How to file a Noise Complaint in the city of Los Angeles

If you live within its boundaries, the City of Los Angeles has strong laws to protect you from annoying noises, such as a loud neighbor, gas leaf blowers, and grinding trash trucks. The City set a “quiet time” from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. for its residents through strict noise limitation laws based on the time of day and decibels of noise.

LA is so serious about controlling noise, they even created the Noise Enforcement Team (NET) as a unit within the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and it assigned alleged violations to NET and other departments to make it easier to file a complaint.

City noise laws accurately reflect California and County of Los Angeles laws that control noise pollution.

The City’s policy in its fight against noise pollution is stated in the noise ordinance:

“It is hereby declared to be the policy of the City to prohibit unnecessary, excessive, and annoying noises from all sources subject to its police power. At certain levels, noises are detrimental to the health and welfare of the citizenry and in the public interests shall be systematically proscribed.”

Unless otherwise herein provided, the following exterior noise levels shall apply to all receptor properties within a designated noise zone:

Noise ZoneDesignated Noise Zone Land Use (Receptor property)Time IntervalExterior Noise Level (dB)
INoise-sensitive areaAnytime45
IIResidential properties10:00 pm to 7:00 am (nighttime)45
7:00 am to 10:00 pm (daytime)50
IIICommercial properties10:00 pm to 7:00 am (nighttime)55
7:00 am to 10:00 pm (daytime)60
IVIndustrial propertiesAnytime70

If the noise sounds like someone is hurt or that a crime is being committed, immediately call 911.

How to file a complaint with NET

If you find yourself in a situation where you are thinking about filing a noise complaint, it is likely that your best next step is to file it directly to NET. This unit handles neighbor noise complaints as well as complaints about nightclub noise and noise from untimely trash or delivery trucks or construction. They will be able to inform you and handle your claim better and faster than any other branch of law enforcement.

NET’s direct line is 213-996-1250.

That being said, there are a few exceptions to the rule, so let’s take a look at what NET recommends for each specific case:

Noisy neighbor complaint

If you have a complaint about a neighbor’s loud TV or a loud party, NET suggests that you call the non-emergency police number (877) ASK LAPD (275-5273) and request the help of an officer in your area.

In most cases, the problem will be resolved by one visit. Having a police officer show up at your neighbor’s shows their noise is really bothering you, and that you aren’t simply complaining for the sake of it.

Party house noise

If the noise is coming from a frequent offender, like a party house, then call NET.

Party houses are repeatedly rented for one a one-night large, loud party. If NET gets several complaints about a party house, it will refer the matter to the LA City Attorney’s Neighborhood Prosecution Division for investigation and possible prosecution.

In 2018, the City passed a new ordinance that provided that the City could file a criminal misdemeanor complaint against the owner and/or renter. In upscale neighborhoods such as Hollywood Hills, party houses were a huge problem during the Covid pandemic because nightclubs were closed.

Nightclub noise

Noise from nightclubs must not exceed 5dB of the ambient noise level on the premises of any other occupied property. If you live near a bar or nightclub which exceeds this 5-decibel threshold, contact NET directly.

Construction noise

You probably agree the city of Los Angeles seems to always be under construction. While that is actually true, the ordinance limits contractor’s work hours to 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and federal holidays. No work is allowed on Sundays.

There are some authorized exceptions to this rule. Imagine the main water pipe in your street broke and you have no running water. You will probably be happy to tolerate a bit of after-hours or Sunday noise if that means getting the water working again ASAP.

Trash and garbage pick-up

If the bin is within 200 feet of a residence, the ordinance limits pick-ups to between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. Any garbage pick-up before or after that can be potentially reported to NET.

Keep in mind coordinating the garbage pick-up for an entire city, especially one the size of LA, is no easy task. If someone from the crew gets sick, or if a truck breaks down, that can alter the schedule of the pick-ups. So if this happens once in a while, please be considerate of the city cleaning services. That being said, if the garbage truck is consistently picking up the trash before or after the allowed time frame, contact NET to let them know about it.

Deliveries by vehicles

If the delivery is within 200 feet of a residence, the ordinance limits pick-ups to between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m.

If you have a noise complaint about a delivery vehicle, contact NET directly. If NET cannot obtain compliance, it can refer the matter to the City Attorney for further action.

