You are home from work and you want to rest because it’s been a long day. However, you cannot do that because your neighbor is blaring music from his/her loudspeakers.
You are confused and frustrated. You even wonder who you can report to and if it is illegal to play loud music after 11pm. Well, you’re in the right place, we will examine the legality of playing loud music late at night.
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Is it Illegal to Play Loud Music After 11PM?
According to the Noise Act (1996), it is illegal to play loud music after 11 p.m because nighttime begins at 11 p. m and ends at 7 a.m. Therefore, playing loud music after 11 pm means you are violating the laws of the land and you can be charged to court for it.
The local agencies, the environment agencies, and the government agencies view it as anti-social behavior and that it is illegal. Therefore, no noise is allowed by this time to avoid violating the laws of the land.
Worthy of note is the presence of the Environmental Protection Agency in the United States. This body was created in 1972 as a result of the Noise Control Act.
They monitor all complaints of noise in their jurisdiction. The mandate of the Office of Noise Abatement and Control is to keep away the dangerous implications of unwarranted noise from citizens of the country.
Local governments and state authorities are also mandated to regulate noise levels within their jurisdiction.
I know you are wondering how music will be classified as being loud or overboard. To determine if noise or music being played is loud, the environmental health body or you as an individual will need to check the level of the noise being made.
The normal noise level in the area needs to be checked and if the noise produced by the loud music is checked also and it is 10 dBA above the level of the normal noise level, it is termed as being extreme.
I’ll put it into perspective. If the normal noise level in your environment is 20 dBA, any noise louder than that level by 10 dBA is termed as being extreme. 30 dBA and above are unwarranted and it is a ground for complaints to the relevant authorities.
I hope you know that these regulations are not just for music. If you produce loud noise from your house such as animal sounds, quarrels or arguments, alarms, Television or radio sounds, computer sounds, plumbing sounds, welding sounds, carpentry sounds, repair, and other sounds, etc.
All these sounds can be termed as being excessive if the noise level exceeds that of the normal noise level by 10 dBA. I hope this is clear.
If you are reported to the police or the environmental health agencies for making an unwarranted noise in the vicinity, you can be prosecuted. There are stiff penalties in place for offenders and violators of the law.
How Late Can Loud Music Play at Night?
Playing loud music at night is so wrong, you are disturbing the peace of other people and that is unfair. People have the right to enjoy the value of their rent and other accommodation costs.
You might be wondering what times you are not permitted to play loud music at night. It varies from state to state actually.
In Los Angeles, quiet hours are defined as the time from 11 pm to 7 am on Mondays to Fridays, but the weekends are an exception to this law. The quiet period can be from midnight up until 8 am or 10 am the following morning.
What is the Latest Time to Play Loud Music?
The latest time you can play loud music generally is before 11 pm. 11 pm – 7 am are described as quiet hours in many states.
No one likes to be disturbed at night when they should be sleeping. You come back from work tired and weak and you just want to shower, eat and sleep but the noise from your neighbor’s loudspeakers is too much for your brain to accommodate, it is not a comfortable situation at all.
As a tenant in a compound or a neighbor to people around, it’s important you maintain a good relationship with them. You do not want to be visited by the estate authorities or the police.
It is important to get familiar with the laws of your community and state on playing loud music. This will guide you better.
What To Do When Neighbour Play Loud Music After 11PM?
If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of being disturbed and harassed by the loud music of your neighbor after 11 pm, there are a few things you can do to stem the tide.
You need to consider the circumstances, first of all; such noise might not be produced all the time, it might just be a one-off thing. Maybe a celebration is going on such as birthdays, anniversaries and all that. You can just ignore the noise for the sake of being civil.
Is the music being played by children in the house whose parents are not at home? You need to consider that as well. You know how playful children can be when the guardians are not around to put them in check. I
t is important to think about this very well because the parents could be back before midnight to control the sound of the music and put things in order.
If you have carefully considered these scenarios and you feel none of these is the reason for the loud music, you can take some other definite steps to put things in order.
1. Discuss With Your Neighbour
When you are constantly disturbed by the loud music of your neighbor, you can have a discussion with them. Sometimes, it could be that they are not aware that the music is loud enough to be disturbing the peace of others in the neighborhood.
Pay a visit to your neighbor the next day, complaining about the previous night and how the music from their apartment made it quite uncomfortable for you to have a good night’s rest.
Politely ask them to reduce the volume of their music at night. If your neighbor is sensible, this is enough to make stop the loud music at night.
2. Keep Your Records
If you have discussed with your neighbor and nothing good is coming to fruition, you need to consider reporting the issue to the authorities. You better know how to call the city on your neighbor before making a call for a noise complaint.
The environmental health agency is in the best position to handle the case. But for your report to be taken seriously, you need to show proof of the noise.
You need to get a book, jotter or anything you can write in. Anytime such loud music is played, you must note the time and the date it occurred. Keep such records so you can have sufficient proof to make a case.
Not just that, you need to measure the level of the music they are playing. How do you do this? You can download some sound meter applications on your mobile device to measure the noise. When you measure it, take screenshots of it and keep them. You can also make sound recordings of loud music at night too.
Now, this is sufficient evidence needed for the authorities to handle the case. But just before you take your records to the authorities, you can send screenshots of them to your neighbor or show them in person. This should serve as a warning to them that you have proof and you are ready to take it further.
3. Take the Records to the Authorities as Proof
If your neighbor still continues with the practice of playing loud music after 11 pm, you can present the case to the environmental health agencies.
Go there, make a formal report about the level of noise your neighbor has been producing consistently. With enough proof, your complaint will be taken up and acted upon.
The agencies might decide to come to your apartment on one of the occasions to see for themselves and test the level of the noise. It is to help in the investigation process.
4. Get the Police Involved
Irrespective of how fast the police respond to noise calls, if you are still disturbed by the noise produced by your neighbors, you can as well just report to the Police.
You do not need to call the emergency line because noise complaints are not seen as emergencies. Call the other lines and make your complaint. It might take them a while to respond, but it will be attended to.
Disadvantages of Playing Loud Music Late in the Night
There are so many disadvantages of playing loud music at night such as disturbance of the peace of others, hearing issues, inability to sleep, etc.
Disturbance of Peace
When you play loud music at night, you are inconveniencing others. Some people just want to do their activities in peace and quiet but with your loud music, you make it impossible for them to do that.
Oftentimes, it has been reported that loud music is the cause of hearing problems. This leads to several other issues.
Inability to Sleep
The victims of your loud music will definitely not be able to sleep or sleep comfortably. This is not a situation you will want to be in. Why put others through it??
To conclude, playing loud music after 11 pm is illegal and wrong. Be a responsible citizen and consider the feelings of your neighbors.