New coverage of noise and neighbours

July 29, 2020

“My neighbour regularly used his portable leaf-blower in the evenings. I talked to him about how my kids were having trouble falling asleep because of the noise. He didn’t take my complaint seriously. I looked at the local noise bylaw and found that hand-held leaf blowers can’t be used within 50 metres of a residence in the evening. I complained to the city. They issued a fine to my neighbour! He bought a quieter leaf-blower and now only uses it on Saturday mornings.”

– Arwin, Vancouver, BC

Noise. We’re all affected by it. But what bothers you may not bother someone else, which makes noise complaints a tricky legal concept. So when does neighbourhood noise — whether a lawnmower, loud music, or barking dog, for example — cross the line?

We can help answer that question. Our new page on noise and neighbours explains how much neighbourhood noise is too much, where to find local noise laws, and what the noise laws are if you rent or live in a strata.

You’ll also find guidance on what to do if your neighbour’s noise crosses the line and disturbs your peace and quiet. We’ll walk you through the steps — from talking to your neighbour and documenting your noise complaint to contacting local authorities or bringing a legal action

Our new content complements our information on trees and fences, two of our most popular pages. Also coming soon are new pages on tips for talking with your neighbour, options for dealing with a neighbour problem, and other nuisance issues.

We are grateful to work on the unceded traditional territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations, whose Peoples continue to live on and care for these lands.