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Noise Complaint in San Diego

Discussion in 'Other Residential Landlord & Tenant Issues' started by Julio Roman, Oct 25, 2020.

  1. Julio Roman

    Julio Roman Law Topic Starter New Member

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    In June of this year (2020), I purchased a townhome in a very nice gated community with an HOA in San Diego, CA. Before I purchased my home, I rented a similar townhouse just down the street in the same community.

    While setting up my television and surround sound system, my next door neighbor started pounding on the one common wall we share. Trying to be a good neighbor, I went to talk to them but they refused to come to their door. I tried going over to talk to them a couple of days later when I saw them pull into their garage. Again, they refused to come to the door.

    My neighbors complained to the HOA and security came out and walked around the building and came to my door. With the TV still on, the security personnel said they couldn't hear anything and filed a report stating this. As an engineer I have access to a calibrated and certified sound-level-meter and measured the sound at no more than 75 decibels. I can talk to a visitor in a normal conversational voice. The HOA said that if there is a second complaint they can fine me.

    I finally ran into my neighbor and she informed me that she has a medical condition that makes her very sensitive to sound. She said if this continues she will call an attorney. I understand this, but I did not pay to live in a home where I have to "walk on eggshells." I never play any music past 9:00 PM on weekdays or 10:00 PM on weekends.

    What is the law in San Diego, CA? What is reasonable? I love my home but I do not want to live like this.

    Thank you,

    Julio Roman
  2. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    This has nothing to do with laws. You live in an HOA. It's a contract issue. When you bought the home you agreed to be bound by the HOA CC&Rs and Bylaws. That's your contract. You gave up a certain amount of freedom for the imagined security of living in an HOA.

    If the HOA documents say you can be fined for a noise complaint then you can be fined for a noise complaint. Once that happens you can decide if you want to spend the money on a lawyer to fight it or spend the money on a set of headphones.

    If you think laws will help you, you can read the CA Civil Code starting with Section 4000 - Common Interest Developments:

    Codes: Code Search
    army judge likes this.
  3. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    This sounds like your neighbor's problem, not yours. Let your neighbor install soundproofing material and shut out the world outside.

    If it gets down to it, when your neighbor bangs on the wall make your own complaint of noise.
    Disabled Vet likes this.
  4. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    There is no law on this issue.

    Reasonable depends on all relevant facts and circumstances.

    Mistake #1 was buying a home with shared walls (especially without apparently seeking to meet with the person with whom the home shares a wall). Mistake #2 was buying into an HOA.

    I'm not really sure what to tell you. If your neighbor is a pain in the butt, then you have to live with that. I'd suggest reading the relevant HOA rules about a dozen times so that you can be sure whatever the HOA does is consistent with those rules. Also, I concur with both of the prior responses.

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