How to deal with noisy stomping neighbors above you

Written by dave stanley
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How to deal with noisy stomping neighbors above you
Establishing a friendly bond with your upstairs neighbours will make future noise issues easier to deal with. (Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Shared walls always harbour potential noise problems with neighbours, but it's even more troublesome when you live below someone. It's one thing for the person living next to you to occasionally hammer a picture to the wall or inadvertently bump a piece of furniture against it. But upstairs neighbours? Literally every step becomes an issue, not to mention the dropping of heavy items or rambunctious toddlers. The key is to not only be patient, but also to be able to discern between what is merely everyday living or a verifiable public nuisance.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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  1. 1

    Take all of the details of the situation into consideration, as you never want to do anything rash in the heat of the moment. For instance, if you live in an older house, every step your upstairs neighbours take may make a sound. Remember, if the sounds being made are the result of everyday living, then it's the house that's the issue and not the neighbours. However, there are other things to consider, such as the time of day said sounds are being made and whether or not they are doing something that's a public nuisance, such as a loud party at 3 am.

  2. 2

    Establish a friendship with your upstairs neighbours. For starters, you never want to have your first encounter with them to be an angry, awkward one. Even if you're already noticing a pattern of noisy behaviour, don't mention it the first time you meet them. Simply introduce yourself, say hello and complete a friendly, neighbourly deed, such as bringing them baked goods or offering your lawnmower.

  3. 3

    Exchange cell phone numbers or e-mail addresses. Not only will this save you a trip whenever it's time for a communique, but you will also have the advantage of masking your true feelings when actually showing them is ill-advised. For example, if you are stark raving mad that you have been awakened at 5 am due to the fact that one of the neighbours is a tap dancing insomniac, you can simply text them with a firm yet polite "do you mind, :)?" statement as opposed to storming upstairs to confront them.

  4. 4

    Peruse your lease and contact your landlords if all other avenues of diplomacy have failed. There may be a provision about noise nuisances, for example. Even if that's not the case, you stand to benefit by being proactive and politely telling your landlord that you've exhausted every option at your disposal to no avail, and are seeking her advice. What happens will depend on her.

Tips and warnings

  • If you live in New York City, call 311 to make anonymous noise complaints.

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