another noisy neighbor posting - help!

lem90November 30, 2010

I've been living in a ground floor apartment for a little over a year now, and since the month after I moved in, my upstairs neighbors have been nothing but a headache. They constantly stampede up and down the stairs, slamming the door with unnecessary force, no matter what time of day or night. This is especially aggravating because the stairs and door are adjacent to my bedroom wall, so my walls, mirror, wall hangings, picture frames, etc., rattle and shake every time someone enters or exits the apartment. Or, you know, decides to bang on the walls when they come in. (Yeah, that was fun at 11:30 on a work night.) I can hear it in the back end of the apartment, too, so it's not just because I'm right on top of it.

On top of that, the child (a ten year old, so he's not a rambunctious toddler who doesn't understand that there are other people in the world besides him) runs -- in shoes, apparently -- everywhere he goes in the apartment. I get that kids are active, but this is ridiculous. He bounces balls and rolls toys across the floor (which obviously isn't carpeted, as the lease indicates it should be), and it seems that he and his mother drop or throw everything they pick up. I'm also pretty sure that they live in their shoes, since I can hear heavy footsteps clomping and thumping every time they go from one room to another.

At first, I wrote them a note, saying that I would have liked to speak face to face, but I didn't know their schedule, etc. I introduced myself and indicated that the noise in the morning was getting to be an issue. Obviously, part of apartment living is dealing with noise, and I said I wanted to be able to smooth things over with her without having to go to management. I thought it was friendly, cordial -- knowing that being offensive or bullying would only probably make them stomp harder. On top of that, I understand the value of having a good relationship with your neighbors.

They piped down for about a week, then the door slamming and apparent bowling ball dropping started again. Since then, I have gone to management four times. The first time, I was told that there is essentially a 'three strikes and you're out policy.' Not true. I was also told that someone would come and make sure that the tenants had adequate floor coverings. Again, not true.

As I spoke to different people in the management office, they essentially told me that I should page security in the future to document the noise so they can take further steps -- which I wish I could do, but it's kind of unrealistic. "Hey, security officer, can you come to my apartment at 7 a.m.? There's a 92% chance the tenant upstairs is going to thunder down the stairs like a baby elephant and slam the door, as he has done for the past four days."

On one occasion, when someone from management called and asked why the tenant felt compelled to move her furniture around at 10:30 on a Sunday night, the tenant made a comment about noise levels coming from my apartment. I was embarrassed, obviously, so I took the steps to ensure that the source of the noise wouldn't continue to be an issue. Unfortunately, this person doesn't have the decency to take the same steps.

A couple of weeks ago, I spoke with her -- face to face -- about the door slamming, and said it was, again, an issue in the mornings. She said she was working on it with her kid, and she apologized, but judging by the number of mornings I've been woken up by my mirror rattling since then, I think it's safe to say she hasn't.

Now, as I said, I know external noise is par for the course when it comes to apartment living. However, with the exception my darling upstairs neighbors, the only noise I've ever dealt with is neighborhood kids playing outside. I never hear the tenants on either side of me -- no television or loud music, no screaming, no door-slamming, no wall-slamming. Nothing. Which leads me to believe that I'm not crazy and this is more than just run-of-the-mill apartment noise.

Part of me wants to move out, but I have a roommate to consider. I don't want to hang her out to dry, and I don't want to throw away our security deposit, either. Especially since neither of us have done anything to warrant losing that money.

I'm losing sleep, I'm constantly irritable. I feel like I can't relax in my own room. Every time I hear someone walk by my window, I dread that it's my neighbors coming home. I think I'm actually becoming obsessed with it. It frustrates me so much that this person can't be a decent human being, that ignoring it becomes less and less of an option. I hate to be the biddy banging on the ceiling with her broom, but seriously, what else can I do at this point? Should I keep reaching out to management? Record the noise coming from upstairs? Pack up my things and kiss my security deposit and friendship with my roommate goodbye?

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Is it possible to ask to move (with your roommate) to another apartment in the building?

