Experts estimate that more than 5 million American households keep pet birds. However, while owners and enthusiasts may adore their feathered companions, other people living in an apartment block may not share the love. Various laws in New York protect tenants from noise pollution, which can include the issues that noisy birds may cause. If you're suffering with a noisy avian neighbor, find out what you can do about the issue.
Talking to your neighbor
You can often resolve problems by approaching your neighbor and having a friendly discussion. You are entitled to enjoy your property, and if a noisy bird disrupts your peace or sleep, you have every right to complain to your neighbor.
Approach the matter in a calm, friendly way. Politely explain why the noise causes a problem, and ask if there is any way you can work together to manage the issue. For example, your neighbor could agree to move the bird's cage away from an adjoining wall. Alternatively, it is often possible to install soundproofing materials to help cut the noise.
Some birds are noisier than others. For example, cockatiels, parakeets and Pionus parrots are not as noisy as other species. If you show interest in the subject and talk to your neighbor about alternatives, you can often find a way to resolve the issue without conflict.
Complaints to Animal Control
The Animal Control team in New York responds to reports from residents about possible animal welfare issues, but they will also deal with complaints about nuisance animals. While the department must often deal with complaints about noise from a dog, tenants can also report problems with other noisy pets, including birds.
If the department continues to receive complaints, an officer may visit the apartment and talk to the bird's owner about the issue. If a bird becomes a serious noise problem, the owner could face a fine. Animal Control can even confiscate and destroy nuisance animals.
Complaints to the landlord
Many New York landlords put a 'no pets' clause in tenants' leases. Bird owners will sometimes disregard these clauses, assuming that the term refers only to cats and dogs, but this is generally not the case. If a landlord states that a tenant is not allowed pets, the definition will normally apply to any species of animal.
However, if a bird in a nearby apartment causes a problem, you will need to take action quickly. In New York, a statute that people normally refer to as the 'Pet Law' means that tenants can still keep pets in certain situations when there is a no pets clause. Essentially, a landlord must enforce the clause within three months of becoming aware that a resident now has a pet.
As such, if a neighbor's noisy bird causes problems, you must report the matter to the landlord immediately. He or she must then enforce the clause by serving a Petition and Notice of Petition to the tenant within three months of his or her knowledge of the situation.
Complaining to your condo association
Condo associations in New York must attempt to solve noise disputes between neighbors. While a condo association is not always able to resolve the problem, every such organization must have a process and method for dealing with complaints. As such, if you cannot make a complaint to the landlord under a no pets clause, you should contact your condo association.
Condo association management groups can use different methods to resolve disputes. The association may use a committee to hear the complaint. Alternatively, the group may refer the complaint to a mediator. While these methods cannot guarantee the outcome you want, the condo association's involvement will sometimes influence nuisance neighbors to tackle the problem.
Pet birds can cause a serious noise nuisance in New York apartments, but there are various ways in which you can tackle the problem. Consider your options, and take the necessary steps to stop a noisy bird affecting your life.