My (Crazy) Upstairs Neighbors

October 30, 2005

You might wonder what I’m doing up so late. The truth is I’m listening to rap music!

It all started when I moved into this place just over a month ago. I went to bed that night amid the boxes only to be kept awake until midnight by the unmistakable sounds of child feet running laps in the apartment above. Running laps and dropping toys. On the hard wood floors. On what is, essentially, my celing. It sounded like gunshots in a bowling alley. The weird part is, the babbling vocalizations accompanying the other noise seemed to indicate that the noisemaker couldn’t be older than two years of age.

Lying there that first night, I thought maybe it was a fluke. Some kid couldn’t get to sleep and everyone had a hard night. It was quiet by midnight, in any case. Not a big deal. But then it happened the next night. And the next. It happened almost every night that week. And the week after.

I want to make clear my own idea about kids making noise: there’s not much you can do about it. You can’t teach a two-year-old to be quiet, nor should you try. But I do think that two-year-olds belong in bed before midnight. Way before. Ordinarily I’d never presume to tell someone how to raise their kids – even someone who desperately needed telling – but when it impacts my ability to get a good night’s sleep for three weeks, I think it understandable that one Thursday night I marched upstairs with a suggestion or two.

“Hey, how about you give me a break and put your kid to bed tonight?” I know I shouldn’t have started the conversation this way. But there I was, tousle-headed, barefooted and hastily dressed at 11:45 in the evening. And I was pissed. I explained to the man who answered the door that the noise of his little one running and playing on the hard floor until midnight every night was keeping me awake; that it was very loud; that it needed to stop. The noise had reached such a crescendo, indeed had caused me to sit involuntarily bolt upright in bed, that I no longer thought it possible that the people upstairs could be ignorant of the level of disturbance they were causing. That is why I felt reality slipping away when the man in the doorway said “what noise?” Reality took another sickening lurch when he followed that up with: “turn down your damn TV!”

That was when my head exploded. Those who know me well probably understand why. For the benefit of everyone else, I shall explain: I don’t watch TV. Yes, I possess one, but I have no cable or satellite service, nor do I have an antenna. I have a DVD player and a Playstation. Neither the Playstation, nor the DVD player, nor the TV itself had been turned on in more than a week.

He shut his door and I went downstairs. The noise eventually stopped and I got some sleep. The next day after work I went upstairs and apologized. Sincerely. I told the man and woman who answered the door that even though there was a lot of noise I should not have come upstairs acting like that and that I was sorry. They seemed to genuinely accept my apology and introduced themselves. They said they would try to be quieter. We all shook hands and I went downstairs again. I felt better about the whole thing.

But the noise has not stopped. The landlord (a terrific fellow who takes a lot of pride in his building) seems to feel he has no authority to do anything about it. Nor does he seem convinced that there is a problem. I went up one other time to complain about the noise. I was much nicer this time. Apologetic, even. This time, in addition to telling me that there was no noise, she suggested that it was moot anyway because they were moving.

Moving? Fine by me. I went downstairs thanking my lucky stars. Soon these horrible people would be gone and anyone would be better. I figured the problem was about to resolve itself. Imagine my surprise the next day when I received a call from my landlord indicating that the poor woman upstairs had called him to say she felt “threatened” by me and that she was going to call the police next time I came up. The landlord seemed to think that we needed to work things out “somehow.” I told him that working things out necessitated talking and that talking would necessitate me going up there. I hoped that this behavior didn’t constitute a threat to anyone.

I decided to risk it: after work I went up to talk about it. “We really need to talk about this noise thing,” I said. The woman did not want to talk. “I don’t want to come up here late at night because of the noise,” I said. “And I know you don’t want me here, either. So we have to talk about this.” But she didn’t want to. She closed the door. “I really don’t know what else to do,” I told the door. “I guess I’ll have to call the police myself next time there’s too much noise.” The door did not seem to care.

I tried to call the landlord but he didn’t answer. A few minutes later he called me. He had been on the phone with her. Naturally. I asked him what he thought I should do. He didn’t know. I invited him to my apartment on any night that was good for him. I told him that I did not think he could hear the noise and tell me that it was reasonable. I do not know if he is going to drop by, but he didn’t seem keen on making plans to do so.

