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Rocking, Stomping And Rattling In Unit 16

Allow me to preface this tale with a bit of back story, if you will. I’m 23, physically disabled, and live with my parents (of whom my mother is also physically disabled), and our current living conditions were selected with both my mother’s and my disabilities in mind. Unfortunately…those very same living conditions have ended up being hell!

The three of us moved from Colorado just under a year ago, when my father, after being unemployed for two years, found a job with IBM in Iowa. The place we’re currently living in is a two-bedroom apartment on the ground floor – the building, so you can visualize this, has three floors with two apartments each (this building is units 13-18) – we’re in unit 14 which is the very first one straight in from the front door, next door to us in unit 13 are the lovely older couple J&J, directly above us is unit 16 where a man, his wife and two young children live, next to them in unit 15 were a younger couple, B and W, and directly above them is unit 18 where D and T, friends of mine who recently moved in, are living with D’s new baby. (Unit 17 is vacant, and has been since a few months after we moved in – thank goodness, the two living there were constantly in domestic disputes that almost led to the whole building calling the police!) This building is very new – so new, in fact, that it was only just completed before we moved in and we were only the second tenants to move in, and they’re still putting up new buildings on the lot next door. Great, we thought, brand-new building, stated to be up to American Disability Association standards, soundproofed between every unit so there won’t be noise problems…

Okay. Back up a step. Look at that last sentence again. Namely, “soundproofed between every unit”.

Oh, there’s soundproofing all right…between horizontally adjacent units only! There is absolutely nothing between vertically adjacent units, which is the huge problem. The family in unit 16 aren’t so bad when you take into account they have two young children, I suppose, but those children…oy vey! They’re three and six years old, I believe, and their very favorite pasttime seems to be lead footing it around their apartment at all hours, day or night, seven days a week. This family moved in shortly after we did, and it was apparent from the very outset that there was going to be a gigantic noise problem, which was in fact acknowledged by the parents (well – the father – we have yet to ever see the mother!) a few days later; my mum and I encountered the father (who I will call F, not knowing his name) and the youngest child in the hallway, going up the stairs to their apartment, and F asked us with an exaggerated show of great concern if his children had been bothering us with all their running around and shrieking. Yes, in fact, they had, and Mum politely said as much, to which F smiled, uttered the most insincere “Sorry” I have ever heard out of a human mouth, and pointed at the child he was carrying up the stairs in explanation before beating feet back up to the apartment quick as a wink! I can’t help but wonder if that encounter is what opened this large can of worms, but I stand in full agreement of Mum’s decision to politely but firmly inform F that yes, his children WERE being a problem for us. One of the things you have to take into mind when you live in an apartment building is that there will likely be neighbors above, beneath and beside you, and do your best NOT to bother said neighbors – or am I just crazy for thinking that?

Since then – that was about two weeks after we moved in, I think, and if you’ll recall, we’ve been here very nearly a year – the problem has only gotten worse. F does nothing to corral his children and won’t even take them outside to work off the surplus of energy they constantly have (the entire family, apart from the mother – I’d almost think she doesn’t exist if not for the fact she’s been taking care of the children while the father is at work – has bikes; these bikes have taken up permanent residence in the front hallway and have only moved perhaps once or twice in an entire year, which cuts the hallway size down by more than half – how are you supposed to get a wheelchair past that?), and the end result is often that we bear the brunt of this energy being worked off by way of the loudest stomping, banging, shrieking and crying imaginable. During the daytime we can understand it and don’t really mind it so much – kids will be kids after all, the older one’s in school during the week so she’s not adding to the problem, and the mother seems to be physically unable to take them outside and keep an eye on them while they perform their wild and crazy antics in the parking lot – but in the evening, with both parents home, and stretching on into the night, and even into hours that one should never see outside of college or a sleep disorder, it gets to be extremely annoying and fatiguing. (As the resident insomniac, I’ve heard these children stomping and shrieking well up to four or five AM – when do they get any sleep??) Speaking to F has done no good, the mother won’t get involved, noise-canceling headphones can’t even hope to drown it out, and even complaints given to the landlady by B and W before they moved (because of those children – even with the soundproofing between their units, everything was clearly audible!) were of absolutely no use. The family of unit 16 “owns” the building and they are not giving up their figurative claim.

