fbpx Noise and Neighbours - Common questions | People's Law School

You are here

Noise and Neighbours - Common questions

Common questions

How can I deal with my neighbour’s noise?

You might be trying to enjoy some quiet time at home. Or maybe you’re working from home or trying to get some sleep during the day because you work at night. Regardless, your neighbour’s noise is disturbing you. You can start with some self-help steps

  • If the noise is outside, temporarily close all your windows and doors.
  • Wear ear plugs.
  • Invest in noise-cancelling headphones.
  • Mask the sound with calm music or a white noise machine.
  • Soundproof your home (though this may be costly).

You’re responsible for the cost of these self-help measures. But, you could try asking your neighbour to share the cost of the more expensive options.

There are also a range of other steps you can take, from contacting your neighbour to taking legal action. See the “Work out problems” section above.

Who can I report noise concerns to?

Usually, you contact your local municipality to report a neighbourhood noise problem. But, there are also other agencies you can reach out to. Who you might decide to contact depends on the type of noise you’re concerned about.  

If the noise is coming from

Contact

Barking dogs, loud music, construction or equipment on private property

Your local municipality

Car or house alarms

Your local police

Your strata building

Your strata building or building manager

Helicopters or seaplanes

Transport Canada

Airplanes

Your local airport

Who you contact can also depend on what time of day it is. If your local municipality usually helps with noise issues, but it’s after business hours (after 4:30 pm, on the weekend, or a holiday, for example), then you can contact your local police department at their non-emergency number.

I live in a strata. My upstairs neighbour has a loud air conditioner. I’ve tried talking to them about it but they just ignore me. What can I do?

If your neighbour’s air conditioner affects your ability to live in and enjoy your own apartment, see what your strata bylaws say about noise. If you can’t relax, watch TV, entertain, or sleep, the noise might be considered unreasonable. If that’s the case and you’ve tried communicating with your neighbour, you can:

  • try some self-help methods, such as earplugs or a white noise machine, 
  • continue gathering evidence of the noise disturbance, and
  • contact your strata council and make a complaint. 

If your neighbour is breaking the bylaws, they may have to pay a fine. Depending on the situation and the result of your strata complaint, you may decide to take legal action. Your neighbour (or even the strata) may have to pay you compensation for your trouble if you prove your claim.