Published: Sept. 19, 2022

One of the most common citations students living off campus get is a nuisance party ticket. A nuisance party ticket is issued when a residence hosts a gathering that violates Boulder ordinances. A common reason for nuisance tickets is excessive noise. A nuisance ticket may result in a hefty fine and mandatory restorative justice courses. Here are some tips to lower your chances of getting a nuisance ticket at your Boulder residence.

Introduce yourself to neighbors

If you live off campus, introduce yourself to your neighbors and get to know them. Download and fill out these contact cards from Off-Campus Housing & Neighborhood Relations (OCHNR) to share with your neighbors or stop by their office in UMC 313 to pick up hard copies. Be sure to let your neighbors know if you plan to host a party in advance. This can give them the option to reach out to you with any concerns or issues before calling the police. 

Register your party

When you register your party with OCHNR, you are more likely to get a warning if the police are called about your party. Once you’ve registered, the police will call you with a warning if they receive a complaint and you will have 20 minutes to shut things down. And party registration is free! Visit the OCHNR website to learn how to register your party. 

Registering your party doesn’t guarantee you won’t get a ticket so you also want to take steps to ensure the police don’t get called. Contact the OCHNR office to learn more about the new orientation program for using the party registration program.

Watch your noise

If the police are called to your residence, it is often because of excessive noise. In the city of Boulder, you may be ticketed for unreasonable noise at any time of day. Unreasonable noise is defined as amplified sounds that can be heard from more than 100 feet away between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. and more than 200 feet away between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. Amplified sounds include music played on speakers, instruments played with amplifiers or speaking with a microphone or megaphone.  

Make sure any music or other noise is happening inside the house and not in your yard where it may disturb your neighbors. This includes speakers in your window. If you have speakers in your windows, they must face inside.You can also download a decibel measuring app (check out Decibel X) to see how loud your gathering is. Noise should not exceed 50 decibels from 11 p.m. - 7 a.m. and 55 decibels from 7 a.m. - 11 p.m.

Clean up your trash

Boulder code enforcement starts early in the morning. Make sure you clean up trash around your residence immediately after any gathering to prevent getting a ticket. Be sure to secure your trash on your property either in bear-proof containers or inside—even leaving a trash bag next to the trash can or dumpster could get you a ticket. Make sure to properly dispose of trash in trash or recycling bins even when not on your property. You can get free trash bags from OCHNR by stopping by their office in UMC 313.

Invite people you know

A good way to keep a handle on your party or gathering is to only invite people you know. This makes it easier to take responsibility for your party and communicate any issues to your guests. Remember that you are responsible for what happens at your residence. As a host, you can be responsible for guests and their actions, including actions that would warrant a nuisance ticket. 

Reach out to OCHNR if you have questions about nuisance tickets.