Again, I understand that kids will be kids, and the poor things get no other chance to run around but in the apartment, but this is ridiculous. Their elephantine galumphing literally vibrates our apartment; we can’t so much as hang a single thing on the walls because they’ll knock it down. They’ve utterly destroyed at least parts of unit 16; when you step outside and look up at their window blinds, they are now bent, broken, and in some places nearly nonexistent, and maintenance has been in repeatedly for broken (not blocked – BROKEN!) bathtubs and toilets, which I’m sure is partly due to the children’s unshakable tendency to drop the toilet lids so hard you can hear them hit from outside the building. They’ve also destroyed parts of the main building itself – the front door was broken for several months after we moved in because F and the children would literally slam their way in and out and damaged the closing mechanism beyond repair (it’s since been replaced with a more robust one that unfortunately makes more noise, and they have not yet learned it might be nice to close the door gently instead of just letting it close with a WHAM that shakes the building) and the railing on the staircase has more than once been loosened by the youngest child banging on and shaking it. And in the past four months, they’ve also gotten so loud that D and T – in the unit ABOVE them – can hear every bit of it as well, and they’ve even started disturbing J&J next door, who need peace and quiet due to J-the-husband’s medical condition! (D and I have joked around about buying a pair of tap-dancing shoes each and taking up dance lessons on her kitchen floor, and T – who may well be one of the most doormat-ish and agreeable people I’ve ever known – was fully on board with this plan! Naturally, we never went through with it, but it still makes us grin…) No one is quite sure what to do about them, as complaining doesn’t work, talking to them doesn’t work, being equally rude with the noise is just horribly impolite (and the place turned out to be fragile enough it would probably cost anyone who tried it their security deposit…)

Thankfully, my family has found a positively perfect house and we’re moving into it in about a week.

Unfortunately, I think F has taken our very obvious pending move, and the fact that I’m currently alone in the apartment as my parents are back in Colorado packing up the house we’re going to sell there, as an opportunity to encourage his children to go all out with their antics, and to go all out with his own.

The noise is no longer intermittent. It’s constant. They’ve started playing very crude and inappropriate music at all hours, loud enough that everyone in the building can make out the lyrics. Someone, possibly the mother (hmm – might have to rethink that she won’t get involved), will take out the vacuum, turn it on and simply leave it in one place for hours. Water has cascaded right down the inside of my bedroom wall more times than I can count in the past few months. F has taken to smoking extremely pungent and foul cigarettes in the hallway of our very obviously NON-smoking building, setting off every smoke alarm in the entire building. Toilet lids slam several times in a row – I can only assume the children are making a game of repeatedly picking them up and dropping them. The front door is constantly being slammed by F as he makes his way in and out, in and out, in and out, doing absolutely nothing but abusing the door. The younger child runs out into the hallway and shrieks and cries like she’s being beaten. (She’s not – I’ve taken to cracking the door open and peering out when I hear it just to make sure!) The older one screams with great glee out the open living room window whenever someone dares venture out on the decks below. And today, I don’t know exactly what it was they were doing, but they rattled my room hard enough to KNOCK OVER several standing objects, including my bookcase (cheap and not too stable, admittedly) and my computer monitor.

At that point, I’d had enough. I was at my wits’ end from listening to this constant cacophony, and on the verge of being horribly sick from a devastating migraine. And I was finally willing to test out exactly how fragile the walls and ceilings in this building really are.

I fetched the broom, and the next time there came a burst of noise, I delivered several very sharp, very LOUD raps to the ceiling directly beneath those stomping, shrieking hellbeasts.

A moment more of thumping, then suddenly – blessed silence – and if they do it again, well, I’m keeping the broom close at hand!

