If you plan to have a party, you should do your best to avoid getting a noise complaint. It is something that you should not ignore, lest you have the police knocking at your door. The good thing is that there are ways to defend yourself from noise complaints. We will look at some of the measures to curb such an occurrence.
What is a Noise Complaint?
A noise complaint is a formal complaint made against someone for disturbing the peace. The complaints are common in residential areas, like in an apartment.
Most of the time, the neighbors lodge such a complaint due to the noises affecting their routine.
Typically, the residents raise an issue with the landlord or whoever is in charge of the apartment. If there is no satisfactory outcome, the residents may go to the police.
If you are the defendant in such a scenario, you may have to deal with harsh penalties.
The solution? Avoid getting into any tiffs with your neighbors. It ensures you have a warm relationship that will be beneficial to all.
Moves to Make to Avoid Noise Complaints
1. Give Prior Notice to Your Neighbors
As you are readying up your party or get-together, do not forget an essential part of the preparation: giving your neighbors prior notice. It is a prudent move that shows your goodwill and respect.
Communicate to them through proper channels and see how much they can compromise for your event to be a success. If you hit a hurdle, for example, where certain residents have school-going kids or infants, look for measures to prevent disturbance.
You can also invite some of your neighbors to your event to show that you care about them.
If it is the first time you are holding a party, ensure to find out the rules you have to follow.
2. Talk to Your Landlord
If you feel you can’t agree with your neighbors, consult a higher authority. In this case, go to the landlord or their representative. Tell them about your plans and see how to go about it without causing many problems.
The landlord will most probably take you through the tenancy rules before you reach an agreement. You should be ready for any answer, as your landlord wants the best for every tenant.
You may reason with them, promising to make the right moves to guarantee peace in the neighborhood. Moreover, you can ask your fellow tenants and the landlord for leniency should the noises be too much; instead of contacting the authorities, they come to you first.
3. Should You Talk to the Police?
Still, on contacting a higher authority, you may go straight to the police to get a permit for your gathering. It is the perfect move if you have a large party that is sure to raise some eyebrows. You have the ideal negotiating backer when talking to your landlord and neighbors with a license.
If you contact the police, you know the limits to adhere to prevent any problems.
4. Be Keen On the Quiet Hours
Many towns and residential areas enforce quiet hours. As per its rules, you should not make excessive noises during the indicated times, mostly from late night to the morning. If you know these times in your neighborhood, you can easily avoid problems.
Have your party rolling before the quiet hours, and as the time approaches, you tone down your activities.
Going against the quiet hour policies will attract fines and other penalties on many occasions. If you receive a noise complaint, check if you went against the quiet hours. If not, you have room to defend yourself.
5. Check the Validity of the Complaint
At times, all seems to be going well with your party until you find out a noise complaint has been lodged against you. It may put you into a frenzy, but you need to keep calm and check the validity of the complaint.
If there is loud music, noisy behavior, dog barking, or other disruptive conduct, the escalation will be considered appropriate. If you gathered outside of the silent hour window or when there were unavoidable noises like running water or footsteps, it is invalid.
If your complaint is invalid, you can appeal by describing your gathering in detail. You won’t end yourself on the wrong side of the law or your landlord thanks to it. Your neighbors might occasionally be in a bad mood, so the unfounded complaints are understandable.
6. Know Your Rights
When your landlord or police knock on your door when responding to a noise complaint, you should know your rights to avoid any form of harassment. For instance, if it is the police on your door, they have no right to force entry unless they have a warranty. You may permit access if you want.
Always cooperate with law enforcement agents to make things easier and find a solution quickly. Your landlord can get in, but with your approval. Despite owning the property, you have the right to privacy. However, if there is a complaint about your activities, the landlord has the right of entry to investigate the problem.
Your landlord-tenant agreement outlines the rights you have as a tenant in your apartment. Check on it to be sure that you are on the right.
If your fellow tenants knock, they have to stand by the door and not force themselves into your house.
7. Apologize if Wrong
Apologies work wonders and help deescalate an issue between you and your neighbors. If the other residents complain about the noise levels in your house, you should apologize for the inconvenience caused. It prevents the issue from being bigger than it should be and ensures it does not reach the landlord or police, where you may be on the receiving end of hefty fines.
A simple sorry shows that you are remorseful of your actions and that there will be no repeat of the same.
Tips On Keeping the Volume Down
You have to keep the noise low if you got served with a noise complaint or feel that one may come your way soon. While the party needs some sound to keep it going, your neighbors will do anything to keep it from interfering with their peace.
You can employ several moves to keep the volume down. The following are some of the actions to pull.
Lower the Volume On Your Appliances
The first logical move to go for is lowering the volume of your musical appliances. They are the leading cause of disturbance and probably why you are receiving countless knocks on your door from concerned neighbors.
Lower the volume gradually as the party picks, suitably by five units at a time. Your guests will hardly notice it, and you will get to keep your noise levels to bearable limits.
Control Rowdy Guests
The music is not the problem at other times, but your guests are. They may be rowdy and noisy, which can irk fellow residents. You are responsible for controlling your guests to avoid having the police or landlord on your door.
You should communicate to your guests earlier about being disciplined to prevent the gathering from getting out of hand. Minimize alcohol consumption as it may promote rowdy and irresponsible behavior.
Have Your Event in a Far Off Place
You can consider other venues for your gathering, like a place far from residential areas. A restaurant will do well, as you do not have noise limits. In case of a complaint, the restaurant management will handle the situation. Also, you do not have time limits that will get in the way of your merrymaking.
Opt for Day Gatherings
The other logical move is to hold your event during the day. Most people are at work, and you will hardly interfere with their routine. Also, controlling a crowd during the day is way easier.
By the time your neighbors are home, you will be concluding the party. A win-win for all involved.
Soundproofing Your House
Soundproofing your house is the ultimate peacemaker between you and your neighbors. Install soundproof material in your apartment, which dampens the noises to bearable levels. Optionally, you can hire the material for a temporal installation. You can then remove it once done with the party.
Many people dread the day they will receive a noise complaint. Such a complaint may affect your reputation in the neighborhood. Furthermore, you may have to battle penalties and maybe get an eviction notice.
In this article, we take an in-depth look at the noise complaint topic, focusing more on how to defend yourself from it. Be keen when holding a party to prevent the issue from reaching the higher-ups.
Further Reading: Best DIY Hacks to Reduce the Noise from Upstairs Neighbors