Loud noise is a serious problem, particularly in urban and residential environments. And many people also have to deal with noisy neighbors. Sometimes the noise around us reaches such an extreme level that it might feel like we have no option other than to file a noise complaint.
Also, if someone is disturbing you, then there are chances that they are also disturbing your other neighbors as well who want peace and quiet just like you.
So, if you have tried everything and nothing has worked, then you might wonder how to file a noise complaint. In this article, we have shared a comprehensive guide on how to file a noise complaint online and where you can file a noise complaint.
Table of Contents
Who You Should Call For A Noise Complaint
Who you should call to file a noise complaint mainly depends on the source of the noise. And before you file a noise complaint, you should also check your local noise ordinances and where you can submit your noise complaint.
1. Noisy Neighbor
If the noise is coming from your neighbor, then your status will definitely matter – it means whether you are a homeowner or tenant. Because if you are a tenant, then you should first contact your landlord and tell him about the noise problem.
And they have a legal responsibility to make sure that you get a quiet enjoyment of the rented property and they will have to address the issue immediately. However, if the noisy neighbor is a tenant, you should contact their landlord to make a noise complaint.
Also, in that case, the neighbor’s landlord must discuss the issue with their tenant and tell them to reduce the noise. And if you are part of a Home owners’ association, then you can also contact these authorities to file a noise complaint with them.
Noise complaints are generally handled by specific departments in some areas. However, in others, the city council usually handles noise complaints. But, in general, the police handle noise complaints in most cities or residential areas.
2. Industrial And Construction Noise
Factories and other industrial and construction sites generally use heavy machinery, which can make a lot of noise. You will see most industrial sites and factories are usually built outside residential areas, but some are not.
So, they can cause disturbance to nearby residents. And construction sites are generally right in the center of busy communities and can cause many noise problems.
In that case, you have to check how to file a noise complaint with your city council for these types of industrial or construction noise.
3. Aircraft Noise
Many residents of those areas that are located nearby airports generally complain about aircraft noise. In that case, you might need to make a noise complaint with your local council or the Civil Aviation authorities.
When You Can File A Noise Complaint: Parameters Of The Noise Ordinance
When you can file a noise complaint would generally depend on the noise ordinances or regulations of your particular area. You can find specific information about acceptable decibel levels, types of noise, and permitted hours for each type of area on government websites. Here we have given you some examples of the types of noise for which you can make a noise complaint.
- Amplified Sound: Any sound that is amplified using electronic equipment can be considered amplified sound. This can be the sound of a human voice such as singing, or music amplified by speakers.
- Loud Music: Loud music can come from different places. It can be music played in a car with a powerful sound system, or music amplified through speakers by your neighbor. It can also come from concerts or public shows.
- Construction Noise: Noises from heavy machinery can reach unsafe noise levels that can severely impact human hearing, particularly if the noise is continuous. And for construction noise complaints, you should know how to file a noise complaint with local authorities or you can direct your complaint to specialized authorities. Also, you can file a joint complaint with several neighbors.
- Loud Noise From Events And Parties: In case of loud noise and music from events and parties, you might not be the only one finding it a problem. So, you can contact the police to inform them that the noise from a party or event is causing disturbance to you and several other households.
- Animal Noise: Animal noise complaints are handled by a specialized department such as animal control in some areas. So, you need to check how to file a noise complaint with such a department in your area.
What Actions You Should Take To Address The Noise Problem: Dealing with Noisy Neighbors
You can follow these simple steps to deal with your noisy neighbors.
- Have A Discussion: Before you think about filing a noise complaint, you should try to solve the noise problem by having a calm conversation with your noisy neighbor. You can talk to them to let them know that they are causing a problem if they are not already aware of this disturbance.
- Try To Come Up With A Solution: Before making a noise complaint, you can try to work out a mutually beneficial solution with the person causing the noise, as compromise is always better than conflict.
- Giving A Warning: Giving your neighbor a warning can be an effective way to resolve this issue. You can inform your neighbor that you might take further action if the noise does not stop.
- Ask The Landlord: In some cases, you can ask the landlord to handle a noise complaint, such as when you are a tenant. In that case, your landlord must handle the issue. Also, when the person causing the noise is a tenant, then their landlord must prevent their tenants from creating problems for other neighbors.
- File A Complaint With The Police: If the above methods don’t work for you, then you can contact your local police. You should file a formal complaint and provide them with enough details so that officers can make an investigation. And you can file a complaint with the local police by letter, phone, or online.
Simple Steps On How Can You File A Noise Complaint Online: No More Sleepless Nights
You need to follow these simple steps to file a noise complaint online.
Step 1: First, you need to find the noise ordinances on your local government website. Then, you should search for what types of noise they might or might not deal with.
Because some noise sources are generally handled by other departments, such as complaints related to animal noises like barking dogs usually go to the animal control department.
