When you live in an apartment or a townhouse, no matter how nice the location and your home, there’s always the possibility you will have to deal with noisy neighbors. It can be an issue from the start or can occur years down the line or after someone new moves next door. Dealing with loud neighbors requires a balance of diplomacy and directness. You want to get someone to quiet down but not embarrass them or leave them with hard feelings.
Here are 5 tips to help guide when dealing with noisy neighbors.
1. Rap Gently
If they’re having a good time your boisterous neighbors may have forgotten that it’s late or that the walls are thin. They may believe that everyone likes their music.
Try knocking a couple of times on the adjoining wall to get their attention. Remember, you don’t want to pound; just rap loud enough to be heard. Think of it as tapping them on the shoulder to alert them there is an issue. It may be enough to get your neighbor to turn down the volume.
2. Pay a Quick Visit
Going next door or down the hall doesn’t mean confrontation. Introduce yourself. Keep your tone and body language calm. Get to the point quickly. If you have children, don’t be shy about mentioning them. There aren’t many people who want to disturb a young child’s sleep.
3. Make Suggestions – Gently
Wireless headphones and those with extra-long cords allow you to listen to music at high volume without disturbing someone. If loud footsteps are a problem, perhaps they can don slippers or move around in their socks or barefoot, or you might mention the comfy area rug you own. If the problem is chronic, suggest a time after which they turn down music and are quieter. Many municipalities have ordinances about noise, but see if you can work things out without citing local laws.
4. Bear Gifts
To solve ongoing issues, there’s sometimes nothing like a plate of brownies or chocolate chip cookies. It’s hard to be angry at someone offering a delicious treat. That may take planning, but being thoughtful and a considerate neighbor can be a huge help.
5. Seek Outside Help
If you’re a renter, notify your landlord, but don’t whine, raise your voice or take this problem as an opportunity to list all your complaints. A calm, even tone and simple explanation will be more effective.
Remember it’s in a landlord’s best interest to provide a safe, comfortable environment; otherwise, they risk losing a tenant and having difficulty finding a new renter. Many rental, condo and coop contracts have a noise clause.
If things don’t improve and you’re a homeowner, you can contact a neighborhood association, or as a last resort, law enforcement. Most police are trained to handle these types of situations and can bring them to a satisfactory conclusion without long-term repercussions.
Above all, keep your cool. Remember that some people may not realize that they are being noisy. Most people are likely to cooperate, particularly if someone smiles when they’re asking them to turn down the decibels. A little humor at the right times can help, as well.