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Can a landlord be fined for harboring a nuisance if his tenant keeps getting fined for noise violations?

Brian Freskos


In short, the answer is yes as long as the city you’re referencing has adopted an ordinance to that effect. But there is a process the police must follow.

In Wilmington, landlords can be fined up to $500 upon their tenants’ second noise violation as long as the first violation happened within the last 12 months and the landlord in question was notified about the issue.

But Lt. Ed Pigford, who supervises officers working the city’s eastern half, said that in practice, fines against landlords usually kick in on the third offense.

He explained that police commonly issue a written warning to tenants on the first offense. Upon a second offense, the police levy a $250 fine against the tenants and then send a registered letter to the landlord, notifying them that there have been noise issues at their property.

If a third offense occurs, the tenants are often charged criminally, and may additionally receive a $500 fine. The landlord is also fined $500.

But Pigford said it rarely gets to that point because most landlords correct the problem after being notified about it.

If you want to read the section of Wilmington’s city code that reference owner and occupant responsibility, visit WilmingtonNC.gov and click on “City Ordinances” near the bottom of the page. Then click on Chapter 6, Article II and scroll down to Section 6-32.


Can someone please explain the noise ordinance code in the Wilmington city limits and the county and how they are enforced?

I heard that all it takes to get a noise violation ticket is for someone to file/call in a complaint. Is this true?


User-contributed question by:
Richard Rhoads

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