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How to deal with noisy neighbours?

RialeRiale Registered User
edited July 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
So some new tenants moved in above my apartment in the complex I've been in for about a year. The last tenants were a little loud, but it wasn't too bad. The new tenants, however, have super loud sex at least 2 out of every 3 days. I get a good 30 minutes to an hour of boxsprings squeaking and headboard thumping. It's loud enough to be heard over a television or computer game.

Normally I'd just go up there and ask them to keep it down, but due to the nature of the uh, activity, I'm not sure what to do. I can't just tell them 'don't have sex', and because this is a pretty bad neighborhood I'm concerned that any complaints I make could lead to retaliation (there's a lot of theft/vandalism in the complex already).

Does anyone have suggestions for getting these people to calm down? Beyond just buying them boxsprings that aren't loud as shit.

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Posts

  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    You don't have to tell them what noise is bothering you; they'll know.

    Just stop by and say you're below them and sometimes their TV or music is really loud at night.

    Excision wrote: »
    My girlfriend is going down tonight!

    Steam:MichaelLC
  • webofinkwebofink Registered User regular
    Don't identify yourself to them. Leave a note under their door with an exact timetable of the last few days worth of activities, along with anything that was audible and decipherable. e.g. 1:14am "oh god oh god oh god"

    Ask them to leave their door unlocked next time so you can join in.

    It's dead, Jim.
  • Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User
    edited July 2011
    The normal response here is clear, polite, up front communication. However, I recently tried that with someone who sounded like he was trying to destroy his speakers in the parking lot. Holy fucking shit did he get aggressive with me.
    Do you know the neighbors at all? Do you get any sort of vibe of "this dudes going to punch me because he just likes punching things"?

    Skoal Cat on
    ceres wrote: »
    Skoal Cat is correct.
  • RialeRiale Registered User
    Skoal Cat wrote:
    The normal response here is clear, polite, up front communication. However, I recently tried that with someone who sounded like he was trying to destroy his speakers in the parking lot. Holy fucking shit did he get aggressive with me.
    Do you know the neighbors at all? Do you get any sort of vibe of "this dudes going to punch me because he just likes punching things"?

    this is mainly my concern. i've had no issue talking to neighbors in other places I've lived at (although that rarely solved the problem long term), but I don't know the new tenant, and I don't think I would ask anyone in this neighborhood the time of day, let alone confront them about something.

    33c9nxz.gif
    Steam | XBL: Elazual | Last.fm
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    I adhere to the "you can be as loud as the hell you want when you're making love" rule. If you can hear them fucking, the landlord needs better sound proofing.

    "Well, look at this. Appears we got here just in the nick of time. What's that make us?"
    "Big Damn Heroes, Sir."
    "Ain't we just."
  • GirlPantsGirlPants Registered User
    Dude below me liked to write dub step all day with super bass speakers. I asked him to please turn it down or use headphones. We are friends now. I recommend doing the same.

  • MegaMan001MegaMan001 CRNA Boston, MARegistered User regular
    I was going to roll in here all "Go tell them to shut the fuck up. It is your space too. Up front honest communication face to face. The hell with awkwardness!"

    Then you said what the noise was.

    I think you get to have sex the way you want to have sex and if you can hear them, just put in some ear plugs.

    I used to hear my neighbors banging, like clockwork, every morning at 0900 just as I rolled home from the night shift. Then I met the guy. He was 69 years old, post heart attack, with a fucking left ventricular assist device.

    More power to people having sex.

    I am in the business of saving lives.

    camo_sig2.png
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    Is it just normal noise level sex and bad sound proofing? I mean, if there's not much more to do other than not have sex, I don't know what you can expect them to do. I mean If shes screaming bloody murder that's different, if its just the mattress and headboard for 30 minutes? I don't know... I guess this is just college life talking, but I could just take a walk or something.


    Unless you are asking people to stop yelling during sex, you are asking them to either buy a mattress, which is no small thing, or have sex anywhere but their bed, which shouldn't be up to their neighbor for 30 minutes of inconvenience a day.

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  • mr_michmr_mich Registered User regular
    I had terrible neighbors once. Next door a couple moved in and they would blast their music with crazy bass all day. They said I was just being a dick, and oversensitive, and a grumpy old man (I'm 23) even though the previous tenants never made a peep. I never met the previous tenants because neither of us made too much noise. I went over probably 6-7 times to confront them, and they always played dumb. I got the "sure, I'll turn it down..." treatment and then within a few hours it'd be just as loud again. Sometimes (probably my own paranoia) I was sure they cranked it up just to piss me off.

