So, you can’t sleep over the noise of your neighbors arguing. Their dog is barking too loud. The walls are thin and rickety. Music rehearsals driving you nuts. There’s no end in sight.
Most of us have had or still have problems dealing with neighbors being unbearably loud, but this particular problem can be even more serious if you’re living in a tenement block - sometimes neighbors can be as loud as if they were standing right next to you.
And if somebody thinks this is a laughing matter, according to research at the Center for Hearing and Communication, noise is a health hazard, not just an annoying everyday occurrence.
We’re Talking Decibels
Believe it or not, exposure to 115 decibels for 15 minutes every day can cause hearing loss. These stats come from the same Center for Hearing and Communication. The same statistics show that noisy restaurants clock in at 80 decibels, a subway train at 120, and rock concerts at 130 decibels.
What’s more, noise pollution thwarts our ability to keep focus and concentrate. Schools that are located near train stations or airports have students who struggle with reading and learning problems.
A quick tip: if you find yourself in such a situation, utilizing recording pens to record your lectures might help you out if you’re struggling with your studies. SpyGuy offers you a vast array of recording products to help you record your lectures. But more on solutions later!
So are there any ways to deal with your noisy neighbors? Calling the police is one method, but have you ever tried to talk it out first?
In this guide, we’ll talk about the many ways to deal with noisy neighbors before it becomes a regular problem.
Noise Laws and Quiet Times
There are US laws that clearly prohibit excessive levels of noise. There are also local noise ordinances that mark certain hours when neighborhoods and tenement blocks should be quiet.
Additionally, many cities and towns prohibit noise levels that surpass marked thresholds. Local authorities have instruments such as decibel meters to investigate in case someone reports a disturbance.
Confronting the Neighbors About Noise Pollution
Don’t call the cops just yet.
If you’re disturbed by the noise your neighbors produce and you're already planning on calling the police or your lawyer, consider the better and more neighborly approach to solve this annoying problem.
There are many instances where the neighbors aren’t even aware that they’re being too loud. Below are some suggestions we recommend for you to try to address the problem, in the hopes that they’ll prove effective as a permanent solution.
Talk About the Problem With Your Neighbors
Instead of confronting them with anger and hostility, try to remain on exemplary neighborly terms. Ring the doorbell and address the issue politely.
Many people don’t even consider talking to their neighbors and are quick to report this problem to the authorities. This is rather hostile and unfriendly and it can lead to bigger problems.
Remain calm and ask them to turn it down a notch. You can also send them a copy of the local noise ordinance with the designated noise levels. They’ll know you mean well.
According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), exposure to 85 decibels (60 decibels are the sounds of a conversation) for an extended period may cause hearing loss over time. Keep this in mind.
When to Call the Cops on a Neighbor
If the neighbor doesn’t show any cooperation, then you have no other choice but to call the police.
They’ll probably ask you if you tried talking to the neighbor, sending them an email/letter, or even consulting with your landlord first.
Calling the police is a drastic measure, so dial that police number only when there’s a serious ‘communication breakdown’.
At this point, the police will understand the situation and come over to investigate. It’s always a good idea to call the police when the neighbor is in the act of being obscenely noisy. Your best bet is to report the problem to the authorities at this time specifically so they would be able to witness the issue first-hand.
The Police Aren’t the Only Authorities Who Can Help
If you believe that your neighbor is being rude, for example, unsafely throwing away trash, or has a very noisy chihuahua, your complaints will be better heard by the Sanitation Department and the Animal Control, respectively.
There are helplines that work and you could find the numbers in your area by doing a Google search. In New York City, you should dial 311 for the Sanitation Department, while in Los Angeles, the number is 877 or ASK-LAPD (275-5273). No matter where you live, a quick Google search should get you the right number for your area, and these services will be able to help you out and approach the problem with efficiency and care.
Filing a Lawsuit For When Your Neighbor’s Making Too Much Noise
If the police don't arrive to investigate, you can simply file a claim in a small claims court, as they are easily accessible to citizens.
You have every right to sue if you believe the neighbors surpass the noise threshold and nothing else helps. However, if you seek a legal court order via cease and desist against the neighbor, you must file a lawsuit in a civil court.
Finally, if you want to win this lawsuit, you must have presentable and believable proof that your neighbors go above the noise threshold and that they are indeed the source of the noise pollution.
Using high-quality, yet accessible equipment for recording and obtaining such material is simple and easy.
