August 04, 2008,
E.J. asks from Orlando, FL on March 19, 2007
Problem with Neighbors/HOA
Our community is gate restricted and governed by a Homeowner's Association. We have had an ongoing problem with our neighbor across the street and the new renter's next door. Both neighbors play their bass at levels that literally shake the pictures on my walls inside my house. I don't care if I hear the music outside my home, but when it's inside my house, I do have a problem with that, especially since we have 2 children. We have spoken to our HOA, but they claim it's the police's problem. We have called the police countless times, and while they always come to our aid, they can actually NOT do anything to enforce orange county's noise ordinance since we are a gated community - they say it's up to the HOA to enforce code. So we are now at a loss what to do? Mediation/civil suit against the neighbor? File suit against the HOA?? I wish we were able to move but it's just not that easy. We all hate coming home (ok, maybe not the baby since she doesn't know what's what just yet) and we are all always tired. Has anyone had experience or even just an idea of what to do?
So What Happened?™
Thank you all for your replies. I'm sad so many of us have gone through this same thing! I absolutely hate that I can not seem to fix this situation for our kids:-( Just a little more history, we have spoken kindly to our neighbors when this started about a year ago, (I even took cookies over the first time) and we offered to purchase a stereo with adjustable bass levels for inside their home. Each time, we had nasty comments given back to us and many fingers (my husband and I, when we try to lighten ourselves, joke that at least we can say we're "bird watchers"). They've seen my crying children and laugh. The noise happens all day and all night. According to our CC&R, any noise like this at ANY time is a violation. County ordinance is (1) from a car, noise must be contained within 25 ft of vehicle at all times and (2)no noise between 11pm and 6am. One neighbor's noise comes from TWO cars in their driveway and the renters blare it from their home. No matter how you look at it, both neighbors violate at least one restriction! We have had our house on the market for almost 6 months, and the most recent buyer came to our house yesterday. Of course, the neighbors were booming so the realtor politely informed me that they buyers are a family looking for a quiet place to live. We are TRYING to sell and get out of here but between our neighbors and the market, odds just aren't in our favor. The police are sticking with their claim that without the HOA's approval in writing, they can not do anything to the neighbors. The HOA claims that they will send notices to stop the music but they will not go any further. My only concern about getting a lawyer is that we have already dropped the sale price of our house so much, we're going to take a huge financial hit if/when we do sell and I don't know that we can realistically afford it. For those who have had to take legal action, could you give me an idea of the cost incurred and the process? Thank you!
E.G. answers from Daytona Beach on March 20, 2007
I have the same type of issue mine is dogs running loose and Fl has a leach law!! Just like they have a noise ordance law but it doesn't kick in until after 9pm, my fix was Ijust kept calling the poloce over and over and finally the neighbors and police got tired of dealing with it and now they are leached up. BE A PEST!!!
T.L. answers from Melbourne on March 20, 2007
I also live in an HOA and understand your frustration.
First, I would look thru your HOA Declarations. I am sure that there is a paragraph somewhere in there about Nuisances. This falls under this and the HOA can (and should) send out a violation letter each time you report the issue. If they fail, you can sue the board for not enforcing the Declarations of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions for your community (and receive a judgement requiring enforcement). This is the same as any other violation in your neighborhood.
Second, the police should enforce the county/city noise ordinance. From past experience with this issue, you should keep a log and continue to call the police each time they are blasting the music. Demand the police enforce the oridinance. If they don't, call their supervisor the next day. Either way, you can use your log to demonstrate the ongoing problem.
I think the suggestion of talking to them is a great idea, however I would understand if you did not want to do it. I have had both good and bad experiences talking with neighbors about these type of issues.
Good luck and I hope you find a way to resolve it !
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A.R. answers from Melbourne on March 20, 2007
Good luck to you. I think moving is a solution, even if you have to rent your house out and move into a rental.
Anyway in out previous home (we moved) my husband would push the car alarm button and make his car horn honk while the music played.
S.L. answers from Boca Raton on August 04, 2008
When is the next election for board members? Get yourself or your husband on the Board itself. I know it seems like a lot of work, but sometimes the only way to change things is from the inside. Go door to door to the quiet neighbors, introduce yourself, and ask for their vote. Once elected, you can change things.
K.F. answers from Boca Raton on March 20, 2007
Unfortunately, we had the same thing happen to us when we were living in Sandalwood Lakes. The only thing you really can do is get an attorney involved, otherwise as you have noticed, nothing happens. If you live in palm beach county, I know a really good one, so feel free to contact me if you wish.
K. F., President
All Computer Works, LLC
K.H. answers from Fort Myers on March 20, 2007
YOU DIDNT SAY WHAT TIME OF DAY THE MUSIC IS, UNFORTUNATELY, POLICE WONT CARE DURING THE DAY. AND I WOULDNT KEEP BUGGING THEM,(THE POLICE) THEY ARE GOING TO START TO HATE YOU SOON. iF ITS AFTER THE LEGAL TIME, THEN CALL THEM.
ALSO FOLLOW UP WITH YOUR HOA AND SEE WHATS WHAT, WHY ARE THEY PROTECTING THEM?!
T.F. answers from Orlando on March 19, 2007
I don't want to assume anything... Have you actually talked to the neighbors? Be brave, go with your 1 year old in your arms (when he/she is crabby and overtired would be helpful!!) and the 8 year old as well, and look really sleepy and explain as sweet as you possibly can that after 8 pm your children need to get some rest and I'm sure they must not realize how loud their music really is. Play it as if you have never called the police on them-- even bake cookies or something to show that you are coming in peace and not looking to start a war. You catch more flies with honey... Calling the police on people just pisses them off- if the police make them stop that and they knew it was you who keeps calling, they may do something else to piss you off just because you went behind their backs and called the police without having the courtesy to speak with them first.
T.V. answers from Daytona Beach on March 19, 2007
Wow this is tough. Have you approached the neighbors? Keep pestering the HOA and the police.
Sorry I can't give more advice.
G.H. answers from Miami on March 19, 2007
I would get a petition from all the homeowners in the community to have the bylaws changed against loud music after a certain hour. Then go to the management company that runs your HOA with the petitions signed. Next board meeting have the signed petitions and address that issue. IF that fails ....Call BSO -Police and tell them you have tried all avenues to get this handled diplomatically and ask for their help.
If that fails speak with your neighbors directly and explain the loud noises are affecting your family's sleep.
If that doesnt work ...Call your local news station..and BEG for their help!!!!!
ps. I know what you mean , I live in gated community where we have neighbors who are always causing Havoc.....UGHHHHHH!!!!!