How To: Deal with a noisy neighbor

Deal with a noisy neighbor

Is your neighbor creating a ton of racket? Suffering in anything but silence? It can be hard to approach a noisy neighbor without starting a big riff. Follow these steps to get the quiet you deserve.

You Will Need:
• Manners
• Legal knowledge
• Your lease
• Curtains
• Area rugs or carpeting
• Bookshelves or storage units
• Assertiveness
• Acceptance
• Soundproofing foam or cardboard (optional)

Step 1: Assess the situation
Assess the noise level and decide if confronting your neighbors is really worth the possible conflict. Remember, no one is quiet all the time.

Step 2: Know your rights
Know your rights. Check your local zoning laws and town ordinances regarding penalties and fines for noise violations. If you rent your home, check your lease. There may be a clause that covers your complaint.

Step 3: Talk it out
Talk to your neighbors to see if you can come to a compromise. Just be polite. Try starting your complaint with something like, "I'm sure you don't realize it but…" instead of a demanding, "You're so loud; knock it off!"

Step 4: Insulate
Insulate your apartment with curtains and area rugs or carpeting to help absorb the racket. Putting a bookshelf or storage unit against the noisy wall can also help.

Step 5: Stage a formal complaint
If matters don't improve, write your neighbors a formal complaint. If you rent your space, submit a copy to your landlord. Consider withholding rent until they take action.

Step 6: Complain
If the situation still isn't resolved, notify the local police, town council, or zoning board. You can even take your neighbor to small claims court.

Step 7: Move
If all else fails, find a new place. It may be hard to concede defeat, but ask yourself: Would you rather be right but miserable, or move and find peace?

Trivia: In 1972, New York became the first city in the U.S. to institute a noise code.

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