I did it . . . called the cops on my upstairs neighbors re: noise

. . . keeping my fingers crossed that they keep any animosity to themselves.

After months of sometimes knocking and asking them to keep it down, and other times crossing my fingers that it won’t last too long, being woken up at 6AM to loud music and/or sex, and kept up at night with the same, I decided I’m just sick and tired of having to be polite and oh-so apologetic for inconveniencing them, but could they please turn it down. We’re all in our 30s, and if they haven’t learned to live respectfully and in peace with other tenants in their building, then I have little pity.

Yes, I had a miserable week/weekend, which probably helped turn the extra-loud Rolling Stones at 10:15 on a Sunday night into the straw that broke the camel’s back, after listening to an hour of nondescript bass thumping.

I’m not a man who lives life with regrets, but now is the time I’m really kicking myself for making it to 34 without owning my own property where I’m not sharing a ceiling/floor with someone else.

But yeah. I called the police, who came (after the noisiest of it was through, which is always the case, isn’t it?). I don’t think the guys up there will do much more than be pissed at me, but who knows; I don’t know them that well, and they are kind of macho-type dudes. Maybe it’s time to start looking for a new place, who knows . . .

*It’s just apartment house sense, it’s like apartment house rents, remember one man’s ceiling is another man’s floor . . . *

Have you complained to the apartment management? And if so, what was their response?

I’ve noticed something obnoxious about apartment management and noise: They seem not to care, even if they say they do.

Most apartment managers are obsessively jerkish about maintaining the visual aesthetics of a property: Rules about what color drapes you can have, rules about clutter on the patio (if you have a patio), rules about hanging clothes out to dry, and on and on … and they pester and harass tenants about petty shit like that. Most apartment managers where I have lived have been like this.

But noise? Cars drive through the lot with their radios blaring and the bass rattling the plaster out of the ceilings. Or they park and sit listening to the same for an hour or more. At all hours of the day and night. Car burgler alarms sounding off day and night. Groups of people hanging out in the parking areas at all hourse, yakking away. Loud music from neighboring apartments. Tenants yelling and screaming at their families. But I’ve NEVER been able to convince an apartment manager to tell all those kinds of tenants to STFU. They just don’t seem to give a shit.

I once complained to my rental office about a tenant making too much noise, and the office manager told me to call the police. I explained that the noise is not a criminal offense, it is a lease violation, and the police are not in the business of enforcing the apartment lease. She said Call the police.

Many municipalities have a noise ordinance, which does, indeed, make excessive noise a criminal offense.

While I may call police in the moment, while a fight is happening or loud party late at night, I follow up with the management company. They send the offending tenant a letter stating they violated their lease and to knock it off. When this happened with a tenant below me, while they didn’t persue eviction, they simply didn’t renew their lease and they had to move.


Most city noise ordinances don’t care what time it is; they care how loud it is. I once called the cops on a neighbor at 10 in the a.m. The lovely lady next door said she could play her fucking music as loud as she liked as it was 10 a.m. She was shocked when the nice policeman explained to her that no, she could not.

Wow. I haven’t lived in an apartment in a loooong time (got out as soon as I could afford to). Back then and there it was do what you want except for certain hours. And 10:15, to me, sounds like mom scolding kids that it’s a school night.

Yeah, good luck with that. The policy really don’t give a rat’s ass about noise ordinances. Nor, in my experience, do apartment managers.

As to 10:15 PM, for those who work and have to get up at 6:00 AM Monday, it is a school night.

Depends where you live and the property manager’s standards. I live in a college town, and there are complexes that will not rent to students. They have a much lower noise-tolerance than the ones that do.

But it’s also true that some people don’t have a normal tolerance for sounds. If you can’t stand hearing normal people making normal noises during normal hours through cheaply-constructed walls and floors, then don’t rent from a cheaply-constructed apartment complex. Rent from one with thicker walls and floors, or rent a standalone unit (like a house). If you can’t afford that, well, beggars can’t be choosers.

This. And, in the past, noise has started somewhere in the 9-10PM range, and either lasts a short while, or goes up until about midnight. I decided I was not in the mood to sit around waiting to see if it was just going to be 10 minutes of disruptive noise, or if it was going to keep me from going to bed for an hour and a half.

And Rachellelogram, you’re absolutely right. I listen to sex, loud conversations, low-level (and sometimes louder) music and movies at most hours of the day. It makes me kind of cranky, but I suffer through it knowing that “beggars can’t be choosers.” But, it makes my tolerance for anything elevated above that pretty minimal, particularly on a night before I have to be up in the morning.

On the one hand, it sucks to be me. On the other hand, if they want to pretend like they’re not inconveniencing others in the building, well, I’m happy to dispel them of that notion.

Have you ever tried a white noise machine? If not, you need to! I am super sensitive to noise and I live in a complex that shares a parking lot with a low class strip mall, so I know exactly how you feel. I can’t live without my white noise.

But there is a different threshold. My apartment lease stipulated that residents or their guests cannot be socializing outdoors after 11 pm. That would certainly not violate any municipal noise ordinance, but does violate the lease, and would then be a matter for management, not the police, to be responsive to.

Certainly there is no municipal noise ordinance that is so broad that it is a criminal offense to make a noise that occasions a single neighbor to complain. Or that violates the lease of any rental property. It would make it a criminal act to laugh in a library where there is a “shhh” sign.

Eonwe, I don’t envy your situation, but I understand it. I am continually glad that I no longer live in an apartment. I would rather live in a tiny house in the middle of nowhere than share a wall/floor/ceiling with another stranger.
Best wishes!

Yeah, 10:15 is getting late. I’m up at 5:30 am and trying to sleep by 9:30 or 10.

Thankfully, I live in a detached house in a quiet, older neighbourhood.

ETA: Another vote for a white noise machine. I have an app on my iPad that I use when travelling, but also use a table fan in my room at night when my husband is still up watching TV in the living room, etc.

Chicago cares. I had occasion to look this up recently when our neighbors 2 doors down decided to have a loud party with amplified music in the backyard. Things were just getting started at 11 pm on a Sunday. We literally had to call the cops on them 5 times before they finally gave up. The towel was thrown in sometime around 1:00 am. Fuck that - this is an urban area, and there are lots of people who have to wake up in the morning. If you absolutely must have a party on a Sunday night, you can damn well do it in your own apartment so the whole neighborhood doesn’t have to listen.

I swear, the cops would come, the music would get turned down, and 10 minutes later it would get turned back up again. Fuck that. I hope someone got a $300 ticket - that’s fucking inconsiderate in a residential neighborhood. If you want to have loud music and dancing at 1:00 am, go to a club with a 4 am liquor license. The rest of us have to work in the morning.

I recommend “ear plugs” which has helped a lot in the past 3 months. My upstairs neighbor has cats and they were so loud and once I bought the ear plugs I don’t hear anything
Only down side is it’s takes me longer to hear the alarm LOL

That’s what worries me about use of ear plugs, the possibility of not hearing my alarm. Might experiment some time on a day off.

you end up hearing it just not right away. if you set your alarm for 7am you hear it at 7:20