My neighbours host parties every weekend and blare music all night. What can I do to stop the racket permanently?
If earplugs and the 5-0 have failed to silence the Ibizathons next door, you can sue the boisterous bastards. Sort of. Because noise is regulated by a municipal bylaw, it’s the city (rather than the police) that can really give your neighbours the what-for—a slow, bureaucratic, moderately effective what-for. Complaints can be filed with the district office. An inspector will open a formal investigation and issue a written notification to the offender by mail. Should that be ignored, you’ll be asked to complete a noise log (e.g., “10/09/09. 3:05 a.m. Hyena-like laughter. ‘Groove Is in the Heart’ on repeat.”). You’ll then have to face your noisy nemeses in court, which pretty much guarantees sidewalk awkwardness on garbage day. The whole process takes about a year, and the typically puny fines (often as little as $100) may not be worth the trouble. Vigilante vengeance may have to compensate for both peace and justice. In the spirit of John Cusack and the U.S. invasion of Panama, the strategic use of some boom box Yanni can send a very strong message.
• Question from Toby Shaw, Beaconsfield