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My neighbours are too noisy, what can I do?

It’s one a.m. in the morning, you have to get up in six hours and your neighbour is playing loud music. What can you do to get them to stop?

Most cities in Canada have municipal noise bylaws, which prohibit loud noise being made after a certain time at night and until a certain time in the morning. You may want to look at the municipal bylaw for your city to find out what those times are.

There are several ways that a person can handle a noisy neighbour.

Talk to your neighbour

If you feel safe in doing so you may want to ask your neighbour to turn the music down, or stop speaking so loudly at night since it’s disturbing your sleep. Ask nicely as the person may not be aware that they’re being this noisy.

However, a person should not take this action where the neighbour is confrontational and/or violent or if you would feel uneasy approaching your neighbour about this.

Make a complaint to the landlord

This can be done in several ways.

If you are a tenant in an apartment building, you can write to or talk to the landlord and ask the landlord to contact the tenant and ask him to stop the noisy activity at night. Explain the situation and always be reasonable.

If the municipal bylaw says that a person can make noise until 11:00 p.m. at night you cannot ask your landlord to tell your neighbour to stop all noise by 9:00 p.m. An exception to that would be if the noise is considered excessive.

Your neighbour may even find themselves the subject of eviction if they are constantly making excessive noise after hours.

Condominium owners

Almost all condominium buildings have bylaws that include those that set out when people are to cease noisy activities at night.

If your neighbour makes a lot of noise at night past the time allowed by the bylaw, you could file a complaint with the board.

Homeowners

Homeowners are their own landlords. However, they are still subject to municipal bylaws and if your neighbour makes a lot of noise at night past the time permissible, you can call the police and make a noise complaint against them.

Be aware

Noise complaints with the city are usually based on whether the noise conforms to the bylaw. If your neighbour is compliant with the bylaw, even if it annoys you, then your neighbour likely won’t be penalized.

Excessive noise

A person is not allowed to make excessive noise whether they own or rent a property. Municipal bylaws have set limitations on the number of decibels allowed. People who go above those decibel levels could find themselves in trouble.

If a neighbour is making too much noise at night and is keeping you and your family up and you need a fast resolution, you can call your local police department’s number to make a noise complaint as well.

Read more:

The legal way to deal with noisy neighbours in Canada

Mischief laws