Barking dogs and Noise Laws

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Barking dogs and Noise Laws

Good Day, I have a neighbor who is running an underground dog shelter / rescue
on her property. She houses approximately 20 dogs maybe more on her
property and they bark, howl and whine all hours of the day and night. They
are always adding more dogs to the mix which compounds the issue with each
addition. This noise affects my home along with neighbors all around her
property from being woken up at 2am with howling at sirens or to hearing a
chorus of barking dogs while sipping morning coffee before leaving for work
with the large number of dogs on property the sounds can be quite loud. We
live in Spring Texas within Harris county but are not inside any city limits of
either Spring or Houston.

My questions is simply are there any ‘peace and tranquility’ laws on the Texas
civil code for home owners? Our subdivision has an HOA but unfortunately her
property is in the neighboring subdivision which does not have an HOA, my back
fence line is the boundary between the two subdivisions.

Asked on December 24, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The common law has a possible remedy for: it is called a lawsuit for "nuisance." If a property owner (or renter/tenant) is using a property in a way that is inappropriate for the neighborhood and which disturbs neighbors' peace and quiet, it is sometimes possible to sue them for one or both of a court order, barring the offending use and/or for monetary compensation.
Common examples of nuisance suits are for bars or restaurants in residential areas that have loud music and loud patrons too late at night, or when some sort of noisey and odor-producing manufacturing or commercial endeavor (a concrete plant; a rendering plant) is operating near residences. But a dog rescue/shelter in a residential area, if the dogs are allowed to bark/howl/etc. at all times of night and disturb neighbors, could also constitute a nuisance. 
If you want to explore this option, consult with an attorney; a nuisance suit can be a somewhat complex one, and if it's worth bringing, it is worth having an attorney bring it for you. If other neighbors are also affected, perhaps you can jointly retain the attorney, to share the cost.


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