Loud Neighbors

wdandrewAugust 7, 2003

I know it is a fact of aparment life that you must deal with loud neighbors, but does anyone have any suggestions for soundproofing a wall? Our neighbors often play music with loud bass, and it comes through the walls.

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"Our neighbors often play music with loud bass, and it comes through the walls."

Bass notes are the hardest to block because they come through the floor and walls even at normal listenting levels - if you are on good terms with the neighbors, ask them to elevate the speakers on soundproof foam, get the "subwoofer" off the floor to minimize the resonance, and adjust the bass control to something less loud.

If they refuse to do anything, play a CD of a bagpipe marching band, loudly with the speakers aimed right at the common wall every time you hear the bass. If they complain, just tell them you are trying to drown out their bass with your own music. After 17 repetitions of The Irish Washerwoman" on a bagpipe, they will capitulate.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2003 at 11:06PM
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mmmmmmmmmmm do they play the music into the early hours, if they do and the music goes off at say 2 3 or 4 am ish, what you then do is get your loudest bassiest disco track belt up the bass and volume and let them have it. But please make sure they have gone to bed 1st, I did it once to a very annoying man who did that to me. Then after realy kicking off with him he got the message and and moved on.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2003 at 7:28PM
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I once blasted the 1812 Overture at some loud neighbors. Cannon shots make for good ammunition against loud neighbors. ;)

Of course, before you start a loud music war, you might want to try talking to them, especially if the music is played late at night. Several years ago, I had neighbors who played music and/or TV loud, but because they knew I went to sleep around 11, at 11 each night, the music was turned down very low. They were so considerate that during my finals times, they used headphones and tried not to walk around much so they wouldn't stomp (they lived above me).


    Bookmark   August 12, 2003 at 2:09PM
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Esp. if the problem is the bass, which can cause trouble even with a reasonable volume level, please start w/ the assumption that your neighbors don't know there's a problem.

You'll have a much more appropriate tone of voice, and therefore a better chance for success.

Let them prove themselves to be jerks before you assume it for them.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2003 at 12:32PM
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Thanks for all the advice. My neighbors aren't jerks, really... but they are aware of the problem. Whenever they play their music and I (or my wife) can hear the bass- and it is loud enough to disturb whatever we are doing- I ask them to turn down the bass, if not the actual volume. They are always nice and apologetic and turn down the bass... Until the next time, which may be days or a week or so later, when we do that dance again. I was just hoping for a solution that enables me to not worry about knocking on their door every few days to ask them to turn it down...

    Bookmark   August 14, 2003 at 3:09PM
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wdandrew -
Ask them to put the speakers and sub-woofre on foam pads. It doesn't affect the sound in their place much, but it prevents it from transmitting the vibraitons through the furniture and floor.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2003 at 10:59AM
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give them non wired head phones as a gift.?

    Bookmark   August 18, 2003 at 2:17PM
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As a landlord, if I had a loud tenant and a tenant reacting by retaliating with loud music, I'd treat them both the same way. Warn them for the first couple of violations of their lease, then evict them both. Retaliating is childish behavior and I don't need immature tenants any more than I need overly loud ones.

Fortunately, I screen well and haven't had to deal with either sort.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2003 at 12:55PM
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5/8ths inch thick fire-rated drywall is good for soundproofing. People put 2-3 layers of it around home theaters, for example. You should to attach it in a way that does not transmit the vibration: there are special attachments that absorb the vibrations. You can then also fill the air gap with cellulose. The drywall helps with the lower frequency sounds, and the cellulose helps with the higher frequency sounds.

Of course, if you are only a tenant you won't want to do this, but maybe you could talk your landlord into it.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2003 at 7:24PM
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I have a neighbor who is loud in two ways: music and sex. The music, we solved by telling him that 3am was not a good time for a party, and if I can't take it anymore, I'd pound a shoe on the wall. He was very grateful for the way we would handle his noise problem on that one.

