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Gerald-Esquire, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 4180
Experience:  30 years of experience.
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I live in a small private drive community in Hampstead,

Customer Question

I live in a small private drive community in Hampstead, Maryland. For the past several years my family and our neighborhood have endured a growing noise problem from a neighbor who is keeping (and growing) a population of large birds (primarily maccaws and parrots). This spring she officially launched a full-fledged bird sanctuary to rescue parrots. The noise is unbearable and non-stop. We have community covenants - which she and her ex-husband signed as one of the original homeowners in this community. She is now clearly in direct violation of several of the bylaws in this covenant including operating a business out of her home and employing staff (she has several borders and volunteers assisting with the birds). I sent a letter from the neighborhood (signed by all) to her weeks ago asking for her to reconsider her business venture. As expected she has ignored this plea. I am now prepared to go the legal route. I am looking for advice and the best direction to take in this matter. I consider this a significant quality of life issue for my family and a serious impediment to the neighborhood with respect to home resale value. Your comments are appreciated. - Larry Bosley
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Gerald-Esquire replied 1 year ago.


Thank you for using Just Answer. I want to provide you the best service I can. Please feel free to ask any follow up questions you have.

I am an attorney with 30 years of experience; I hope to provide you information that will help you in resolving your question.

The next step is to have an attorney send a Demand letter to the neighbor. You can send the Demand letter yourself, BUT is generally has greater effect when coming from counsel.

A demand letter is the first step prior to bringing a law suit. The target audience is not necessarily your neighbor, but rather the court that will see the letter as part of your lawsuit. A demand letter civilly, politely and professionally describes the problem and states the remedy that you are requesting.

This link describes how to write an effective Demand letter.

The next step after the Demand letter is to file a civil lawsuit against the neighbor for creating a private nuisance. A nuisance as defined in Maryland, is anything that unlawfully annoys or does damage to another. To succeed in a private nuisance suit you must show (1) diminished value of the property as a dwelling and (2) an interference with the ordinary comfort and enjoyment of the property. You must show substantial harm to establish liability for a private nuisance. Unreasonable noise (such as a continuously barking dog) has been recognized a a nuisance.

So you want to do the following: 1) Get an opinion from a realtor about the value of the properties as effected by the noise. 2) Video and audio record the noise coming from the birds. 3) Use decimeter to measure the noise and video record that as well. Make the recordings during different parts of the days. 4) get affidavits from neighbors as well.

Next you will file the lawsuit. Again it would be better to have an attorney do this for you to make sure you do not miss anything. It will probably be more affordable in the long run, and if several neighbors join the costs would be very manageable. Also you will improve your odds with multiple plaintiffs.

Or you can go the small claims court route, but the amount of your damages will be limited.

Here is a sample complaint form that you can use to draft the complaint:

This Maryland case describes the law regarding nuisance:

This article has useful information on this issue:

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Good luck.

Please note: Information is educational and not given as legal advice. Only your local attorney can give legal advice. I can't establish or accept an attorney-client relationship with you. All posts are available for public viewing.

Kind regards,