    That being said, the couple above me had complaints when I had people over to party and they came down and asked us to turn it down a notch, and we obliged. I'm a pretty reasonable person, so it's not something I'd get aggressive about. That being said, if your neighbors strike you as unreasonable you have no recourse. Arguing with neighbors about noise is basically like nuclear war, it's mutually-assured destruction or bust.

    My advice would be to get to know them first, not in the context of complaining. Say "Hey, I wanted to make sure that my guitar wasn't too loud" or something, even if you don't have a guitar. This will at least make you appear like a friendly, considerate neighbor. After another "hello" in the hallway or something, you should be on good enough terms to ask them to keep it down. This should defuse some animalistic neighbor you have that would otherwise punch you. The important thing is to make the complaint seem like a genuine concern from a fair/nice dude, rather than a peeve from an overbearing, entitled neighbor.

    I would strongly advise against leaving a note on the door. It's a universally-regarded passive-aggressive move. All it takes is one neighbor to spot you before you're known as "that guy" who bitches and can't sack up to actually confront someone.

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  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    Crazy bass all day is a lot different than sex for a reasonable duration in a poorly sound proofed building, though. Its an important distinction (if that's whats happening). Like I said, unless there is screaming involved I don't really think its comparable.

    lma_iphone_icon.pngAA_iphone_icon.pngtwittersolid.pngtumbrsolid.png
  • mr_michmr_mich Registered User regular
    I can't speak to the OP, but "poor soundproofing" kinda comes with the territory these days when you're renting.

    It's pretty rare to be able to pick your landlords/leases. It's not like when you're renting, you can do a sound test to see how much sex/bass/whatever you'll hear. As a result, you will get stuck with noisy neighbors and you won't have recourse.

    That being said, if it was anything other than sex (my upstairs neighbors sounded like they were raising ponies/goats/dinosaurs) I'd be more inclined to act on it. The last thing you wanna do is intrude on someone else's sex though, same as you'd hate for them to intrude on yours.

    Ace in the hole though; tell them congrats and that you enjoy fapping it to their audible rituals.

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  • RialeRiale Registered User
    Yeah, the more I think about it the less I really want to do. It really only bothers me because of the uncomfortableness of it. Also, I think a lot of my discomfort might be stemming from issues in my own love life, and hearing someone else have success is never fun. I'll just learn to take a walk to switch on the headphones

    33c9nxz.gif
    Steam | XBL: Elazual | Last.fm
  • Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User
    edited July 2011
    edit: Shitty idea removed
    See below

    Skoal Cat on
    ceres wrote: »
    Skoal Cat is correct.
  • Evil_ReaverEvil_Reaver Registered User regular
    I had the exact same issue with one of my neighbors recently. We live in a downtown building full of lofts, so he built a loft bed (think: bunk bed without the bottom bed) so he could have more floor space. Well, his loft bed put his bed 3 feet from his ceiling, which also measured out to be 6 feet directly below my bed (our lofts have the same floor plan and the layout facilitates most people using the same area as their "bedroom"). Anyway, everything was cool until he got a girlfriend.

    And they had sex.

    Loud, angry sex.

    Like, so loud that they sounded like they were in my loft.

    And they had sex all the time.

    Early in the morning. Late at night. 3 AM.

    Multiple times a day.

    That got old fast, so one afternoon I went downstairs (when they weren't having sex) and had the following conversation with my neighbor:

    (Keep in mind that we had already met and have occasional conversations in the hallway.)

    "Hey [neighbor], do you have a few minutes? I wanted to talk to you about something."

    "Sure, [Evil Reaver]."

    "Do you mind if I step inside? It's kind of personal and I don't want to embarrass anyone."

    "Come on in."

    And then I told him that he and his girlfriend are having sex at an unreasonable volume at inappropriate times. I explained that I didn't care that they was having sex, just that I didn't want to feel like I was participating in it. He understood and acknowledged that we all need to abide by the building's quiet time hours and that he would talk to his girlfriend about it.

    The good news is that in the 5 months since we talked, I've only heard them having sex twice (and I didn't complain either time). I think the reason why it worked is that we're both adults (I'm 29, he's in his 40s) and I approached him when I wasn't angry. You can't have this conversation with your neighbor when you're raging mad at what's going on. You need to take time to cool off and figure out exactly how you're going to frame your complaint. I was super, over the top nice about it because sex is a sensitive topic.

    Finally, leaving a note or blasting music/porn are inappropriate, passive-aggressive responses. You need to be an adult and speak to your neighbor face to face or just deal with it. Don't involve your landlord until you've actually had a conversation with the guy.