As for the sex issue? Well, after listening to his "company" at the time scream like a banshee for 25 minutes, I walked out on the balconey, clapped as loud as I could, yelled "Encore, Encore". Not another noise that night, the next morning his face was beet red when we met in the hall and I haven't heard a "groan" from his apartment since. ;-)

    Bookmark   October 1, 2003 at 7:36PM
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Lil_ol_Me -
ROFL! I bet he was incapable of noisemaking for weeks.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2003 at 9:37PM
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Actually he's still VERY capable of noisemaking.....we get to hear it every morning when he takes his 30 minute shower. Didn't realize a person could bang around in there that long LOL.

Though, as a woman, I sure would like to know his technique, uh, you know, from the woman's persepective that was screaming like a banshee! hehehehehehe Strictly for scientific education, you know ;-)

    Bookmark   October 3, 2003 at 11:33AM
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lol ol me... what he had was less likely a master technique, and more likely a girl who is young enough to think that squealing is good for them male ego...

just about every really LOUD woman i've ever run into has confessed to me at some point that, well- she was faking, or at least exaggerating the impact of the session.

when a girl is left INCAPABLE of speech- THEN you know you've done a good job.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2003 at 1:55PM
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Do you think it is proper procedure to complain to the apt. manager regarding neighbor's having very LOUD and Obnoxious sex?

    Bookmark   August 3, 2004 at 2:45PM
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    Bookmark   March 29, 2005 at 2:13PM
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I have lived in my condo for 10 years.

The one condo beside me has changed owners a few times, along with mostly increased bass and decibel levels. When I see teenagers moving into my complex, my ears start to hurt instantly. Teenagers love loud music.

My next-door-neighbor enjoys playing music with lots of bass. Talking to the person has yielded more rewards that complaining to the condo association.

I highly suspect that the loud neighbor has substance abuse issues. It's a fact of life that many people are dealing with substance abuse issues ( affluent, not-so-affluent, and all income levels ), and when they are high on their substance of choice ( alcohol, drugs, etc. ) they are not aware of the decibel level.

Sadly, the cheapest way to lower the noise level may to pay for your next-door-neighbor's counselling at a substance abuse rehabilitation center. The couple ( wdandrew ) mentioned their on-going problem with loud music. When a person has to be continously reminded to turn the stero down, this person is most likely addicted to a substance.

Sadly too, my loud neighbor thinks I have the problem. No, it's the total reverse. I agree with Talley Sue as these people are the last people to know that a problem exists. I am sure these ego-centered people read a chapter daily in: "I'm Number One." I have seen this neighbor speak at the association meetings and it's obvious that an inflated ego motivates this person. This person has no interest in driving a lowly Honda Civic, or a Kia. "Number One's" tend to drive luxury cars--only the best.

Even if the person was playing Lawrence Welk music too loud, loud music is STILL loud music. Lawrence Welk music may not have a particularly high bass level, but it can still be irritating and annoying to one's ears.
Retaliation is not a good idea. This kind of behavior has the potential to escalate to a level that may require police intervention. I should remind everyone that drugs, alcohol, and the ownership of guns is not a good mix.

In 2005, people in general are under a lot of stress ( family members in the military, financial problems, $2.50 a dollar gallon gas ), and stress causes people to behave in ways that may not fit your idea of acceptable behavior.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2005 at 8:00PM
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I am not in an apartment~sorry~ but i still have the issue of loud neighbors ~~and ithe post about the other neighbors being upset with you because you mention it. It is just extremely disheartening when there are several teenagers playing football and cursing in your yard and coming into your screened area when you are inside. I have spoken with the parents and got cursed at by the mother. 6 people in a two bedroom house 4 of them children~~ Very frustrating. At least i know where they get their mouths from. The mother sure does play a good victim though~~tells everyone how she doesn't understand why i get upset cause her sweet kids are playing.I have 3 of my own but i think there is just something called a little neighborly consideration. At least in my house LOL!! Anyhow, the best thing for me is videotaping and just plain taping~~ This way if it gets completely out of hand you have your evidence. I have a cute video of 4 14 years old boys dragging a two year old on her back across my backyard. LOVELY~~~