And just to take some control over your life immediately, go to the drug store and buy some cosmetic make up wedges and stick them behind your mirror to stop the rattling when the door slams.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2010 at 6:08PM
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In part you said "they essentially told me that I should page security in the future to document the noise so they can take further steps -- which I wish I could do, but it's kind of unrealistic."

They said that because they need proof that the noise is as bad as you say and you are not exaggerating.

Call security, give them a cup of coffee or a beer and a seat at your kitchen table so they can hear the noise. Heck if I had that much noise problem, I would feed the security guys so they would stay longer and really hear what is going on.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2010 at 8:15PM
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You sound as miserable as we are, that I wrote in the previous post. I know they all suggested we call the police, but this guy is a maniac, the management knows and we have called the police, but unless the wife does something about her husband, we can't press charges.

I just wanted to say that I sympathize with you regarding unrelenting noise and we too have pondered about just forgoing our deposit and getting the heck out of here. We are planning on buying a house and it is in the works so once you know an end is in sight, the noise seems to not be so annoying.

We deal with the same things, it seems that everything these people pick up, they drop, our ceiling fans shake, our pictures get all crooked from all the stomping, banging and they too don't know how to just close a front door, they must slam it as hard as possible and then thunder up the stairs.

I never understood why people with kids would even think to live upstairs, knowing that they obviously are going to have a hard time respecting people below, but that is just me thinking that people

Best of luck to you, and yes, I would probably pack up, tell my friend I was sorry but I cannot live this way and chuck the security.

I don't know what state you are in but in my state if you have made reasonable attempts to settle problems in an apt and to no avail, management cannot sue you for the remainder of the lease.

Best wishes,

    Bookmark   December 2, 2010 at 3:19AM
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Thanks for the advice and sympathy -- why is it that the people living in upstairs units always seem to be total beasts? =)

Although my roommate is also annoyed by the loudness, I don't think she wants to go through the hassle of moving again, and frankly, I don't think it's right for us to have to deal with that. Why should we pack up everything and heave our furniture across the complex just because the people living upstairs are rude, stompy, self-centered jerks who don't feel like following the stipulations in their lease? Granted, it would mean not having to deal with their BS anymore, but management won't have done their job and the problem won't be solved.

I might take your advice, gammyt, and just invite security over for a little rendezvous so they can listen to the behemoths upstairs. Seriously. This woman and her kid spent a good six hours stomping around the apartment last night. I'm like, seriously? Why?

    Bookmark   December 2, 2010 at 6:23PM
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They may not really be stomping you know.. if the bldg's old or cheaply made, sounds will travel through walls and floor structures and get amplified all out of proportion to what they are originally. Sometimes carpeting can work, but not always. The people should try to be quiet, but they too have to live and shouldn't need to be mice all the time after all, especially if they are 10. It's not realistic to expect it, so if you can't tolerate it, move.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2010 at 10:51PM
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Why should we pack up everything and heave our furniture across the complex just because the people living upstairs are rude, stompy, self-centered jerks who don't feel like following the stipulations in their lease? Granted, it would mean not having to deal with their BS anymore, but management won't have done their job and the problem won't be solved.

You do it because it solves YOUR problem.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2010 at 8:01AM
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I get what you're saying, larke, but asking that they not thunder down the stairs and slam the door every morning isn't an unreasonable or unrealistic expectation. Neither is putting down an area rug (which is stipulated in the lease, as a matter of fact) or taking off one's shoes when they're living in an upstairs unit. Also, practically anyone who's been in my apartment while the neighbors are home has commented on their noisiness, and one person I was on the phone with while they were being particularly stompy actually thought I'd tripped or dropped something and asked if I was okay. So, there are certain things I can and do tolerate, but there's a line between day-to-day living and being inconsiderate, and these people, frankly, are way over it.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2010 at 9:13AM
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Funny, I was just reading a post in the laundry forum about expectations. It is annoying that someone's ruining the peace. Unless you've already made up your mind to move, think the point is to participate more in the solution. You seem to have a lot on your side (rules, witnesses, friends) but the suggestion from the mngmt company is somehow unrealistic. Security has more authority and credibility than you do alone.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2010 at 5:03PM
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