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What city/county do you live in?
Almost every community prohibits excessive, unnecessary and unreasonable noise, and police enforce these laws. To find out what your city's noise ordinance says, ask at the public library or the city attorney's office. You may also be able to obtain this information from the Noise Pollution Clearinghouse (click here for the website). Basically, most local noise ordinances designate certain "quiet hours"--for example, from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. on weekdays, and until 8 or 9 a.m. on weekends. If you feel that a neighbor is causing excessive noise, I recommend that you approach them and inform them that the noise is a nuisance.
If complaining doesn't work, get a copy of your local noise ordinance at city hall or the public library. Send a copy to the neighbor with a note repeating your request to keep the noise down and explaining that you'll be forced to notify the authorities if you don't get results.
Send a copy of the lease agreement or special rules to the neighbor. If that doesn't work, report the problem to the landlord in writing. Especially if several tenants complain at the same time, the landlord will probably order the tenant to quiet down or face eviction.
You may also give mediation a try. You and the neighbor can sit down together with an impartial mediator and resolve your own problems. Mediation services are available in most cities and often they are free. Simply call the mediation center, and it will then contact the neighbor for you.
If you still receive no response from the neighbor, call the police. If you have tried to solve the problem yourself, the police will know your complaint is serious and that you need help.
Try to notify the police while the noise is continuing, so they can measure the noise or hear it for themselves. (Some people simply hold the phone out the window.) Sometimes cities won't act until the noise affects two or more persons, to prevent complaints from excessively sensitive people.
Finally, as a last resort, you can sue in small claims court. It's easy and inexpensive, and you don't need a lawyer.
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