    XBL: Agitated Wombat | 3DS: 2363-7048-2527
  • RialeRiale Registered User
    Yeah, I wouldn't resort to retaliation and I don't want to leave a note. I don't, however, really want to come face to face in a confrontation with any tenants in this building, so for now I'll just leave it alone. Case in point, just tonight a nearby tenant apparently beat up his girlfriend and kicked her out of the apartment, at which point she began screaming at him, and people called the cops. this kind of stuff is a weekly occurrence, so next time I hear the squeaking and slamming I'll just put on my noise cancelling headphones and try to drown it out.

    33c9nxz.gif
    Steam | XBL: Elazual | Last.fm
  • DisrupterDisrupter Registered User regular
    The way I would look at it is, put yourself in their shoes.

    What is a bigger inconvenience-

    a) hearing loud sex once a day for 30 minutes at reasonable times where you can at least drown some of it out with TV, music, videogames or god forbid...headphones.

    b) Being all worried that you are making too much noise every time you have sex, so that you arent focusing on each other and the awesomeness of the moment and are instead focused on "shhh we cant make too much noise."

    IMO the latter would be a far far worse incovenience. If you feel the same, I would just suck it up. If not then feel free to say something to them.

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  • BoomShakeBoomShake Registered User regular
    While your whole building seems to be a bit more… active, making this relatively small in comparison, I'm still curious as to why people seem treat neighbor noise from sex differently on the 'deal with it' spectrum than if it was from any other activity.

  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    Riale, if it's just sex, there's not much you can do about it. It's sort of one of those unspoken rules with apartment life.

    If they're launching fireworks in there because that is their fetish, that is different, but squeaking floorboards and boxsprings are normal. As for the bass and TV, feel free to leave a note. They'll probably know who it is coming from anyways depending on the structure of the apartments. If it keeps up let your landlord know.

  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    BoomShake wrote:
    While your whole building seems to be a bit more… active, making this relatively small in comparison, I'm still curious as to why people seem treat neighbor noise from sex differently on the 'deal with it' spectrum than if it was from any other activity.

    Because the activity itself can reverberate through walls and floors quite easily. It is not a "normal" thing to do to expect people to not have sex. Not everyone can buy a house. How would you feel if you were told you could only have really quiet sex in missionary position at 2pm ?

    bowen on
  • BoomShakeBoomShake Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    bowen wrote:
    BoomShake wrote:
    While your whole building seems to be a bit more… active, making this relatively small in comparison, I'm still curious as to why people seem treat neighbor noise from sex differently on the 'deal with it' spectrum than if it was from any other activity.

    Because the activity itself can reverberate through walls and floors quite easily. It is not a "normal" thing to do to expect people to not have sex. Not everyone can buy a house. How would you feel if you were told you could only have really quiet sex in missionary position at 2pm ?

    That's way over simplifying. "Being considerate of your noise" and "not doing X activity at all" are very different things. Just as one would move their bass away from an adjoining wall and potentially raise it on spikes, there's measures one can take to mitigate some of the noise here. For example, headboard banging? Move the bed a few inches off the wall and properly secure the headboard so it's not wobbly. Boxspring so squeaky it can go through a floor and be heard over a normal volume tv (which probably means it's pretty loud any time you're in it). Either go at it a little less vigorously or skip the booze and luxuries for a little while and buy one that's not a piece of shit.

    There will always be some noise from practically any activity. Dealing with it in community living is expected. Doing what you can to mitigate the issue of your own noise in community living is/should be expected.

    BoomShake on
  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    I think you underestimate how shitty apartment walls (doubly for ceilings) can get.

    I've been in apartments so bad I can hear someone breathing through the wall in the bathroom.

  • ParielPariel Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    bowen wrote:
    How would you feel if you were told you could only have really quiet sex in missionary position at 2pm ?

    And it damn well better be with someone you married. In a church. By a priest. Kids these days.

    I think pretty much anyone who's rented (or lived in a college dorm for that matter) accepts that hearing other people have sex is just one of those things you have to put up with. If they're doing it all the time, or in the middle of the night, it's probably time for a talk, but if they're doing it at non-disruptive times where it's not keeping you awake (or interrupting your dinner), then I don't see that there's much of an issue.

    Pariel on
  • ParielPariel Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Quote button != edit button

    Pariel on
  • Evil_ReaverEvil_Reaver Registered User regular
    Pariel wrote:
    bowen wrote:
    How would you feel if you were told you could only have really quiet sex in missionary position at 2pm ?

    I think pretty much anyone who's rented (or lived in a college dorm for that matter) accepts that hearing other people have sex is just one of those things you have to put up with. If they're doing it all the time, or in the middle of the night, it's probably time for a talk, but if they're doing it at non-disruptive times where it's not keeping you awake (or interrupting your dinner), then I don't see that there's much of an issue.

