Search Site
Menu
How to Handle Your Noisy Neighbor

August 19, 2004

How to Handle Your Noisy Neighbor (and Not End Up in Jail)

by Stuart Lieberman
International Real Estate Digest

Your neighbor’s kid is taking trumpet lessons. Or worse yet, drum lessons.

Your 22 year old neighbor loves to party with his friends, always at 2AM.

Your downstairs neighbor wakes you up each morning at 4:30 AM when he goes off to work. His car has no muffler, and he has not intention of ever going to Midas.

What legally can be done about your very loud, very annoying neighbor? The answer: a lot can be done. But you too need to be patient.

Rome was not built overnight, and it sometimes takes longer to silence a neighbor’s loud mouth than to build Rome.

First, if at all possible (and safe!) speak to the offender. Be nice . There is a good chance that your neighbor did not realize the impact he or she was having on your life. Often, nice words and a smile can go a long way.

Also, its easier to treat a stranger un-neighborly, which is another reason why speaking with a reasonable neighbor and letting him or her know that you too are a nice person, can go a long way. Once a face attaches to the person next store, rude conduct often disappears.

If nice words don’t work, or are too dangerous, tenants should see their landlords. The landlord should provide you with quiet enjoyment of your apartment. See if you can get the landlord to help mediate the dispute.

Many local governments have noise ordinances. Some require noise levels to remain below specified decibels. Others have a more vague standard.

The local police department can help you file a claim and may also help you secure the needed proof. Often, these disputes are resolved in municipal court . If that does not work, you can hire a lawyer and file a private nuisance law suit. A private nuisance usually occurs when one neighbor prevents an adjacent neighbor from fully enjoying use and benefit from his property.

While you can technically present such a case yourself, it is a real lawsuit and usually requires a real lawyer. While occasionally technical in nature, private nuisance noise cases may be required to bring about peace and quiet.

Many communities have dispute resolution programs. These are informal alternatives to costly litigation. Check with the local prosecutors office to learn whether such a program exists where you live.

If one neighbor is disrupting an entire neighborhood, the neighbors are often better served by forming one group and together hiring one lawyer to file a lawsuit against the offender. This saves money and, there is strength in numbers.

Plus if only one neighbor complains, that neighbor may be perceived or portrayed as extra-sensitive or, worse yet, simply crazy or just mean spirited. When its an entire community that is complaining, often the complaints take on a more genuine appearance.

You need to be persistent and patient with your noisy neighbors. While people have a right to live and make noise, there are rules of reason that always apply.

Our Attorneys

Recent Twitter Posts

  • New report finds that significant offshore wind capacity exists along the Atlantic coast. https://t.co/EQG8d5VMw2
    3 weeks ago
  • The Murphy Administration plans to spend $200 million on wind port. https://t.co/Se09U5ZHvy
    1 month ago
  • NJDEP aims to simplify permitting process. https://t.co/UTm92DtrAC
    1 month ago
  • U.S. Supreme Court will hear PennEast Pipeline appeal of New Jersey eminent domain dispute. https://t.co/AqqvTw1QD2
    2 months ago

Recent Blog Posts

Environmental remediation timeframes extended again in February 2021 due to COVID-19

Throughout the COVID-19 public health emergency, keeping up with deadlines and time frames has been a difficult task for many. The State of New Jersey as well as the New
Read More
Environmental remediation timeframes extended again in February 2021 due to COVID-19

New Jersey Courts Make it Easier for Commercial Landlords to Change the Locks and for Lenders to Foreclose

The COVID pandemic began in March of 2020 and placed many individuals, businesses and mortgage lenders in circumstances which seemingly only ever existed in their wildest dreams. Among those impacted
Read More
New Jersey Courts Make it Easier for Commercial Landlords to Change the Locks and for Lenders to Foreclose

Changes to Phase I Environmental Site Assessment standards may change federal environmental due diligence requirements.

At both the state and federal levels, purchasers of commercial property are required to perform certain environmental investigations in order to shield themselves from liability for contamination found after the
Read More
Changes to Phase I Environmental Site Assessment standards may change federal environmental due diligence requirements.

Appeals Court Critical of Law Firm’s “Scorched Earth” Collected Tactics in Landlord Tenant Case

Law firms hired by landlords in collection actions against tenants can be liable to pay the tenant both statutory penalties and attorneys fees if they use improper collection practices. That’s
Read More
Appeals Court Critical of Law Firm’s “Scorched Earth” Collected Tactics in Landlord Tenant Case

In the media

  • Gulf Coast Town Center facing foreclosure

    Naples Daily News, September 16, 2015

    Wells Fargo filed a lawsuit Sept. 8 against an affiliate of CBL & Associates, the owners of the decadeold, 1.2 million-square-foot mall in south Fort Myers for a $190.9 million unpaid loan. The center has 94 stores on 204 acres, with such anchors as Super Target, Belk, Best Buy, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Marshalls and Costco...

    Read More
  • Town liable for private company's leaking underground tanks, court rules

    NJ.com Jul 26, 2017

    CRANFORD -- A couple that owned a businesses in town and became sick from leaking underground tanks owned by an adjacent business can sue the township for damages because the tanks were partially ...

    Read More
  • Dark Waters: How a Class Action Catapulted NJ to Forefront of 'Forever Chemicals' Battle

    NJ Law Journal Jan 09, 2020

    As property owners become increasingly aware of PFAS contamination, and as individuals exposed to PFAS learn of the health risks associated with exposure, liability will likely affect entire supply chains.

    Read More
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
Contact Our Firm

Quick Contact Form