    Bookmark   November 9, 2005 at 11:05AM
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Unfortunately, if you live in a building that was constructed from cheap materials and you don't have 6" of concrete separating you from your neighbors, you're going to hear them. The sound proofing drywall doesn't work well against bass or loud walkers, although lots of people will tell you differently (people get hired to post on websites like these so watch out for statements like "Neighbors can't hear anything", especially if these posts are accompanied by a link to a product).

My suggestion, like most real people with experience with this that have commented before me, is to confront your neighbor about the situation in a friendly, neighborly fashion - immediately after the noise occurs. Definitely do this before you contact your HOA, but make a note when the noise occurred and what it consisted of. Make a journal of all of the noise violations. If it develops into a problem, you may want to speak to any neighbors within the vicinity that you think may have heard your noisy neighbors. The more that can attest that there is a problem, the better.

Understand that there are limits to what you can complain about to your HOA - music, tv, etc.. You will probably find that things like 'walking around', 'putting a bag down', or 'taking shoes off', i.e. throwing them across the room, are considered everyday, acceptable noises, so you might be stuck there. Again, that's when reasoning with the neighbor comes into play.

Good luck. I feel for you.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2009 at 10:48PM
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One positive that you can look forward to, which I forgot to mention, is being the cause for your noisy neighbor's eviction. I've done it once and I'm in the process of doing it again and after putting up with needless aggravation, it's a VERY satisfying feeling. If it comes to all-out-war, luckily for us, noisy neighbors are always at fault, usually not the sharpest tools, and it's relatively easy to force them to change or to make them leave. Just start calling the police and keep writing letters to your apartment manager or land lord. Those $25 noise violations can't be fun! Ah...victory.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 7:25PM
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This doesn't always work the way you want it to, Pasdaneus. If you have a property manager where you live like I do & a police force who refuses to do anything about your noisy neighbors, then you are in for a life of hell, like I am. My only option is to move & I can't even do that right now. I have complained about my extremely noisy & rude upstairs neighbors to both the property manager & police but nothing has been done. The property manager is only interested in collecting the rent money every month & she obviously doesn't care what the other tenants do at all. She refuses to do anything about these clueless morons upstairs. Same for the police. All they have done is go talk to them, which does no good at all. I want to move but just can't afford it at this time. These people should be evicted but won't be. They're on Section 8 & get completely free rent so the office manager isn't going to want them to move, not with a guaranteed rent payment rolling in every month! The people like me who complain & expect some peace & quiet are the enemies here. I wish your solution was as easy & foolproof as it sounds, but it all depends on where you live. Unfortunately, loud noises & partying, pounding, banging & screaming kids at all hours of the night are perfectly fine where I live. Life isn't always a bowl of cherries, you know.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 7:59PM
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See my posting under "Need suggestions for ways to annoy tenant below" for those uncooperative neighbours.

In my unsavoury yet convenient neighbourhood, I have had to resort to other means as anonymity is crucial.


    Bookmark   May 3, 2009 at 4:25AM
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Jane_Doit, it looks as though that entire thread that you mentioned posting a comment on has been removed from this forum for some reason. I was going to read your comment but can't find it anywhere! What happened to it?

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 6:27PM
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Did it get removed (censored)? That's too bad. I won't repost it because it will likely offend (scare) someone again, so I'll just recommend you visit these websites for the G-rated version instead. Good luck.




    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 12:23AM
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I've got to say loud neighbors have no common courtesy and hence should be given warnings until they are reported...

