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Problem with neighbors

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  • #887424 Reply

    Hello all!

    Ever since I live in my flat, the people upstairs have been very noisy. They walk like they’re an elephant herd, all day, all night. (They are destroying the ceiling with their foot steps as I am writing).
    Their kid is also the craziest kid I have ever seen, shooting his ball in the walls upstairs my room, running and doing what sounds like skateboard in the flat.
    They also are super noisy in the staircase, and seem to have no consideration for others.

    But when my flatmate plays music (he has DJ equipment), not that loud but probably hearable, they start hitting the floor in order to make him stop, or even come ring at the door to ask him to stop. The thing is the sound tends to go towards the top right? It’s a problem of isolation mainly.

    I feel like it’s very unfair and they got the power over us. Because they are a family and live here for longer shouldn’t mean they own the building right? Their noise is constant and annoying, our noise is super limited and it feels like we are not allowed to do any just because it’s music and sound related noise. That’s so fucked!

    We live in fear, every-time we play a movie or some music we are scared they will backfire at us.
    I don’t think talking will help, they seem pretty strange to be fair. I would like to hear your thoughts or experiences with this kind of people, and how not to care and let it go. If they want to come ring whatever right? But it’s stressing me out so much, like a kid being told off by adults, and they probably feel this control.

    Thanks for reading!

    #887440 Reply

    You live under a family. Of course you can hear their every footstep. That’s pretty common. It’s part of living in an apartment building vs a single family home.

    What time of day is your housemate DJing?

    Why are you SCARED to make noise? I think you’re being a little dramatic here. Read your lease. Making a reasonable volume of noise is to be expected. If you’re blasting EDM at all hours, I can see why they would ask you to stop. I highly doubt they are purposely stomping like elephants above you. Sound travels and gets amplified in the floors and ceilings. There is a difference between them going about their normal day and blasting music, unfortunately. And you can use headphones. Your roommate could use headphones. They can’t probably reasonably get their small child to understand that he needs to tiptoe. They can’t make their footsteps quieter.

    Seriously, living with noise is part of living in an apartment building. You could ask your landlord for solutions, or buy yourself some sound proofing. Or you could find a new place where you are on the top floor or something.

    I understand what you are going through, and I’m trying to be empathetic but it’s not reasonable to ask people to walk quieter. It is reasonable for them to ask you lower the volume of your stereo.

    I’ve lived in apartments and I used to get seriously painful migraines all the time. Footsteps were easy to deal with and ignore but repetitive bass lines drove me bananas. Once, we had a couple who literally did sound like they were purposefully stomping, and the gf wore loud heels. And they’d have super loud screaming fights. My bf at the time and I were incredulous that it was just the floor/ceiling and poor insulation.

    My solution- we moved out and never again lived below people. That would be my suggestion to you. Or invest in some AirPods or something.

    #887442 Reply

    Yeah, you need to make sure you and your roommate(s) know the noise regulations. If it says no loud music after 10pm then you need to make sure you’re conforming to that, because you can’t ask your neighbors to keep it down if you’re violating the landlord’s policy. Check your lease.

    Now, are you under stay-at-home orders? Kids not in school, adults working from home? If so, that’s definitely going to create issues, as normally you’d all be at work or school during the day. With everyone needing to stay home, that creates a situation that’s unique, and would be extremely difficult for no one to disturb anyone else. That said, if they are roller skating around up there after 10pm, I think it’s fine to politely, to their face, let them know it’s disturbing your sleep, if that’s the case.

    #887443 Reply

    If they are literally destroying the ceiling, like cracks appearing and plaster falling, let your landlord know about it.

    #887447 Reply

    Next time your neighbors ask you to keep the music down offer them a comprise. Tell them you’ll invest in headphones for your DJ roommate to wear, if they’ll invest in some area rugs to dampen the sound of their stomping around. Everyone’s stuck at home right now so extra noise is inevitable. Kids don’t have sports or other extracurricular activities to burn off their energy. Honestly, I’d be way more ticked off at a grown adult blasting music without headphones than a kid bouncing around being a kid. Tolerating noise is the price of apartment living.

    #887448 Reply

    This is pretty normal when you live in an apartment or condo building. If you have an upstairs neighbor, you’re going to hear them. I assume the units have wood floors, right? Sound travels like crazy through those floors, and can even get amplified. They may not be doing anything unusual, it’s just the flooring and lack of soundproofing.

    As for your DJ flatmate, can they not wear headphones? That’s a pretty reasonable concession to make.

    I know that wood floors are popular now in apartments, but you’d probably be a lot happier in a building with wall-to-wall carpeting. It makes a huge difference in the noise level.

    #887449 Reply

    First of all, when your neighbors come to complaint about your noise, please let them know politely that they are making noise as well. It is always the first thing to do because people tend to not realise that they do disturb others as well. This tends to de-escalate immediately the tension. You have the right to listen to some music, but not too loud and not too late. What I would do is invite them once at your place for a drink to discuss the noise issue. Both households are making noise. You can easily limit it (headphones, etc.). For them it is more difficult to master a child, but they can make an effort (no ball against the wall, no skateboard on the floor, and so on). They could also buy a carpet. THen you can also buy a headphone. BUt this has to be discussed on an equality basis and reciprocation of care for each other. Don’t be afraid of them, don’t act like a child with adults. Act like a grown-up who can have a polite and friendly discussion.
    It worked very well for us when we were living in a flat. As soon as there is a personal contact, with politeness (let’s have a drink), people start taking care and being less sensitive with the noise of others.
    BUt first, remember: tell them that you hear them A LOT as well. This is the very start of the discussion.Don’t let yourself be crushed and tip-toe at home while they don’t care. Everybody has the right to feel at home and make a reasonable amout of noise.

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