Dealing with noisy upstairs neighbors (apartment)

someguy

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Dec 4, 2005
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Still here.
I am a pretty patient guy, but I've about had it with my upstairs neighbors. They are excessively loud and I'm not sure what I should do about it.

First of all, they have two big dogs in a small (900sqft) apartment, but I can deal with the barking and claws-scratching-on-wood sounds. It's the constant crash-boom noises that sound like thunder or dropping a bowling ball in an attic that I have trouble with.

Second, they talk loudly (sometimes yelling) and I get the impression that they are not the type to respond to a calm "please keep it down" in an appropriate way. I don't want drama in my life, especially not where I live.

I've called the apartment office and they said the best they can do is send a letter, but that it would be obvious that I was the one complaining, since I live below them. I decided to hold off on that.

After reading dozens of advice columns and other forum posts about similar problems, I'm still unsure of how to handle this situation. I'm not a fan of confrontation, but I'd also really like to sit in my living room after a long day at work and not be startled hourly by the sound of something nearly coming down through the ceiling at me. It even startles my cats. :eek:

What can I say/do that won't likely cause problems?
 

yukyuklee

macrumors 6502
Jan 4, 2011
368
40
Boston, MA
Well reading forums is not going to work out because all the ones I read they sounded crazy and most hate pets and are stubborn to compensate to anything...

If the noises are happening during traffic hours (commonly when people get home from work so about 5-8 and not late at night on work days (which is before 11PM) than there is nothing for you to do. Either move to a place that has better insulation or move into a complex on the very top floor.

I once lived in a Condo that had poor insulation and my above neighbor was very sound sensitive I too have 2 dogs but they are 23 and the other is 27lbs in a 1100 sq ft condo. The type of breed is Shiba Inu and they barely bark. I was sandwiched on the 2nd floor of a 3 floor condo my neighbors below us used to send complaints anonymously for walking loudly or the dogs chasing each other. Since we are neighbors we got to give respect to one another. So we took the initiative and knocked on their door first and explained our situation about the lady above us. After we confronted them of the complaints etc etc they never complained we even exchanged cellphone numbers.

The lady above us was exactly how the people that complained on the forums about pets and noise. She was too stubborn and made false acquisitions with no proof of anything about the noise and really exaggerated to the point of lying about calling animal control on us. She made the trustees association walk randomly by our unit to see if they can hear noises which they did not.

It got to the point where she would bicker about everything and anything even the tv noises.
We would have the TV on notch 2 to compensate to her but she still claims she can hear the tv even though we could barely hear. Also we lived next to the train station and our Condo was called Stadium condominiums and there was a high school field across the street where the high school band would practice.

After about a couple of years living in Hell we finally decided to move. We also moved into another condo 10 times nicer that was a couple hundred cheaper and the floors were so well insulated you can literally jump up and down and stomp and the people below us can't hear a single thing!

What I am trying to get at is take the first initiative speak with your neighbor instead of sending a complaint to the association you might actually be surprised of the outcome. If not find a better living for your needs because there are a lot of stubborn people in apartment living.

Hope all works out for you.
 
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someguy

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Dec 4, 2005
2,321
8
Still here.
I think its best if you talk calmly and nicely but remember there will be noises from time to time lol. Thats the love of apartment living theres noise everywhere!
I can definitely deal with noises. Even a loud TV, music, or just footsteps in general. I understand it's just a part of apartment style living.

Unfortunately, it always sounds like they're just moving in and dragging/dropping very heavy items, constantly. I've not been able to determine what they could be doing to make such jarring boom noises, but it's bad.

I like to think I'm pretty good at dealing with people, but I can't come up with the right words to say. I don't want to just play it by ear, because I might come off the wrong way. Do I just ask if they could try being a little more conscious of the louder noises?
 

Mr Kram

macrumors 68020
Oct 1, 2008
2,367
1,160
not much to do. knock on the door and try to have a civil discussion. if that's not possible, ask the landlord to break the lease and move. sucks for you, but that's what i would do.
 

yukyuklee

macrumors 6502
Jan 4, 2011
368
40
Boston, MA
I can definitely deal with noises. Even a loud TV, music, or just footsteps in general. I understand it's just a part of apartment style living.