    Bookmark   May 29, 2009 at 9:53AM
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I live in an apartment building where several of the other tenants act as if they don't know that there is no insulation in the walls and are as loud as possible. Thank God the worst offenders got the boot about a year ago.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2009 at 9:18PM
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Why do people think just because you choose to live in an apartment that you have to deal with loud noise? That's crazy talk. You really need to read your county or city noise ordinances. That is the silliest thing I have ever heard. Just because you choose to live in an apartment does not mean that you give up your basic right to peace. People are not even allowed to make as much noise as they want to outside let alone inside of a dwelling.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 8:15PM
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I hate my upstairs neighbor and her family (4 kids, all under the age of 5, with massive ADD, I'm guessing). Her kids are always jumping off of the furniture to the point that I can hear their own furniture rattling and then there is at least 1 or maybe 2 that are always crying. They never leave. Even on nice days, it would be nice of her to take her kids outside to run off some of their energy, but she never does. She stalked me while I was taking my dog for a walk asking me why I called the cops on her, to which I replied that I didn't (and I never did, yet) and told her that if I had a problem with her that I would take it to her directly. I have done that now twice. Once at 12:30 am because of her kids jumping around. She was fine and that was that. The next time I banged on her door because it was after 2am and I had to work that day. Her 5-year old was jumping up and off of her bed which is over my bed. I'm on various medications to help me sleep and it takes a bomb to wake me up or in this case her 5-year old boy. She came down that day at 6:30 pm to tell me that she was trying to take a nap and my dog was barking and she couldn't sleep. Of course I knew she was doing this to provoke a fight. I never backed down. I talked to management in the morning and they talked to her. She went back to the management office and started screaming at the manager. (shows the manager what I am dealing with) My dog never barks at people, other animals or even when someone knocks on the door. He only barks when he plays, which is 10 minutes maximum. My dog was also very abused when I got him, I've worked with him for almost 3 years and he is so much better until they moved in. Now he won't eat because he is so scared because of the noise level and he'll sit in a corner shaking because the noise level is too excessive. I have a digital recorder and I am trying to find the right place to put it to get the most out of it. I have tried my Camcorder, but that doesn't hardly pick up the noise from upstairs. I am going to try the bottle of water while recording it with my camcorger along with the digital recorder. I am not home that long and don't think it is that bad to have some peace and quiet. I do not expect for her to have her children sitting the entire evening every night, but I do expect for her to act like an adult and realize that YOUR children are jumping on and off of the furniture, don't you realize that it is loud in your apartment, how loud do you think it is in mine?
I expect that management needs to get off of their butts and do something about this. At least come into my apartment after 6 pm and hear it for yourself and make up your own conclusions. I have enough health problems, I don't need any more. I have looked into other apartment's, but they are all about $100.00 more a month extra then what I am paying now. I cannot afford to move and get something higher somewhere else and probably have the same problem.
I'm looking into our building and zoning department and I guess I'll have to find whatever device that measures sound and record that with my camcorder as well. In the end, will it ever accomplish anything? Probably not, that is the sad fact. I would love to get up on the roof and jump around to she maybe she might have an understanding of what I am going through. No one should ever have to live like this, EVER!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 2:25PM
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I found out something by accident. I contacted the City's Building and Zoning Department in attempts to find out what was excessive sound level in decibels. Later on that evening I found out that B & Z contacted the manager at my complex. Things have been pretty quite this weekend. I loved it. I wish things would stay this way, but they would have to remind these inconsiderate people, who live above me, every other day.
Try looking into your own City's codes and violations. If the owners and the management people won't do anything, then going over their head actually helps.
It might help in your case as well. Couldn't hurt to try.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 12:46PM
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having seen my sister's young 2 year old in action, I doubt there's much a parent can do.. kids will be kids.. they run around with energy for hours on end and throw tantrums when they are tired... that's what young children do. You should have thought of that before moving into anything but a top floor unit, which are the only units which I will consider.

