How to File a Noise Complaint in Austin, Texas

I’ve studied how to file noise complaints in quite a few American cities, and I have to say Austin has one of the best noise complaint filing systems I’ve encountered so far.

Instead of citizens like you and me having to figure out which institution or department is the right one to call in order to handle the type of noise we want to complain about, Austin has one single, common place where they collect all the complaints, regardless of their nature, and then internally send it to the appropriate department.

In Austin, noise complaints fall under the jurisdiction of the Austin Code Department. And how do you file a noise complaint with the code department? Well, there are 4 options at your disposal, which are:

  • Calling 311.
  • Sending Austin 311 an email here.
  • Complete the Noise Complaint Request form here.
  • Or download the Austin 311 phone app and file your complaint there. The app is available for both Apple and Android phones.

Believe me, you can’t imagine how easy this is going to make your life if you reach the point where you feel like you need to file a formal noise complaint.

Since filing a noise complaint in Austin is really simple, I would like to continue this article by detailing how you can help the Austin Code Department be more efficient by filing your complaint properly and submitting all the information they will need in order to further work your case. 

Austin quiet hours

A much as a neighbor moaning their lawn at 4pm might bother us, it’s important to know that some necesary activities are noisy by nature, they must happen at some point and there’s very little we can do about it.

But you do have a right to complain if such activities take place between 10:30 p.m. and 7 a.m, which are the designated quiet hours by the Austin authorities.

Filing a noise complaint against a construction site

Construction projects are necessary for the city’s growth, but they can be noisy, especially when they operate outside permitted hours. To file a noise complaint against a construction you will need to collect the following information before submitting your claim through 311:

  • Note the construction site’s address.
  • Note the type of noise which is particularly bothering you. Is it a mechanical hammer that produces very intense noise for short periods of time? Or is it a power generator that produces a constant noise during the entire day?
  • The specific times when the noise occurs.

Once you submit your claim you’ll be able to track the status of your complaint using the reference number provided when you submit it. The Austin Code Department will investigate and take appropriate action.

Filing a noise complaint against a barking dog

A barking dog can be a persistent source of noise annoyance. If you’re dealing with a neighbor’s noisy pet, I would always recommend that you try to talk to your neighbor first to see if you can find a solution to the issue together. 

If this doesn’t work, then you’ll need to do the following:

  • Keep a record of when the barking occurs, and how long it lasts. If you can record videos, much better.
  • Try to find out if it’s just one animal producing the noise or several, and if there are several, try to find out how many.
  • Talk to other neighbors and find out if they are also bothered by the noise, and if they are, ask them if they would be willing to join your claim.

The Austin Animal Center will handle complaints related to noisy pets. An animal control officer will investigate the issue and work with the dog owner to resolve it.

Filing a noise complaint against a loud neighbor

Similar to the barking dog situation, try to have a polite conversation with your neighbor about the noise issue. They may not be aware of how loud they are.

If that doesn’t solve the problem, I recommend you do the following:

  • Find out the exact address of the neighbor who’s being rude (you don’t want a police officer showing up at the wrong door).
  • Keep a log of when the noise occurs. If you can record videos, much better.
  • Find out the nature of the noise. Is it a party? Is it DIY machines? Is he playing to be a NASCAR mechanic? Or wants to be the next Bon Jovi?

The Austin Code Department will investigate the complaint with the support of the Austin Police Department and, if necessary, issue warnings or citations to the noisy neighbor.

Filing a noise complaint against a music venue or event

Austin’s live music scene is part of what makes the city special, but occasionally, events or venues may generate excessive noise. Here’s how to address such situations:

  • Try contacting the Venue: These are not rude neighbors, they are people trying to run a business, and they have no interest in picking up fights or generating any bad press, so if there’s something they can do to fix the situation chances are they will work with you to fix it.
  • As with other complaints, keep a record of when the noise occurs, especially the hours and frequency. Here also, make videos if you can.

For music-related noise complaints, the Austin Music Office may conduct a review and recommend appropriate actions to mitigate the noise.

Filing a noise complaint against vehicle noise

Loud vehicles, such as motorcycles and car stereos, can disturb the peace in your neighborhood. To address vehicle noise complaints:

  • Take note of the vehicle’s make, model, and license plate number.
  • If you know who the owner of the vehicle is also collect as much information on him/her as possible, including name and address.
  • Keep a log of when the noise occurs. If you can record videos, much better.

Vehicle noise complaints are typically handled by the Austin Police Department. They will visit both your house and the vehicle’s owner’s address if you can provide it and may issue citations for excessive noise violations.


Living in a vibrant city like Austin comes with its fair share of noise challenges, but the city of Austin makes it really simple to file a noise complaint through one unique hub, which is 311 through its multiple channels. 

A system like this one, which might seem like common sense for many, is actually rare to find, so I urge you and all the people of Austin to treat this channel with respect. Try to solve the problems by talking to the offenders directly before filing a complaint, and if you must file it document it properly so that the appropriate authorities can get involved quickly and act efficiently.

Remember that by filing your noise complaint through the 311, you’ll be reaching the Austin Code Department, the Austin Police Department, Austin Animal Center, Austin Music Office and more, who will investigate and take appropriate actions to address your noise complaints. 

By following the steps outlined in this article, you can contribute to make this system even more efficient and keep the city of Austin free of unnecessary noise 🙂

Guillermo Carone. Author at Fight for Silence
Hi there! My name is Guillermo Carone, I’m an architect and urbanist by training, and I’ve been on a quest against noise since 2010, when I moved from the calm and quiet Barcelona, to the vibrant and noisy New York City. I have a special interest in how cities evolve and how to keep them a place for society to thrive.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *