One morning you sit down to study, read, or spend some relaxing time in your own home when all of a sudden loud music disturbs you. Neighbors playing loud music during the day can be an incredibly disturbing event, particularly when you can’t escape the noise and are not sure where to turn to for help. In this blog, we will review the most common situations so you can quickly create an action plan for getting the noise turned down.
Neighbors Playing Loud – Law enforcement to stop the loud noise
Each city has a noise ordinance that sets specific rules for when loud noises may be played and what is considered an acceptable range of loudness (dB). If a violation is reported, police may come to the scene, or a noise officer may come out with a decibel reader to confirm if the sound is outside acceptable limits. See Los Angeles Noise Ordinance as a reference.
Generally, these rules are not going to help you during the day unless the sound is incredibly excessive (as in hearing damage level). From around 7am – 10pm, your neighbor will not be in violation if the noise is below 60 dB – the equivalent of a vacuum cleaner. But the decibel reading will be from your property line. A great check is to try turning on a vacuum cleaner to see if it drowns out the noise. If you can still hear the music, you should file a noise complaint.
You will need to prove:
- Evidence of excessive and disturbing noise.
- The person you are suing is the one creating the noise.
- Your daily life in your home is impacted.
- You have taken action in communicating with your neighbor or the noise ordinance board and they have ignored your requests.
Evidence you should consider collecting:
- Police or noise ordinance reports.
- Video and/or audio recording.
- Text messages, emails, or written letters with your neighbor.
Small claims courts have judgments between $2,500 and $7,500. A request of $20/day for your suffering is reasonable, but if the noise is bad enough it impacts your work and daily life, requesting the cost of soundproofing materials may be require.
Neighbors Playing Loud – landlord to stop the loud noise
If you are renting, you have the right to a quiet space and can ask your landlord to investigate with the city or speak directly to the neighbor. The source of the noise does not have to be in the same apartment building for your landlord to step in. If your neighbor also rents, they may be in violation of their rental agreement and can be evict if the noise does not stop.
Adding another person to the mix can elongate the time that you are experiencing the noise. Make sure to read our sections on communicating with your neighbor directly or contacting law enforcement before proceeding.
I want my neighbor to understand my pain & stop playing music / making noise
It’s hard to imagine, but your neighbor has their own emotional needs for playing this loud music. We don’t know what is going on in their lives. They might be trying to make a living as a musician or creating art for self expression. Having a frame of mind of understanding instead of only anger will give you a higher chance of amenable conversation instead of a heated argument.
Starting with a conversation directly to the source is always the easiest and quickest way for you to get relief. You may have to try this a few times for it to properly work. Are there compromises you can offer on hours that you really don’t want the noise and other hours where they might be able to play their music?
Consider talking to your other neighbors to see if it is also an issue with them and if you can work together to communicate that change is need for the neighborhood. If this does not work, contact law enforcement or soundproof your space from the noise.