Also I find college students are actually quieter overall then families so I stick to units where they tend to live.. less noise, almost none during the day. Kids will often be around stomping all day I'd imagine. Good luck with your situation and best wishes.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 6:04PM
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Since its your neighbors, talk to them and be nice. Or complain to your management and have them talk to your neighbors. Either way, its part of the apartment live.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 7:03PM
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The neighbor below me is an unemployed single parent and she is up till 2 - 4 am each night with her t.v. or her radio loud..she claims she's half deaf and previous management spoke to her at which time she behaved as if she was a victim stating that condos are not single standing homes and one must be exposed to others loud noises at all times. She has no job so she obviously would'nt understand what it is to have to wake up early the next morning so tired because you lacked sleep due to the lack of consideration. Her son does the same thing, obviously the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Funny thing, she sure claims she's crippled, and deaf yet she sure can smoke marijuana, cigarettes and apparently from another tenant she used to score dope with them. Wow, what a dream neighbor to have....I consider her the lowest of all beings..just riding out my lease by few months and i'm outa here.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 2:52AM
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    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 11:14AM
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I'm tired of people saying, it's apartment life, so that's that. Bull. Simply because you live in an apartment doesn't mean your HOME should just automatically be considered a miserable place to be because other people have the RIGHT to make your life a living hell. BS.

This stereo bass thing is an epidemic, so are moronic parents moving small children over other people. I think anyone paying for a residence has a RIGHT to that residence to be peaceful and quiet. Bass playing dumbf**** should be fined and then removed maliciously. You would think apartment complexes would WANT to keep their residents happy, and get rid of the loud people, instead of just wanting to keep the loud people, and have the quiet, responsible people move due to misery.

I lived in a 2nd floor apt and an obviously not-very-bright single mother of 2 small children moved over me. Old building, hardwood floors, and every jump or running step sounded like a huge bass thump in my apartment. Misery.

Now I live in a town-home and someone is playing some extremely low level bass ( you know the kind you can't block through your ears, because it goes directly into your skull ) and I can't figure out where it's coming from. I can feel the vibration. That's wrong. What's the difference if someone breaks into your home physically or with noise pollution. I expect a certain level of quality in the things I purchase, ESPECIALLY a very expensive purchase like a residence. And misery through sound in my home is not acceptable.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 9:24AM
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Should I be annoyed if my neighbors play EXTREMELY loud music during the day? The music is so loud I can feel the bass.They also play music in the morning but not as loud. If I complain about them during the day am I out of line or are they?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 12:28PM
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I too, live in an unit which is an old terrace house divided into 3 separate residences along with the garage out the back converted into a studio.

Not only do we have to put up with the constant noise from upstairs - there is NO soundproofing, i can hear the person on the OTHER end of the line when our upstairs neighbours are on the phone, but the guy who is out the back (his studio is about 2 metres from our unit) has decided to take up band practice again. It's some sort of Caribbean music with loud bass and singing. If it's not during the day, it's at night time, if it's not at night time, it's from as early as 7am in the morning. It's incessant! EVERY day!!! I can't even try to not be at home because i never know when it's going to be!!! The same songs over and over and over and me with a filthy tension headache from it. Even playing movie's with the volume up, if they're going at it with band practise, that's my entertainment down the drain.

It. is. driving. me. mad!!

Not only that but there's a constant stream of people in and out walking through was is "supposed" to be our area. If i want to get dressed in the morning i have to make sure ALL the blinds are down, if i come out of the shower at night i have to make sure ALL the blinds are down, i feel like we're living in a goldfish bowl and on display.

And when he has parties? His guests decide that coming into OUR yard to chat on the phone is the best place.. do people not realise that OTHER people LIVE here?!?!

I would DEARLY love to move but currently our finances will not allow...

Any suggestions?

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 11:03PM
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Talk to him, if that's not possible send them a certified letter informing him that you are keeping a log of his infractions, post a sign in the common area, his guests might not be aware. If all this fails go to the cops & be sure to get a copy of the report. If this still fails take him to small claims & sue for moving costs.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 3:45AM
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