Noise disputes: can managers forbid tenants from conversing?
I'm having random noise problems with a downstairs neighbor. It's mostly intermittent bass from what's probably a computer speaker. Loud enough to prevent sleep (for me) but not "gangsta loud." We all know the effect even "quiet" bass can have on nerves (people will lie about how far it carries and pretend it's never affected anyone else).
The manager of this 2-story apartment complex has a policy that's passive-aggressive and divides neighbors by default. He wants us to call him with any noise complaints, whereupon (if he happens to answer) he will go to the offending unit and try to witness the noise, then determine if we were truly being bothered. That alone is irritating since it's based on his judgement. Most of the time he can't be there when the noise is happening so not much gets done. He will talk to tenants later but you don't get to know their response.
The noise policy is very strict and the poor level of sound insulation makes it somewhat impossible to enforce, but I chose this complex for that policy. The violations I've experienced are obvious. You're essentially not supposed to hear anything but necessary/utilitarian noise from the other peoples' units. I can psychologically handle limited "productive" noise much better than entertainment noise.
The size of this fairly large complex would make talking to neighbors more practical than a middleman-only method. He may have a point with some nasty people (who do get evicted) but reasonable people ought to get along. The neighbor causing this noise is a smug hipster who didn't want to talk to neighbors from day one (I think he fears his girlfriend may stray or he's simply unfriendly). Still, I would much rather reason with him directly than being in a detached standoff. When I tried to talk to him once it was too rushed to get critical points across, then he called the manager who told me to lay low, which I agreed to reluctantly. The noise has subsided since then but it's not really gone.
Main question: Is it LEGAL to forbid neighbors from working out disputes themselves? This manager won't even act as a third party mediator, which seems petty to me.