rigged up the horn in my apartment aiming the horns at my bass loving neighbors' wall, and as he started up with his bass I opened the valve on the locomotive horns. Wow! The bass playing stopped abruptly. Then it started up again about 10 minutes later, and I opened the valve on the air horns blasting it against the wall. Well, the bass stopped for that evening.

A week goes by and it's still quiet on the home front! A few days later I hear that bleeping bass again! I'm glad I had the locomotive horns still positioned because I blasted them a full 10 seconds long. The bass stopped! A month later my neighbor and his wife and precious kiddies moved away! Thank you to my friend for loaning me those loco horns!

And my other neighbors thanked me for winning this war on that insolent neighbor and his tasteless bass playing! There's not an uglier sound than loud, concentrated bass!


It is so extremely beyond frustrating having to listen to the booming coming from extreme sound stereo systems in vehicles. What goes on between the ears of humanoids who think everyone wants to hear that crap they refer to as music is indeed questionable, as many of them look as if they have not a clue.

The majority of these folk appear to be dumber than dirt with no respect for anyone, not even themselves. Thanks to these extremely disrespectful humanoids the world has become a very noisy place and it is indeed disgraceful. City managers and the other "powers that be" who get elected into positions could care less about this issue because they do not have to live in areas where the perpetrators live. It is indeed a chaotic, noisy world. If it ended tomorrow that would be just fine by me.


In my home city in the Phil, I live in a mix residential-commercial area along the main city road, typical of Asian cities. We have a noise ordinance, but this shop nearby just blare out rap from the loudspeaker that is positioned outside the store facing the street. And the sound is very audible even at 30 meters away.

In one instance, the same set of sounds were played all over again during the entire sunday. I have called up the city government office and hope they will act on my complaint, as they promised.

I fear retaliation from the owner and his helpers, knowing that times are hard. And the practice of playing loud music is intended not only to attract luck and draw customers in, but also to drive away any negative elements in the vicinity.


I just got a ticket for having my music too loud. Yeah $275 worth of too loud. The funny thing is that i drive a 1999 grand prix and have just regular factory speakers and one of them is blown but my radio was too loud.

The cop was standing in a circle drive at the sheriff's depot and i pulled up to the yield sign about 2.5 yards away with all my windows down (because it was a nice warm day for a change) and i was listening to bruno mars, beautiful just the way you are, and here comes mr. copper and followed me for almost four blocks and then decides to pull me over.

When he asked if i knew why he pulled me over i looked at him like he was nuts. Of course not. I wasn't speeding and i had my seat belt on, so no, and he said with a cocky attitude, because your music is too loud. Seriously! Long story short, he did not give me a warning even though this was the first time that i have ever been pulled over in my 11 years of driving. He very rudely slapped me with a $275 ticket and then smiles and tells me to have a nice day.

I wanted to tell him to kiss my fat butt but i didn't feel like going to jail, so i am going to go to traffic court and plead my case as nicely as i can. We'll see.


I play the drums and I'm afraid to play them because my family and neighbors don't like the noise no matter what time it is. Anyone know some good noise reduction products?


i have a dog. dogs bark. my stupid neighbors call the police constantly. They have never bothered to call

me or come over and tell me they have a problem with the dog barking. What do I do.


The small town I live in the police have told me that they will not enforce the town ordinances on noise because the people are rich and do not want any trouble.

It doesn't matter to them if you are continuously harassed, they will do nothing. Told me to get a lawyer or move. They refuse to get involved. It's a sad world we live in, don't forget who the people are, there will come a time when the evil will come back to them. With each enemy they make, the chances are good that one will haunt them in their life one way or another.


@anon109903: There's more than one way to skin a cat, as the saying goes. If you don't think the police will help, there are other avenues. Do the people rent? If so, call the landlord and give him a piece of your mind.

If they don't rent, then call the health department and fire marshal. They are obligated to check out unsafe dwellings, and there's no way to trace it back to you. Fire marshals check out dwellings all the time. Their number came up.

