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Neighbor Law

A guide discussing issues that may arise between neighbors on topics such as fencing, trees and noise.

 Noise & Nuisances


Nuisances

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.

Texas Law

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.

Understanding the Law

Noise

Noise is a common complaint in neighborhoods. While Texas law gives cities the ability to create local laws regulating noise, counties do not have the same ability. See the resources below for more information.

Attractive Nuisance

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. 

Who Can I Contact?

Nuisance complaints are generally filed with your local code enforcement or public health department. Complaints may also be filed with the Texas Department of State Health Services, who will then forward the complaint to your local agency (if available). If your area of the state does not have a local agency that can investigate, the Department will respond to the complaint themselves. Information on how to contact their office to file a complaint can be found at the link below.

E-books at the Texas State Law Library

You can borrow the e-books below with your library account. Don't have a library account? Texas residents can register for a library account online! Learn more about how to register online.