I hate retaliating in kind, and if this casts me into Etiquette Hell, so be it – but what else was supposed to be done? The family won’t listen, the landlady won’t listen, the property owner won’t listen, and everyone in a position to care seems blissfully oblivious that the hellions of unit 16 are forcing all the other tenants to find other lodgings. Thank goodness it’s only a week till we’re out of here…     0614-11

{ 75 comments… add one }
  • The Elf June 17, 2011, 9:18 am

    You have a point, Tonja, but the bikes and water breaks it for me. Noise between floors is to be expected. I am amazed at the noise my cats will make when we’re in the basement and they are chasing each other upstairs! But this seem to be extreme. OP, there might be a few modifications you can make to the apartment to help cut down on the noise, assuming the landlord lets you install soundproofing ceiling tiles. Otherwise, you might have to resort to the police, since calling the landlord has failed.

    The bikes, to me, seem far beyond the pale. This is common space and, more importantly, the presence of the bikes impedes your movement in your wheelchair. It’s an ADA issue, which makes it a legal issue. You need to write to your landlord and put it in ADA terms, and copy your neighbors on the letter. Then start moving the bikes yourself. If you can’t do it because of your disability, as your father to do so. You can leave them in common space (though that impacts other people), but it needs to allow you to have free access to your apartment and shared areas that you use (laundry, etc).

    And the water? That’s a structural problem and a health hazard. If you don’t have mold growing back there by now, you will soon. Again, write your landlord. They need to be aware that their property is being damaged and you want documentation so that you are not held responsible for it.

    Cigarette smoking – same thing. If this is a non-smoking building, then the landlord needs to be aware and the neighbors taken to task.

    In all, I’m glad you’re moving out soon!

  • Twik June 17, 2011, 10:59 am

    Well, Tonja, you chose to live in an apartment, so why should people feel sorry for *you*? Why exactly was it so “miserable” for you not to make noise 24 hours a day? Most people, even those with children, manage to keep things relatively quiet at night – they don’t just “try”, they actually do it. If you can’t manage that, then a “reality check” would suggest that you should buy your own home, or rent a single-family dwelling.

    Back to the OP’s story – I agree that the management is obviously a big part of the problem. Unfortunately, many building managers are either too lazy or else left powerless by their own employers to get rid of bad tenants, even if it means losing the good ones. If the apartment was constantly being damaged, that family should have been out of there, even if they were as quiet as church mice.

  • LovleAnjel June 17, 2011, 1:14 pm

    @ everyone and their musical choices – there will always be music nastier than whatever your neighbors are playing. My husband would always one-up then in the offensive department, and when they were downstairs neighbors he would lay the speakers flat on the floor for the best transmission. Brotha Lynch seemed to work very well.

  • Michelle P June 17, 2011, 3:39 pm

    @tonja, you should be ashamed of yourself for your ridiculous post. Where do you get that the OP doesn’t have common sense?

    My sympathy, OP. When I was married to an army soldier, we were stationed in Germany. We lived in a huge apartment building, on the top floor. Thankfully, no one was above us, but the people beside us played music every afternoon, and half the night. No soundproofing whatsoever, the military housing is a bare minimum prospect. Germany has very strict quiet hours, and I thought that complaining would end it, but no avail. The soldier was a higher rank than my husband, and the building coordinator was a higher rank as well and friends of the loud soldier. They had two girls, “little girls” was what he called them; they were teenagers. A nightmare the entire year and a half we lived there. We had no choice; we had to live in military housing being overseas.

  • Kaora June 17, 2011, 9:40 pm

    Personally, I am not big into retaliation. You would only annoy those around you *more* by contributing. Also, breaking into and broadcasting over an FM broadcast is illegal, at least in the United States. It’s a part of the reason why Sirius Sportster 1 radios can no longer use their transmitter (technically, they can, but it has been ruled illegal to do so.)

    I would not suggest advertising that you broadcasted over a transmission and caused a break-through in sound, even if you did do it. That’s just setting up for legality issues.

  • Kaora June 17, 2011, 9:41 pm

    (Also, for reference, see similar cases in Captain Midnight, the Max Headroom Incident. It is neither kind nor legal, so watch your posts.)

