Noisy neighbors can be a real nuisance ! It can lead to a lot of stress or even escalate to full on neighbor wars !
Every country has it own rules for maximum allowed noise levels and the times when they apply. Typically, for noise level evaluation, there are 2 or 3 time slots.
Some countries use only 2 time slots for noise evaluation, i.e. 7 AM – 7 PM as being the daytime and 7 PM – 7 AM being the night time. Most countries however use 3 time slots, 7 AM – 7 PM as being the day time, 7 PM – 11 PM being the evening time and 11 PM – 7 AM being the night time. Every country or even every state has it’s own noise ordinances.
On average you’ll have to be quiet (to not disturb your neighbours) from 10 PM until 7 AM during weekdays and 10 PM until 10 AM in the weekends. Running a power mower at 9 AM at a Sunday morning should be a NO-GO !
If you are unfortunate to have neighbours that don’t know they are causing noise nuisance, or even worse, don’t care to cause noise nuisance, there are rules and regulations to protect you.
The first step would always be to try to mediate the situation, straight away calling the police can only aggravate the situation.
Approach your neighbour
It can be difficult to get to it, but approaching your neighbours in a calm way, with respect and sensitivity might be the best way. Sometimes neighbours don’t know they are causing noise nuisance, for example they might have a dog that only barks when they are away. If a direct confrontation is too difficult for you then you could write a friendly letter or note or send them an email.
Warn your neighbour
If talking with your neighbour doesn’t solve the issue, make sure to get the noise ordinance for your residence. When you are not on speaking terms with your neighbours anymore, just send them a letter or email with the noise ordinance. If your residence is in a homeowners association they can also mediate or enforce the regulations.
There are specialists in mediation. These professionals are like an independent intermediary which makes it much easier to discuss the noise nuisance issues with your neighbour as only facts will be stated.
Involve the authorities
Some neighbours are very hard to convince or they simply don’t care about the noise nuisance that they cause to other people. If all previous steps have no avail, you can call the authorities. The police is the first authority to call, they will examine the situation and order the noise polluters to comply with the law. If it’s necessary the Environmental Protection Agency or Department can be involved. They will support the police with noise measurements which later could be used in court.
If you want to make sure that you are really enduring noise nuisance (not only for your own interpretation but also for the law) you can buy a descent low price sound level meter for around USD 30. It won’t be accurate enough for a potential law suit but it can give you an idea of the range of the noise nuisance. When the regulation would be 40 dB(A) and you measure 50 dB(A) you know your neighbour is in violation.
The sound level meter here below is reliable and affordable to perform some noise measurements by yoursef
You can also start with just downloading an app, but a sound level meter like above would be more reliable:
We wish you sound sleep and caring neighbours ! Noise nuisance is such an under rated stress factor which can impact one health. Be a considerable neighbour, help each other to live in peace and harmony!
You can check some standards for healthy noise levels at the website from the World Health Organization.Follow me: