Nuisance is a common term used to refer to situations that may cause a neighbor to feel inconvenienced or annoyed. Many types of nuisances are regulated by both state and local laws.
Below you will find references to areas of Texas law that govern nuisances, or issues related to nuisances. The list of laws we provide on this page is not exhaustive as there are numerous state and local laws related to nuisances. The list we have created below are laws that we feel citizens may run into more frequently in their daily lives. Please contact the library if you need help locating any additional laws on nuisances. If you find these statutes difficult to understand, please see the Understanding the Law resources below for a "plain English" explanation of these laws.
Nuisances are also regulated by Texas municipalities. Be sure to also check your local code of ordinances to see if any additional laws exist. See our Municipal Laws and Ordinances page for assistance locating your local laws.
Noise is a common complaint in neighborhoods. Texas law gives cities the ability to create local laws regulating noise. Counties, however, do not have the same ability and must rely on state law to govern noise.
In addition to these laws, property owners' associations may have rules within their community related to noise.
See the resources below for more information.
The right to quiet, peaceable enjoyment of a rental property is an implied “covenant,” or promise, under the law. Many written leases also contain a clause guaranteeing a tenant's ability to live peacefully in their rental property.
This covenant prevents a landlord from disturbing their tenants. It also makes the landlord responsible for other tenants who create disturbances. It does not make a landlord responsible for disturbances by strangers or people who do not also rent from them.
If your landlord's actions or inaction regarding other tenants is disturbing you in your rental, you may have the right to relief. A lawyer can advise you about how to proceed and what you might be entitled to. Our Legal Help page can help you find a lawyer or connect you with legal aid options.
The attractive nuisance doctrine is intended to protect children who are too immature to appreciate the dangers presented by manmade objects or conditions. When an attractive nuisance exists, the landowner must take reasonable steps to locate dangerous artificial conditions and eliminate the danger or otherwise protect children. For liability to arise under the doctrine in Texas, four elements must be met. See the resources below for more information.
For complaints related to noise, contact your local law enforcement agency for assistance.
All other nuisance complaints can be filed with your local code enforcement or public health department. If your area of the state does not have a local agency that can investigate, complaints related to accumulated rubbish, abandoned property, tires, mosquitoes, high weeds, and other unsanitary conditions may be filed with the Texas Department of State Health Services. Information on how to contact their office to file a complaint can be found at the link below.
Please note that the Department cannot investigate noise complaints.