We choose our residence, unfortunately not our neighbors. Sometimes they are surprisingly pleasant, sometimes not.

Did you know that police officers can give a fine to your neighbors if they make too much noise?

If you are a leasing an apartment, you shall respect several obligations, as the article 1860 al.1 of the Civil Code of Quebec “a lessee is bound to act in such a way as not to disturb the normal enjoyment of the other lessees”. Therefore, if your neighbor listen loudly to his radio, make sure you inform your lessor first. By doing so, you are giving your lessor the occasion to warn the other lessee and fix the situation. If your problem is not fixed after the intervention of your lessor, you could lodge a complaint to the police station or intent procedures at the Régie du Logement.

However, not only apartment lessees have noise issues with their neighbors. When you live in a house, either as an owner or a lessee, noise issues with your neighbors can also happen. We all know someone that already complained about their neighbors regarding the noise they do when they throw a party around the campfire in their backyard, or when they make renovations, or when their dog will not stop barking. What can you do if you already discussed the situation with your neighbor and he refuses to please your demand?

It is good to know that each city has its own by-laws. In order to apply the by-laws of your city, you can lodge a complaint at the police station of your city. Depending on the situation, the police officers will come at your house or your neighbor’s house and could give either a warning or a fine to your neighbors. Should the problematic situation continue, you could intent court procedures with proofs of your allegations.

Several cities have a curfew, in other words a limited period of time in which it is permitted to make noise. In fact, some cities have a maximum of decibels until which it is permitted to make some noise during the day. Several cities even forbid construction work during a certain time in order to regulate the noise of their city, example given the city of Châteauguay several types of construction works from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. from Monday to Saturday and all day on Sunday.

Many other neighbourhood issues are regulated by the Civil Code of Quebec like building common fences or the maintenance of them, trimming the hedges and trees on the limit of your land, the water flowing from your neighbor’s yard to yours, the trees of your neighbor overstepping in your yard, the windows of your neighbor that are being too close to your residence, the encroachment of your neighbor’s construction on your land or the access to the land of another in order to do a construction, a repair or a maintenance.

If you are facing such issues with your neighbor, it would be appropriate to consult a lawyer. In fact, depending on the nature of your demand and the amount related to the damages that you are demanding, your litigation shall be fixed either in mediation or in Court, at the Small Claims court, the Quebec court or the Superior Court.

Written by Me Marie-Josée Gingras, Attorney