This guest blog is presented by www.pissedconsumer.com
Loud neighbors can indeed affect the quality of your lifestyle. So, the music or TV might be too loud. Or, you may hear children screaming or dogs barking all the time. Or those living in close proximity might be having dinner parties that go all the way past midnight. All these are frequent noises should be handled appropriately pronto as they have an impact on the brain function and, therefore, your overall health.
Read on to find out how to help manage noisy neighbors. How to make apartment noise complaints? How to write an apartment noise complaint letter? Are there any apartment noise laws that can protect your peace in your own home?
The Most Irritating Sounds for the Human Brain
It has been found that the human brain finds the following sounds particularly maddening :
- A power tool called anglegrinder
- An electric drill
- A baby crying
- A ruler on a bottle
- A fork on a glass
- A knife on a bottle
- A woman screaming
- Loud arguments
On PissedConsumer.com, tenants left more than 175 reviews regarding different types of noise in the apartment. The most people complain about:
- Loud neighbors
- Appliance noise (e.g., washer/dryer, refrigerator malfunctioning, etc.)
- HVAC noise
That being said, kid-related noise is also within the most commonly expressed noise complaints. Like the following consumer, who left an online review on PissedConsumer.com (review #1523738): “People moved in above me in town home they have hella kids! The kids run jump stomp from 6:20am to 12 am it’s ridiculous. Idk how much more I can take. I’ve put in *** of complaints I just want them to sit tf down. As I’m typing this all u hear is running like I went to office nothing was done far as I know. But in the lease it says every complaint is extra 25.00 I’ve put in at least 20.”
Before Taking Action
Before you decide to take matters into your own hands and call someone to make apartment noise complaints, ensure you:
- Review your lease agreement to familiarize yourself with what exactly constitutes a noise violation. You will probably be able to find details about things like quiet hours and audio/TV volumes restrictions there.
- Go through your city/municipality’s ordinances and laws that forbid unreasonable and excessive noise levels.
- Keep a written record of the type and time of noise your neighbors are disturbing you with. This will help the police, or your property manager, have a clear picture of what is going on and enforce lease rules.
Addressing Apartment Noise Complaints
When noise is becoming an issue for you and your loved one(s), you can deal with it in a nice, and respectful way. Here are some ideas:
1. Talk to your neighbors
Most of the times, neighbors that make noise do not even realize they are causing trouble. Talk to them to have noise issues resolved without immediately escalating them.
2. Get a white noise machine
If the noise problems are caused by the way the building has been constructed (i.e., hardwood floors, thin walls, etc.), some noise is probably inevitable. White noise machines not only help you fall asleep and enjoy a relaxing sleep but also buffer disturbing sounds and help shut down your busy brain and create a soothing cocoon.
3. Compromise or suggest a plan
If you find out that there is a good reason for the noise your neighbors are making, you can consider reaching some compromise. For instance, you could suggest that loud power tools are not used after, say, 9pm or before 8am.
4. Give a warning
If after all that, your neighbors are still loud, you could give them a last heads-up before you go on and let the management company, landlord, homeowners’ association, or the police know about your noise-related troubles. It might also help to handle over a copy of the local noise ordinances and make it perfectly clear that you will take this matter to proper authorities if they don’t quieten down.
5. Be 100% sure that this is indeed noise violation
Know that the person you will be accusing for making too much noise can file a complaint with the RPA (Rental Protection Agency) if they feel you are violating their right to enjoy their home reasonably during quiet hours.
Making Apartment Noise Complaints
If you feel you must make complaints about apartment noise on a more formal level, you can file a noise complaint to the landlord or, as a last resort, to the police. Noise disturbances can be communicated with your property manager if they take place during business hours or the police if they occur after hours. Ensure you use the non-emergency line (not 911) unless you wish to report criminal activities or suspicious behaviors.
Note that although you can make complaints about apartment noise anonymously, it is best that your apartment noise complaint letter or claim has your name under it. It will help officers substantiate your complaint and make sure there is someone to testify if things lead to an eviction process (though, quite rare because it is difficult to prove that the noise level has exceeded the one described by apartment noise laws – most issues of this type are usually resolved amicably).
Following is an apartment noise complaint letter for your reference. It includes 2 Sample Letters of a Complaint about Apartment Noise. There you need to include as many details as possible (i.e., the time, type of noise, which apartment the noise was coming form, whether the police responded, etc.).
Note: Remember that landlords always favor 3rd party substantiation – the more fellow renters you get to join the complaints about apartment noise, the more you give the landlord power to act on the complaints.
Avoiding Loud Neighbors
Do consider the following before you rent or buy a property/apartment:
- Rent an apartment on the top floor. You won’t need to deal with things like noisy footsteps and pounding/banging sounds.
- Ask about the building’s Sound Transmission Class (STC) Rating. The higher the STC rating (over 60), the more sound-proof the apartment is.
- Refrain from renting an apartment in loud areas or near noise sources (i.e., the elevator).
- Learn about building-specific noise regulations and see if there is a relevant clause in the lease (i.e., quiet hours). Given the lack of specific apartment noise laws (only general ordinances exist), this is your best shot.
- Find out your jurisdiction’s limits on noise decibel levels. In case you need to file formal complains about apartment noise, the department that has issued the complaint can come and measure the noise levels.
Dealing with noisy neighbors is not always easy. However, approaching a problem with respect and kindness is usually the best way to resolve it. Now, if things become too annoying for you, there is always a more formal path to take.