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How to Handle a Noisy Neighbor

No one wants to be that guy: the crabby downstairs neighbor banging on the ceiling with a broom handle, or the next-door neighbor yelling “keep it down” through the wall.

But you don’t have to keep your frustration bottled up and silently suffer your neighbor’s noise either. Here are three ways to handle a noisy neighbor and enjoy apartment living.

Lead by Example

Even if you don’t practice the drums well after 2 in the morning, there may be other things that aggravate your neighbors. Do you hit snooze on your alarm clock until your dog barks loud enough to wake you up? Or frequently have heated debates with your roommate? Before you accuse your neighbors of being inconsiderate, look at your own lifestyle. They might be turning up their music to drown out your noise.

Talk About It

Instead of having a shouting match through the wall, try ringing the doorbell and having a face-to-face conversation. Politely and respectfully tell your neighbor why the noise is bothering you. Do you have to go into work early the next morning? Do you work from home and have a conference call at a certain time each day? Do you have a small child napping? Whatever the circumstances, your neighbor probably isn’t aware of them. By having a simple conversation, you may be able to work out a solution that everyone is happy with.

Write a Note

People are usually more willing to work out a solution through verbal communication than written communication. There may be certain situations, however, when you are too embarrassed to talk to your neighbors about the noise. If this is the case, you can slip a note under their door. Just make sure that it is carefully worded so they don’t interpret it the wrong way. Some people might find humor in a sarcastic note asking them if they have a pet elephant or if they are trying to blow out their subwoofer while watching bad movies, but most will just find it snarky and obnoxious.

Contact the Office

If writing a letter or talking to the neighbor directly does not work, then it is time to speak with the community manager. You may be hesitant to do this, but it is important to remember that you pay rent just like your neighbor does. That is why you have a right to be comfortable where you are living. Excessive noise can make you feel uncomfortable in your own home. Your manager can speak to your neighbor and encourage him or her to keep the noise down. There are also measures that your manager can take if your neighbor refuses to comply. The manager can send a letter to the resident notifying them of an anonymous complaint and to keep noise levels to a reasonable minimum. Most leases contain a clause referring to proper conduct in the apartment in regards to noise, and the letter will make reference to that.

Have you had to deal with noisy neighbors? What techniques worked best? Share your apartment living tips below.