As an apartment dweller, you share at least one wall with another resident. And, you probably hear your neighbor from time to time. It’s to be expected. Have you ever seen the video Everyone’s Upstairs Neighbor? Back when it was created, The Washington Post wrote:
Chances are what’s causing the movements of humans above you to sound like a giant’s conga line is a thin or poorly-insulated ceiling. But when the thumping begins at all the wrong times, you know you can’t help but wonder: are they doing that on purpose?
The experience is universal enough that when comedy writer Matt Moskovciak pretended the answer was yes, it’s on purpose, he created the most successful online video of his career.
Of course the video is hilariously exaggerated, but it does make one wonder: “Is that how I sound to my neighbors?” Yikes.
Keeping that in mind, strive to be the neighbor you wish you would always have.
- Offer a smile and a wave to your neighbors when you see them.
- Step outside your apartment and listen to the volume of your music, TV, gaming, etc. If you can hear it, bet your neighbors can, too. Consider using headphones after 10:00 PM and before 9:00 AM if you like to pump up the volume.
- Planning to throw a party? Let your neighbors know what to expect and for how long – and perhaps extend them an invitation to join in the fun.
These simple steps can go a long way toward shared enjoyment of life in your apartment building and apartment community.
On the other hand, what can you do if it’s your neighbors making too much noise and commotion on their side of the wall? The simplest (though not always easiest) solution is to knock on their door and ask them to keep down any noise that they can control (electronics, a barking dog, etc.). You can explain you need your sleep, that you’re working from home, etc. A heart-to-heart with your neighbor will always be better received than getting management involved. But if you are faint of heart, another option is to contact your management company and ask them to issue a general email to all residents about noise. This keeps you (or your neighbor) from being singled out, but ideally will get the message across. If that fails, you can have your management company contact your neighbor directly, without implicating you. A good set of ear plugs and a white noise machine or app on your phone can also work wonders.
Be a great neighbor and get one in return. Without the bowling balls.