noise upstairs compared to noise downstairs

haircutcityMarch 3, 2006

I live on the first floor of a 1020's style apartment. For the first six months here, no one lived upstairs. Apartment reality has set in. A young couple moved in above me. Hardwood floors are throughout the apartments. I can hear walking which sounds like stomping, which I have accepted. What I am having a hard time with is the noise of bass in music and early in the morning when the radio alarm which is extremely loud talk radio goes off, and they push snooze about 4 times, before they finally get up, I about to go mad. What I Want to know is what kind of noise can be heard below a second floor like from my place? What can I do to make noise that they will hear, so they will get the message or hopefully come knocking at my door to complain and then I can debate what will settle both our issues.

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Why play games? Why not just go talk to them? What you are suggesting (making lots of noise until they come and complain to you) is pretty childish. Go talk to them, explain the situation. They probably have no idea that it's so loud in your apartment.

As far as them hitting the snooze 4 times, you may not be able to do anything about that. Eventually you may end up tuning it out. I'm a snooze button addict, and my husband has managed to completely tune out my alarm. He'll still wake up to his own alarm, but rarely hears mine, and it's loud and goes off every 5 minutes, at least 3 times, sometimes 6 times, each morning. And he's in the same room. Some white noise, like a fan, in your room might help with that.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2006 at 7:35AM
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Think about it, if you make noise to annoy them, they are just going to think you are loud. They will have no idea noise you make is meant to teach them that there noise bothers you.

As Judi said, talk to them. You didn't complain here about loud music, just the base. Ask them to turn the base down a bit. If their speakers sit on the floor, a world of difference can be made if they put a piece of carpet or a folded towel under the floor speakers.

Alarm clock, you can't do anything about that other than get use to it. My husband is a snooze button aholic, no matter how much I have complained about it, he hits snooze, over and over and over again. I am use to it and can tune it out most mornings. The only mornings I can't tune it out, I wouldn't have slept more than another few minutes anyway.

Odds are it is the same with your neighbor. If your body wasn't saying wake up, get up, you are burning daylight. You wouldn't hear his alarm let alone know how many times he hits snooze.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2006 at 8:10PM
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I agree with "judi_e". You should talk to them. You could ask them very politely to turn down the bass and explain that it is very disturbing. I have a friend who was asked to turn his bass down by the woman living below him. He said he had no idea that she could hear it and turned it off completely. He was also more mindful of the other stuff she might hear.

As far as the alarm clock is concerned, you are probably just going to have to get used to it. I know it's annoying, but some people need extreme and frequent noise to wake them up. It's no excuse, but there might not be anything they can reasonably do about that. However, after you are so nice about the bass, maybe they will try to reduce any other noise they think might disturb you. It's worth a try.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2006 at 10:43PM
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Too bad there wasnt some way to get one of them into your apt when the bass was playing, maybe that would make them realize.

They probably have no idea of the stomping sounds that are heard. I too have wood floors and always walk in my socks. When I first come in, I hear what I sound like with shoes on, so I take them off immediately.

Certain noises you just have to deal with. My pet peeve is hearing running motors, whether it is a car warming up, (ugh, for how long) or a bus 2 blocks away,stopped at a light, the garbage truck is always a joy at 7 am on Saturday mornings.
But since my bedroom is in the front of the building, i just suck it up. Yes, it is where are my earplugs...:)

    Bookmark   March 8, 2006 at 3:51PM
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I have been living in an apt. since Nov. I am over the lobby & in the front of the building. I hear noises from outside (cars honking & people talking) but very few inside. I am across from the elevater so I do hear people in the hall waiting for it or getting off. These are happy sounds. I sleep late but a fan takes care of all the noises in the morning. The rest of the noise just doesn't bother me. I just got a upstairs neighbor(she was in rehab for 6 months) The only noise I hear from her is water running.. no big deal. Our floors are concrete which help. There are 100 apts here, all over 62 & I love it here. The only bad thing is losing friends. One has died & one moved to a nursing home since I came here :(

