How Late Can Someone Play Music at a Backyard Party?

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If you are planning to hold a backyard party at your home, then you may want to keep party etiquette in mind. Inform your neighbors that you are having a get-together and invite them to join you. By informing them ahead of time, you may avoid angry or passive-aggressive reactions -- such as calling the police -- when they hear noise emanating from your house. Research the noise ordinances for your community ahead of time. Some neighborhoods require you to keep noise levels down by a certain hour.

Do Your Homework

  • Visit your local city government web page. Look for a noise ordinance page. You can also search for noise ordinance information by typing "noise ordinance" in the search box. In addition, call the main number of your local city hall office. A staffer can point you in the right direction as to the person to talk to about city noise ordinances.

Call the Police

  • Call your local police station's nonemergency number and ask an officer if your community upholds a noise ordinance policy. For example, some communities require outdoor parties to cease by 11 p.m. The police can tell you what time to turn down the music so that they do not visit you. In addition, they can tell you whether you need to fill out a form to notify the city government of outdoor events that may disrupt noise. If your form is on file, then the police know about your event and know they do not need to visit you until you violate the noise curfew of your community.

Talk to Your Landlord

  • Talk to your apartment leasing manager if you live in an apartment. Apartments often have noise ordinance rules that you need to follow -- especially if you are using a common area such as a backyard pool or terrace for your party.

Consider Your Neighbors

  • Consider the kind of neighborhood you live in. If there are a lot of families living in your neighborhood, then it is highly likely that a party that goes on all night in your backyard is not going to be tolerated. Furthermore, neighbors may tolerate a party on the weekends more than they would a party during a weeknight when their children need sleep for school and they need sleep for the next day's work. Finally, consider your home owner's association rules if you live in a neighborhood governed by an HOA. Your board president could direct you to the specifics of a noise ordinance if there is one. Some HOAs require you to fill out a form requesting exemptions to the community's noise ordinance should you host a noisy outdoor event.

Be Respectful

  • Start your backyard party early and end at a respectful time. Consider having a BBQ that begins at 6 p.m. and ends before midnight. If you want to extend your party after midnight, then move it inside or turn the music down. You can change the mood of a late-night party by putting on softer, more relaxing music -- such as jazz.

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