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How to handle noise-sensitive bitchy neighbors?

KyzenKyzen Registered User
edited November 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
I've been living in an apartment for 6 months. I seem to have some absolutely shitty luck - first my room mate turned out to be a heinous bitch (some of you may remember the thread about her wanting to get a dog); though we've more or less settled that and get along decently now.

One thing that's worked in favor of us getting along more is a common enemy - an asshole downstairs who seemingly can't deal with any noise whatsoever.

The family moved in about 3 months ago. At first it was OK. Then, a month or so ago, we were assembling some furniture in our living room at about noon (which would also be over their living room). It involved about 15 minutes of hammering, over the course of 3 5 minute sessions (hammering the backs onto 3 flat packed bookshelves). The first one went fine. During the second, the neighbor was pounding on the ceiling/walls below us. When we got to the third, they were actively going at it, to the point that I seriously hope he/she wasn't using any sort of hard object to do the pounding, as I imagine their wall would have been dented.

Since then, any sort of noise beyond us just walking around seems to generate more ceiling/wall pounding.

Playing video games - that's a pounding (we have the volume up to the point where we can hear fainter sounds like footsteps, but still quiet enough to carry on a conversation on the phone or voice chat - and the bass is almost to the lowest possible setting).

Listening to music? Also a pounding.

Plracticing piano? Pounding.

Vacuuming? Yup - pounding.

Now, I could totally understand the neighbor getting upset if we were doing this at night (for the most part, any of the gaming/music we do after 9 PM is at a really low volume level, or headphones). But so far, it hasn't mattered what time of day it is. Most of the time it's early evening, or middle of the day.

At first, we felt guilty, and tried to curtail our sound, but when it became apparent that the fucktard was flipping out over any sounds, we stopped worrying so much about it.

So far, they haven't complained to the landlord, haven't called the cops, and haven't even tried talking to us directly about it.

Any advice on how to handle the situation? I've considerd talking to the property management about it, but my room mate feels we should let them make the first move.

Kyzen on

Posts

  • Re: nholderRe: nholder Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    I'd probably tell your property manager about it. I imagine a person that anal about noise will stretch the truth to say the least if he/she were to complain.

    Just do what you are doing now and you should be alright.

  • drhazarddrhazard Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    When I worked in apartment management, there was a clear line of confrontation regarding neighbor issues. Banging on the ceiling was not part of it. While I'm sure you don't really want to be a dick, you also needn't really worry about any repercussions until they actually confront you first. (Your mileage may vary depending on where you are.)

    You can, however, go down and confront them as well. They are also intruding on your space when they bang on the ceiling, so you could have them answer for that at least. And it'd help get the dialog going.

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  • CryogenCryogen Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    I would say just ignore them. If you know you're within legal noise pollution levels for the given time of day, then just dont worry about it. Let the guy have an aneurysm. Let him call the cops, or the property manager, whatever, you're not doing anything wrong.

    If he has a problem with that sort of thing, then he's made a terrible mistake by moving into an apartment.

  • kevbotkevbot Registered User
    edited November 2007
    You should at least let your landlord know that this is going on just in case this idiot does go to them. If they already know about the situation they'll be a lot more likely to take your side if things get nasty. I've been in almost the same situation and having a bit of advanced warning worked out well.

    Your music is bad, and you should feel bad!
  • JPArbiterJPArbiter Registered User
    edited November 2007
    Hate to echo the obvious, but until you get something from the PM, you are not obligated to the fuckstick downstairs. whatever you do though, DO NOT try to escalate matters. go about your normal routine. if the banging persists for another 3 months feel free to file a complaint with the PM about that annoying banging on the floor beneath you by the renter there.

    if you do go down and talk to your neighbors, the first thing you might want to ask is if thier employment requires sleep at odd hours, that could be a very legit reason for being annoyed at noise levels if they are third shift workers or something like.

    Sinning since 1983
  • KyzenKyzen Registered User
    edited November 2007
    Thanks for the advice. I suppose I'll drop a note to the management to let them know what's going on.

  • Lord YodLord Yod Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    And hey, if the banging persists, call the cops and say 'I think there may be something awful happening, there's an atrocious banging noise!'

    Edit: Even though it worked for me, it has been brought to my attention that this is a bad idea, so don't do this.

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  • ViolentChemistryViolentChemistry __BANNED USERS
    edited November 2007
    Lord Yod wrote: »
    And hey, if the banging persists, call the cops and say 'I think there may be something awful happening, there's an atrocious banging noise!'

    Falsifying police reports is a crime, dipshit.

    DAMM
    Drunks Against Mad Mothers
  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Starting Defense Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    One thing I would do is keep a journal of all the times this happens and what you're doing at the time.

    Another thing I would do is somehow discretely (or directly if you want) find out if there is some sort of special circumstance here, like people that work at night or maybe your sub is right over his bed or something.

    "Maybe we're here to eat the sandwich." -- Joe Rogan
  • Seattle ThreadSeattle Thread The fuck am I looking atRegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Call your property manager and explain exactly what you explained in your OP. Stress the parts about trying to curtail noise until you realized that anything is going to set him off.