    Bookmark   March 23, 2006 at 4:15PM
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I lived on the ninth floor of a 10 story highrise for 5 years several years ago. I didn't hear anything at all.And it had hardwood floors, but you could hear people when they were in the hall, but that was it. It had alot of elderly people also. When you got in the elavator, if you ran into one, it was like going back in time, they would chit chat about what they got at the grocery store or ask you if you got a word figured out on the daily crossword puzzle. After I moved, I would sneak in to perm an 80 yerar old lady's hair a few times a year. I wouldn't want the others to know I was there because I would end up doing everyone's hair. I don't know how I wasn't noticed though, because I had to talk real loud to the 80 year old so she could hear me, and if anyone was in the hall, I'm sure they heard my loud mouth.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2006 at 11:57PM
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I live in a third floor apartment so no one is above me in my building. I very rarely hear my next door neighbors, but the people below me have been a problem (not due to regular noise, but to drinking and being loud on their balcony late at night for which they are finally being evicted). I do try very hard to step lightly in my own apartment and to keep my television volume down. I use headphones when I want to hear loud music.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2006 at 10:58AM
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I agree, don't play games--just tell them. They've only recently moved in, and they may just not know.

even if someone lives over them--maybe that person is tiptoeing around and using headphone, and they assume he's not.

I know that when no one lived above me, I had no clue how much noise travels below. Once somebody did move in, and start vacuuming and walking, etc., I got a better idea. But one thing I still don't really know is, is my neighbor upstairs just a quiet TV watcher? Or does the TV not travel very well?

I disagree w/ this statement, however:
Alarm clock, you can't do anything about that other than get use to it.

I think if you make it politely clear to them that you are being awakened too early, too often, and it's messing up your sleep cycle, you can expect them to get up at the first alarm. Maybe they won't always succeed, but t's really a willpower thing, and I don't think it's unfair to ask them to NOT use the snooze alarm so as not to wake you up.

Especially if (and perhaps only if) that *nice* person from downstairs needed me to. If you're crabby and vindictive at me, I'm not going to want to go through the physical pain of getting up earlier so as to let YOU keep sleeping!

you'll also want to be sure they remember to turn if OFF when they go away for the weekend, or for vacation!

If, however, you're already up, well, personally I'd just try to ignore the snooze button.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2006 at 3:15PM
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irish52, i think you are me. always low TV, headphones for music and walking gently so as to not stomp. i think the only reward for people like us in this pathetic life is more pain and suffering.

