My sister lived in an apartment in Minneapolis for a number of years. It was a great apartment and a nice place to be, but in her last year there she ran into an issue with her neighbors. The tenants who lived in the unit above hers were noisy, they walked heavy they talked loud and at late hours of the night it sounded like they were moving furniture or bowling across the floor. It made it hard to sleep or watch TV because there always seemed to be noise interfering from upstairs. This is not a unique situation to be in, You may live on your own but if you live in an apartment you still have to deal with neighbor noise and issues. Some noise is expected you live wall to wall with people there is going to be some carry over, but what do you do when that noise gets to be too much, when it’s interrupting your sleep or down time?
There are 2 options:
1. You can talk directly to your neighbor, go knock on the door and ask them to keep it down.
2. You can talk to the landlord and lodge a formal complaint.
Either option is viable, but there are things to consider for both options.
1. Think about how well your know your neighbors. Are you comfortable knocking on their door to tell them they’re too loud, or that their guests are causing trouble in the hall? If you know the neighbors and talk to them in the hallways or at the pool that’s great. Next time you see them you can bring it up and ask them to be quieter. But if you don’t know your neighbors direct confrontation can be hard, even dangerous. While we all like to think we have good neighbors that just is not the case. Some people out there are scary and dangerous and you have to be careful. For the same reason you don’t walk down a dark ally by yourself, you don’t knock on an unknown neighbors door. Who knows what you might find behind that door, it could be a nice old lady who will apologize and things will be fine, but it could also be the next name on the news for armed robbery or assault and you can not put yourself in that position. In my sisters case she had no clue who were neighbors were. They had different schedules and different lifestyles and never crossed paths. Confronting them was not an option. She didn’t know what she was getting into, and as a single female living alone she was not going to confront her neighbor. So she used the landlord as a neutral third party. The landlord was able to talk to the noisy tenant without using my sisters name or apartment number and resolve the issue without any incident. Each situation is different and you have to consider your own comfort level and abilities.
2. Another thing to consider is also the issue itself. Are there things you can do to minimize the issue without confrontation, maybe it’s as simple as moving your bed to another wall to remove the neighbors’ noise. Also consider if it is a constant issue or a one time thing. Maybe they had a party one Saturday that disturbed you, or are they having parties every night. Is it possible they work night shift and are up at a different time than you? While that doesn’t give them the right to be overly noisy and disruptive they need to be able to use their apartment as well. You don’t want to be the neighbor who is constantly complaining and tattling but you also don’t have to put up with constant noise. As states above some people/tenants are just bad for the property but you never know until they are there and causing trouble. It may be that your complaints to the landlord allow them to remove the disruptive tenant. There are regulations for evictions and documented issues with neighbors can help. But, again each situation is unique and you need to consider all sides before confrontation.
However, always keep in mind that certain situations are out of your control and require a call to the authorities. You have the right to take the issue to the police if the neighbors are creating an unsafe environment, if the party is out of hand or there are drugs or weapons or any such things going on. You deserve to be safe and secure in your apartment and the neighbors do not get to take that away from you.
Neighbors can ruin the fun of living on your own. You may not have to share the bathroom or label your food but you still live in close proximity to others and that requires compromise and consideration. If your neighbors cross that line and get too noisy or have too many parties it’s okay to say something and whether you go to the landlord or the neighbor specifically all depends on how you feel in that situation. Consider all your options and make the right decision for the situation and you.
What sort of neighbor issues have you had and how did you handle that? What was the outcome?
Also check out our other Tips for Renters to find help on noisy neighbors and dealing with close living.
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