Good luck. I feel for you.


i also have neighbors who play music so loud that my house vibrates. i can’t talk on the phone, i can’t hear my t.v., and can’t sleep. they start to party at ten p.m., sometimes earlier, at all hours of the day and night.

they have made living quarters out of the garage and at least two to three or more families live there. it is a tiny, small, one-bedroom trailer for two people only. there has got to be more than one family living there. the noise is terrible.

they use the common fence that is ten feet from my front door and bedroom from what i have heard, one of the ladies works for the city and one of the men over there schmoozes with the cops so i feel like i have a losing battle going on. somebody please help us. I’m afraid that some day me or my spouse will do something drastic. Help!

I asked a lady if they could bring the noise down and she actually said go ahead and call the cops and was laughing while she said it. what needs to happen is for them to get a big fine, only then I’d get retaliation.

I’m afraid of these people. again me and many others need help. and to the little jerk who seems to think us old folks should just shut up and mind our own business, well, i can tell how you were brought up. your parents didn’t teach you a thing, did they? you are going to have tough time in life if the only person you think about is yourself, and have no regard for others.

all we want is to be treated as you would like someone to treat your parents i just learned how to use the computer so i mess up sometimes. forgive my mistakes, but people, have respect for others. you want respect, don’t you? then you have to give it. respect others. I’m not done yet. i still have more to say. i just wonder if our city leaders have the you-know-what to do something about this. right now, i don’t think so.


to the person who posted "old people ain't going to shut me down": If there is a noise ordinance in your town, you are breaking the law. Your neighbor has the right to sue you. Further, your lack of compassion is creepy.


Our landlady has decided after 18 months that we are too loud. She first called at 4:33 p.m. on a wed., stating that and she would call every time we got loud. She didn't!

She began pounding and has pounded on the ceiling daily-sometimes over and over. We are not loud, barely have visitors or play music/tv loud. My sister is disabled and cannot walk regularly, we have a well behaved four year old who mainly plays on floor with trucks/trains and two cats.

She allowed my son and me to move in 10 months ago (divorced and unemployed) and said she'd add us to lease and raised the rent $40.

(Never produced lease-after toilet flooded our carpeted bathroom& we had no utilities for almost two weeks while up with a plumber said she liked us and other tenants were bad-we never saw this coming!)

I thought he was too loud, so I was going to move, however everyone's asleep and she pounds-the cat is too loud. We now lock him up at night in a little cage at 9:30. My sister walks she pounds, son not home she pounds, we dropped an aerosol can and two pieces of tupperware at 9:30 p.m. on fri. and she pounded.

We take out garbage or come in from a walk between 8:30-9:15p she pounds. She wants it to be quiet from 4:30 p.m. m-th and all day fri, sat and sunday!

We already all are in bed by 10pm. m-th. It is unreasonable and harassment. My son is scared and we are tired and being disabled and unemployed, finding a place isn't easy. We pay rent on time and respect property and are good friends with all neighbors -whose dogs/building and motorcycles are louder than us!

Can we do something about her harassment?


The jerk across the st from us has a loud motorcycle. He fires it up with the tailpipe toward our house, gets on it and gives it gas and just revs it up for 20-30 minutes at a time, some days early a.m., sometimes in the afternoon.

Then he'll leave and wind out the gears nearly doing wheelies down the road.

When he comes back home between nine p.m. and midnight, he revs it up high as he can so his girlfriend (or wife) can hear it and open the garage door.

Doesn't he know if she can hear it inside with the windows and doors shut so can everyone in the neighborhood? They have a touch keypad on the outside of the garage, so he could just get his lazy butt off it and open the door.

He knows our son was killed on that kind of cycle five years ago, right after he moved in. We've been here nearly 20 years. We've talked to him and he just doesn't care.

It got worse after my retired husband spoke to him. They are stuck up and think they are better than anyone else in the neighborhood. But really, nobody around them likes them.

We don't want to leave our home. But this is causing a lot of stress for us. Any suggestions? I wish they would move, but in this economy I doubt it.


I purchased a duplex home and the people on the other side are very noisy. I'm so aggravated that I don't want to be in my own house.


