For those of us who live in rental residential rental buildings with other people, you are bound to encounter at least one tenant or neighbour who is a bit noisier than the rest. In fact, that neighbour can get as noisy as a locomotive train. Whether it’s excessively loud music, lovemaking, or gossip forum. Here’s how to approach the situation without being an equally obnoxious neighbour.
It’s hard to tell what level of noise makes it through the walls and what stays put, so you do have to rely on your neighbors to some extent to really know if there’s a problem. That means summoning the courage to confront them about the noise issue directly.
This article looks at how to confront that noisy neighbour and yet not appearing confrontational; how to manage the situation; and your additional options should approaching the situation as a rational human being prove futile.
1. Communicate through the walls
When noise is a problem that’s keeping you awake at night, chances are you don’t want to make yourself presentable and head over to your neighbor’s apartment to complain. You want to be sleeping, not having an unpleasant conversation.
While that conversation may be inevitable, sometimes you can solve the problem without going too far. Just knock on the wall where the noise is coming from to demonstrate that loud sound does travel and sometimes that will be enough to get people to keep the noise level down. This happens mostly in tenement buildings; what is popularly known as face-me-I-slap-you.
2. Suggest a Plan
Most people are uncomfortable with having a conversation regarding any kind of noise, so telling someone to lessen the noise when they’re engaged in sexual activity is a more complex issue than the loud noise-making session itself. You run the risk of embarrassing your neighbours, sometimes so much that they’ll be in denial.
It’s also relevant that they do have a right to make noise so long as it’s not causing a significant disturbance, and your discomfort with the type of noise doesn’t really play into it. As with any noise complaint, the same tactics apply: ask politely for your neighbors to keep it down when it’s late, or shift their activities to an earlier time.
If you feel uncomfortable broaching the subject in person, you can always send a short and polite message. If the problem continues, however, you may need to handle the issue headlong.
So do you go round when a party is in full swing, I guess not. Do you go round when they have a hangover, definitely not. Do you wait for them setting off to work – if they do – or upon the return from work do you pounce on them as soon as they appear.
I think it is a really tough decision, but texting them or sending a message on whatsapp if you have their contact may just be a better alternative. And if you don’t have your neighbour’s contact, then you may have to collect their contact specifically for that purpose.
It is hard to understand why folks get home and then put that music on so loud and irritating.
Talk with other neighbours and see what they can advise or even they might join you in confronting the nuisances? Don’t get some loud music equipment and take them on! At the end of the day they just might not realise just how annoying they have been?
4. Report to your landlord/property manager
This should be your last resort. When you can’t manage the situation yourself, that’s what your building’s management is for. Most people don’t bother dealing with the issue themselves, because they’re afraid, and enlist the help of their landlord.
If the landlord or property manager is sane enough, he will either put a call across to the erring tenants or send out a letter notifying them of an anonymous complaint and to keep noise levels to a reasonable minimum.
Ordinarily, leases contain a clause referring to proper conduct in the apartment in regards to noise, and the letter will make reference to that. This means that if you’re having trouble dealing with the situation on your own, talking to your landlord can be especially effective because the landlord can write a letter stating that the noisy tenant is in violation of the terms of their lease.
That’s usually enough to scare stubborn noisemakers into submission.
However, you need to remember a few things. People are allowed to make noise during the day, and even during the evening. Some people draw the line at midnight and others a bit earlier. It depends on where you live, who you live with, and who’s managing the property.
When you move into an apartment, it’s good to ask about the noise policies and when quiet hours are expected.
Hopefully this post has provided some useful advice for dealing with the unfortunately too common problems of dealing with noisy neighbors.