Noisy Parties: What you need to know

It’s Thursday night. You have to work in the morning. It’s apparent by the noisy party coming from your neighbour’s house that they do not. You’ve tried to tell them to keep it down but the request has gone unheard. What to do now?

party complaints

The Saskatoon Noise Bylaw #8244 defines something as bothersome if it is:

  • Unreasonably loud or excessive
  • Any noise that unreasonably disturbs, injures, or endangers the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of reasonable persons of ordinary sensitivity
  • Any noise that is so harsh, prolonged, unnatural or unusual in time or place as to cause unreasonable discomfort to anybody within the neighbourhood from which the noises come from, or as to unnecessarily interfere with the peace and comfort of neighbours or their guests, or customers businesses, or as to detrimentally or adversely affect such residences or places of business.

If you find it meets one or more of these criterion, and you’ve tried talking to your neighbour (or feel that it wouldn’t resolve the matter if you did), call Police at (306) 975-8300 and an available officer will respond.

When Police become involved, they review all of the circumstances before making any further decisions. This includes considering; how close the sound is to sleeping facilities, either residential or commercial; where it comes from and where it is received or perceived; time of day or night the sound occurs; duration; volume; nature; whether the noise is recurrent, intermittent or constant; and if it emanates from an event or activity, such as a party or festival.

If the Police Officers are not able to make their own observations, then a witness statement from a complainant who is willing to go to court will be required to pursue a charge.

A charge under the Noise Bylaw may be warranted if the noise is considered unnecessary or unusual, and annoys, disturbs or injures others or can be considered harsh or prolonged in creating a discomfort to people in the neighbourhood.

If the noise or party is still active when Police arrive, they can respond in three ways:

  1. Issue a warning to the occupants
  2. Issue a $100 bylaw offence ticket
  3. Issue a summons to appear in court where a fine of up to $10,000 can be levied by the Judge

If the party has quieted down or Police are not able to attend right away, but you would still like to leave a complaint, you will be required to leave a witness statement describing the event and resulting complaint in detail. If a charge is laid, you must then be prepared to share that story in court.

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4 Responses to Noisy Parties: What you need to know

  1. Larry Tymchak says:

    What enforcement does the bylaw have with regards to businesses in a mall? Where a business turns up the volume of their music so that it is heard in the common area and interferes with other businesses dealing with their customers. I have brought this to the attention of some off duty officers and they said it would be treated as a nuisance call. Would a bylaw inspector investigate this situation?

  2. John Smith says:

    In general, a business playing loud music in a mall during normal business hours is perfectly fine! Even if they are total musical philistines, reasonable persons of ordinary sensitivity will not be unreasonably offended.

    It is absolutely is not a “noise that is so harsh, prolonged, unnatural or unusual in time or place as to cause unreasonable discomfort to anybody”. If they have their burglar or fire alarm going off and refuse to silence it that is a possible noise violation.

    Unlike residential parties that are noisy at “unusual in time”, people have no business sleeping at the mall (I guess except if you have something like a naptime business, maybe like a daycare, hotel or something like that, but honestly every reasonable person know that malls are noisy places, so not a good place for a business that needs silence to operate. )

    I’m assuming that if those off duty officers are reasonable people, what they mean by “treat it like a nuisance call” is it would be lowest priority and if they did end up get to it they would placate the crazy person that complained about music in the mall and take down the information and unless it turns out that someone’s ear drums got blown out they will likely leave without issuing any legal action.

    Please don’t waste law enforcement’s time complaining about the music playing in the mall.

  3. Edrick says:

    We live in a basement(an old house) and share the house with a noisy neighbors upstair. They make too much noise even until 11 in the evening. I already talked to them but nothing change. Can you please advice me what is the best thing to do. Thank you

    • Hi Edrick, Thanks for your question. If you’re having issues with neighbours in a rental unit, you can always call the Rentalsman. You could also contact the SPS Community Liaison Officer for the division that you reside in. Their contact information can be found on our website: saskatoonpolice.ca/contact/.

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