View Full Version : Apartment noise: I don't know what's reasonable
06-12-2004, 11:03 AM
No, not the noise *I* make. I am quiet as a mouse (of course!) I have no idea what I should tolerate from the neighbors, though.
My specific problem is that the person in the apartment below mine has a treadmill in her bedroom--which is directly below mine. She runs on it from 6:15 to 6:45 every morning. She has been doing this since November. I have been trying to tolerate it, but it's really getting on my nerves. First the motor turns on (bbbrrrrrrrrrrrrrr) then she starts running (thump THUMP thump THUMP thump THUMP THUMP THUMP). It always wakes me up. It's so irritating I have to put in earplugs, and I can't fall asleep again until she stops. Also, she is occasionally on the phone in her bedroom until about 12:30 a.m. That leaves... yes, less than six hours of quiet in between. I'm sorry for all you lucky people who don't believe me and who can survive on six hours of sleep, but I am the kind of person who really does need eight hours of sleep, minimum. I can't function without it. Of course, I am getting it, it just comes in two chunks. I am having fantasies about the good old days when I got my sleep all in one piece.
Would it be reasonable to demand that the management tell her to move the goddamn treadmill into her living room? There *is* a noise clause in our contracts, to justify it.
Mr. Blue Sky
06-12-2004, 11:06 AM
The best way to go would be through the manager. Write a letter and sent it certified (for your records) requesting the lady move the treadmill.
Keep complaining until something is done.
If you're on any type of speaking terms with this neighbor I'd recommend bringing it up with *her* first, rather than going to the management. She's probably totally unaware that her treadmill is so noisy and keeps you awake, because hey, she's awake at that hour! While it'd be much easier to have management do it, the woman will probably be mortified and feel really crappy for having been a "problem neighbor." Or she could be a shrill harpy about it. But I'd say talk to her first.
06-12-2004, 11:30 AM
Oh, there is more to the story... rather dishonest of me not to tell it. About her late-night phone conversations? I have been periodically complaining about them, to her and to the management. I have not had to complain for several months now--just as much because I no longer have to get up in the morning, as because she began behaving better. So she is already a "problem neighbor," knows it and doesn't care much. Last time I tried to talk to her, she started screaming and calling me names. She followed me out into the stairwell and didn't stop until I went into my apartment.
06-12-2004, 11:36 AM
Before you go to management, look in your lease and see if it mentions hours that you're supposed to keep the noise down. Last apartment I lived in, the rules said "quiet hours" were from 11 at night until 7 in the morning on weekdays. If the hours she's on the treadmill are within the "quiet" period, you've got a stronger case. If they're not, be prepared to document that it's really a problem - tape recording what you can hear in your bedroom wouldn't hurt, for instance.
And dayum, what are the insulating the floors with these days? :eek:
06-12-2004, 11:50 AM
They're *not* insulating the floors, apparently. Or, whatever they put in in 1963 when the building was new, has deteriorated since then...
Ooo, yeah, she sounds like a problem neighbor indeed. Management. Definitely.
06-12-2004, 12:52 PM
Sometimes I hear noises from my upstairs neighbor. TV noises, love-making noises, telephone-conversation noises. If I didn't sleep with a giant fan every night (which has a nice steady hum that lulls me sleep), I don't know what I'd do.
06-12-2004, 01:05 PM
Last time I tried to talk to her, she started screaming and calling me names. She followed me out into the stairwell and didn't stop until I went into my apartment.
Oh, yeah, if you tried to talk to her first, (I hope in a calm manner!) and she screamed at you, then definitely go through management. Maybe they can come over at 6:30 and see how much noise she makes with the treadmill?
06-12-2004, 01:20 PM
Imagine living in apartment below her.
A treadmill runner used to live in the unit above mine. She would run for about an hour, usually around 8 AM. It made the windows in my computer room rattle, and I swear I heard something in the ceiling crack a few times. I tried talking to her; she got rather huffy, and switched from jogging on the treadmill to jogging the length of her apartment, back and forth, for an hour. She did this late at night. I ended up taking it to the homeowner's association; the most they could ever do was send out notices about "excessive noise." (She was a renter; the owner of the unit was the brother of the developer who owned the entire complex.) She eventually moved out, leaving the treadmill and most of her belongings behind. The last I heard, she had left town after breaking up with her "on again, off again" boyfriend.
