How Do I Approach a Noisy Neighbor?

in Neighbors on by

Nothing makes an otherwise perfect apartment loose its appeal faster than a noisy neighbor. Unlike plumbing or electrical problems in your apartment, noisy neighbors cannot be solved by simply calling maintenance. The only way to truly resolve the issue is to approach your neighbor about the noise. Don’t let the thought intimidate you. Follow these steps, and your apartment will be peaceful once again.

Step 1: Think About What You Need to Say

In any sort of confrontational situation, you need to carefully calculate your approach. Don’t act on impulse. Think about what you want and need to say to your neighbor. A good starting place is to put yourself on the other end of the situation. If your neighbor approached you about being noisy, to what tone and approach would you respond best? Shouting or speaking in a condescending manner is never a good idea. Treat others how you would like to be treated. There’s always the chance your neighbor doesn’t realize he is being noisy. On the first approach, give people the benefit of the doubt. In the interest of healthy and positive neighbor relations, being friendly and unassuming is important.

Step 2: Plan To Approach Your Neighbor In Person

Why approach in person instead of leaving a written note? The most important reason to do this in person is because it’s the mature and respectful way to handle the situation. You owe it to your neighbor–and to yourself–to speak with them about the situation. Your neighbor is less likely to take you seriously if you leave a note taped to his door. Not only that, your tone of voice isn’t evident in something you write. What you think reads as a friendly request could come across as a condescending demand to the recipient. Avoid any miscommunication by talking face to face.

Step 3: Make Your Approach

When you approach your neighbor about the noise, be friendly and courteous. Introduce yourself and explain the issue nicely. You’ve already thought about what you’re going to say, and chances are it goes along the lines of, “I’ve noticed a lot of loud music coming from your room several nights this week. Do you think you could turn it down a little, at least on weeknights? It keeps me up and makes it hard for me to get up for work.” When you are nice and reasonable, your neighbor is bound to comply.

Step 4: Take Extra Measures If Necessary

If your neighbor is quiet for a week and then goes back to being noisy again, you’ll need to approach him again. Continue to be nice, but firm. Noise is okay in moderation, but your neighbor needs to understand that constant ruckus is disrespectful to everyone else in the building. You both have the right to an enjoyable living environment. If the situation doesn’t improve after your second approach, call your landlord to complain. As long as you’ve tried to handle things on your own at first, it’s perfectly acceptable to take more drastic measures.

Communication is the key to solving most problems. You’ll avoid future neighbor conflict by being honest and upfront whenever a problem arises.


Rachael Weiner: I’m a communications professional for a non-profit, which financially necessitates my status as an apartment dweller. Constantly “on-the-go,” I’ve resided in five different apartments across the United States over the past five years. Roommate issues, budgeting, organizing and handling problem neighbors are my specialty.

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