General Etiquette > general

How to live next to a crabby neighbor

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If you can't count on them to adjust your behavior, you can change your own to suit your own purposes.  Switch your sleeping room and put the noise things where you previously slept so that all the noise in either house is all in the same spot.  If they don't care for your comfort, you needn't be so considerate of theirs.  The pie would have been a nice gesture for a new neighbor, but I think you should have separated that from your complaint about the noise.  I also think that it is possible that the noise you were hearing in the morning is their drawers, not things being moved, hence her extra anger.  If you are renting, MrTango's advice could help as well.

I do rent, and the landlord told me on the first day that they don't get involved in disputes between their tenants.  Suzy rents from the same landlord.  That would have made things easier I would have thought.  He is also slow to do things he doesn't think are "necessary".  He hasn't had complaints before.  I am considering moving to another room to sleep, but I would have to buy a smaller bed in order for it to fit.  This twin is two stories, and my office furniture is heavy, another reason I have it downstairs, and away from the upstairs bedrooms.  I have to look at the lease.

Kitri, this is beyond a dispute between neighbors.  Your landlord needs to get involved.  Tell him about the noise problem and ask about soundproofing.  Just because he didn't get complaints before doesn't mean it isn't happening.

If he chooses not to do anything you can try landlord/tenant court.  Most cities have them.

OP, this is a tough situation, and I sympathize with you. I live in an apartment with very thin walls and high tenant turnover. The worst year was a verbally/physically abusive couple who screamed at each other and threw things in the middle of the night. Second-worst was a very... amorous couple who literally made noise for hours, starting at exactly the time I went to bed just a few inches away. The furniture is all built in so the best I could do was go sleep on the loveseat in the other room (not very comfortable). It was terribly upsetting and frustrating (obviously the angry couple for slightly different, scary reasons). Also, my landlord was sympathetic, but told me that she wouldn't get involved--basically I was to call the police noise complaint line! Which seemed a little much in the case of the amorous neighbors.

What saved me was a white noise machine. I can recommend the model if you're interested. It wasn't a magic mute button but it muffled things enough that I could sleep.

I also investigated soundproofing materials, but for me it was impractical. However, if you could get some sheets of it at a hardware store and put them up against the shared wall, that might help a lot. Maybe drape a blanket over the side you can see so it will look nicer, kind of like a quilt hanging on the wall.

I definitely agree with moving your sleeping place to a quieter room. It might be extra work that you shouldn't have to do, but it sounds like these neighbors are not going to change, so the sooner you make your own environment quieter, the better. Maybe try temporarily sleeping in another room for a week or so to see if it's worth it to make a larger change.

I agree with you that the pie thing is weird, and her defensive, aggressive behavior would creep me out a little, too. But, I think you can say that since you tried to resolve it politely with them, and it didn't work, it's time to move on to the next idea, even if that idea is more work for you.  :-\

rose red:
Does anyone else think former tenants already tried the pie idea, and that's why the neighbor is already aggressive and defensive?  She knows the drill already and not likely to change.  The last tenant was only there two years which is a pretty short time.  The landlord informing the OP that he won't get involved from the very first day is also very telling.


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