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Quiet Enjoyment

Westfield, NJ |

I live in an apartment located next to a bar. I hear very little of the music played and if the back door is shut, then I hear almost nothing (so this is not a problem). However, there is a courtyard behind the bar that is adjacent to my unit's walls. I didn't see anyone in the courtyard when I first came and didn't ask about the noise level. I think it belongs to the bar, but I rent from a management company who might own that commercial property as well. My problem starts at night (from 6pm - 2am/ 7 days a week), I can hear a lot of laughing and talking as though the people were standing right next to me; This disrupts a lot of my sleep/work/life style.

Is it my right to have the landlords install sound proofing for ? Or should I see what the bar can do on their part?

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Attorney answers 1


You should check your local municipal/city/county ordinances/laws on this issue. In California, these rules generally apply to amplified music, not people gathering and laughing/talking, with some exceptions regarding loitering. You should also check your local jurisdiction's loitering laws--I am unclear from your question as to whether or not this courtyard is public or private or what its purpose is. In California, the "coming to the nuisance" doctrine has pretty much been eliminated (that's where the landlord says the thing you're complaining about was there when you moved in and a reasonable person would have discovered this situation prior to executing the lease). I don't know about your State. You don't say whether or not you have spoken to the landlord yet, if you have, and he/she is not willing to remedy the situation (I don't think the bar is going to tell its patrons not to gather and laugh outside the bar--it can't do that if it doesn't own the outside anyway), then tell them nicely that this is not a good fit and ask to be let out of your lease. If the answer is "no", then I suggest consulting a local attorney to do a legal letter for you--that may make the landlord more amenable to working with you. The local attorney could also advise you on the local ordinance/laws that may or may not be of help.