The Noisy Business Next Door. How can an attorney help me?

Blue and yellow doors against grey scale brownstones

Living in a City or near businesses means that some noise will sneak into our houses.  Sporadic blasts of car horns, the clacking sound of the L train, and the hustle-bustle of a large and vibrant city are something that Chicagoans become accustomed to.

At some point, the relationship changes and the once-beloved bar or business becomes a loud inconvenience with other ancillary problems like parking, smells, crime etc…. 

The Delicate Balance When Residents and Businesses Share the Neighborhood

A balance must be found between the resident’s desire for quiet enjoyment of their property and a business owners’ right to run their establishment.  Business owners have a right to make a living, and the community has a right to have quiet and the ability to sleep at night.  Finding a happy medium can be challenging.

This article will discuss what you can do if a business (like a restaurant or bar) is disrupting your neighborhood

What Impact Does a Disruptive Business Have on Your Neighborhood?

A loud club, never-ending construction, or even a building’s loud ventilation system has several detrimental effects on you and your neighbors.  Here are just a few of the things that result from a disruptive business next door.


Quiet Enjoyment

The most immediate impact of a disruptive business next door is your ability to live a normal life. While a subway train can come in at about 120 decibels and a live rock music show could be 130 decibels, a noisy restaurant is not far behind at about 80 decibels. 


Property Values

Noise from a business next door will impact your property value.  Ask any real estate professional. They will tell you that properties near noise sources, like airports, railway lines, and busy streets, are typically valued lower in the market. 

What Can You Do About It?

It is a sticky situation when you want to keep a neighboring business’s noise level down while at the same time not causing a war with your neighbors.


Often, residents will resign themselves to the existence of the noise and do nothing.  Or sometimes, in a fit of anger, someone will abruptly call the cops.  This all-or-nothing reaction is not ideal.  The best tactic is to take a graduated approach and start with a soft touch. 


First, try to work it out with the neighbor or business owner directly.  Discuss the issue respectfully and with tact – you might even want to come with a peace offering like cookies – so the neighbor is aware of the problem.  After that initial discussion, if there is no change then you should contact a lawyer.  There are many ways to proceed and usually, the first step for a lawyer is a demand letter.  If they ignore counsel’s letter, then your lawyer needs to come up with creative strategies.

Getting a Disruptive Business to Act Neighborly

Sometimes neighbors, particularly commercial neighbors, are unresponsive to reasonable complaints about noise or other disruptions.  And with business neighbors, sometimes the only thing that will make them listen is working with their regulators.


Any club, bar, or restaurant that serves liquor needs a liquor license.  Thus, retaining an attorney who understands liquor law and other municipal regulations can help you hold a business accountable for its actions.

Ready to Talk to a Lawyer?

To learn more about what the right representation can do for you and your neighborhood, contact me today, only call if you live in Illinois.  I have the experience you need to help you push back against businesses that disrupt your neighborhood.


The information in this blog post is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. You should not make a decision whether or not to contact an attorney based upon the information in this blog post. No attorney-client relationship is formed, nor should any such relationship be implied. If you require legal advice, please consult with an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.


Jordan Matyas

Jordan Matyas

LinkedIn | Google

Jordan Matyas is a lawyer, lobbyist, and Founder of 1818 Legal, an Illinois professional licensing defense law firm he created in 2014. With more than 18 years of experience practicing law, he represents clients in a wide range of legal matters, including professional license defense, administrative law, land use and zoning, and state, local, and municipal law.

Jordan received his Juris Doctor from the University of Illinois — Chicago School of Law and is a member of the Illinois Bar Association.