Diplomacy with a Noisy Neighbor

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Having neighbors is something that goes with the territory when you live in an apartment and with neighbors can come a whole host of compromises. The most important compromise, however, has to do with making too much noise, as there is just a wall separating one apartment from the next in most cases and that means noise can affect you and your living situation. Loud parties or music can keep you up late at night and cause you to be tired for work the following day; it can also generally disturb your peace and quiet. Adding to the difficulty of dealing with this situation is the fact that you have to think about living next to this person in the future after you force them to change their habits. Too strict an action on your part could lead to future retribution from them. So here are some more diplomatic things to try with a noisy neighbor before you call building management or the police and get them in real trouble.

Have a Strategy

You’ll undoubtedly walk next door and ask them to kindly turn the music down or take the party somewhere else, but the way in which you do this initially is critical to future dealings. First off, be as nice as possible. Give them a reason, apologize for disturbing them, don’t be aggressive. Most people don’t know they are being loud until they are told and just a simple ask will usually solve the problem. To add to this ask, give them your phone number and get theirs so they can call you next time they are having a party or you can call or text them to keep it quieter. Open those lines of communication as fully as possible. If they do honor your neighborly request, thank them profusely the next day, so they know you appreciate it.

Make Allies

Power in numbers is the philosophy here. If your neighbors are bothering you, then they are most likely bothering your other neighbors. Talk to your other neighbors and come up with a plan for each of you requesting the noisy neighbor to keep it down. With multiple requests, the noisy neighbor has no choice but to change their habits if they are just not paying attention to the volume level; if they still don’t change, then they are just being antagonistic or aggressive and the level of action once again has been raised.

Be Fair

Timing is everything. A noisy apartment at 6 PM on a Saturday is one that you may want to quiet down, but you probably shouldn’t try. This is because your neighbor has a right to do what they want within reason in the apartment they pay good money for. Hardly anyone is going to sleep in the early evening, so the notion of disturbing the peace doesn’t really hold up unless their party is really extreme. However, after 9 or 10 PM, the request can be made and the neighbor should honor it. Otherwise, more drastic action should be taken.

Keep a Record

With cell phones and computers, it’s not hard to keep a detailed digital record of your neighbor’s noisiness. This will be important when proving to building management that the problem needs to be stopped, if the neighbor doesn’t quiet down on their own; it can also be used to prove the same thing to the police. But one option could be to present this noisiness record to the neighbor themselves, showing them how loud it is in your apartment and how they are disturbing you. This proof may convince them to be more quiet in the future.

 

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