My neighbors' loud noise forced me to move

May 31, 2022 | 06:19 pm PT
My family moved over a month ago and we feel very lucky to get a new house in a neighborhood that is rather quiet.

Of my old neighborhood, it was a nightmare of noise.

The neighbors living in front of and to the left of us both operated pubs, and they let their customers yell and shout to their heart’s content until midnight or even 2 or 3 in the morning.

When I requested them to ask their customers to lower their voices so that my family could rest, explaining we had children as well as elders suffering from hypertension and diabetes, the neighbors accused me of trying to chase their customers away.

The neighbor to our right, meanwhile, was in the habit of throwing drinking parties in which they would sing karaoke with loud speakers from late afternoon until 11 p.m.

Such levels of noise for such a long time was having a long-lasting effect on the health of our family as a whole.

When I reported the problem to local authorities and even called the hotline 1022 to reach Ho Chi Minh City authorities, some staff would be sent over to hand out some feeble rebukes. Before we knew it, everything would return to normal.

As stated in the government’s Decree 167 issued in 2013 on administrative sanctions for violations in the field of social security, social order and safety, "actions that create loud noises causing a disturbance in residential areas or public places between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. the next day will be subject to a warning or a fine of VND100,000 to VND 300,000 ($4.31-12.94) for individuals; and twice that for organizations."

It would seem that handling noise pollution is a simple task, given many rules that exist to deal with it. But many residential areas continue to suffer this blight for a long time, and it does not promote the wellbeing of residents.

I hope that the authorities will soon pay serious attention to a serious problem in our urban areas so that hapless people like us are not driven out of neighborhoods by noisy neighbors who are allowed to pollute the neighborhood with impunity.

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