Drums are not against the law. Rock and roll is not against the law. Old people who hate music do not have the right to shut you down playing during the day. That is what my old, old, crusty neighbor thinks he will do. He has come over and told me he intends to stop our band rehearsal because he can hear it. I hear him all the time. i am not breaking the law, i am playing music. It is my occupation. He can go to hell along with everyone else who thinks that being rich means they have authority over other people.

They don't, you don't. Be reasonable and mind your own business. We don't like your music either. We need better access to local noise ordinances. This would make a discussion with my neighbor possible, it is not even possible now because we have no access to the law regarding noise here. That won't stop the cops from handing out tickets though.


a wicked witch lives next door to me with a stupid West highland Terrier that does nothing but bark every time it gets let out. This happens early on weekends and during the week. I have offered the woman a free bark collar, but she says she will do her best to try and stop him. Next time the police will be called.


I have a woman as a next-door neighbor. She has three daughters. Two of them are fine; it's the oldest who is the problem. She screams at her mum and sisters at six in the morninga swearing and shouting! Then last night they were doing building work till at least midnight!

My partner works and it keeps him up. I've tried knocking the door but they won't answer me.


Where does it say you can be loud and stupid in most noise ordinances? We call and call about the neighbor's dirt bikes at 2:00 a.m. also cops always have an excuse for not doing anything. where do my rights start and being a law breaker end?


I have some folks above my apartment-- I won't even call them neighbors because they are people who will make noise at any given time of the day. Anytime at night I can expect thumping, jumping and shoe noises to no end. I do tolerate it for a bit but it's just so much one can bear. Now I notice a crack in my walls. I'm not sure if that's a result of all the thumping and the jumping. What's one to do?


I have a neighbor across the street that plays his drums in his garage during the week at least two or three times a day, for up to 30 mins each time. Even with his garage closed it still sounds like I'm at a concert and I have to bring the volume up on my tv to drown it out. I've complained to my HOA and all they can do is send letters asking him to stop. I've even called the police but they said to report it to your HOA first. haven't tried to ask him face to face to stop because he's a teenager who won't listen anyway and I don't want any retaliation since I am a single mother with two kids. Someone from the HOA even heard him and they've sent two letters, going on three, to have him stop. I was told if he still continues, the next step is to take it to the Board of the HOA and possibly start legal action. I'm going to record the noise and document all the times he plays so there's evidence. This better work because I'm fed up that I can't relax in my home during my days off!


Noise is unwanted sound. What all of these ordinances fail to quantify is the sound level. Was it measured? What are the sound levels? The trick to challenging the police officer's opinion is to demand a sound level measurement, not just a fat donut eater's opinion. Likewise the donut eaters have the responsibility to obtain accurate measurements, with a calibrated instrument, not just issue a citation, based on good law enforcement. Most police officers lack the emotional or intellectual capacity to conduct a thorough and thoughtful sound level measurement survey before the issuance of a citation. After all they are just cops. "It's just noisy" is crap.


To the people who are complaining about noise ordinance laws: hello? they are in effect for a reason. People have children, and most people get up to work early in the morning but guess what! Not everyone keeps the same schedule! Most towns have an ordinance running from 9 p.m.-8 a.m. of "quiet time." Otherwise how the hell would anyone get any sleep? But to the guy complaining about his neighbors talking loudly and whatnot: Come on, dude! You are the reason people complain about these laws. Because you think you should be able to sit on your porch in the middle of the afternoon in *silence* in a town with close neighbors. you're ridiculous. Move to the damn countryside if you want that much peace and quiet. All I'm asking for is that my neighbors aren't blasting music at 4 in the morning and waking my baby up. And I will go and knock on their doors and of course they don't turn it down when I ask nicely, so what am I supposed to do, live with it? Hell no. And I don't feel bad about calling the cops because guess what, at 4 a.m. I got my baby dressed and walked across the street to ask some little of the little creeps nicely to turn their damn music down. That was really nice of me, in my opinion. Next time maybe I should just go smash their windows or something drastic like the first poster says. Oh and to the kid who got the noise ordinance in the park, that just sucks. I completely agree about reporting that jerk, that's just nuts and no reason for it. Rant over.


To daniel pamela, call the city ombudsman's office and lodge an official complaint against the officer for negligence in his duty and illegally towing the vehicle without proper documentation being given.