  • Tonja June 17, 2011, 10:47 pm

    Freedom of speech Michelle. I’m not the least bit ashamed or sorry. I’ve been on the receiving end of unreasonable neighbors, and I would tell them the same.
    And common sense does indeed dictate if you want silence, you don’t move into an apartment complex. Tons of families and their so called noisy kids like to live there, and they pay the same rent you do. You think you have a right to have it quiet since you pay rent there, well those families feel they have the right to live a normal life without being harrassed everytime you hear them walking. Small kids walk fast, and it can be loud. But unless you have heard the dad saying ” be Loud and harrass the neighbors” then you shouldn’t assume. If you want silence, you live in single units, not stacked, or a small house.

  • Tonja June 17, 2011, 10:58 pm

    And Hollanda, I was on the 2nd floor of the 3 story building. And yes dear, I did just suck it up. I attributed it to living in an apartment with upstairs neighbors. And yes, there were three kids in the apartment above me. It sounded like they might fall through my ceiling sometimes, but again, I made the choice to live in an apartment with neighbors above me.
    As far as the bikes go, I agree, that’s unreasonable. Have them pushed out of the way, and if they do it again, have em pushed into your apartment for ” storage”.
    No, I don’t think it’s too harsh. It’s life.

  • Ames June 18, 2011, 5:51 am

    I just saw this post. I feel for anyone living in an apartment. When I was younger, I lived on the top floor of a 3 story apt. I tried my best to be respectful of my neighbors and keep my noise to a minimum, and to try to keep my 3 yo daughter quiet. After a while, a younger couple moved in directly below me. They were incredibly loud,and apparently he was quite abusive. I could hear their very long arguments almost daily. A lot of times, I could hear thw actual physical fighting, ending in her sreaming and crying. I talked to a mutual friend and asked her to talk to them about the abuse and noise, I didn’t want to get in their business. It didn’t stop. Finally, one night I called the police. I was tired of my daughter being su jected to all the fighting. The neighbor told mutual friend I shouldn’t have called police on her and bf. I asked mutual friend to tell her that I was tired of hearing her fighting, tired of my daughter hearing it, it’s her prerogative to continue to be abused, but I wasn’t going to listen to it anymore, if she didn’t want me to call the police, then to keep her screaming down.

  • Jennifer June 18, 2011, 6:57 am

    I feel for you, I really do, but some of those problems just go along with living in an apartment (although many of them crossed the line, and you guys really should have taken the appropriate step of contacting your landlord). Lots of people complain of “elephants” and loud kids, but it’s got more to do with how the apartments are constructed than people being loud. The kid next door to me was learning the violin. It was a tad annoying at first, but he’s gotten much much better and I’m not going to try to interfere with him studying music.

    If that level of interference in your living was happening and you informed the landlord of it, it’s actually her duty to make it stop (so you can sleep). Otherwise she can actually be liable to return some of your rent (because she (or another tenant) has interfered with you using the apartment for the purpose for which is was rented). It’s more complicated than that, but, really, if you don’t bring it up with the landlord, it’s on you; you can’t sue another tenant for being loud.

  • Amp2140 June 18, 2011, 10:47 am

    And you called the police when?

  • Rug Pilot June 18, 2011, 4:37 pm

    Thesse teneants should have been evicted and sued for damages. The other tenenats have the right of quiet enjoyment of their homes for which they are paying rent.

    I once lived on top of the 3 storey building. I am very quiet and considerate of my neighbors. One time the neighbor from downstairs came up and very angrily told me to turn off my TV. I told him that would be quite impossible since I would have to turn it on first. He could easily hear that it was not on. I was a graduate student studying. He blushed and hurried downstairs.

    I make sure that any sound I make in my room is limited to that room and can’t be heard outsiee that room or outside the building. Unfortuantely there are people who think the world wants to listen to their noise.

  • IzzyforRealz June 18, 2011, 7:07 pm

    For some people living in an apartment complex isn’t a choice, Tonja, it’s a necessity. And for future reference, it’s freedom of CORRECT speech. Slightly off topic, but you actually can’t just say whatever you want.