But last night there was noise only for about 15 minutes at 11:30. Nothing before and nothing after. Nice. Nicer, I should say. Tonight? Tonight there are no kid noises. Tonight it is music. I’ve never heard music from their apartment before, at least none that bothered me. I was dimly aware that there was music tonight, but it didn’t really disturb me until I went into my bedroom and realized that it was emanating from the room directly above. Bumping, bass-heavy music. The kind that you hear through walls and floors. Definitely beyond what polite neighbors impose on one another after midnight.

I just finally broke down and went upstairs to complain. Nobody answered. The across-the-hall neighbor opened her door to say that she thought nobody was home. Still the music plays on in the room above my bed. I’d sleep on my couch if I had one.


No comments yet

  1. Go ahead and call the police.
    If no one answers then maybe the po po can get the manager to open the door and turn the radio off, gee I sure hope your dildo neighbors don’t have any drugs laying around.

    A bong on the coffee table would make a nice fashion statement though.

  2. You have got to be kidding. This kind of behavior is beyond belief. Their response to your request to keep the noise down is appalling.

  3. Yeah, I’m going to recommend that you tell your landlord that you’re not paying rent until he does something about the situation, because his lack of taking any responsibility is also unsettling. He does have the authority to do something, because those tenants are interfering with his ability to make money on those apartments — apartments that HE owns. If your neighbors can’t stay relatively quiet, then you’re not going to pay him, and neither should anyone else who has to live beneath that racket. Thus, he MUST go up there and deal with it. Hands down.

    If he won’t deal with it, it’s calling the police or moving. Whichever suits you.

  4. For the record: Chris has been here and he has heard this shit. Was it as bad as I say, Chris?

  5. Being a landlord for about five years, I can provide some insight to this little mess.

    1. The landlord should be providing a five day notice for each instance of this noise that he physically hears. It is his job to handle such complaints and go and listen for the alleged noise and put a stop to it.

    2. If he does not, the police must be called. This is intolerable, and is a breach of the lease. Because I can guarantee in there it says something to the effect of “quiet consideration” or something like that. Also, if no one is home when the stereo is blaring, the landlord possesses the right to enter and turn the damn thing off. I regularly had to enter a unit on my property and turn off a cell phone alarm that was set because it went off at midnight and rarely were they home to turn it off.

    3. Do not go to the neighbor’s door anymore. This is a problem for the landlord–not you. In going there, it can be constrewed as harassment, whereas the landlord would only be doing his job. Which, he is paid very well for.

    4. If all else fails, since the landlord seems to be doing nothing about it, the noise could be constrewed as constructive eviction and you could possess the right to leave under your own lease.

    Good luck.

  6. I have a month-to-month lease. I can leave with 90 days notice at any time. Still, what you say is helpful. Thanks!

  7. John and I had a similar problem in the last apartment. WE lived on the top floor there, but there were a family of about 8 Latinos who lived below us who loved to throw parties late at night out in the yard. Right under the bedroom window. Loud singing, loud music, beer bottles clanking.. etc. I called the police several times and it finally stopped.

  8. Geeeeee-zus. I’m fortunate to live above very reasonable folk whom I’ve never had a noise complaint with. All my noise complaints (unofficial ones) are about drunks on Brady Street and loud motorcycles in the warmer months.