Also, aircraft noise, train noise, and garbage noise complaints are handled by different departments. So, you can also call your local government to find out where to call or file a noise complaint online.
Step 2: You should call on a general non-emergency number and it will direct you to file a noise complaint. However, if you think that the noises you are hearing are related to any violence, then you should call 911.
Also, you can file a noise complaint online via the Noise Complaint Form on your local government’s website.
Step 3: Most forms will ask you if you are complaining about noise that is currently breaking the noise ordinances because then you should call the non-emergency number immediately.
But, if you are reporting a continuous noise problem, then you should use the form. And these forms usually will need you to be specific and you have to describe the noise complaint in detail.
Step 4: Most forms will include questions regarding your confidentiality. So, your information will remain confidential unless it is needed for testimony. You can be certain that you can make an anonymous noise complaint.
What You Need To Do To File A Noise Complaint Anonymously
If you want to know how you can file a noise complaint anonymously, then we must tell you that some authorities accept this, but some don’t.
And depending on the applicable regulations, you can ask the authorities if you can file a complaint without disclosing your name.
In some cities or areas, authorities generally accept complaints over phone calls or online complaints anonymously.
However, there is another way to file a noise complaint anonymously which is to file a joint complaint with your neighbors or other residents. Because in that case, you will need to sign the complaint as a group, not individually.
Acceptable Noise Level In Your Residential Area
Your local area will generally have specific acceptable noise levels and they actually refer to the noise duration, level, source, and when the noise problem is occurring.
Also, you might think that allowed noise levels and acceptable noise levels are the same thing, however, in some areas, both are not the same.
It could happen that the noise you find unacceptable might fall within the limit of the noise ordinances or regulations of your area.
In the United States, the following general limits might apply:
In case of exterior noise – 55 dBA (7 am to 10 pm) and 50 dBA (10 pm to 7 am)
In case of interior noise – 55 dBA (7 am to 10 pm) and 45 dBA (10 pm to 7 am)
But, each residential area will have its own noise regulations. So, you must check your local noise regulations to make sure that you are filing a valid noise complaint.
How You Can File A Noise Complaint In An Apartment
If you live in an apartment building and you are facing noise disturbance in your apartment, then it’s time to check your lease.
Because your lease will most probably specify the noise ordinance. Most leases might have restrictions on high noise levels after 10 p.m. or midnight.
If it is not specifically mentioned or you can’t find it, you can still file a complaint with your landlord. It should be easier to resolve a noise issue in an apartment because you can take the help of your landlord.
Also, you will have many neighbors in your apartment, who can be as disturbed as you by the noise problem and you can also take help from them. And if your neighbor is breaking the lease agreement, then you should definitely contact your landlord.
However, if it is extremely late or a disturbance outside of your building, then you can contact your local police on their non-emergency number to file a complaint anonymously.
And if the noise issue persists, then your landlord can issue a fine based on the lease agreement and if it is a violation of the noise ordinance of your city, then legal action can also be taken against him.
What You Should Do If The Noise Doesn’t Stop Even After Filing A Noise Complaint
Even after all your research about your local noise ordinances and filing a noise complaint online, you might not get any desired results. And it can also happen that the sound you are complaining about might fall within the limits of the law.
Because noise ordinances can be complex and frustrating. So, you might need to solve the issue on your own. Soundproofing your home will help you to get rid of these disturbances and improve your health.
Depending on the condition of your home and budget, there are several ways you can soundproof your home.
- You can add insulation to your walls.
- Also, try to place rugs and other noise-absorbing materials around your home.
- Adding acoustic panels to your walls.
- You can use soundproofing window inserts that can block up to 75% of outside noise.
Wrap-Up On How To File A Noise Complaint Online: Fighting Noise Pollution
We all have to live with some noise, but the sound levels around us are increasing every day. Soundproofing your home is definitely an option, but you have every right to leave peacefully in your neighborhood.
And the more you educate yourself about the noise ordinances of your city, the more chance you have in your fight against the noise problems. However, you should also remember that many noise ordinances have not been updated for many years.
We hope that our comprehensive guide has helped you to learn how to file a noise complaint online. If you have any doubts regarding this process, please let us know in the comments below.
FAQ: How To File A Noise Complaint Online
A lot of people actually don’t know when you can make a noise complaint and how to file a noise complaint online. So they are asking a lot of questions and here we have picked some of them to provide appropriate answers.
Q1. How Loud Is Too Loud And How Long Is Too Long?
Ans: Noise level of above 70 dB over a prolonged period of time might start to damage your hearing. And any loud noise above 120 dB can cause immediate damage to your ears.
Q2. What To Do When You Hear Loud Noises?
Ans: You can reduce the volume or move away from the loud noise. Also, you can wear hearing protectors such as earplugs.
Q3. What Is The Latest Time To Make Noise?
Ans: There are several laws that specify a maximum acceptable amount of noise during the night time which is between 11 pm and 7 am.