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Apartment Living: How to Handle Noisy Neighbors

Guest January 24, 2013 Renter Resources No Comments

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Guest post from Rocket Lease.

 If you’ve ever lived in an apartment, then there is little doubt that you’ve had to deal with noisy neighbors at least once before. Never is this truer than when you are living in an apartment during college where parties, loud music, drunken yelling, slamming doors, and other loud occurrences are commonplace. But even when you move on from living with roommates and settle down into your own pad, noise from next door can be a continuing problem: crying babies, barking dogs, and that same throbbing music and late-night partying.

As sucky as it is, noisy neighbors are just a fact of life where apartment living is concerned. Luckily, there are a few simple ways to deal with the noise problem without coming across as ‘that guy.’

Assess the Situation

How noisy is your neighbor actually being? Is the noise unreasonable? Are they noisy at unreasonable times? Take a few minutes to collect your thoughts and access the situation. You don’t want to confront them and come across as the apartment-complex-noise-nag.

If the problem is loud music at all hours of the night, then you’ll probably need to move on to the next step. If it’s more like a baby crying a few times per night or the occasional bark of a dog, then you’re probably just going to have to put up with it. Invest in a quality pair of earplugs if it really is keeping you up at night.

Bang on the Wall

It sounds a little childish, but banging on the wall when your neighbors are being too noisy really can have the desired results, especially if the problem is occurring at night and you don’t want to get out of bed to handle it. Most of the time people don’t actually know that they are being too noisy – it is hard to tell how loud you’re being from someone else’s apartment – and a hearty bang could shut them up quickly.

Talk to Your Neighbor

This step goes along with the one mentioned above – you need to actually let your neighbor know that they are being too loud. Chances are that they don’t know. Most of the time simply stopping by and bringing up the problem is enough to quiet a noisy neighbor. It is definitely almost always best to contact your neighbor first before your landlord when dealing with noise.

Write Them a Letter

If your noise problem still persists even after talking to your neighbor, you should sit down and write them a letter. Propose a ‘noise plan’ in your letter. For example, you could suggest that they can keep their music on/do whatever they’re doing that is noisy until a certain time, say eleven, during the workweek. After that, you’d like them to keep quiet. A formal letter that doesn’t accuse them of anything just could be what you need to get the message across.

Contact Management

Sometimes people just don’t get it. Actually this seems to happen far more often than it should. If this is the case with your noisy neighbor, then you might need to take more serious action. Before contacting the police, you should contact your landlord/property management and let them know about the problem.

While it’s not engraved in stone that your landlord is responsible for noisy tenants, they will probably be willing to help you fix the problem. Be certain to explain the steps that you have already taken to fix the problem (you might want to leave out the banging on the walls bit), and explain that they haven’t had the desired effect. Your apartment manager will very likely write the offenders a letter, or give them a call, that references the unreasonable noise section of their lease. Most renters – especially young, college-aged ones – will fix their noisy ways quickly when management is involved.

Things to Remember

When dealing with loud neighbors, it is important to remember that they are allowed to make some noise. In fact, some noise is almost always allowed during the day and even during the evening. The night-time is where ‘excessive noise’ really comes into play. The cut-off time for noise will vary depending on your location, the people you live with, and who is managing your property. It’s important to keep in mind that a little music at 10pm probably doesn’t warrant a noise disturbance!

There will sometimes be those noise complaints that you can’t fix. However, they are few and far between, and the tips above should help you with noisy apartment neighbors in just about every instance.

 This guest post was submitted by RocketLease.com. Rocket Lease makes it easy for landlords to use online applications to screen prospective tenants. It automatically runs credit reports, background checks, and eviction histories, saving property managers time and money.



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