Can Neighbors Complain About A Trampoline? (A Legal Take)

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Neighbor disputes can be started by anything from trees to trampolines.

Which is handy because it is the latter we are going to focus on in this blog.

A trampoline can be great fun for kids, but it can also be noisy and potentially intrusive.

So today we are going to look at the subject of whether neighbors can complain about a trampoline.

Let’s dive in…

Can Neighbors Complain About A Trampoline?

Yes neighbors can complain about a trampoline, but whether it comes to anything will almost certainly be down to two factors. One, is it breaching any noise regulations (which is unlikely as noise regulations are primarily in place for the use of power tools and lawn mowers)? And two could it be considered an invasion of privacy?

If you, or your neighbor, buy a trampoline there are really two areas to be mindful of.

The first is noise nuisance and the second is privacy.

Of course anyone can complain about anything, the bigger question is whether there is any justification behind the complaint.

If it is you thinking about complaining I would always suggest that before you do so you see if you can come to a compromise with your neighbor by talking to them.

If not, then as mentioned there are two possible issues that might be considered problematic by the authorities.

ISSUE #1: Noise Nuisance

Child screaming with hands on ears

Pretty much every town or city in the developed world will have some kind of noise regulations in place.

They will put limits on the levels of noise that can be made, and the hours in which they can be made.

One of the activities that is usually affected by this is mowing the lawn, and a while back I actually prepared a guide fully explaining what time you can legally mow your lawn in every state in USA.

It is worth a look as it explains when noise restrictions are in place and where.

As a very general rule of thumb, they tend to be in place from around 9pm or 10pm to 7am on weekdays and then from around 9pm to 9am on weekends and holidays.

If you are not certain of the rules in your area then contact the city ordinance office to find out when its noise policy is in effect.

But the honest truth is, as long as the trampoline is not in use outside of these hours, it is unlikely that anyone playing on it would be exceeding noise limits that are generally in place for things like mowing the lawn and using power tools.

And this is backed up by two real estate lawyers who responded to a question on the Avvo website, regarding an issue with a trampoline in Arizona.

Tevis Steven Reich, a residential real estate lawyer, said:

What you are talking about is a “nuisance” claim. Given what you have said, it is unlikely that such a claim would succeed. You would need to demonstrate that the activity is unreasonable or so highly offensive to the average person that it constitutes a nuisance.

Whilst David W Degnan, a real estate attorney, added:

Chandler has a noise ordinance and disturbing the peace ordinance preventing “unreasonably loud noise.” I haven’t heard it and cannot say if the trampoline qualifies or not. However, I know of no case where a trampoline has been found to be unreasonably loud and based on personal experience with trampolines I don’t think a judge or jury would find it unreasonably loud.

In this case, probably the only option is to have a polite chat with your neighbor to see if you can reach a resolution.

ISSUE #2: Invasion of Privacy

Child jumping on trampoline

The only other area a trampoline could fall foul of is as an invasion of privacy.

So for instance, if the trampoline is positioned in such a way that anyone jumping on it can see into your yard it could be classified as breaching your privacy.

If you feel this might be the case you can contact city ordinances to see if the position of the trampoline breaches any city codes.

Or if you are a member of a Home Owner’s Association (HOA) you may have additional legal rights.

For instance some HOAs will have rules in place requiring trampolines to be installed a certain distance from the property line, and some may require approval before a trampoline is installed.

So as a first port of call speak directly to your neighbor to see if you can settle the situation amicably.

If that doesn’t work try contacting your HOA, to see if any rules are being breached. 

But remember HOAs only tend to enforce rules concerning the appearance of homes, they cannot legally do anything about excessive noise etc.

If this still has no effect you could try contacting your city hall to find out if any local by-laws are being broken.

Unfortunately if none are, then there is very little you can do.

Final Thoughts

INFOGRAPHIC Answering the Question Can Neighbours Complain About A Trampoline
Click infographic to enlarge.

It goes without saying that anyone can complain about anything, but the question of whether complaining about a trampoline will have any effect really comes down to whether any rules are being breached.

Any rules being breached will fall largely into two categories:

  1. Noise
    Noise ordinances vary from state to state, but tend to be in place from around 7am to 9pm on weekdays and around 9am to 9pm on weekends and holidays. Unless a trampoline is being used outside of these hours it is unlikely that anyone using a trampoline will be making enough noise to breach noise regulations.
  2. Privacy
    If a trampoline is positioned so anyone using it can see into your yard it might be classified as an invasion of privacy. Then there could be a case for taking action further, but you would need to check with city hall and/or your HOA if you are a member.

In any dispute like this, the best approach is to first try to reason with your neighbor and to see if you can come to a compromise.

If you can’t you need to establish if you have recourse for further action.

You are unlikely to for a breach of noise regulations, but could possibly for an invasion of privacy.

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