What can I do about my downstairs neighbor with sensitive hearing

imsoapeeNovember 4, 2007

I've currently been in my new apartment for five months.

Within two months of moving in, someone informed me that the neighbor below me tends to be a complainer. I didnt take notice of it till the past two months.

The first complaint was at 10:30 AM on a Saturday morning. She had called the front office and claimed that there was excessive noise coming from our apt. My roommate and I were dumbfounded. My dog would sometimes run after his toy and we would hear the carpet scraping but that was it.

Second complaint was two-three weeks after that on Sunday at 8:30 PM. This time she came upstairs and complained again angerily. This time, I knew it was my dog playing with his toy. So I made a conscious effort to put him in his crate whenever he races after his toy.

Third complaint was two weeks after that at 11:00PM on a Friday. This one I think is legit due to the time. But at the same time, I am a bit frustrated at her coming upstairs to complain as soon as he begins to run around. Because I do make a very conscious effort to place him in his crate when he begins to run.

My argument is this.... my dog is in his crate for the better part of the day. He has an open window of 6-9PM where he plays with his toys... and makes the "excessive noise". He goes to sleep the same time I do and he wakes up at the same time also. basically 10PM to 730AM. When he wakes up he doesnt even run around. He eats and is placed in his crate.

My solution to her complaints was to walk him in an area where he can run his little heart out when I come home in the evening and to place him immediately in his crate when he gets in his moods.

I've paid a hefty 500 dollar pet deposit and i also pay a pet rent per month. I feel like I've tried to compromise with her but it seems even those short moments bother her. She also told my roommate that she is also bothered by the sounds of someone getting up in the middle of the night to use the restroom.

I've read reviews about our apartment complaints and its known for its thin walls. Sometimes, I'll even hear my neighbors next door to me but I'm not bothered by the noise. I feel if she had done her research, she should have opted for another apartment complex or moved to a third floor unit.

I've lived in an apartment complex before and had a downstairs neighbor. Either they were very tolerant or my current downstairs neighbor has very sensitive hearing.

What can I do about this? Is this really excessive noise?

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Do you have any carpeting at all? It seems a shame to crate your dog so much just because someone else is complaining, but not being down there yourself, it's hard to tell how bad it is. How big is your dog and is he clomping all over a hardwood floor, or what? You do have rights too, and if one of them is being allowed to have dogs, and you play with him at a reasonable time (what you posted), then next time the neighbour complains, send him/her to the office and tell them to leave you alone (if your dog is smaller and there's carpet and everything else is reasonable).

    Bookmark   November 4, 2007 at 4:53AM
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It is really a shame that your dog has to suffer the consequence of a nosy neighbor. Really, do they have nothing else to do in life? Our upstairs neighbors have two cats that are Manx and they are HUGE. They rip around the apt, 1400sq feet that is a straight shot! They love it. We can hear them about twice a day, tearing after each other, thudding across the whole unit but we laugh about it, you can hear their paws hitting the floor. They are helpless animals and we have better things to do.

I have never heard the people above me and in fact they asked us if their cats bothered us and we said no way, we have a large dog and she barks when someone comes to the door so we all have to give and take.

I would let your dog live his life. If you have an agreement with your LL that you can have a dog and as long as he isn't barking 24/7, then ignore this person and just live your life. If you start pacifying this person with each little whim they get, you most likely will never hear the end of things. If they know up front that you will not play such a petty game perhaps they will back off.

Good luck

    Bookmark   November 5, 2007 at 8:04AM
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Very well said, angel, and I agree 100%. That pooch needs to be able to get out of that crate and be handled, loved and played with. What you're describing sounds like pup is suffering the brunt of someone below you who will never be happy until they have total silence and everything their way.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2007 at 9:42AM
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The only person whose opinion matters is the landlord's (or management's).

So you need to head her off at the pass.

I'd take your problem to management, in an "I'm such a great tenant and want to be sure I'm doing the right thing" way.

Make your point ahead of time about the hours your dog is available to make noise, etc. So that if she DOES complain to them, you'll have 'innoculated' them w/ your version.

I once had a neighbor who went ballistic when I vacuumed. The thing was, I literally hadn't vacuumed for MONTHS. And so he wasn't used to hearing it.
So when I finally found a window of time that I *could* vacuum (home for a change; child not asleep, etc.) he overreacted.

Maybe that's part of the problem--she hears nothing for SO long, that when she does, it seems much louder than it really is.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2007 at 12:28PM
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I agree that your dog can't live his life in a cage...if he doesn't use his muscles, eventually he'll lose them. But then again, if he's a large dog, and the floors aren't well insulated, then the neighbor will hear everything, and with her being a known complainer, she and the management need a face-to-face meeting, maybe even with you present.
Get her a pair of socks and suggest they are not for her feet.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 8:34AM
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As a person BELOW a noisy neighbor, I can sympathize with your neighbor. I wish however that I ahd an upstairs neighbor as considerate as you - mine makes noise from 6 AM until 3 AM - YES - this lady sleeps no more than 3 hours a night. She is violating many provisons of the lease, such as a requirement that she carpet, not make excessive noises, etc. But she 100% ignores me when I say anything (Literally - as though I am not there), and the LL merely says there's nothing he can do. Get this - when I told the LL of all the lease provisions she was breaching, the LL actuall laughed and said "YOU TENANTS! You always think the lease terms are for your benefit."

That said, I question having a large dog that needs to run free in a small apartment where it needs to be caged. it is not healthy for the dog. Most apartments around here do not even allow dogs (Like the place I live, but there are several here anyway). I'd suggest maybe a house rental instead of an apartment, if possible. That dog needs some freedom to roam. It's not fair to doggie to coop him up like that.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 9:01AM
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