How to Handle Noisy Neighbours in Montreal

Transitioning into a new apartment is never a cakewalk: the move itself, redecoration, refurnishing and settling in are all physically and emotionally exhausting. Then just when you think the worst is over, that it’s time for a well-earned nap, you hear the familiar thump of a subwoofer. Hours later, your patience might have grown a little thin. Don’t think yourself a tattletale—a man needs his rest.

When is it appropriate to bring in the fuzz? Sometimes a passive aggressive note will do the trick, but often certain people—or certain scenarios—beg for a more serious warning.

There are a few myths to debunk about noise pollution. Most common is the belief that loudness before 11 p.m. is meant to be tolerated. Any excessive noise can be reported, though it’s not always necessary. Use discretion: Don’t call the cops over the lone, amateur trombonist. The frat-like rager taking place on Thursdays ‘til the wee hours of the morning? Snuff ‘em out.

If you live in a condo or high-rise, usually the lobby security will be your go-to enforcers. They can clamp down on neighbouring tenants, and have the power to threaten wrongdoers with not only fines but also eviction.  It’s one thing to pay for your mistakes, an entirely different one to relocate altogether.

Usually the building will have a noise complaint policy as well as supporting documentation to make a formal grievance. Speak to your building’s owner if you’d like to go down that route, else, speak with the tenant in question to see if you two can come up with a compromise.

If, like many Montrealers, you dwell in a duplex or triplex, you’ll have to take things into your own hands. After giving the noisemakers a warning yourself, it might be time to call the SPVM. While the precise meaning of “prohibited noise” varies from borough to borough, it can be best defined as noise made from sound equipment, sirens or alarms, and clamouring or uproar. (Or, any noise.)

The consequences will be a stern talking to and a ticket—around $400, nothing to laugh at. If the issue persists, make sure you keep track of the hours and extremity of the noise violation. The documentation will later help when working with the authorities should the issue escalate to an unbearable level.

For noise violations, feel free to dial the familiar 9-1-1.

If you think it’s best to file a non-emergency complaint, find the correct SPVM number to call here.

Image courtesy of nooccar

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