as for talking to the neighbors, well haircut, it could help if you're lucky, if not it'll just give them ammunition against you coz then they'll know what grants them power over you and how to get to you at will.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2006 at 2:18PM
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We are first time home buyers of a condo conversion in San Diego. We moved in at the end of November 2006. In April we got new upstairs neighbors. Ever since it has been hell. They are very nice people, but it sounds like they are constantly moving things and never sit still. The wife is a heavy stepper and so are their friends. We have asked them 3 times to be aware of the people below them. They apologize, it stops for a few days then starts all over again. I have recently written them a letter stating the noise continues and we need to come up with a solution. I even included a log of when we hear them. we literally hear them every minute they are home till they go to bed. They then came back to us and said that they can only tip-toe for so long and it is what it is and maybe the complex needs better insulation. I then explained to them that we only hear one person walking around not two. So clearly it is the heavy footed person and guests we hear. When the husband is home alone we don't hear anything. When my boyfriend went upstairs to talk to them again, I could barely hear him and he is 200lbs and flat footed. And because it is about every minute continuing to log it will be...... well... Not to mention what recourse do we have? Any legal help? We can't call the police on walking or constantly moving furniture.
Our HOA says that anything with homeowners is between homeowners unless it is on the HOA property..
We have done it the nice way (SEVERAL TIMES), now our only option is to fight fire with fire.. I want to make noise so when they mention it to us we can make an agreement. Or say "we are simply trying to MASK the noise you are making"... Hmmm this sux! I hate to have to feel and be like this.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2007 at 5:13PM
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I started this thread a year ago. The upstairs neighbor was not a couple, but a very thin girl. She recently moved out, and I was never so excited to hear the loud noises of moving. I worried who would take her place, and a single sorta hefty guy has. Do you know that I hardly hear him walk? Of course, time will tell. He has only been here a week, but his moving in was the only significant noise I have heard. Skinny young women are the loudest walkers. Their barefeet stomp and stomp. Of all of the tenants, I couldn't have hand picked a better one that is up there now. So Far, we'll see. I do think that normal living on hardwood floors is just plain loud. This is why I insist on living on the first floor. I don't want to annoy someone to death although I'd love to have an upstairs view.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2007 at 2:18AM
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I live in a ground floor condo and have done for 10 years. I live in a college town and frequently get semester renters, some of whom are loud, and some of whom are not. The bass kicking at 2am was a nightmare, the ones who didn't buy a shower curtain and caused water to leak from my bathroom light fixture was a nightmare, and the ones who got drunk and puked over the porchrail into my flower bed, well that was the worst for sure. Unfortunately, living in a multi-family complex means putting up with the neighbors. Most places, whether condo, or apartment have rules. If they are violating the rules and don't respond to polite requests to cease and desist, then it's time to go up the chain of command.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2007 at 2:44PM
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I agree with Judi_e as well, though I know from experience that asking neighbors to quiet down doesn't always work. I lived in an apt. once where the 20ish neighbor girl below was very loud...loud music, loud friends, loud parties, etc. I asked her many times to quiet down and she would for a day or two and then the loudness would start again. She seemed like a bit of a troublemaker, and I didn't want trouble, so I bought earplugs and a fan for white noise and, a few months later, I moved out. My solution? Rent or buy a house! Hopefully I will never need to live in an apt. or condo complex ever again.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 11:45AM
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ok so im in exactly the same situation, except i also have a daughter who just turned 1. evrything was fine until the upstairs neighbours moved in, my daughter was sleepin in the nights and so was i! now it a completely diffrent story, the neighbours are so noisy, i hear their music, the base of the music, openin and shuttin of their cupboards, their bed squeekin (we all no what i mean) , i hear them going to the loo, they come in at gone twelve in the nights, i hear them stomping around, i hear evryword they say, and sometimes they go out and leave their music on full blast and come home gone 1 o clock in the mornin, i have reasoned with them, ever since they moved in my daughter hardly sleeps because of the noise they make, and now to top it all off they have got a dog which we hear every night running around etc.. and then theres the shouting, the screaming, etc..

i am at the end of my teather here, any 1 got any ideas?

    Bookmark   June 24, 2007 at 7:33PM
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Speak with the landlord. That is always the first step. See how willing they are to handle things and if they are concerned.

I am sure in your lease it says " quiet enjoyment" or terms such as that.

Start documenting. In my state, if you have documented where you tried to reason with the landlord and have asked for help and you can present incident after incident where you "quiet entitlement" was broken, it is pretty easy to get out of a lease.........check your state laws.

Best of luck

    Bookmark   June 25, 2007 at 11:44AM
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"My solution? Rent or buy a house! Hopefully I will never need to live in an apt. or condo complex ever again."

Buying a home in a quiet neighborhood, or in the country without close neighbors is sometimes the best, or only solution for the peace & quiet some tenants demand, although I've had tenants that rented single family homes in fairly quiet areas that complained about noises made by neighbors.

I've owned rental properties since I was 19, and won't miss playing the part of complaint department, dispute resolution officer, emotional counselor and referee as I sell off my investments.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2007 at 6:26PM
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We have been homeowners, renters in apts and have rented 2 houses. They all have their pluses and minuses.

Renting a house is good if you like yard work and there is no on site maintenance. I have found private landlords are horrible about fixing things quickly unlike a high end apt complex.

Owning a home has huge pluses, but, when you have awful neighbors or someone on the street that is noisy, dirty and let's their kids run wild, you have nobody to complain to and you can't just up and move.

The country living... we did that route too. It was fabulous, no noise, no neighbors but the enormous amount of yard work and the cost of the gas being that everything turns into a long drive, well that is what made us decide to sell.

Right now we are very happy in an apt.......every place has ups and downs. There is no utopia, all though we are all looking for one ;)

    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 12:02PM
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