It’s been a long week for you – the office was hectic; you drank too much after work on Wednesday, and Thursday, and on Saturday; your boss gave you hell Thursday morning; and you’re being forced to go to your little niece’s My Little Pony-themed three-and-a-half birthday party all day Saturday. You crawl into bed on a Sunday night, so happy to finally get some rest, when you hear it: Your neighbours are having a Sunday Funday party.
Noisy neighbours. We apartment dwellers have all experienced them. Whether it’s the chronic partier neighbours, the neighbours that are ALWAYS doing it (screaming is not necessary, lady!), the neighbour who wears shoes in the house, the neighbour with the constantly barking dog, or the neighbour who’s taken up violin lessons, it’s always really annoying.
How to deal with noisy neighbours? There’s no absolute answer, and some renters have gotten really creative with their solution, but here are our recommendations that are within the law and are most unlikely to lead to an unwanted confrontation.
1. Show up with your big boy pants.
First, take a sec to calm down, then knock on your neighbour’s door to let them know that the noise is a bit on the loud side. Come armed with a solution. If it’s loud music, they could turn it down, or at least turn down the bass? Definitely don’t arrive with guns blazing – that will just make things worse. Opt for the soft approach the first time, and several times after (if necessary).
2. Leave a message.
As in, slide a note under your neighbour’s door. Once again, we recommend writing this note once’ you’ve chilled out. Write that while you get it, everyone makes noise, their decibel level has been pretty disruptive lately. We recommend this approach if your neighbour gets rowdy and loud in the sack – it saves both parties the embarrassment of talking face to face about the bedroom antics.
Not the door, this time, but on the wall, ceiling or floor that’s adjacent to your neighbour’s place. This definitely is not our first recommendation, but it’s been known to work in a pinch.
4. Get help.
Seek help from the building manager or from your landlord and ask them nicely to intervene. Often, your building will have bylaws that cover noise disruptions and you might have some paperwork to back your complaint. If the noise level is really out of control, calling the police might be appropriate, but that’s for extreme circumstances only.
Whatever tack you take to deal with noisy neighbours, the rule of thumb is to treat neighbours the way you’d want to be treated. Be respectful – we’re all living in close quarters and noise travels between walls easily. Chances are, you’ve made enough noise to raise the hackles of a neighbour or two in your time. We’re all entitled to live in peace, though, so dealing with noise issues respectfully can be your ticket to tranquil apartment living.