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Surround Sound!?

Posted by lasershow (My Page) on
Sat, Jan 23, 10 at 17:12

New neighbors just moved in last week underneath me. It appears they have surround sound and like to enjoy watching movies. Right now I feel like I'm sitting in a movie theater. OMG. It's only 5:15 on a Saturday afternoon. I'm trying to be tolerant and not complain straight off, but another hour of this and I'll be tearing my hair out. How can people think surround sound in an APARTMENT BUILDING is okay?!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Surround Sound!?

What about a quick visit - very friendly and welcoming - to right-off-the-bat explain that sound really carries in that bldg. (which they could have had no way of knowing) and that a tiny bit goes a long way (to your place).


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RE: Surround Sound!?

Sounds like my old neighbors moved in next to you. I was never able to resolve the issue with them -- they felt that they were not "inconveniencing" me in any way, and the office would do nothing about it. We actually had to call the police on them a couple of times because they were so loud. We finally moved out, after the front office continued to do nothing about it -- found out later that the office had to put a restraining order against the neighbors because they threatened the office staff.

You gotta wonder why apartment offices refuse to take care of situations like this; they lose the good tenants, and have to deal with the bad ones.

Anyhoo, to advice: get a sound meter and start logging the level of noise from within your apartment. Then I would either try talking to them or send them a note as a first step. Ask them to come into your apartment to listen to it on a day that is especially loud. If they refuse to do anything about it, talk to the office, and take your sound log with you. If the office does nothing, then move.

And yeah, I wholeheartedly agree -- people who use surround sound in an apartment are the height of entitlement. It's all about what I can do and screw everyone else.


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RE: Surround Sound!?

Oh, that has to be so nerve wracking! I remember when I got DH surround sound speakers that also play through the TV. On our lower level, so lower parts of walls have concrete block behind the drywall. He was testing system with Jurassic Park. The scene came on where the kids were trapped in the car, couldn't see the dinosaur but could hear its footsteps thumping toward them. Our walls were pounding with every dino step! Can't imagine that in an apt, I'd go crazy!


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RE: Surround Sound!?

I'm biased, because I don't think surround sound belongs in apartments. It's just one of the things you have to give up when living in shared space.

It is possible that the neighbors think that by playing the surround sound during the afternoon that they are being considerate--they aren't blasting the thing at 9 pm. But if you can't carry on a normal conversation in your apartment, then it is too loud. Plus, depending on how well your building is built, there is also the vibration.

Document each and every time the noise occurs and if it wakes you up, interferes with your listening to your own TV, etc. Document each and every time you contact the neighbors and the management and what the result is.

Approach your neighbors and let them know that the sound/vibration is too loud. Ask them nicely to turn it down.

If they don't, you will have to go to the landlord/apartment management. And keep going back until they do something.

If management won't do anything, just about all you can do is move. Why landlords are willing to see nice, quiet tenants leave in droves while the problem-making tenants remain, I will never know.

In your case, I suspect that the landlord will be getting multiple complaints. It might be possible, if the situation is allowed to drag on long enough, to write up a letter and get all the neighbors to sign it. That might carry some weight with the landlord.


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RE: Surround Sound!?

This is too sad. Here we have a nice new quiet tenant, lasershow, who may ultimately move out in exasperation if he cannot get the noiseaholics to see reason. Check out the lease. What does it say about "quiet enjoyment"? By all means try talking to the noise makers but if they don't see reason, your last resort is the management. Is there a "super" in the building? If not and there is no improvement in noise level, start your list of times and volumes. After a few weeks, write a letter to management, the landlord, and also copy the offending tenants. If that doesn't do it, move! A building where management tolerates that kind of nonsense isn't worth living in. We always advertise on Viewit and Craigslist and the words "QUIET LIVING" feature prominently in our ads.


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RE: Surround Sound!?

Saturdays are hard to complain, everyone has to live...but I do feel for you. I believe like another poster here, surround sound really should not be allowed in an apartment, it is just one of those things that you cant have.

Only complain to then if it is unreasonable hours, thats the best you can do. ..


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RE: Surround Sound!?

I say give your neighbors a break.A lot of movies these days make it impossible to hear what is being said,so you turn the tv up loud,and then a loud part comes on and you have to turn it back down.Movies are just meant to be played loud,and commercials on tv are even worse.Who hasn't been watching a show quietly when all of a sudden a commercial comes on blasting loud.
I don't have surround sound,and I doubt my neighbor does either,but I can hear his tv and I'm sure he can hear mine too...