    Living in community-style housing requires tolerance of a certain amount of non-controllable noises. Your upstairs neighbor walking around in his apartment is something you just have to deal with. Your upstairs neighbor constantly stomping around isn't. Your neighbor renovating his apartment on a Saturday afternoon is something you have to deal with. Your neighbor building something in his apartment at 2:00 AM on a Tuesday night isn't.

    Likewise, community living requires you to be aware of the noise you make and to at least try to mitigate the things that can be controlled. Super loud sex at any time of the day is unacceptable and is something you have a responsibility to fix or tone down.

    Respect is a two way street when you live in an apartment. There's things you can't control (like walking noise) but the things you can control you should. You do your best to mitigate your noise and your neighbors will follow suit.

    OP and BoomShake aren't being unreasonable here.

    XBL: Agitated Wombat | 3DS: 2363-7048-2527
  • DeebaserDeebaser Alpha Teemo wawing a note with the cinema code Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    BoomShake wrote:
    While your whole building seems to be a bit more… active, making this relatively small in comparison, I'm still curious as to why people seem treat neighbor noise from sex differently on the 'deal with it' spectrum than if it was from any other activity.

    Because we aren't fingerbanging Susie while her parents are asleep upstairs.

    We are grown ass adults fucking our wives and girlfriends in our grown up beds and it is unreasonable and awkward for a third party to ask us kindly to quiet the box spring noises from our ham-slapping.

    It can suck and I sympathize with the OP, but hearing the rutting sounds of your neighbors is one of the hazards of apartment living.

    Deebaser on
  • DisrupterDisrupter Registered User regular
    Im not really sure its the place to debate it. Its really simple, if the OP puts his inconvenience of having to hear the noise above their inconvenience of having to be careful and worried whenever they have sex then he should talk to them. Everyone will have different opinions on which is actually a more of an inconvenience.

    That being said, saying something may cause them to do some precautions like move the bed an inch off and what not. But concious decisions on "oh, we cant make too much noise" will probably fade away in a short amount of time regardless. But the thought of "oh our neighbor below us is a bit whiney" may develop and may stick around a lot longer.

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  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    Like I said, some apartments have really shitty sound control.

    Plus box springs are really good at reverberating through floorboards. Like I could be hovering 10 feet above the ground on wooden stilts with a foam pad underneath my bed and you'd still her it creaking. Headboards crashing, yeah, okay, but the boxspring creaking? Good fucking luck. The only solution is to buy a $2000 sleep number bed that doesn't have a box spring at all. Totally an acceptable solution to tell someone to do instead of having sex on their bed like adults do in communal living.

  • ceresceres Your photo framed Raw within my mindSuper Moderator, Moderator mod
    This really is not the place to debate it.

    And I am done with my graceless heart,
    So tonight I'm gonna cut it out and then restart.

    The avalanche has already started; it is too late for the pebbles to vote.
  • tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    Just put together a playlist.

    Some barry white, marvin gaye, maybe some bloodhound gang, etc. Turn it on a bit too loud, and then go for a walk for 30 min. Just keep doing this and they'll get the hint.

  • KarrmerKarrmer Registered User regular
    Just put together a playlist.

    Some barry white, marvin gaye, maybe some bloodhound gang, etc. Turn it on a bit too loud, and then go for a walk for 30 min. Just keep doing this and they'll get the hint.

    Awful passive-aggressive suggestion. Either ignore it or talk to them. I'd highly suggest ignoring it.

  • Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    It's not clear from the OP what times this is going on. If you're generally still awake when this is happening, I don't see it as a big deal. I agree that this is one of the downsides (or upsides, if you're a voyeur) of apartment life, but depending on when they're doing it, you may have more or less right to be upset.

    You can't reasonably expect to never hear your neighbors in an apartment building, especially given the shitty insulation in most apartment buildings. If they're waking you up every night at 3 in the morning when you have to be up for work at 7, you would have more of a right to be pissed off.

    Aetian Jupiter - 41 Gunslinger - The Old Republic
    Rigorous Scholarship

  • FFFF Once Upon a Time In OaklandRegistered User regular
    Leave a can of WD-40 on their door step with a note that "says": :winky:

    Nothing to see here. move along...
  • ceresceres Your photo framed Raw within my mindSuper Moderator, Moderator mod
    Joke posts containing no other advice are still unacceptable. So is anything that amounts to retaliation, pranking, or anything that would make the OP a fucking nuisance.

    This is the only warning.

    And I am done with my graceless heart,
    So tonight I'm gonna cut it out and then restart.

    The avalanche has already started; it is too late for the pebbles to vote.
  • bevinelivingbevineliving Registered User
    Awful passive-aggressive suggestion. Either ignore it or talk to them. I'd highly suggest ignoring it.

    egg chair

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