Neighbors yelling at us for being to noisy.

md6447September 23, 2011

Me and 3 of my friends just moved into a duplex. We do not throw parties and are not loud people. Last week there were a total of 6 people in the house sitting in the living hanging out, when my neighbor sent me a text asking to be quiet? I responded saying I was sorry and we would keep it down. We quieted down after not being loud in the first place only to receive a text 30 minutes later saying that it was getting out of hand and not cool of us. Last night we had game night and it me and my 3 roommates and one of our friends, we played taboo. At 11:00 pm I got the text saying we were being too loud. at midnight we had to shuffle our cars around (we have 4 cars in a small driveway and need to move around each night for work the next morning) our neighbor came out because one of my roommates was smoking in the driveway and he was yelling and talking down to us saying we are the most obnoxious neighbors he's ever had.

We tried to have a civil conversation with him to come to an understanding but he kept talking down to us because we are 23 and he is mid 30's. He is extremely sexist only being nice to me (a male) while talking down and yelling at the 3 girl roommates. We are not sure what to do because we trying to be respectful but also do not want to walk around on eggshells all night long. We sent an e-mail to our landlord asking to have everyone sit down and discuss this but are we out of line for playing a board game. There was no yelling and screaming and just light conversation.

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Ugh, this is not a fun situation to be in--where you are making a normal amount of noise, but have a fussy neighbor who complains about it.

Before you meet with your landlord, come up with a list of things you are willing to do to reduce the impact of your daily living activities as much as possible for your neighbor.

Wait, you say, we're not doing anything wrong? Why should we have to change? Because you want to show your landlord that while you know you aren't making too much noise, you are at the same time willing to work with the landlord to calm down the sensitive neighbor. You want to be pro-active with your landlord, showing that you are trying to be good neighbors, instead of being re-active, and only changing your behavior after the neighbor complains to the landlord.

Things that might go on your list:

Trying to sort the cars out before 10 pm. I live in a neighborhood where nearly everyone has a small driveway and multiple cars and frankly, it's annoying to hear car doors shutting and all the beeps of car alarms being reset late at night. Do your best to get this done as early in the evening as possible. And sometimes you might have to sort some of the cars out in the morning, if someone comes home really late. Midnight really does seem a bit late to be doing this, and you are probably bothering other neighbors as well. And keep your voices down as much as possible when moving cars late at night--sound seems to travel more in the dark.

Move the "noise" of the gatherings and board games. If your duplex is one that is side-by-side, move the action away from the shared wall. If the duplex is one-over-the-other, see if you can't move to a different room, where the noise will bother the neighbor less.

There are things you can do to help keep any sound generated in your space in your space. Area rugs, curtains and upholstered furniture--the fabric absorbs some of the sound. Bookcases filled with books also work as a sound barrier--if you have a shared wall, put the bookcases there. Or hang a large fabric wall hanging, like a geometric quilt.

Move speakers for your TV or music away from any shared walls. Make sure that the bass is turned down, and if you live over the neighbor, isolate the speakers from the floor and walls so that vibrations don't carry as well.

Establish "quiet hours." There, that probably makes you feel like you are right back in your college dorm, doesn't it? But make them reasonable, like, Sunday through Thursday, you will do your best to keep noise down after 10 or 11 pm. Friday and Saturday, move the time to 11 pm or midnight. This does not mean that all noise stops. It means that you do your best to be quiet, but you are still going to have game night. Maybe the neighbor could tell you which room he's in most often on Thursday nights, and you could move the games to a different area of the house.

Then you can approach your landlord with the list of things you are willing to do. And you point out that the neighbor is getting upset by people just sitting and talking, which you think is a little unreasonable. After all, you have the right to use your apartment for normal, daily living activities--like having a conversation with your roommates and friends.

So, while the four of you are willing to do some things to keep the peace, you'd like to know what the neighbor is willing to do. Earplugs? A white noise machine? Keeping his windows closed?

It's a two-way street. You give a little to get a little peace from the neighbor. The neighbor puts up with a little more noise than he wants, but gets a reasonable amount of quiet time.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 3:34PM
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Many years ago, when we first got together, we moved into a brand new, two story duplex. One evening the neighbor knocked on the door and asked that I turn down the music. I asked her to step in and see that the music was really playing very softly. She then invited to listen in her unit. The music was actually louder in her home than in mine. This duplkex was very poorly built, with no sound seperation. I did move the stereo so that it was not facing her half of the duplex. From then on it was a real pain to be considerate of them. They were rather demanding about it, but at times we just had to say that we were entertaining and they would have to put up with it until 10PM. They moved out after a few months. The next neighbors were great, and we all just lived with the noise problem.


    Bookmark   September 24, 2011 at 12:00PM
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How did this neighbor get your cell phone number to text you? You must of gave him your number. Big mistake. Change your number or shut off your phone at night.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2011 at 12:52AM
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