  9. Latinos huh, was it you, Archie Bunker or George Jefferson who spit out “There goes the neighborhood” first?

  10. To all the parents of young kids disturbing the peace:

    the neighbors upstairs have two kids: a baby we can
    barely hear and a very rambunctious 2 year old. for
    months, we heard toby the terror dragging furniture
    across the hardwood floors, dropping pots and pans on
    the floor, and racing from room to room with that
    special sound only toddlers can make with their heels.
    to me it didn’t matter whether the noise was
    happening in the middle of the day or the middle of
    the night, it was an awful cacophony we should never
    have had to put up with at any time of the day. it
    was horrible, but my husband and i didnt want to
    complain to our landlords because we loved our
    apartment and other neighbors and thought that
    complaining would just make US look more like a
    nuisance than them. but the noise got so bad, i
    decided to write a stern but polite note to the
    noisemaking family. i told them what i was hearing
    and offered solutions to make it better: pads on the
    furniture, etc. they never responded to our note, and
    the noise continued for about a week, but then it got
    better. no more scraping. no more dropping. but the
    running and stomping and jumping continued. one
    evening toby the terror kept jumping up and down on
    the floor. my husband and i waited for the parents to
    stop him, but the jumping continued. my husband,
    afraid of what i might do, decided to go up and talk
    to them himself. (he’s way nicer than I am.) when he
    came back down, he told me the dad was very frustrated
    that we were even complaining, told my husband, “the
    kid was only two years old and there was nothing he
    could do or would do because jumping and running is
    how the kid expresses himself.” once my husband told
    me the story, I became so exasperated, I screamed at
    the top of my lungs toward the ceiling, “THIS IS HOW I
    EXPRESS MYSELF!” My luck, they were hippies! One
    evening, close to Toby’s bedtime at 8pm, he was up to
    no good again, racing from room to room…over and
    over again…it drove me crazy…to the point i took
    the broom and did what my husband would never let me
    do when he was around, I BANGED. I BANGED AND BANGED.
    It sounded awful…just about as awful as a little
    kids slamming his heels on my ceiling. It was
    payback, and while I was doing it, it was sweet, sweet
    revenge. Well, Toby’s dad didn’t like that, so he
    responded with the pots and the pans on the floor, I
    hit back, he hit back, I hit back…Done. Well, then
    Pop started walking heavy-footed on the floor. This
    went on for an hour, and I finally walked upstairs and
    knocked on their door. When the door opened, the zoo
    spilled out. cat, kids, dad holding the kid, dad
    running after the cat. We had a chat that moved from
    one floor to the next as we chased Toby down. They
    told me I scared Toby with my banging. That made me
    feel bad…for a few minutes. I told them the noise
    was driving me crazy and it seemed like the last time
    we talked to Dad, they weren’t going to do anything
    about it. Mom told me the magic word that made me
    feel better: SORRY, she was trying to make it better.
    she talked about the pads she got on her furniture,
    the way she’s kept Toby away from pots and pans. I
    admitted to her it was getting better. I told her as
    long as she kept trying to keep Toby quiet…I would
    try to be more patient. I told her a young family
    wasn’t the best choice for a top floor apartment. She
    told me they were looking to buy. (thank god.) I was
    glad we didn’t end the night with the broom vs. pan
    tournament. I’m glad we chatted, but what still
    lingers inside and upsets me is the family’s somewhat
    unapologetic tone and unwillingness to restrain her
    child. She said things like, “Toby’s young and needs
    to run around right now. It wouldn’t be good for him
    if we told him to stop.” I bit my tongue, but what I
    wanted to say was, “THAT’S NOT MY PROBLEM. My problem
    is the noise. Fix it.” We ended the discussion on
    diplomatic terms. I probably won’t retaliate again
    with brooms and the like, but what is it with some
    parents and that sense of entitlement that the world
    has to just put up with their kidsbecause they’re
    kids? Bottom line: kids who can’t be controlled
    should not be living above anyone else. parents
    either need to rent a house or find a lower floor
    apartment. otherwise, they’re just being
    disrespectful to their neighbors, and frankly, it’s
    only justice if their disturbed neighbors fire back
    with surround sound and broom bangs. I didn’t say it
    was a necessarily the most mature response, but it is a

    To all the parents of young kids disturbing the peace:

  11. Wow, can I relate. These folks above me were WORSE though if you can imagine it. The noise went up till midnight at least five or six nights a week. There were times when I just said to myself “this can’t be real, it must be a joke!” Anyway, my neighbors ultimately DID move, thank goodness.

  12. I am totally in the same situation with the upstairs neighbors. They have a crying puppy and 2 children that run back and forth late at night and in the early morning hours. They get up and cry and run to mommy. What a nightmare. I only have 2 more months to go since it is temporary.

