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I have asked a neighbor to be more mindful of the noise level in the morning. Nothing has changed, what can I do?

Jensen Beach, FL |

We live in a condo with an HOA. I wonder if this is a situation I just have to accept, even though I need my sleep. If I were to pursue this legally how would this go? If they are violating a city noise ordinance do I call the police or do I contact a lawyer? The costs to pursue something legal maybe enough of a deterrent. Some people you would think would have common decency.

Even if they are not violating a noise ordinance (if the noise does not reach a certain decibel level) is there anything regarding noise harassment? If it has been stipulated to them that their noise is loud enough to interrupt my sleep could that be harassment if they choose to be noisy?

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Attorney answers 3


If they are violating a noise ordinance you would call the police. You might also contact the HOA and ask if they can address the situation. Some HOAs will and some won't. This can be a sticky situation for the HOA depending on how strong their attorney is and willing to push the issue.

Otherwise, you would need to file a lawsuit. You would need to prove a reasonable person would find the level of noise unbearable, not just you personally. You would bring a cause of action for maintaining a private nuisance. You might want to offer them pre-suit mediation. While condo association disputes are not subject to mandatory pre-suit mediation, mediation is an effective and less expensive tool. The mediator cannot issue a ruling or order anyone to do anything. The mediator's job is to get the parties talking to work out a settlement, which can be enforced in a court of law.

This communication is not intended to create an attorney/client relationship. It is always recommended you consult an attorney in person to discuss your case. The Law Offices of Stage & Associates practices state-wide and represents homeowners and community associations. Please visit our website at



I live in a condo and I have a feeling that this noise issue is going to extend beyond my immediate neighbors. Is there any protection against this kind of abuse/harassment if other neighbors start to make loud noises at unreasonable hours whether it is gathering near the condo under my window talking really loud, honking horns as they drive by, walking up the stairs really loud....I have a feeling I am in this type of situation. What can I do?

Barbara Billiot Stage

Barbara Billiot Stage


Your condo association should be addressing this issue. Talk to the property manager and if that doesn't work, go to the next board of directors meeting and ask to address the board. They may be working on this issue and cannot disclose the details if it is pending litigation. I cannot imagine an association tolerating this. Most associations are run like dictatorships.


If they are loud enough to be violating a city noise ordinance, call the police. Just realize that all that is likely to happen is a warning and a report written to record the police visit. If the noise is loud enough so that it goes into the HOA common areas rather than just being transmitted thorugh you walls or ceiling, the HOA might have some authority to address the situation. Don't count on the HOA to do anything if the noise does not disturb other neighbors. Absent either of the first two suggestions being any help, you might have a private nuisance that you could go to court to have abated, but that will cost significant legal fees, and there is no guarantee of success. It sounds like you have a bad situation for which there are no easy answers.

This answer is for general purposes only, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship.


Your situation is not a fun one to be in. You would think that people would have common decency -absolutely! However, that appears to be a vanishing trait in the world. I sympathize with you.

If your HOA is a strong group-one of those that micromanages everything-you may wish to bring the issue up at the meeting. Are you the only neighbor that notices the noise? Surely, not. If you can find other neighbors to present the situation at the meeting or even better-have a letter sent to the loud neighbor from the HOA in which it states many neighbors have complained-if that is the case. The fact that others are bothered by this person's noise will assist your cause.

The HOA will have counsel. Are you able to go in and sit down with the HOA lawyer and speak to him or her about the issue? S/he may have some ideas about how to handle the problem.

If these folks are so loud that they may be violating an ordinance-you cannot be the only person they are bothering. Yes, you can call the cops for the noise. I think I would try the HOA letter first though.

You really want to try to keep the peace in this situation. These are people that you likely see everyday and have to live with. Try your upmost to handle this situation tactfully. Get a fan or white noise machine until you can get the problem handled.

Best of luck to you and hope you get some sleep soon!

The information provided was in answer to a general question and cannot be relied upon as legal advice, nor does the information provided establish an attorney client relationship. Seek out an attorney with whom you can fully explain your unique situation and enter into an attorney client relationship with that attorney.

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