All too familiar. The cops give tickets to citizens for menial things, yet ignore the real jerks like the ones yelling and setting off fireworks after 11 PM. Get 10 big friends with baseball bats and cream the noisemakers if they do not listen to you about unwanted noise, as they usually are bums that do not work or even own the house the noise is coming from. Only thing is you will get charged, but the noise will stop. I had a similar problem with idiots with dirt bikes after 2:00 a.m. every night. I just took keys and threw them away. The next week I threw one bike in river. The rest of them just stood there and the noise stopped. I guess they thought I was nuts enough to approach five guys that they did nothing in return.


Its the little creeps who call the cops on people who party and play music in their own homes who should get tickets for being the creeps that they are. My damn neighbors called on me tonight just cause this is the first time i forgot to close one of my windows in the basement and some of the sound came outside. You know if you don't like something about the loud music, kindly knock on my door and ask me to keep it down. Don't freaking call the cops just because you're a little "tax paying" citizen. i pay that crap too, but i don't go calling the cops for any little thing that might bother me. People like these are the main reason why i think America is crap.


Go to the local TV and radio stations and tell them your story. They may wish to run an embarrassing problem solvers report in the local market. Police that push their authority over the line should be called out by name and badge number. It's not part of the "Serve and Protect" oath as a public servant.


I live in a duplex, my garage *faces* the street,so my front door is on the side.....I share my living room walls with neighbor,but they are dirty!!! they feed their 3 cats in paper plates right there in the driveway, never clean and there are some cats feces..., but no noises at all....(sigh..) My migraine headaches are the neighbors in front of me, my front door faces their front door, only a wood fence divides us, they play this annoying music with the Boom Boom sound, (like the ones in cars in streets with loud music). I spoke to them twice, called the police once and they don't play it *as* loud, but loud enough to raise your blood pressure, they slam their front door every single time, and they talk loud (on purpose) and play ball right there and I am hearing everything!!!very unhealthy!! and very sad...they rent and I am a homeowner, and yes I complained to the owner of the house but never got a response.....I do not want to talk to them anymore or call the police every other day, and I am afraid of coming to my own house after work and I am afraid of the weekends!!! isn't that ridiculous?

Isn't there something the City of Chula Vista, Ca can do? send a warning letter or something???? or where exactly can I go and do? please help!!! I can not even invite family to visit!! and my daughter is suffering too!!!


What's the best way to handle the situation with rude neighbors who set off illegal fireworks all night long, even after midnight and who pollute the air as they sit on their deck spouting the F-word several times in every sentence? The police were called twice, but the neighbors didn't care and continued to set off fireworks after they left. I'm exhausted from lack of sleep and plan to talk with the chief of police ASAP to see if any charges can be filed. I'm worried about my safety and retaliation by the offenders, but at this point all I want is a decent night's sleep. What charges can possibly be filed against these ignorant, immature, foul-mouthed people who do not care about others?


well your not the only one.. my situation may not be as bad.. but i was just minding my own business at a skate park listening to music while skate boarding about 12:00-1:00 in the afternoon and a cop on a bike riding the trails comes over to me and gives me a noise ordinance ticket because he could hear it from 30 feet away while sitting on a bench with another cop... What is happening to the world.. next thing you know looking at someone wrong will get you a ticket.


I need to know what to do @ a situation that happened to me this weekend. The harvey, IL police stopped my son for expired tags. Then he told my son that he was going to tow the car for noice ordiance. The radio was not loud @ all. The officers had the car towed and did not give him a ticket and citation. When my husband and I went to the station to complain @ not receiving any paper work. The officer on duty said that the officer did give him the ticket. Which i know is a Lie because myself and my husband pulled up right after the tow truck left and my son had no paperwork in hand. So I have been given the run around @ the whole situation and want to complain @ it. I was told to complain to the Harvey Police dept. The people that have been given me the runaround. yeh Right. If you can help with advice please email me!! Thank you

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    • Playing loud music may be considered a violation of a noise ordinance.
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      Playing loud music may be considered a violation of a noise ordinance.
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