Summer means warm weather, longer days, and more time outside. It also means extra noise, which could lead to an increase in noise complaints. Here are some great ways to deal with the summer noise and the complaints that come with them.

Things to do now. Look over your noise based HOA rules, and adjust them if needed, such as changing or adding quiet hours, a policy on animal noise, outdoor noise, or anything else you think might come up this summer. Even if you don’t make the changes, make your noise rules available to everyone in you HOA so they cannot use ignorance as an excuse.

Dogs and noise complaints. If you don’t have a specific dog policy, try to follow the nuisance barking definition: barking, yelping, or whining for more than 5 minutes in any 1-hour period. While some people are fine with dogs barking during the day, when people are sleeping it can be more than inconvenient.

Noisy neighbors. If you get a complaint about excess neighbor noise during quiet hours, there are a few steps to take. First, have the person complaining talk to their neighbor about the noise and record the complaint. If the noisy neighbor doesn’t stop, bring the two parties together with a moderator from the HOA and see if a compromise can be reached. If not, consult your HOA rules and see what you can do; if anything. While you will want to try and help, you shouldn’t overstep your bounds. If you really want to do something about it, ask the person that made the complaint to attend the next board meeting and petition to have the noise-based rules changed to include the problem they experienced.

Going forward. Make sure to recheck your noise rules at least once a year, as they can change. While you don’t want to nit-pick too much, try to think outside of the box when coming up with scenarios you want to cover. Ask those living in your HOA for any recommendations or noise policies they would like to see implemented for more ideas. This will also help you do an informal survey on what noise problems your HOA is having so you can adjust the policies accordingly.