Noisy Neighbor Etiquette

by Claire Valenty on May 8, 2010

in Everyday Etiquette

everyday noisy neighbor etiquette

Not following proper noisy neighbor etiquette can easily make a bad situation even worse.  Make sure you know how to best tackle this problem.

As housing becomes denser, we find ourselves practically living on top of each other in most areas. What is proper etiquette for dealing with noisy neighbors? Call the cops on them for disturbing the peace every night? Sit at home with a stress headache every day after work because their bass is pounding your walls and your head?

The first step in noisy neighbor etiquette is to take into consideration when it is happening. It is a general rule that between 7 am to 7 pm, everyone can make as much noise as they want (as long as they are not having a full on rock concert on the sidewalk in front of your house). Before or after those hours, if your neighbors are being noisy, you have a valid complaint. If you find yourself in that situation, it is best to go over to your neighbors and ask them politely if they would not mind turning the volume down. Nine times out of ten, they may not even realize they are being a nuisance. People genuinely are pretty clueless when it comes to that and are quick to remedy the solution. Sometimes, it might take a couple of trips over there, always being polite in your request, to get a permanent change in behavior, but, being able to relax in your own home is worth getting over any potential embarrassment you may feel. If you are being polite and reasonable, there is no reason to be embarrassed, anyway!

Now, if even after your rational requests to turn the volume down, your neighbor not only continues with the behavior, but becomes aggressive towards you, you have a delicate situation on your hands. At that stage, you can probably get the police involved as your neighbor is disturbing the peace, but, you might want to wait awhile so the neighbor does not know it was you. Remember: they know where you live!

Photo: 123rf/Scott Griessel

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Audrey, CA August 21, 2012 at 5:33 pm

My friend and I moved into a three story condo and we are sandwiched in the middle 2nd floor with people above, below and on each side. The only ones that I could cheefully strangle are the Korean couple who live downstairs. They have speakers in every room and they vibrate 24/7. I wrote them a very polite note to no avail. I called Surity and that was fruitless. At 5:30 a.m. every morning inclulding Sunday, they crank up the volume, I assume its to wake them up. If they both dropped dead tomorrow, I would have a wild celebration party. P.S. Ear Plugs don’t help.

Audrey, CA August 21, 2012 at 5:37 pm

P.S. That word should be Security, sorry !!

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