Seven Strategies for Dealing with Noisy Upstairs Neighbors

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Updated April 10, 2019
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When you live with neighbors who share walls, you have to be aware that there may be times when you will experience noise. Noisy upstairs neighbors can be no big deal — unless it’s late at night or you’re at home trying to work. Then it can be a major problem.

In fact, sometimes it seems like they may be intentionally making noise just to mess with you, as this parody video humorously illustrates:

Joking aside, it can be a very frustrating experience. You expect to be able to have some peace and quiet within the comfort of your home, but unfortunately, due to some noisy neighbors, you fell behind on some work or lost some hours while trying to sleep.

Tips for Dealing With Noisy Upstairs Neighbors

So, just what exactly is the best way to deal with these loud neighbors?

Here are seven strategies for dealing with neighbors — we’ll give you some tips to help avoid noise issues in the first place, and some tips for when noise issues are already a concern for you. Keep in mind that it’s important to handle all confrontations as respectfully as possible, and make sure you don’t have unfair expectations.

It is impossible to expect absolute silence all hours of the day. That being said, if you are having consistent issues of noisy upstairs neighbors and real noise violations, here are seven tips that can help you before and after you are living in an apartment with noise issues.

Before Moving In

Look For Apartments At the Top of the Building

Units at the top of the apartment complex will obviously have less noise coming from above. If noise is a concern for you, it is up to you to take things into your own hands and avoid the frustration of upstairs neighbors.

That being said, if you’re going to move into an apartment on a floor that is not at ground level, it is up to you to be conscious of your noise levels for your neighbors and the people below you. Be open to hearing concerns from others about your noise levels, as you would want them to respect you if they were making all the noise.

condo high rise

Let the Property Manager Know Noise is a Concern

When apartment shopping, it’s best to let the property manager know right off the bat that you’d like a quiet apartment with quiet neighbors. They may be able to show you units in a quieter area or higher floor of the building. You may have to be willing to pay a bit more for a specific unit, but if you’re concerned about noise, it would be worth it!

It’s easier to find apartments for a prospective tenant when you know what is important to them. Help your property manager out by setting your expectations during the touring process.

Learn the Building’s Quiet Hours

If your building has established quiet hours, those will be important to keep track of. If someone is being loud above you in the middle of the day, it may be annoying, but will probably not be worth getting management involved.

That being said, if they are violating quiet hours, that could be a good reason to get your property manager involved. Who knows, your noisy upstair neighbors may not be aware of the quiet hours themselves!

After Moving In

Introduce Yourself

When you first move into a new apartment complex, it may be smart to introduce yourself to your next door, upstairs, and downstairs neighbors, so that they are able to put a face and name to your apartment number. It’s easier to not care about being inconsiderate when you don’t consider the person you are affecting.

If your noisy upstairs neighbors know who you are and you run into issues in the future, they will understand that you want to handle it with as much mutual respect as possible, and they may be more open to reaching an agreement with you!

Leave a Note

Leaving a note for noisy upstairs neighbors is a simple way to bring an issue to their attention. It does not require much effort on your part, and can be effective in bringing it up to the noisy upstairs neighbors for the first time. That being said, it is hard to convey tone through a note. It may be taken as passive-aggressive and end up causing even bigger issues!

If you are willing to take the risk, it is an easy solution, though may not actually solve the problem. One way to use a note is to begin a conversation or address the issue without expecting a solution right away.

Speak to Them About It

Not everyone is comfortable speaking up, especially with people you may not know very well. However, this is the best method for dealing with noisy upstairs neighbors! If you have introduced yourself to your neighbors already, that makes this process even easier on you.

You’ll get a better response because you can show that you aren’t upset or being passive-aggressive, but just want to have a conversation. Who knows, you may end up making a new friend out of the situation! People feel much more respected when you choose to address an issue rather than going behind their backs to get them in trouble, and simply talking without dealing with a lag in communication is a quicker way to a resolution with noisy upstairs neighbors.

noisy upstairs neighbors

Odds are, they will completely understand where you’re coming from. No one wants to deal with unwanted noise pollution and once your noisy upstairs neighbors realize they are guilty of just that, they will likely work towards making sure it doesn’t happen again.

Get Management Involved

As a last case scenario, talk to the landlord or property manager. Now, if it is your neighbors first or second offense or you haven’t addressed it with them yourself, then getting management involved may a bit extreme. If this is the case, then you’re getting your neighbors in trouble before they even have a chance to remedy the situation.

This approach could lead to bigger issues down the road, as your noisy upstairs neighbors might lose respect for you, or even be more noisy just to spite you for getting them in trouble!

However, if it is a repeated habit, where every weekend they are blaring music into the wee hours of the morning or vacuuming at 6 am on a Saturday, then talking to a landlord or management about noisy upstairs neighbors is certainly justifiable. Make sure you’ve addressed the issue with the neighbors first and it would be a good idea to have documentation of when and how often the noise violations occur.

Keep in mind that unless it is an extreme case, management may not be able to do much about the situation either besides speak to them and issue a warning. Be willing to compromise and come to an agreement that works for both parties!

Ask Yourself — Are You Being a Good Neighbor?

It’s likely that your noisy upstairs neighbors didn’t realize that they were being loud, so it’s wise to ask yourself if you may be inadvertently making too much noise yourself. Remember it’s impossible to expect total silence at all times!

The key to living in an apartment community is to understand that you are part of just that: a community. In order for a community to thrive, you have to be respectful of everyone around you. Make sure you’re always considerate of those around you- even your noisy upstairs neighbors!

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