    The PM probably won't take action immediately, and you shouldn't expect him too. But by calling him first, you're setting the precedent for the entire matter. It'll work out much better than if the guy calls the PM first.


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  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Starting Defense Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Your property manager could probably also answer my questions for you.

    "Maybe we're here to eat the sandwich." -- Joe Rogan
  • amateurhouramateurhour Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    The important thing here is legality. As long as you're not making noise that surpases the local city noise ordinance, or one set by your apartment complex, and as long as you're observing quiet hours, set by both your city and apartment complex, then there is absolutely nothing wrong on your end. The neighbors can bang away and in that case they need to request a relocation to another apartment unit.

    Like everyone said: Avoid confrontation with them. Don't get in their face about their rude actions, and let management know about the issue to set a precedence.

    Don't worry about it too much. Also, you didn't say (or I didn't see), but have they actually called the police to a noise complaint or do they just bang on the walls and ceiling?

    Here's what I do...
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  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Depending on how cool your landlord/prop manager is, see if you can get them to come over and listen to you playing music and games. Hell, call up non-emerg police and see if they'll stop by sometime. This way it's not a he-said/she-said thing.

    Normally that wuld be exsssive, but to stat banging the ceiing at Noon over some hammering without even talking to first is a little crazy. Do they work nights or something? If so, they (neighbors) should come talk to you first.

    Excision wrote: »
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  • PirateJonPirateJon Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Go and talk to them. Ask what's the deal with the pounding.

    all perfectionists are mediocre in their own eyes
  • SilvoculousSilvoculous Registered User
    edited November 2007
    PirateJon wrote: »
    Ask what's the deal with the pounding.

    We can guess the answer he'll probably get.

  • BlochWaveBlochWave Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Yah, I wouldn't even talk to them. If it's not bothering them enough to come to you or the PM, that's a big heaping pile of not your problem

    RELATED QUESTION: You have a piano in your upstairs apartment? I thought that was, physically, impossible?

    Though if it's a keyboard, you could get headphones. You could also get headphones for the PC. However that's just an option for when somone makes the complaints official.

    I'm on a second story with paper thin walls in my apartment too, and I've played videogames at night with the sound at a comfortable level(not excessive but none of this as quiet as comfortable stuff)and never a complaint. If someone POLITELY asked me, or the office said they were getting complaints, I'd happily use my headphones more, but I don't think it bothers anyone and I can't believe that your walls are that much thinner

    The hammering at noon, I mean, that's total wtf. If it were like 3 AM in the morning, that'd be something

  • SanderJKSanderJK Crocodylus Pontifex Sinterklasicus Madrid, 3000 ADRegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    I'd read first if anything is special is written about this in your contract, and then talk to your landlord. After all, you seem to be well within your rights, while he is being annoying and obnoxious, demanding an unreasonable standard. Contacting the landlord first shields you from an untruthful account being told to him if things ever escalate, and if your landlord agrees that stuff like vacuuming, playing piano, watching TV etcet at reasonable soundlevels are allowed, you can then confront him with this information if it persists.

    Personally, i'd get pretty annoyed if this happened to me on a continual basis, and i'd definitely want it to stop, not just know it's not my fault.

    Steam: SanderJK Origin: SanderJK
  • Butterfly4uButterfly4u Registered User
    edited November 2007
    Also remember in a crappy built apt. every sound is magnified due to poor insulation. I've had plenty of apts. where it sounded like the tenant above was going to come through the ceiling if they dropped a book. In my first apt. the guy next door was having a party. After knocking on his door twice with no answer we called the cops. They all got busted for having weed, and the apt. was super quiet for the next few months. On the flip side I had a lady below me in my second apt. come up and ask that we pull our bed away from the wall. After that she banged on our door everytime we moved a box, dropped something, or put furniture together. I thought shit the first time was a legit concern, but now this is getting extemely obnoxious. She eventually moved out, and someone with a better understanding of noise moved in. You could talk to someone about the banging or you could wait until they just move out.

    Butterfly
  • tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Do you have hardwood floors in your lounge? If you do I know they may be your pride and joy but consider that they serve to effectively magnify sounds heading down. Especially base and footsteps, anything produced by something in direct contact with them.

    Apartments often boast of hardwood floors, while not actually being designed with the insulation for them in mind. If you are genuinely being considerate of noise, and still getting complaints then this may be your problem.

    You could try raising bass speakers off the ground and not wearing shoes indoors, although the only real solutions are to get the building to do something about it (underfloor noise insulation) or to put some rugs down and get more soft surfaces in your room to absorb the noise.

    If you have carpets, and still are having the problem then your neighbors are either crazy or your building is shoddy. Either way its the building managers responsibility. Ceiling banging is certainly not an acceptable response after the first time! They should have told the manager, or come to you.

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  • PirateJonPirateJon Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    PirateJon wrote: »
    Ask what's the deal with the pounding.

    We can guess the answer he'll probably get.

    I mean that they're neighbors, and rather than get into cloak and dagger nonsense you should talk to them. It won't hurt to try to reach an agreement. Maybe you get the door slammed in your face. Maybe you find out their sick grandma likes to bang on the ceiling because she thinks she's in a jam band. Maybe you get to know them and you work your differences out.

    all perfectionists are mediocre in their own eyes
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