Using Recording Devices to Solve the Noise Pollution Problem
In the unfortunate event of your neighbor not realizing the gravity of the situation, the most efficient solution is a modern one.
We, at SpyGuy, have various recording devices and spy audio products that will solve your noisy problem by providing proof, especially if you’re filing a lawsuit. Our top-notch equipment can easily record the slightest sounds, let alone an annoying barrage of noise pollution.
All of our SpyGuy recording devices are small and built for quality and discretion. You can record your conversations and lectures or an important meeting in any type of environment.
Once you see our products for audio recording equipment, you will surely ask yourself why you settled for arguing and reporting to the authorities instead of this no-brainer option that spares you from the hassle of dealing with annoying neighbors.
Setting up and Using the Audio Recording Equipment
Consider the USB Flash Drive Recorder. It’s an ordinary USB device with a built-in recording tech. You can use it to record the loud noises, such as loud dog barks, easily.
It’s actually made for small meetings and is very sensitive. It has a 10-hour battery, with a continuous run, and the sound can be clearly recorded from 20 feet away. If you can hear the noise through walls then it’ll be loud enough for the device as well.
After you’re done recording, just listen to your recordings by plugging the USB in a PC or laptop.
It’s super simple to use, just flip the switch to turn the voice recorder on. Every time you turn on the device, a new recording begins, and it can store up to 40 hours of audio. If you’re looking for a crisp sound quality, the device costs under $50 dollars, can record perfectly inside a room, and it’s highly sensitive.
Modern Solutions for Picking up Noise Pollution
The Recording Pen is also a long-distance champion.
Conveniently disguised as a pen, the SpyGuy Recording Pen has a 45 foot range, and the audio quality is crisp and clear. You can pick up sound from a large distance across and through the tenement walls. No cell phone has that feature.
The Pen has a 16-hour recording time, can hold up to 1GB of storage, and it’s voice-activated. This means that you can place it in your home, and it will start recording only if it picks up a sound.
If there is no sound, it goes into sleep mode. This will save you a lot of time since you won’t have to skip over segments of silence. It’s hassle-free, and you can use it in all kinds of situations. Specifically, this type of noise pollution where you’re disturbed by intervals of loud arguments, loud music, and loud power tools drilling into the night.
Other voice-activated (or shout-activated, in this case) recording devices we have are the Pro USB Flash Drive and the Pocket Keychain Recorder. The battery can last all day and it records sound from 20 feet away.
The recording is crisp, and the quality doesn’t drop. You don’t have to worry about background noise. It’s rechargeable and you can listen to the recordings via iTunes or other media players.
The Pocket Keychain Recorder works perfectly everywhere. You can record high-quality sound from 30 ft away, and it’s made to be left out in the open.
When You Can’t Seem to Pick up the Neighbor’s Shouting
The Micro Stick is a nifty device that’s the size of a paperclip and records up to 50 feet away. This is the mothership. It records a crisp sound with a built-in 8-hour rechargeable battery with an extended battery that lasts for 3 days. It’s a surefire way to record what you need to present to the legal court of law for disturbing the peace.
It’s the tiniest audio recorder we have, and you can use it as you’re walking. It’s very helpful and efficient thanks to the voice-activated recording system.
If you want to record the noise pollution while you’re away, this is the perfect device for the job. Just hide it in the room, turn it on, and forget about it while you’re away.
The Legality of This Method
This is a very important issue to address, as it regards the legal matters of recording your neighbor.
If you’re planning to record the noise your neighbor makes, it’s very important to figure out the source. Various noises and rackets like loud music or barking dogs are perfectly legal for you to record. But, when it comes to your neighbor’s voice, it’s a totally different story.
You will need to inform the neighbor that they will be recorded if they fail to cooperate and cease the ‘loudness wars’. Normally, they would do well to stop instead of agreeing to be recorded.
The laws in the U.S. regarding audio recording someone are still very rickety and uncertain when it comes to these specific instances. Whichever the case, you’re still doing the recording in your own home, despite the neighbor being so loud.
For more on this legal matter about audio recording, please read our SpyGuy legal guide.
We are here to help you with our roster of high-quality equipment for audio surveillance and we offer perfectly legal and efficient solutions for your problems. Our goal is to make this as hassle-free as possible and to show you how to use the equipment efficiently.
Our service comes with free tech support, a 90-day warranty, and free ground shipping. Feel free to drop us a line at any time!