When your neighbours complain about noise

You have been living in an apartment for years or maybe just moved into a new one; while having friends over one evening your neighbour comes and asks you to keep the noise down. You do your best but a week later you receive a complaint in writing. What can you do about it?

You and your neighbours all have a legal right to what is known as ‘peaceful enjoyment of the dwelling’ at all times of day. Whether it is the morning on a weekday or early evening on a weekend you must respect your  neighbours. Noise complaints made to the police after certain times can result in a ticket; however this is in addition to consequences coming from the landlord. You can be taken to the Régie du logement over noise complaints which can result in fines and eviction.

Instructions:

  1. Talk to your neighbours; try and understand why they are upset by the noise. Perhaps they work night shifts and must sleep during the day; have young children who are disturbed by the noise; or perhaps the walls are thinner than you think.
  2. If you received a letter from your landlord make sure to respond in writing; explain the situation from your perspective, ask clarifying questions, and provide information about how your behavior will change.
  3. Try to pinpoint the specific times of the day where your noise bothers your neighbours and work around that. If you are having a large event or party in your apartment, try giving your neighbour advanced notice so it is expected and they can plan around it.
  4. If no agreement can be made, it may be best to begin looking for a new apartment so that your landlord does not take legal action against you.

FAQ

My noise takes place before midnight and my municipality has by-laws saying that noise is okay at certain times, is this true?

Even if you live in a borough where noise complaints made to police cannot be made until a certain time of day all tenants have a right to peaceful enjoyment of the dwelling which overrides local by-laws; while complaints made to the police may not be enforced your landlord has the legal obligation to follow up on noise complaints.