    I’m in college, as is my fiancee and my brother (we share an apartment). DF and I support ourselves by working at the local Walmart while we finish up classes and save up to get married. We live in an apartment complex because it’s the only thing we can afford. And yes, I do expect a measure of protection from noise and harassment. I would gladly live in a house or single unit if someone would be willing to pay for it. However, no one has of yet offered to donate money so I’m stuck with what I have. I have called the police several times (non-emergency number) to report loud parties, etc. Silence is not a reasonable expectation, but being able to hang something on the wall is not requesting silence. Requesting that people don’t vacuum early in the morning or late at night is not unreasonable. Expecting that music will be played at a lower volume is not unreasonable. Expecting that you can do what you want because you also pay rent is unreasonable. Apartments are group living situations, and consideration and courtesy are necessary on both ends.

  • Jillybean June 19, 2011, 8:40 pm

    As we all do with these posts, Tonja seems to be reacting based on her own experience, and we shouldn’t condemn her for it. Though she shouldn’t assume that the OP is the same as her downstairs neighbor was, I can’t fault her for mentioning what might be an other side of the story.

  • Katie June 20, 2011, 4:02 am

    Elsewhere, that is one of the freakiest neighbour stories I’ve ever heard. Ever. *glances nervously around unit with neighbours above and either side*

    OP, glad you cleared up the complaints to the landlord and police. I simply cannot believe the responses of either of them or why no one would act. I think moving was really your only option, so I’m glad that you are!

    I’ve been fairly lucky, the only noise issue I’ve had in my unit block is the teenage boy at the other end who played the drums. His parents put up blinds and actually thought that this would solve the noise problem. I’m number 1, they’re 4, and his parents did check re the noise with 2 and 3. I don’t think they knew that 2 was never home except to sleep, and 3 said that they could barely hear it. Unfortunately the lady in 3 is elderly and I’m pretty sure she has hearing problems – you do have to speak loudly and clearly to her. So obviously they didn’t bother with me, because if it didn’t bother the people closest then I probably couldn’t hear it at all as far as they were concerned. It was really just a little annoying, so I put up with it. I don’t know what their reaction would have been if I had complained given that others had said it wasn’t a problem. The only time I ever complained was when he started at 7.25 on a Sunday morning. The second he opened the door to me with messy hair in my pjs and an annoyed scowl, he clearly knew the issue and just stuttered and apologised for a while! He moved out of his parents place not long after that.

  • Mike Johnson June 20, 2011, 7:58 am

    I’m pretty much with Tonja on this one. We get one side of the story and that is it. I have no way of knowing if the kids are actually up at 4 and 5 in the morning or whether the OP is just pumping up the crime to make it look worse than it is. If the bikes are truly blocking the hallway how is she getting into and out of her apartment? If water is running down the wall how exactly is the fact that it sounds like a very poorly constructed apartment her upstairs neighbors fault, I mean did they do the plumbing? Kids running inside, the horror; is there an outside playground, park or someplace safe to let kids play, or are they expected to play out in the drive? This whole post sounded more like poor me than a real etiquette issue.

  • TT June 20, 2011, 11:28 am

    That whole situation sounds intolerable. I feel for you, OP, and am glad that you`re getting out of there. I get the feeling that no matter what you said in that first interaction with F, he would have taken offense and allowed his children to behave like that.

    I have to wonder what`s up with that landlady. Does she like her apartments being destroyed? Is she related to those tenants? Seriously, what the muffin?

    Does she own the complex or is she employed by someone else to take care of everything? If it`s the latter, I`d be complaining to her bosses that she`s falling down on the job.

  • Enna June 21, 2011, 9:00 am

    @ Tonja, broken bathroom funiture? Children up all hours of the day and night? Water pouring down the stairs from the flat? Offensive music playing loudly? These all are the charteristics of the neighours from hell. Bearing in mind the OP’s family moved in FIRST. If they had known they would have neighbours from hell they wouldn’t have moved there in the first place. I bet if you had neighbours like this you would think very differently. If F is controlling his children he is not doing it well and clearly needs some help or to be taught to do it better.