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RE: Surround Sound!?

There's a very large difference between a loud TV and surround sound. The latter almost always involves loud bass which can cause surrounding walls and floors to vibrate from the sound. Until you've lived next to someone using surround sound, you might want to keep your opinions about how innocuous it is to yourself.


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RE: Surround Sound!?

Keep my opinions to myself? That is funny considering this is a public forum!
I know all about surround sound~and it is my opinion that it can be hard to distinguish between just loud noise ~WHICH CAN ALSO VIBRATE WALLS! My upstairs neighbor does NOT have surround sound, and sometimes it sounds as though I have an airport in my living room!


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One more thing

I don't think I was being rude by suggesting cutting the neighbors a break either.Especially since this happened on a Saturday which is a pretty loud/busy day for a lot of people.

I'm in agreement with nightcrawler that OP should only complain if this is occurring during unreasonable hours.

It was quite rude of you though,Rivadr,to tell me to keep my opinions to myself.I was just weighing in like everyone else,but if you would like me to be rude,I can be.


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RE: Surround Sound!?

I apologize for the length of this, but I have quite a bit of experience with surround sound systems and apartment living. I do not think they should ever be allowed in an apartment.

Camlan is right about documenting the problem. In my last apartment, the people below me played their surround sound so loud that it would shake pictures on my wall. The friendly route did not work with them at all. They refused to work with us and had become party friends with the people above me. It was a disaster. My word against their word. The manager was slowed down because the friends were backing each other up and I was ready to move 8 months into my lease because of this and other issues with the building - cigarette smoke coming from the lower apartment into my closets, the kitchen vent from upstairs directly venting into my kitchen. The building had been poorly renovated when the owners bought it a few years ago. Beautiful work but badly redone. I wasn't willing to stick it out for the fixes considering the neighbor issue and moved to another one of their properties.

I moved to a townhouse glad to be away from the problems until my new neighbor moved in. She and her boyfriend do not work, use drugs, have a volatile relationship and have a surround system. Great combo. The system would be cranked so loud that we couldn't hear ourselves think and sleeping or watching TV was constantly a problem. One day I was working from home trying to conduct business on the phone and the person on the other end of the line asked me what I was listening to so loudly. Nice.

The fighting in the middle of the night, the surround sound going 24/7 and slamming into the walls with their fighting and knocking pictures off MY walls has been beyond real. She hammered on the wall from midnight until the wee hours one night and felt this was appropriate because it was noise in her unit and our complaints are invading her privacy (this is what she told the manager). Mmmmkay. I am not sure I understand what logic she was trying to follow with that one. Then we have the arguing about drugs late at night so loudly that it's impossible not to hear them. And yes, we have heavy soundproofed drywall construction between our units. It's THAT loud. The manager is involved because I won't go through this again. I plan to stay put until I buy a house in a few years. The neighbor says that if I don't like her sound that I need to buy a house, but it is my belief that if you want to party or be loud that you need to accept that some actions are not acceptable in apartment living. They have zero respect for anyone else, claim everyone is picking on them because they are in their early 20s and that people are making things up about them. It's just nuts. What they are not aware of is that the neighbor on the other side of them is unhappy too, but he has not formally complained yet.

There is the backstory (a bit of a rant!) and now to what I am doing about it. I suggest you do the same or something very similar.

I learned my lesson at my last building. I have been recording their fights and their surround. I emailed all of this to the owner. I used my cell phone, which does not do a good job, but that just highlights how loud it has to be for you to hear every word on it that they say from another floor AND on the opposite side of their unit or that you can make out what they are listening to with their surround sound in detail. I also keep a record of any other incidences that I do not record. I am protecting myself because I am not willing to move again because of someone acting this way. When emailing the owner, I refer to the interruption of my quiet and sleep in these terms: "affecting my ability to perform the duties required for my job" and "intruding upon my right to reasonable quiet in my residence" and "acting contrary to the tenant agreement of quiet time between 10PM and 6AM". What this is doing is documenting my case so that if I need to seek legal counsel to get my manager to solidly act, that my case will show a breach of lease on the part of the owner. I was told, in writing, that I would have reasonable enjoyment and quiet. After my last experience, I am holding them to it.

The neighbor is on her final warning before receiving 30 days notice. She has only lived there 3 months, and they still do things clearly to antagonize. I am feeling better though because I would be surprised if she is still there come summer.


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RE: Surround Sound!?

I would tell the office and have it removed. Or at least ask them not to play during certain hours.


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