Unfortunately, it always sounds like they're just moving in and dragging/dropping very heavy items, constantly. I've not been able to determine what they could be doing to make such jarring boom noises, but it's bad.

I like to think I'm pretty good at dealing with people, but I can't come up with the right words to say. I don't want to just play it by ear, because I might come off the wrong way. Do I just ask if they could try being a little more conscious of the louder noises?

actually revised what I was trying to explain I am at work so got side tracked lol

anywho... do you know if they have kids? I know there is no easy way to tell someone that they are noisy in a nice way lol..... But you should just say sorry to bother you my name is "someguy" I was wondering if you can possibly try not to drop things on the floor it scares the pants off you make a joke or something to ease the convo. and see what they would say.
 
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someguy

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Dec 4, 2005
2,321
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Still here.
actually revised what I was trying to explain I am at work so got side tracked lol
Thanks for the clarification. I appreciate the advice. I do plan to knock on their door and introduce myself, but I'm not sure what to say from there. It's the phrasing I'm stuck on. I feel like I'd just end up awkwardly sputtering out something incomprehensible or generally just come off as rude or as having unrealistic expectations of noise levels.
 

yukyuklee

macrumors 6502
Jan 4, 2011
368
40
Boston, MA
Thanks for the clarification. I appreciate the advice. I do plan to knock on their door and introduce myself, but I'm not sure what to say from there. It's the phrasing I'm stuck on. I feel like I'd just end up awkwardly sputtering out something incomprehensible or generally just come off as rude or as having unrealistic expectations of noise levels.
Just clarify that the dropping of a boulder freaks you out and make your coffee spill all over you when you try to take that first sip LOL make a joke it eases the convo
 

shinji

macrumors 65816
Mar 18, 2007
1,297
1,497
Thanks for the clarification. I appreciate the advice. I do plan to knock on their door and introduce myself, but I'm not sure what to say from there. It's the phrasing I'm stuck on. I feel like I'd just end up awkwardly sputtering out something incomprehensible or generally just come off as rude or as having unrealistic expectations of noise levels.
The phrasing doesn't matter as much as the sentiment.

"Hi, I'm someguy. Listen, I keep hearing this very loud thudding/dropping sound, and it startles my cat and I. What is that?"

And then just say you'd appreciate it if they would stop doing whatever it is, or be quieter when doing it.

My downstairs neighbor has complained a couple times about me causing noise. At my old place, I complained about to my next door neighbor about their noise. You're paying rent to live there too, and it's a perfectly reasonable request. Not everyone even knows they're being too loud.
 

someguy

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Dec 4, 2005
2,321
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Still here.
shinji said:
"Hi, I'm someguy. Listen, I keep hearing this very loud thudding/dropping sound, and it startles my cat and I. What is that?"
This is good. Being inquisitive makes it seem less confrontational or demanding.

shinji said:
Not everyone even knows they're being too loud.
These people have to know.. :rolleyes:

richwoodrocket said:
Walk up there and complain. Tell them you would like to sleep at night.
My concern is putting them on the defensive and causing additional problems. They are in the position to make my life much less enjoyable, or at least cause me temporary hassle while I try to move. I'm happy to work with them to find a solution that works for everyone. I know they are just living their lives, but in doing so, they are affecting mine.
 

yukyuklee

macrumors 6502
Jan 4, 2011
368
40
Boston, MA
This is good. Being inquisitive makes it seem less confrontational or demanding.


These people have to know.. :rolleyes:


My concern is putting them on the defensive and causing additional problems. They are in the position to make my life much less enjoyable, or at least cause me temporary hassle while I try to move. I'm happy to work with them to find a solution that works for everyone. I know they are just living their lives, but in doing so, they are affecting mine.
So have you talked to them yet? How was the outcome? Forgot to ask you if you are renting from a owner or from management... If you are renting from management company you could ask them if there are any available units in the building you can switch to. Hope this helps
 

someguy

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Dec 4, 2005
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Still here.
So have you talked to them yet? How was the outcome? Forgot to ask you if you are renting from a owner or from management... If you are renting from management company you could ask them if there are any available units in the building you can switch to. Hope this helps
I wouldn't be able to move to another unit, unfortunately.

