Moving to my first apartment, pet questions!

art_junkieMay 21, 2010

Hello!

My name is Meg, and I'm an art student. I currently live in a house off campus with six (yes, six) other girls. After dealing with a year of one bathroom, three dogs, and no parking, I've finally landed a job where I can afford to live on my own.

I am taking my six pound dog to a small one bedroom apartment. This apartment has wall to wall carpeting, which my dog has never seen before. (Hardwood is all she's ever had). I'm planning on moving in with plenty of pet clean up substances just in case. Should I also purchase a small rug shampooing unit? I am paying a $300 non refundable pet deposit, but I don't want to leave the place a dump, and would prefer to renew my lease so I can stay until I finish my degree.

My concern is this: I will be moving to an upstairs apartment. I want to make sure I do not bother my new neighbors. I keep my dog's nails trimmed (so no click clacking in the kitchen or bath, the only tiled areas) and I really don't let her romp around in the house now. But I can not know that she won't get a spurt of energy and run around in circles. She is crated when I am gone longer than two hours. Sometimes she barks to be let out/walked, although she is not too loud.

My other problem is that I rely heavily on my videogames as a stress reliever, and also for homework. (I am a video game design major) Now, I don't have a surround sound system or anything, but I do play for several hours every night. (ranging in everything from music games to first person shooters)

How should I broach this subject of possible noise with neighbors? Should I wait until they complain?

I also come and go at odd hours. (I am up every morning at 5 to let the dog out, feed her and myself, and then off to work/classes for six hours, home, dinner, gym, back to school to work on projects) Again, should I pre-warn my neighbors?

I want to be the best possible tenant/neighbor possible, as I really love the location, and amenities of this complex. (Dog park on site!)

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camlan

How housebroken is the dog? Does she regularly have accidents? A dog who pees in the house more than once or twice a year is not a good fit with an apartment with wall to wall carpeting. If you think you will really need the rug shampoo unit, maybe you need to find a different apartment.

About the dog noise--currently I live above a dog and below another dog. Their running around really doesn't bother me. They are dogs; they run around. The occasional bark doesn't bother me. Their owners, who slam doors and drop heavy objects on the floor, they bother me a lot, because they are humans and can control these actions, but they chose not to.

I wouldn't pre-warn people, because that sounds like you are going to warn them that your dog makes noise, but you aren't going to do anything about it. Instead, as you meet your neighbors, tell them that you have a dog and to please let you know if the dog is ever too loud. I suspect that your building will have a fair number of dogs and people who have dogs should be more willing to accept the occasional noise of another dog.

I know nothing about video games, but can you use headphones when you play them? If not, you should be prepared to keep the sound very, very low after 10 or 11 at night. Listen carefully to how much you can hear from the other units. If you can hear every sneeze and whisper, you will know that your neighbors can hear your video games. When you play them at hours that other may be sleeping, you will need to find a way to play them as quietly as possible. Tell your neighbors, "Hey, I play a lot of video games. Please let me know if the noise is ever a problem." And be prepared with a solution if they mention the noise.

For your early morning/late evening comings and goings, I wouldn't say anything. Just be as quiet as you can--close doors softly, speak softly to your dog, have her on a leash, try to figure out how to keep her from barking as you leave the building. You have every right to enter and leave the building when you choose. Telling the neighbors about this might give them the idea that they have some say over your time schedule--and really, they can't. So just be as considerate as possible. If someone does complain, ask them what can be done to solve it. It might mean taking a different route to the front door of the building, for example, so that you don't pass their apartment. But someone walking down the common hallway at an odd hour is just a fact of apartment life.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2010 at 11:49PM
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larke

Don't warn anyone - you could set yourself up for trouble and there's no point as it's just as likely you'll be back on this forum in the near future complaining about other tenants' noise. Your 6 lb dog should not be a problem unless his reaction to carpeting is extreme, i.e. he sees it as an invitation to 'go' on it, but that doesn't seem likely. I also wonder about using headphones - if they're not compatible with your objectives though, you should definitely limit your use to reasonable times. Don't be afraid to "live" though, because unless the rest of the bldg. consists of seniors with the hearing of 20 yr olds, it's unlikely that you'll be singled out as being a problem. People cannot be expected to live as if in a library in a hospital!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2010 at 6:30AM
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art_junkie

Thanks guys. My dog is house trained (hasn't had an accident in the year and a half I've had her) but as a dog person, I do know that new textures may "entice" experimentations.

As for the headphones- good idea. I can use it for some games, and will and remember that. I'll start looking for a wireless set or a pair with long cords.

Again, thanks guys. I'm just very nervous as this is technically my first "on my own" situation, and I'd love for it to be a good one.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2010 at 10:35AM
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jen2006

I don't think prewarning the neighbors is necessary, but I do think that waiting till someone complains is sort of rude, and could start you off on the wrong foot, which you don't want when living so close to others. If you think your video games are too loud, then they probably are. Living the apartment life requires that you be considerate of those around you, and that means keeping noise down. Get headphones for the video games, keep the music and the volume down low, no stomping around or making unecessary noise at any time - remember, some people work at night and sleep in the day.

As for your dog, keep it crated when you are not home to supervise. Then you won't have to worry about carpet shampooing and all that - and keep in mind, if the dog goes on the carpet, you may be able to clean it, but it will also seep down to the pad and the floor below and the woodwork, which you won't be able to reach,and that means goodbye security deposit and a bad rental reference because that kind of damage can be very expensive to fix. As for the dog running in circles, I have to laugh, I have two chihuahuas, and one of them does that all the time...shouldn't be too noisy at 6 pounds, and they usually only do it for a minute anyway before tuckering out!!

The secret to being a good neighbor is just being considerate. When I lived above others, I walked lightly and was as quiet as possible. I know music and games are more enjoyable louder, but you have to be sensitive that not everyone enjoys what you do. Someday when you have your own house you can be as noisy as you want! As someone who has also had loud and inconsiderate neighbors, I must say that things can get ugly. I knew someone who was having such a battle with his neighbor over noise (the neighbor being the noisy one) that my friend deliberately started making horrific noise during the hours that the neighbor slept...it got so bad that eventually one of them moved.

well, good luck with art school, (i'm an artist too) and the move...you will be fine as long as you treat those around you as you want to be treated! Its great to have your own place -I will always fondly remember my first real apartment (the top of a house, NO NEIGHBORS - though I think I did have a ghost..but he was quiet)

    Bookmark   May 22, 2010 at 5:49PM
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