Complaints and concerns about animals

Dogs are men’s best friend, but that’s when men aren’t at work. A lot of pet owners leave their pets alone at home for extended periods of time while they head to work. This can be stressful for the animal, and often dogs will manifest this stress by barking or crying, which can be really bothering other neighborhoods.

Barking dog complaints and other issues involving animals should be submitted to the City’s Animal Care and Control Center nearest to you. A complaint must be made in writing.

Complaints about gas leaf blowers

These especially loud devices cannot be operated within 500 feet of a residence. Gas leaf blowers can be particularly annoying because, unless working with a professional gardening or cleaning crew, most people tend to take care of their lawns during the weekend, when their neighbors are probably home and trying to get some rest.

If you have a noise complaint about a gas leaf blower within the city of LA, NET recommends you call the Bureau of Street Services at 213-847-6000.

Complaints about fixed equipment

The ordinance caps power equipment and tools at 75 decibels. These can be power generators, mechanic saws, drills, etc. Even air conditioning machines.

Complain about these types of noises should be directed to the Department of Building and Safety, at 213-252-3039.

Complaints about airplane noise

This one is a tough one to fight. Airports are vital to the good functioning of a major city, and some noise disturbances are unlikely to change anything. Airports are usually planned relatively far from any habitable areas. However, as cities grow over the years and neighborhoods expand, they get closer and closer to these airports, sometimes to the point where airplane noise can be a real issue. That being said, if the airport was already there when your house was built, it’s hard to argue that the airport is at fault.

That being said, it is possible that an airport changes its usual approach patterns, or that they start doing business with other types of aircraft which didn’t use to fly over your neighborhood before. In those cases, you do have a chance of changing things, which starts by filing a complaint to Los Angeles Airport Noise Complaint at 424-646-6475

Other applicable noise laws

All the above apply specifically to the city of Los Angeles. However, politics are rarely that simple, and in this case, you might also need to consider state laws and/or county laws.

Without diving into it in detail, this is what the state of California and the county of Los Angeles have to say about the invisible threat of noise pollution and how they try to protect residents’ quiet time.


First, the State makes it a criminal offense to “Maliciously and willfully disturb another person by loud and unreasonable noise.”

Second, in 1978, the State empowered local governments to pass laws that meet the needs and desires of their residents to regulate noise.

County of Los Angeles

The County responded by passing a comprehensive noise control ordinance that includes this statement as part of its Declaration of Policy:

“It is determined that certain noise levels and vibration are detrimental to the public health, welfare and safety and contrary to the public interest, and therefore the board of supervisors of the county does ordain and declare that creating, maintaining, causing or allowing to be created, caused or maintained any noise or vibration in a manner prohibited by or not in conformity with the provisions of this chapter is a public nuisance and shall be punishable as such.”

County of Los Angeles noise control ordinance

Let’s try to understand that most of us consider our quiet time to be part of our personal environment. Most of us do not want our environment interrupted by screams from a party house, annoying sounds blasting from a neighbor, or the roar of a gas leaf blower. This common treasuring of our common time makes it easier to reach a consensus on a local noise law that reduces noise pollution and improves the environment where we live.

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I'm W. Dan Bell, a semi-retired attorney living in North Carolina. I am married with two daughters. I enjoy traveling, through-hiking in the UK, writing, spending time with my family, and playing Texas Holdem.

3 responses to “How to file a Noise Complaint in the city of Los Angeles”

  1. Hector antunez says:

    I live at 2420 e michgan Ave apt 209 the person living at 109 every day loud music thank you call me

  2. […] a last resort, local noise ordinances may allow you to file formal complaints with […]

  3. Hello Hector,

    Really sorry to hear about your situation.

    I assume you’ve already tried talking to your neighbor and that didn’t work. Have you tried your building management?

    If you want to file a noise complaint it is you who needs to start the process by calling the non-emergency police number (877) ASK LAPD (275-5273). (the police is not going to call you first, so I’m going to delete your other comment where you shared your phone number to protect your privacy).

    If a patrol car is available they’ll send it to your location and a police officer will talk to your neighbor. If that does not help they will be able to give you more information about the steps to follow.

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