  13. It completely frustrates me how inconciderate some people can be. I live in an apartment with hardwood floors and find it to be common sense to not walk hard on the floor and keep the noise levels down at later hours. A couple who lived above me found it necesary to run around and wrestle whenever they pleased – YOU CANT DO THAT! I’m sorry but when you live in an apartment you are not free to act however you please, get a house and wrestle all day long. They never even opened the door when I went up there to complain. Where do these people come from and why can’t they figure this stuff out. The new neighbors now have to walk around contantly in there clod-hoppers on the hard wood, how hard is it to take your shoes off and spare your neighbors sanity. Are these peoples lives so special that it never occures to them to take these simple steps towards a balanced society. And it also pisses me off when they are upset because you have complained – SOORRRRY for disturbing your precious life with my obviously unimportant concerns. Seriously, are these people stupid or do they just not care. In either case they shouldn’t be getting away with this immature behavior. thanks for letting me vent even though some of these other situations seem even worse.

  14. I stumbled across your blog today while searching for a solution to thundering noise from above. I thought I’d leave my experience, at least out of sympathy.

    I live below a Ukrainian family that has two small grandchildren that semi-live with them (one is about 7 and the smaller one about 3 or 4), but often their little friends are over too. These kids run around all day on the weekend, my only days off from work, starting at 7AM and often going on till after 10 PM. The old lady upstairs is very heavy-set and stomps around all the time, the grandkids run laps around the unit like a stampede creating blasts of loud random thudding. Often I hear the kids screaming or singing their horrid little-kid songs on repeat. The old woman runs the damned vaccuum cleaner almost every day in the evening. Their TV is constantly warbling away all day long too. They have company over very frequently so there’s a lot of heavy foot traffic stomping up and down the stairs. All day long is this constant thudding upstairs, and loud BOOMs when things are being dropped. I’m convinced the old lady upstairs must be on some kind of drugs that keep her constantly walking/pacing around. Their phone rings off the hook all day too. They frequently step out on their balcony to smoke and their loud voices blare like they were trying to address an auditorium. I don’t know why they have to bellow at each other, but my god they can easily be heard through the ceiling when they talk. The kids are spoiled brats, they even dress the little girls up like princesses, including cape and tiara!

    I own my condo and they own theirs, so packing up and leaving isn’t very easy, and they’re probably not going anywhere nor can they be evicted. I’ve written letter to the homeowner’s association, and ultimately they only say that we should figure it out ourselves. I’ve gone up there several times and politely asked if they would please keep the noise down, and these are the responses I get:

    “It is only children, is okay till nine o’clock!” *door gets shut angrily in my face*

    “it is only kids, and you make old woman cryink because you complainink about the children” said by another Russian-speaking female friend who was answering the door

    After banging on the ceiling one night on a particularly loud Sunday evening, the kids’ father (who doesn’t actually live there, just visiting) actually comes downstairs and yells at me “why you banging on ceiling all the time, huh? It’s just a 7 year old kid, and they run around sometimes! The guy who lived before you didn’t have problem…” (I’ve owned the place for 7 & 1/2 years, so the kid didn’t even EXIST yet by the time he moved and I bought the place)

    Just this last Sunday, my girlfriend and I are woken up just before 8AM by the kids. By 9, they were stomping up and down the stairs outside. I put on my bathrobe and yanked the front door open and asked why there was so much noise at 9 on a Sunday morning, and the old man glibly brushed me off with “is not too much noise, they are just kids”. I was furious after that. My girlfriend has the flu and needed rest. No rest for us on the weekends…

    One time, they even wrote a very calculated letter to the HOA complaing about MY complaints. They’re very slippery, these people, and their son (the father of the little girls) is actually a used luxury car salesman. I’d call the police, but they’re very careful to keep the most offensive levels of noise to within the regulatory hours. One of my other neighbors (who has since moved away), said they had reason to believe this family is connected to some kind of mafia-like people. Kinda scary to imagine if this is actually true.

