Moving into a new home is always an exciting experience, right?From the time you sign the paperwork until the day you open your front door with your brand new set of keys, each step closer pushes that excitement up.
However, even if you’re living in the most beautiful home in the best neighborhood, your excitement will go quickly downhill when you realize your neighbors are noisy.
Noisy neighbors aren’t always fun to deal with. Sometimes you get lucky and a short conversation will nip their noise levels in the bud, but even with both of your best intentions, noise can become a real problem. From sleepless nights to interrupted movies and even work, excessive noise can have a negative impact on your day-to-day life.
Before you jump the gun and call the police, here are a few non-aggressive strategies for dealing with noisy neighbors.
1. Knock on the Wall
If you live in an apartment or a townhouse, sound will often travel through the walls and floor. Loud surround-sounds, raging parties, raised voices and clunky shoes are often to blame, but what sounds like a hoard of elephants stampeding above your heads may not be that loud to your neighbors.
Often a light tapping on the wall or a short knock on the ceiling is enough to let your neighbors know that the sound is too loud for your comfort. Chances are, once you tap-tap on the wall where the sound is coming from, the noise will almost instantly stop or at the very least go down a few levels.
If that doesn’t happen though, you might want to take it a step further.
If knocking on the wall doesn’t work, you might want to consider going next door to speak with your neighbors directly. Maybe they thought the knocking had nothing to do with their noise level? Or they really don’t understand how loud or disruptive their noise is?
When you go over to speak with your neighbors, it’s super important that you go over with a smile on your face and the intention to have a polite, friendly conversation. Do not go over all fueled up, angry, and ready to fight, because that will only make it worse. Also, keep in mind that you will most likely have to compromise. It’s not entirely fair to go over there and start telling them how to live their life because it doesn’t work for you.
A few things to mention to your neighbors is how loud it actually is next door, how it’s affecting your life, and why you would like them to be a little bit quieter. For example, if you have small children who need it to be quieter from 7 p.m. until morning, or if you work nights and need to sleep during the day.
3. Write a Letter
If going over to speak with them isn’t something you are comfortable doing, you could always write them a friendly note and put it in their mailbox.
You would want to get the same message across in your letter that you would say to them: what sounds are bothering you, when and why it bothers you, and how both parties can reach a compromise. Let them know you are open to speaking with them and that you want your relationship as neighbors to be peaceful.
4. Move to the Top Floor
If you live in an apartment, it’s important to know that noise travels downward more so than it does upward. So, if living in a quiet space is important to you, you should consider moving to a higher level of your apartment building, maybe even the top floor.
Even if you are already in an apartment and you love the building and neighborhood, but your neighbors are too loud for you, why not consider switching units when one becomes available? Just let your superintendent or landlord know that you would like to change units within the same building and let them know that quiet neighbors is important to you. So, maybe living beside the older couple would be better than two young college roommates.
5. Consider Your Noise
I lived in an old house that was split into two units, and the noise levels were awful. My neighbors downstairs had three children under the age of three, and they cried all the time. They were just always very loud, but one thing I didn’t really think of was how loud we were and how that affected their lives. So, although I didn’t care for listening to toddlers screaming and crying all the time, I hadn’t considered maybe my TV volume was disruptive to them?
My husband was a lot more aware though, and he always reminded me to turn the volume down! Still, you might not realize just how loud you might be too, so try your best to keep your own noise levels down.
Sometimes there’s going to be noise that your neighbors can’t control, like crying babies. No matter how many letters you write or knocks on the wall, they can’t quiet a colicky baby. In cases like this, where there’s too much noise that can’t be quieted (and you’re not willing to move), you might want to try earplugs or headphones.
My aunt uses earplugs because she’s a light sleeper, and apparently they work great. So, it might be the perfect solution for you too.
7. Contact Superintendent
The last thing you might want to consider is talking to your superintendent or landlord. Before you do this though, you should try every other strategy for dealing with your neighbors. Still, sometimes there are people out there who are just loud and rude and won’t cooperate or even try to compromise. In this case, you should contact your superintendent. Let them know about the steps you have taken and why the noise levels are bothering you. Hopefully, this will be the last step you need to take, if needed at all.