- How Many Decibels Is Too Loud For Neighbours
- How Many Decibels Can Your Neighbors Start To Hear
- How To Handle Excessive Noise
3.1 Calm Down
3.2 Have A Chat
3.3 Write To Your Landlord
3.4 Call The Cops
- How To Provide Legal Evidence of Noise
4.1 What You Need To Prove
4.2 Evidence You Should Collect
- How to Measure Decibel Level of Neighbor
‘Love thy neighbor’ isn’t always easy in big communities. Especially when what you want is a little quiet and your upstairs or downstairs neighbors have other plans.
You can end up more than just disturbed or annoyed. Noisy neighbors can make you feel frustrated.
However, if you are unfortunate enough to live close to noisy neighbors, all is not lost. You can always file a legitimate complaint either with your landlord or the police. All you’ll need is to collect some evidence of the disturbance. Ideally, this will include the decibel level.
So, if you’re wondering how many decibels is too loud for neighbors, this is where you’ll get the answer. That, plus details on how you can finally solve the issue of noisy neighbors!
Sound is measured in decibels and the quietest sound a human can hear is 0 dB.
However, to determine what decibel level is too loud for neighbors, we need to look at how the decibel scale works. The decibel scale is linear. This means that 10 dB is a sound 10 times louder than 0 dB.
But this is where it gets tricky. A sound that is 100 times more powerful than a 0 dB sound is in fact 20 dB, not 100 and one that is 1,000 times more powerful is 30 dB.
Generally, exposure to sound levels above 85 dB is considered damaging to human hearing. That is why this is the most common maximum value allowed in industrial environments.
For residential environments, the accepted decibel level is lower.
Any noise exceeding 70 dB is considered disturbing. Residential limits usually start at 60 or 55 dB (the equivalent noise of a regular vacuum cleaner). Time limits usually apply after 10 pm and until 7 am.
Specifically allowed noise levels will depend on the area where you live and local laws and regulations. They will also depend on the time of day the disturbance occurs. It’s always best to check these limits with local authorities.
What decibel is too loud for neighbors will also depend on how loud the noise is when measured at your property limit. Not the source.
There is usually a big difference between decibel readings near the source of the noise and readings tens or hundreds of meters away. The rule is as follows: whenever the distance from the sound source doubles, the sound drops by 6 dB.
When you file a noise complaint, the authorities will measure the noise level on your property limit. If the noise exceeds allowed limits there, they will be able to take action against the noisy neighbor.
For example, let’s assume your neighbors are playing loud music at a level of 70 dB and the allowed limit is 60 dB. If 70 dB is the decibel level near the speakers and 60 dB at your property limit, they may not be in violation of any regulations.
Excessive noise can be disturbing and frustrating. In such cases, you may be wondering how to either stop or block noise.
Many residents of quiet areas are quick to call the police to file a noise complaint. That is often not the most desirable solution. Mostly because it can make the conflict escalate. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take before a formal complaint.
First of all, you’ll need to calm down. We know how aggravating excessive noise from neighbors can be. Nevertheless, if you are trying to solve this issue without causing more turmoil, you will need to keep your cool.
Once you’ve calmed your nerves, you should try talking to your noisy neighbor. Sometimes, they may not even be aware that they are causing a disturbance.
In such cases, letting them know that noise coming from their property is too loud for you and politely asking them to keep it down could be the best solution.
If you are a tenant and find that you cannot reason with your loud neighbor, you can write to your landlord. Landlords have the obligation to protect your rights according to the apartment/house lease agreements.
You can also contact your property management company or HOA.
Ideally, you should file a formal complaint in writing. Add noise level evidence and time logs describing how your neighbor’s excessive noise disturbs you.
Calling the police is a last resort you can try. Make an official complaint with supporting evidence and complete it with your contact information.
Upon your request, the police can hold your complaint confidential.
When filing a formal noise complaint, you will need to support it with evidence and documentation.
Ideally, your complaint should contain:
- Proof of excessive and disturbing noise coming from your neighbor's property. To easily provide legal evidence for noisy neighbors, record the decibel level.
- Evidence that the neighbor is creating the noise or information about the landlord (responsible for the noise his/her tenants are making).
- Description of how your enjoyment of the home is affected.
- Details on how you’ve asked the neighbor to stop the noise, but they’ve failed and/or refused to.
What you’ll need to prove
Evidence you should collect
Want to find out what is considered excessive noise from a neighbor? Measure it in decibels!
To measure your neighbor’s decibel level, use an app like Decibel Pro. It’s the easiest way to get professional-grade readings right on your screen.
Simply download the app on your smartphone or tablet, open it and get a reading of the noise levels.
Then, check what decibel level of noise is permitted between neighbors and file a formal complaint documented with noise level evidence.
To learn more about the Decibel app, click here.