And no, I haven't talked to them yet. They did just get home, though. Maybe I'll wait for a good crash sound so I can reference that it just happened and maybe get an explanation.
 

BasicGreatGuy

Contributor
Sep 21, 2012
11,664
10,696
In the middle of several books.
This is good. Being inquisitive makes it seem less confrontational or demanding.


These people have to know.. :rolleyes:


My concern is putting them on the defensive and causing additional problems. They are in the position to make my life much less enjoyable, or at least cause me temporary hassle while I try to move. I'm happy to work with them to find a solution that works for everyone. I know they are just living their lives, but in doing so, they are affecting mine.
1) Read over your lease. Make sure you are familiar with, and use the proper procedure for notifying management of any problems relating to your use of the apartment.

2) Notify management of the problem. It is their responsibility to address such tenant concerns, not yours. Injecting yourself into the problem first hand (re: confronting the other tenants) could very well muddy the waters and cause more problems for all concerned, including management.

a) Document the date, time, and if possible decibel level of all incidents.

b) Note what you were doing, or attempting to do in your apartment, when you were interrupted by the noise.

3) If you contact management about the problem (and you need to make sure you have a good paper trail with management signatures noting your letter of complaint has been received etc) and nothing to your knowledge is done, then you contact the police and inform them, that you have a recurring noise problem.

Just because you live in an apartment, that doesn't mean you have to put up with any kind of noise all the time.

Remember, it costs management more money to rent to a new person than it does to keep you as a happy tenant. Don't let management brush you off. Be firm and polite at all times.

Knowledge is power. Use it.
 

stylinexpat

macrumors 68000
Mar 6, 2009
1,573
2,413
I am a pretty patient guy, but I've about had it with my upstairs neighbors. They are excessively loud and I'm not sure what I should do about it.

First of all, they have two big dogs in a small (900sqft) apartment, but I can deal with the barking and claws-scratching-on-wood sounds. It's the constant crash-boom noises that sound like thunder or dropping a bowling ball in an attic that I have trouble with.

Second, they talk loudly (sometimes yelling) and I get the impression that they are not the type to respond to a calm "please keep it down" in an appropriate way. I don't want drama in my life, especially not where I live.

I've called the apartment office and they said the best they can do is send a letter, but that it would be obvious that I was the one complaining, since I live below them. I decided to hold off on that.

After reading dozens of advice columns and other forum posts about similar problems, I'm still unsure of how to handle this situation. I'm not a fan of confrontation, but I'd also really like to sit in my living room after a long day at work and not be startled hourly by the sound of something nearly coming down through the ceiling at me. It even startles my cats. :eek:

What can I say/do that won't likely cause problems?
You got a problem but if you are renting then your problem is a small problem. If I was renting I would move. I sold 2 houses because of a neighbor and will most likely sell this house as well due to a noisy neighbor. My next house will be the last floor in the building and will only have 2 units per floor. The unit below me is an office and they usually work from 9:00 am until 5:00 or 6:00 pm so at night there is no sounds to worry about.

Worst thing ever is a freakin noisy as* neighbor with no class that doesn't walk in house but hops around like Donkey Kong and drops things all day and night long like a person with Down's Syndrome. There are many poorly built apartments and houses out there. What you could do is put up a negative review on Google Review and what ever other local famous review site is available. After you have done that is simply move. If you live in a city or part of the world where you have local power then you can send someone to take care of the person above you and before you know it he will move but if you live in the US,Europe or any other developed part of the world this will not work.

One thing I have learned is that you can not get people to change after 20-30 years. Noisy people will always be noisy. Talking to a noisy person about his noise problems is like trying to tell or explain to a stupid person that he is stupid or like trying to get someone with vision problems to see something across the street that they just can't see.