Almost all of us have had a problem with noisy apartment neighbors. You probably don’t appreciate a noisy neighbor, and you probably don’t want to be a noisy neighbor either. When you’re sharing a wall (blog name pun intended), your noise level directly affects those around you. Here are some tips to help you keep the peace.

What Makes a Noisy Neighbor?

  • Entertainment Volume: One of the biggest culprits of apartment noise complaints is entertainment volume—and we’re not talking about the occasional party you might throw. Having the TV turned up too loud or the radio blasting on a regular basis can really irritate people who don’t share your taste in music or television shows.
  • Domestic Disputes: If you have a roommate or significant other, heated discussions between the two of you can also lead to some noisy neighbor complaints. See if you can work things out at a reasonable volume and in a calm, rational manner. You don’t want the neighbors to hear what you are arguing about anyway.
  • Kids: Kids are loud. If you’re a parent, you’ve probably become immunized to the sound of your children, but your neighbors haven’t. You shouldn’t stop your kids from having fun, but try to teach them to be aware of how much noise they make and how it affects others.
  • Pets:Pets, particularly barking dogs or yowling cats, can really get under a neighbor’s skin. Ideally, if you’re going to have pets, try to have small pets that are not the particularly noisy kind. If you get a fish instead of a yipping terrier, your neighbors will thank you. If you must have a noisy pet, you may want to invest in some obedience training to keep your furry friend’s conversations at a minimum.

Avoiding Apartment Noise Complaints:

  • Take Note of Time: People’s tolerance for noise usually goes down as the hour gets later. Most people have a schedule that requires they get some sleep from around 10PM until 7 or 8AM, especially during the work week. If your decibel level is high at those times, you’ll probably hear about it from bleary-eyed cohabitants.
  • Watch the Windows: Not everyone realizes this, but sound travels a lot better through open windows. If you know that you’re going to be making a lot of noise at any given time, try to make sure those windows are closed. If it’s too hot for that, see if you can leave just one or two windows open a crack during high noise times, rather than having them all wide open.
  • Set Expectations in Advance: While it’s more expected that noise levels might rise on weekend nights and run later into the night, it’s still always a good idea to give neighbors a heads up of any plans that will create higher than normal noise levels. If you’re having friends over for a party, tell your neighbors as far in advance as you can. A note on the door will suffice if you can’t catch them any other way. This will give them time to plan for a night out or if they do choose to stay home, it will help alleviate some of the tension that comes from unanticipated noise.

Good Fences—and Good Communication—Make Good Neighbors

If you do find yourself in a situation where you need to speak with your neighbor to help resolve a noise issue, remember to give them the benefit of the doubt. They may be completely unaware of what you are able to hear from your apartment. Stay calm, explain the situation from your point of view and try to understand it from theirs as well. Also, keep an open mind—a noisy neighbor today could become a friend tomorrow.