Noisy Neighbor or Poor Construction?

timangelSeptember 6, 2006

I have a problem with an upstairs neighbor. I have filed complaints twice and have been told if they receive anymore complaints they WILL be EVICTED. This sounds great.. the management is working with me nicely. After the first complaint the noise got much worse and music started late at night. I recorded everything and noted I was being woken up 3-5 time a week. I made the second complaint written with all the notes and the nights got quiet again. I was told that they received a notice of noise complaint and who from and the consequence would be eviction for anymore complaints. A couple weeks later my vehicle is blocked in by a large truck and boat. My husband honked the horn until someone came out to move it and it happened to be our upstairs neighbor. He said he was willing to work with us but I got the feeling from his tone and body language that is was a gesture and felt more like he was saying "gotta a problem?' A week later the music starts and the familiar rythmic squeaking. This is when I noticed the poor quality of the apartments. After the sqeaking stops, footsteps toward the bathroom... I actually heard the lightswitch turn on, then the toilet seat go up or down and pretty much everything. So I'm not getting sleep. Its 3am. i can't live with the noise but it isn't completely fair to the people above to be evicted if part of the fault is with the apartments. What to do?

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talley_sue_nyc

I actually heard the lightswitch turn on, then the toilet seat go up or down

the last time I checked, it's not the easy to deliberately make an excessive amount of noise with a LIGHTSWITCH! So you're right, the building is not going to help mask any noise.

But...you were asleep until the music went on, right? Music late at night is a no-no, and if they get evicted for that, you don't need to feel guilty. True, perhaps they might have gotten away w/ low-volume music in a different apartment building, but they just have to cope w/ the bad-construction problem as long as they live here; they cope by not playing music at all when it's late, perhaps.

But you should NOT be complaining about other noises--walking (as long as there are carpets, and unless you feel it's extreme stomping), toilets flushing, and maybe even the squeaking. Some noise, you can't control, and if that level of noise leakage bothers you, YOU will need to move to a less noisy building.

It sounds like, until the music woke you in the middle of the night, you might have otherwise slept through the lightswitch, toilet, etc. Maybe even the squeaking.

So they DO have an opportunity to keep the noise low enough for you to put up with it--as long as they're not playing music in the bedroom at night. They may *think* they're playing it low enough, but if lightswitches are coming through, then they really can't have ANY music after 10pm.

And I'm wondering--what wakes you? the music? Or walking? Or something else? And how long have you lived there, and have you always had a problem w/ noise? Bcs if a previous neighbor lived peacefully above you, then the building's not the problem (even if it's not helping much).

If you were on nicer terms w/ your neighbors, you could perhaps make a pact w/ one another that you won't flush in the middle of the night, if that's one of the things that wakes you.

Or you could perhaps say, "I noticed last night, when the music woke me up, that part of the problem is the BUILDING, and I could hear all these other noises. So that's an indicator that the music can't be at ANY level after bedtime, even if in another building you were able to play the music at a low level."

Best of luck. Maybe now that you've realized how easily noise carries, you'll find it easier to be sympathetic toward the folks upstairs, realizing that it's not their general crumminess so much as it is the situation you both are living in, w/ an unforgiving building. And understanding that they perhaps are feeling frustrated because here they are, threatened w/ being evicted, and all they're doing is normal life. Perhaps you'll feel less under seige from them; it's not good for you, to be angry at the people over your head all the time.

And maybe you can be more sympathetic to music at other times of the day, like 8pm, or something, when you're not trying to sleep at 3am.

but frankly, anyone in an apt. who turns on music at 3am deserves to get evicted. Not at 8pm, perhaps, unless it's really, really booming. But after 10pm, sorry, no music.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2006 at 12:42PM
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gammyt

If you can hear a light switch, it is poor construction. Is their music really, honestly loud?

I can't sleep without background noise. I have a CD player on my headboard that depending on my mood plays music (Mostly Bob Segar or Eagles) or a thunderstorm or ocean CD. It is on my headboard so it is volume 2 out of 20. If you can hear a light switch, you would hear it.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2006 at 5:25PM
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nfllifer

Hearing a light switch is very alarming. I think you should look for a new home. If that noise travels below anyone who lives there will be an inconvience.

Best of luck!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2006 at 2:24PM
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cogoot_yahoo_com

Poor construction is one thing but most important is culture and personal manners. I have family of taxi drivers living upstairs. There is many of them in the apartment and believe me they are very loud and malicious. I can't sleep because they come back every 2 hours from work in the night and then all starts: heavy walking, dropping some objects on th floor intentionally and repeatedly, loud men conversations up to early morning or loud tv news. Its every day 7/week. Now it's almost 1 AM night and it started.

When my husband went to talk about this they just ignored him by closing the door. The problem still exists and even police being involved many times they simply can't do nothing with that. The neighbors seems to know that and they don't care.

To the Landlord it is a business so he takes money and he doesn't care. Sleepless nights and tired at work due to some idiots above without a manners. Angry for the system and hopeless situation. Looks like the only option is to own a house.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 12:30AM
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camlan

"To the Landlord it is a business so he takes money and he doesn't care."

This is a problem with some apartments. Some landlords don't want to get in the middle of tenant disagreements, so they don't help when quiet tenants complain about noisy tenants.

The result is that the quiet tenants leave at the end of their leases, leaving the noisy tenants behind. Forcing the landlord to go through another round of advertising, showing the apartment, cleaning and fixing up the apartment and losing a month's rent while the unit is empty. Only to have to do it all over again in a year, because the new tenants can't stand the noise either.

In the long run, the landlord isn't doing himself any favors by not maintaining a minimal level of quiet in the building.

I'm sorry, The Neighbor, that you are dealing with this. Look into temporary measures to survive until you can leave, like white noise machines and ear plugs. And just plan to move as soon as you can.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 8:35AM
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