    You may have had a grumpy neighbour who complained at the odd case of high spirits from your children that’s fair point – if that was the case then you should have recorded evidence e.g. kept a diary of where you and the children had gone during the day, then if grumpy neighbour complained about “noise” that happened whilst your children were at school or out at an after school club grumpy neighbour would be caught lying. Did you hear your neighbours a lot? If so then you should have complained about them being noisey too. However I do not think the OP needs a “reality check” the neighbours do.

  • Enna June 22, 2011, 5:56 am

    There are two sides to every story, Tonja has had a simlar experince to the OP but on the other side of the fence so to speak. Just because the OP is expierncing a bad neighbour in the oppisite way from Tonja does not mean OP is over-reacting: there is no need to make rash judgements or assume that the OP is in the wrong as it isn’t fair.

    @ Mike: I think the OP got out of her flat with great difficulty where the bikes were. It does seem silly to have bikes and not to use them.

    Some people do not have a choice but have to move in. Even if a home is a house not in a block of flats you can still suffer from bad neighbours. When I was living in one summer after I graduated the people that I lived with said their neigbours were doing a lot of noisy redecorating whilst they were tyring to revise (using power tools etc). When they tried to negoicate with the neighbours the neighbours didn’t listen. My housemate’s reaction was “if they don’t care about use, we don’t care about them” s0 after revision they would play their drums – not at an ungodly hour like 11pm at night. This house was semi detached.

    When my Mum was studying (she did and Open Univeristy course so she could study from home) we lived in a terraced house and occasionally had noise from the neigbours which was managable – nothing too loud or anti-social. At the end of our back garden there is an allyway, then there is another house whose back garden runs parallell to the ally way, a 90 degrees to our back garden. The parents were out and the teenage son was playing his music very loudly. It was too loud from our house, bearing in mind this is summer too hot to have the windows shut and my Mum’s room is at the front of the house so the furthurest point away from the nosiy music. Mum went round and asked if he could turn the music down. Teenage boy very embrassed and actually turns it off (Mum didn’t mind hearing it a little bit, but booming loud was too much).

    Even if a property isn’t attached or “sharing” any walls or joined via ceiling/floor it is possible for someone to be too loud.

  • crella June 26, 2011, 5:11 am

    Tonja, having the disability meant that they had to live on the bottom floor. Also the kids left bikes in the hall in such a way that the OP could not get through in her wheelchair. That’s why her disability was mentioned. I don’ feel that the sarcastic tone of your post was called for.

  • Abelone July 13, 2011, 1:52 am

    I feel sorry for you, OP. I hope you never have to deal with horrors like them in your new house. Good luck!!

  • See August 7, 2011, 3:48 am

    There are disabilities that make the noise aggravating. I watch a 4 year old relative who loves to cuddle. I don’t know what’s wrong with me but it’s been said that it sounds like I have fibermayalga (sp?). Sometimes noise just makes me want to jump out of my skin even hearing someone moving around doing normal stuff sets it/me off. A lot of times little touches just make me shudder even if it’s my face, my chest (child has a fascination with it but is female) sometimes my legs. That’s the worst especially when she’s in a cuddly mood because there are times when i can’t hold her enough. Nephew wanted drums when he was younger and I watched him so I said okay as long as your door is shut you can bang them away with all your might :). other nephew and his friends play electric guitars and we leave them alone. My friend thought I was crazy to leave a bunch of teens alone. My theory was if I can hear all of those guitars playing I know they’re not up to no good and I couldn’t hadn’t the racket.

  • Merriweather August 11, 2011, 2:43 am

    Having just read this thread, I hope it isn’t too late to make a few comments.

