As New York City experiences ever denser housing, the problems of noise resound ever more clearly. The noise has gotten louder for many reasons. First more families have chosen to reside in this city and one of the loudest and unrepresented group of violators has been screaming children. Second, newly constructed buildings are built with more glass and less insulation and other materials that would block the noise making—thus, noise travels farther and louder. Third, to use every inch of the home, owners are altering their units to remove the guts of the residence which makes noise protections disappear. Fourth, many noise problems can be treated with wall-to-wall insulated carpeting in all places except for the bathrooms and kitchen. However, many residents refuse to carpet their homes and many rental, co-op and condominium leases and bylaws do not effectively require such means of carpeting in their leases, or bylaws or house rules.1
As a result, noise complaints have become popular and common, and, as such, noise litigation has spiked. Like the flash of a neon light,2 this article attempts to explain both the noise laws and remedies in New York.
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