Noise Control

Just as litter degrades the landscape of the community, noise degrades the soundscape. The U.S. Census Bureau's "Surveys of Neighborhood Problems," conducted over the past three decades, has consistently placed noise among the top four issues of concern.

Noise can interfere with normal residential and business activities. Persistent exposure can result in psychological stress and, at high enough levels, it can damage hearing.


What Constitutes a Noise Disturbance?

Noise events may occur at random -- on occasions when a code enforcement officer with a sound level meter is not available. For those occasions, County law has a provision establishing a noise disturbance violation. The noise disturbance criteria are more subjective, and dependent upon the observations and testimony of witnesses and/or a code enforcement officer.

A noise disturbance, as defined by the  Montgomery County Noise Law (PDF), is any sound that is:

  • Unpleasant, annoying, offensive, loud, or obnoxious
  • Unusual for the time of day or location where it is produced or heard
  • Detrimental to the health, comfort, or safety of any individual or to the reasonable enjoyment of property or the lawful conduct of business because of the loudness

Under the law, it is unlawful to create a noise disturbance anywhere during quiet hours, including multi-family buildings and townhouses. The nuisance provision prohibits some noise disturbances anywhere at any time.

Noises associated with motorized vehicles (automobiles, trucks, motorcycles, dirt bikes and ATV’s) are regulated under the State Motor Vehicle Code by the Police, and not subject to enforcement under the Montgomery County Noise Control Law.

Interior Noise at Multifamily Properties

Montgomery County’s noise control law does not contain any specific sound limits applicable to internal noise between units in a multifamily property. Issues involving routine sounds associated with living in a multifamily setting, such as loud voices, heavy footsteps, doors slamming, dropping objects on the floor, children playing, or running pets are the responsibility of the building manager or property management company to resolve.

Please refer to your lease or the covenants for your condominium or cooperative housing association to understand the conditions related to the entitlement of peace and quiet enjoyment of your living space. Failure of the building manager or property management company to provide a living space without recurring sound-related disruptions may constitute a breach of the lease or association covenants.

The Montgomery County Office of Landlord-Tenant Affairs, 240-777-0311, can help with questions regarding your reasonable expectation of peace and quiet enjoyment of your living space.

Maximum Allowable Noise Levels in Montgomery County

*Measured outside at the property line

Weekdays: 7 am - 9 pm;
Weekends & Holidays: 9 am - 9 pm
Weekdays: 9 pm - 7 am;
Weekends & Holidays: 9 pm - 9 am
Non-Residential 67 dBA 62 dBA
Residential 65 dBA 55 dBA

Resolving Noise Control Issues

Step 1: Determine who to contact to report the issue:

Contact MC311 to:

  • Report noise violations occurring during regular business hours
  • Report noise disturbances from trash collection during quiet hours
  • Report noise disturbances from animals

Contact MC311

Contact the police non-emergency line at 301-279-8000 - To report the noise disturbances happening outside of regular business hours.

  • Complete the Two-Party Noise Complaint Form for noise complaints that are not witnessed by an enforcement officer. The law has a unique provision allowing residents to file a complaint through the form.

File a Noise Complaint

Types of Noise