    To those who mention the choice of living in an apartment – it isn’t always choice. DH was military, we moved every three years or so, and often ended up in an apartment because a. apartments are usually cheaper than houses (DH was not an officer); b. there are usually more apartments than houses to rent; and c. with a house you have to wait until one is vacant, most apartment complexes have something available most months. Finding something quickly was essential in order to avoid the prolonged cost of a motel til we found a place, and to get an address in order to get our daughter into a school, and cheap was essential as we never knew in any given area how long it would take for me to find a new job, or how well it might pay. I’m sure there are many other people who live in apartments because a house isn’t feasible.

    IMO, apartment living only works if all concerned are willing to be a little quieter than they think they should have to, put up with just a bit more noise than they think they should have to, and complain just a little less than they would like to. I’ve lived in places where everyone felt this way, and it worked out wonderfully, life wasn’t perfect, but it wasn’t too bad at all.

    For those who mentioned that we only have one side of the story, and cast doubt on the OP’s story – in this forum, we always have just one side, and unless there is an obvious flaw in the story, I don’t see how we can do anything except take their word for what happened. And based on that, the OP put up with way more than anyone should ever have to put up with. That was way, way beyond the normal noise from a family with children. And think the broom was a perfectly reasonable last resort.

    I’ve had my share of noisy neighbors, some who would listen and actually lower the noise, at least at times, and others who were bound and determined that it was their right to have their music as loud as they wanted at any time, day or night. I’ve actually even been on the reverse side once – we rented a second floor apartment (no ground floor available), in what was considered a “luxury” complex. While they had spent money on some luxury features, they obviously did not spend it on soundproofing between floors. To make it worse, the front door opened into a tiny entry, to the right was kitchen, and directly in front was a large dining room, with the living room at the back (so the living room overlooked the beautiful woodlands there). But the layout meant one large room in the front center of the apartment, that had to be crossed to go anywhere in the apartment. The floor actually shook when walking across, and anything on my china cabinet would rattle. One note, we did have a six year old daughter at that time. When a new neighbor moved in downstairs, they almost immediately came up to complain of our daughter running all over the house, “even our dining room chandelier shakes”. Both husband and wife came up to complain, and luckily were fairly polite, not yelling, so I told them my daughter was not allowed to run in the house ever, and then very calmly asked them to bear with me a moment, and asked the husband to please go downstairs, and stand in their dining room. I then asked the wife to come in, and walk across my dining room (directly above theirs). As the wife, who was quite small, could see how my floors shook when she walked carefully across, and the husband downstairs found out in a moment that it was his wife making their own ceiling shake, they just looked quite apologetic, and said “oh, sorry, nevermind then” and never complained again.

  • KristinEliza September 11, 2012, 8:20 pm

    Noisy neighbors is part of living in apartments…but crowding common areas and smoking in a non-smoking area is a different story.

    I live on the second floor of a two story complex. I can clearly hear the conversations of the neighbors beside me and below me. My last downstairs neighbor would blast his home theater system (who needs surround sound in a 700 square foot apartment?).

    I’m a musician so I try to limit my practice time to late morning and early evening…and my lease as a strict ‘no musical instrument played past 10 pm’ policy).

    My new downstairs neighbors are a new story. I don’t even recall them moving in. Then one day a young lady knocks on my door (probably 18 if a day) holding a newborn child. She didn’t even introduce herself, just said “I just moved in and I have a new baby, and you guys were really loud the other night.” You guys? It’s only me and my 20 lb dog. I told her it was probably my dog playing…every once in a while she will run laps around the apartment for about 60 secs. My dog is well-behaved, doesn’t bark…but she is a dog.

    I wanted to ask her “You’ve never lived in an apartment before, have you?” Or I wanted to say “I’ll be down every time I hear your baby cry and demand you to quiet her!” Or “Would you like me to recite the argument that you had with your boyfriend/husband at 8:32 this morning?”

    No big deal…but now she’s having friends over at all hours…yelling and laughing…going outside to the common area and yelling and laughing…and smoking and leaving the butts and ashes all over the place. I guess the baby is doing fine with all of her noise.

    These are definitely the loudest apartment neighbors I’ve ever had. I’ve been in this complex for almost 8 years…might be time to move now.

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