So yeah, definitely go to the manager. Treadmill noise is definitely unreasonable in a situation like that.
06-12-2004, 08:04 PM
The treadmill sounds like a problem but talking on the phone? That shouldn't be a problem. Your apartment's sound insulation must be really below par if conversation is that loud. I think it's unreasonable to expect someone to competely refrain from talking and watching TV in their own apartment, no matter what the hour is.
06-12-2004, 08:15 PM
It's a shame that woman lost her cool and shouted at you. You might have the management suggest she go to a local hardware store such as Lowe's or Home Depot and buy some interlocking pads and place under the treadmill. The mats I have are by PowerlinkŪ and don't cost more than $20.00 for a package of four. I believe you definitely have a case against this woman. If the communication from management doesn't work, you might want to have a lawyer write a letter to her, threatening legal action if she doesn't shape up. Good Luck.
06-13-2004, 08:59 PM
My specific problem is that the person in the apartment below mine has a treadmill in her bedroom--which is directly below mine.
I have absolutely never before heard of being able to hear noise from the apartment below! From above, certainly, as the noise travels through the solid materials of the floor/ceiling. From below it has to travel through both air (a very good insulator, usually) and the wood, steel, etc. that are in between. It must be a very shoddily constructed building, or her treadmill must make more noise than any I've ever heard.
You might try monstro's solution. You can buy a "sound machine" for about $25 at a discount store. These will make "white noise", various water sounds, and other nature noises, and will do a pretty good job with most outside noise. However, I'd advise buying the AC converter, as they eat batteries. :(
06-14-2004, 03:12 AM
Hello everyone, I am on the other side of the Atlantic now. Believe it or not, I cannot hear her from over here. Maybe I will stay.
Thanks for the suggestions. About her being able to talk on the phone at any time, I don't care if she does--in the living room. But she absolutely must do it in the bedroom. Must. Also, I do have a sound machine, and unfortunately it doesn't filter out her thump-thump-thumps.
Anyway, with the moral support gathered here, I guess I will contact the management when I get back home next week.
06-14-2004, 06:07 AM
I guess I will contact the management when I get back home next week.
Good luck. Let us know how it goes.
06-16-2004, 10:36 AM
The apartment noise issue is always a hot button for me, can't stand it. I lived in a crappy apartment for about a year. For the first half it was ok, occasional problems above, behind, and below with noisy neighbors but nothing a knock on the wall wouldn't fix. It helped that most people there were mexican or from South America staying illegally, they didn't want the cops called. For the last half of the year someone moved in next door to me, it had been empty prior to that. She got it in her head that it was ok to play her music as loud as she wanted. I tried lots of things. Banging on the wall helped at first, and when that stopped working I banged on her door and asked her if she knew she lived in an apartment with others all around. When that stopped working I hooked up my 200 watt guitar amp to my CD player, mounted it speaker first on the wall, then let fly. Never had a problem again after 5 minutes of that.
06-16-2004, 01:44 PM
Do you have carpeting in your bedroom? That might help if the manager doesn't respond quickly. You could also suggest to the manager that your neighbor put carpeting under her treadmill.
Probably not helping, but is there any chance you could sleep in your living room?
06-16-2004, 02:14 PM
she must have a very loud voice. :dubious:
06-16-2004, 02:16 PM
I once lived in a bottom apartment of a quad building. (Two apts. on top, two below.) Built during roughly the same era, (by, I swear, three Bubbas with a 12-pack, over a weekend) there was virtually no insulation and every little sound jumped up and down on my last nerve.
After two or three incidents of major water leaks upstairs leaking down into my place, and many complaints about noise and unauthorized dogs, I finally had a very nice heart-to-heart with the property manager. She knew I'd lived there two years and was perfect in terms of paying the rent in full, every month, on time. So she offered to let me switch apartments and move to another one of my choice. She showed me which ones were open and let me look at all of them.
I made the choice to stay where I was because I figured the hassle of moving would not be worth the few problems that would be solved by moving upstairs or across the street. I opted for leaving the complex completely and renting a house so I didn't have to share a wall or a ceiling or floor with anyone else.
Just a thought. But be really really nice to the landlord/prop. mgr.
06-16-2004, 05:01 PM
If I didn't sleep with a giant fan every night (which has a nice steady hum that lulls me sleep), I don't know what I'd do.
I had to read this sentence twice :)
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