I, Mark Roemer, recently had a friend that was renting a property from someone other than me. One night when we were out to dinner, he mentioned to me that his neighbors were the worst he had ever had. My friend had been renting since he moved out of his parents’ house. He even stayed in a dorm room when he went to college. For him to say that they were the worst he had ever experienced, really spoke to me. I have had to deal with some situations on my properties, but nothing to the extent to which he was explaining to me. When all was said and done, he decided that the best thing to do was to move out.
If you are not as lucky as my friend and can move out, I am going to provide you with some ways that you can deal with your noisy neighbors. I am not saying that any of them will work. I am merely providing you with some ways that you can attempt to bring a little bit of quiet to your apartment.
Pick Your Battles
Before you decide to move forward and confront your neighbor, you first must determine if the fight is worth having. I am not referring to a physical altercation, merely a verbal argument. You must realize that you are part of a community, and it would be a shame to isolate your self from that over a one-night party or other onetime events.
When you are living in an apartment, some noise is to be expected. This is especially true if your neighbors have infants or small children. You must prepare yourself for laughing, screaming, running, and crying. These things happen in houses with children. Unless the noise lasts all hours of the day and night, you probably don’t need to argue about it with the neighbor.
However, if you are dealing with loud parties a few times a week, loud music or television for no reason, or any other excessive noise regularly, it might be time to talk with the neighbors.
Talk to The Neighbors
Once you have decided whether or not the noise is worth confronting, it is time to take some action. The first step I suggest is to just have a talk with them. They may not realize that the noise can be heard in other apartments. This usually stems from people that have lived in different apartments with better soundproofing. There is a big difference between a new apartment that has loads of soundproofing and possibly concrete floors and an old apartment with neither of those. When confronting your neighbor, take the following things into account.
Stay Focused – Don’t get distracted by other things. You have approached them to discuss the noise. Getting sidetracked by anger or other simple distractions will detract from your message. When talking about the problem with them, pick a neutral location. I would suggest inviting them for a cup of coffee or just outside the apartment complex. The reason is that people become territorial when you go to their house. They will fight harder than they would if they were not inside their home.
Ask the Question – In all truthfulness, your neighbors may not be aware they are imposing on others. When asking them about the noise, it is best to do so in a neutral way. Instead of saying, “You’re playing music very loudly every night,” try saying, “Did you know that others can hear the music coming from your apartment?” While the question is still confrontational, it is less accusatory in nature. This will help you to avoid conflict.
Walk Away If Things Get Heated – The worst thing that can happen is your conversation turns into an all-out screaming match. If you sense the conversation is heading in this direction, just walk away. Once the conversation has deteriorated to screaming, nothing is going to get solved. In fact, it will only make things worse for all parties involved.
Leave A Letter
While the best option is to talk to the neighbor face to face, this is a great backup plan. You might not be someone who handles confrontation well. In this case, you will be able to get all of your thoughts on paper and have the ability to sanitize your comments. As we all know, once you say something, you can’t exactly take it back. Writing a letter will allow you to make several attempts and the most political way to say things. You also have the ability to ask others to help you. Sending a letter also has the added benefit of limiting the chances of a screaming match with your neighbors.
You may not think of your neighbors as someone you have a relationship with, but you do. As with any relationship, communication and compromise are the key ingredients. When addressing the neighbor with your grievances, make sure you have some common ground points you can land on. For example, if they are practicing their guitar until the wee hours of the morning, suggest they stop any noisy activities after a specific time. This may be an agreed-on time set down by the landlord or the time you have to go to bed at night. In either case, allow for multiple out for both you and the other person.
Not unlike the plethora of annoying things in life, a noisy neighbor is something you are going to have to come to terms with. I, Mark Roemer, have provided you with several different ways that you can settle the noise problem in your apartment. Will all of them work? Sure, but under the right circumstances. Just remember, if you don’t let your neighbor know they are making you unhappy, they couldn’t possibly know. There will always be some noise coming from the other apartments. If you can’t deal with a little bit of noise, it is best that you rent or buy a house instead of an apartment.