Dealing With Loud Neighbors
Having loud neighbors can be one of life's more irritating, and at times downright unpleasant, experiences. A problem with loud neighbors is more apt to occur in an apartment complex, but at the same time can be easier to deal with. A more difficult situation is when you live in a house, and the neighbors next door or across the street are the source of the problem. Having loud neighbors in this case is probably a bit less likely, but when it does happen you may feel your home is no longer your castle.
A Passive Approach Works, Sometimes - In either case there are three routes you can take. The first is to do nothing. That may be the correct approach if it appears the situation is going to be temporary, if the noise isn't too bad for the most part, or if it appears another neighbor is taking action. This may not be considered the bravest approach to take, but if things seem to be working out without your involvement, you may wish to stay uninvolved.
The other two routes involve either exercising the art of diplomacy or the art of war. Though the latter definitely appeals to some people, the first should usually be tried first. While being loud may be obnoxious, it doesn't mean the person making the noise is. There are plenty of instances where the noisemaker is unaware that he or she is creating an unpleasant situation for others. Of course is the neighbor makes a habit of tuning up his motorcycle at 2 AM, insensitivity to others, or perhaps just plain thoughtlessness or stupidity is behind the neighbor’s actions. A one time occurrence may be overlooked. Two times and you should ask him to consider doing tune ups at some other times. Three times, call the police.
A loud neighbors problem can sometimes be avoided it you go a little out of your way to make friends with your neighbors in the first place. If your neighbor thinks you are OK, he likely won't be consciously do things that would disturb you, and would probably stop if asked. If he doesn't know you though, it can be as if you don't exist, or he simply might not care if you're bothered or not.
Diplomacy First, Then War - If you haven't had the time, or taken the time to meet your neighbor, trying diplomacy first is still the best approach. If diplomacy appears to have failed, then going to war may be the only option left. That doesn't mean escalation. Stealth is a better approach. Stealth involves documenting what's happening for one thing. It may involve installing a surveillance camera that will record noise and activity that is bothersome. It may involve getting other neighbors involved. Chances are they don't care for the noise any more than you do, and there is of course power in numbers. You could even luck out if one of your neighbors decides to go the escalation route. It's better to get the police in the picture though before neighbors start dumping trash in each others yards.
In extreme cases you can take a person to court, and can even sue the city if there is a noise ordinance which isn't being enforced. You may even be able to sue the city if a meaningful noise ordinance is lacking. If there is an ordinance, the police should be expected to enforce it. Let your loud neighbors have difficulties with the police instead of letting them make life difficult for you.
The Apartment - If you live in an apartment, your neighbors can be of help the same as is the case if you live in a house. In addition, the apartment manager should be on your side. If not, consider moving to another apartment. If the lease becomes a problem, hire a lawyer. If living in an apartment complex becomes intolerable due to loud neighbors, and the manager does nothing, you have some ammunition for breaking the lease.
There's one additional thing you can try. Join the party. While not the recommended thing to do, you never know. Your loud neighbors might not be so bad after all.