    It’s always “it’s just kids”. I’d sell my place and move away, but the housing market in Seattle is just too high now for me to afford, and I think it’s BS to be driven from one’s home just because of inconsiderate assholes who know they have near-immunity from consequences. I’m being thudded to death, but why should they care?

    Sorry for the very long post, I guess I needed to vent. but I truly understand what it’s like to have uncontrollable loud noise ruining your home and sanity.

  15. Noisy upstairs neighbors are something that I have had to contend with, on and off, for the last 10 years in different apartments.

    I am dealing with it right now and it’s the worst it’s been in 5 years. A couple moved above me 2 weeks ago. On their very first night, a Thursday, they jolted me out of my sleep by stomping, dropping things, rearranging furniture etc etc etc at about midnight.

    I am no longer a very nice person about this. I bypass niceties and go straight for the broom on the ceiling, which is my tamest ploy.

    The reason I no longer bother to reason with people is because insenstive loud clods never really care to begin with. That is my experience. The fact that they are that loud and oblivious in the first place is a pretty good indicator of whom you are up against.

    About a week ago, I did go upstairs and let my neighbor know–in a straightforward but non-abrasive way that I had not had a good night’s sleep since he moved in. He stays up very late, walks very heavily. Moves things around, and drops things at 1 am–and then has loud conversations with his girlfriend in bed.

    I told him to please consider that there is poor insulation and that everything he did was amplified (I refrained from saying that this included the boring, monotonous sex he has with girlfriend that lasts all of 5 minutes from the time he climbs into bed).

    He told me that he wasn’t going to walk on eggshells and that the onus was on me to deal with it.

    So I have.

    I now sleep peacefully in my living room, although it’s an inconvenience. However, I do put on my radio in the bedroom loud and shut the door. I don’t hear it, but they do. I can tell they are not sleeping well because they come home and take naps on a pretty regular basis.

    I will keep this up until they break.

    I have other tricks up my sleeve as well. Including vacuuming the ceiling with my noisy vacuum cleaner when they are sound asleep. I haven’t done it yet, but I will.

    I don’t like being mean. It creates tension and ill will. Furthermore, it means having to inconvenience myself. But…I think actions speak louder than words, and sometimes you have to harass people very badly before they get the message.

    I drove another neighbor out through this tactic. I will do it again.

    And hopefully get a neighbor who makes a normal amount of noise.

  16. Bravo! I’m all for striking back, especially after what I went through. When you think about it, that’s what I did, too: I inconvenienced them until they moved.

  17. I second that Bravo! I too have had to suffer from noisy upstairs neighbors. I moved into a new apartment a few weeks ago and have had to deal with a child running around above me. It’s sounds like a heard of stampeding buffalo.

    After just a few days of this I went upstairs and knocked on there door. I heard a kid tell his dad that someone was at the door. I had to knock a few more times and wait several minutes before papa came to the door. Standing right next to him was none other than ‘Diaper Dan’ himself who looked all of about 2 years old.

    I asked politely that the child not run. The father told me that he and his son didn’t even live there! He also told me that he was not aware of the child running around. I frowned on that without showing it overtly. He said he would make an effort to settle him down. We shook hands and I smiled and waved to his little larva.

    Not 5 minutes elapsed that I went back to my apartment that I heard him raise his voice for him to ‘stop running!’

    However, the noise continued on the next several days of the running, stomping, banging. Some of which had to be the gal who leased the place.

    I went and spoke to the apartment manager. I told her that I was surprised to find a child living up there and that when I originally looked at the apartment a month prior to moving in I specifically asked the co-manager if there were any small children living above me. She told me there were not. But, when the mananger looked on her list of tenants she said “well, there is now.”

    How about that I thought. A few days after I moved in suddenly she’s with child? well, her boyfriends child moved in. How conveinent.

    The manager told me that she was looking to see if she could move them to a downstairs unit (I am on the second floor of a three-story complex.) She also spoke of the gal who leased the apartment like she was a Saint…that she was not the kind to just pay no mind to the courtesy of others. I frowned on that one too.

    I told the manager that I would be happy to switch units since they also rent a junior one bedroom. For those not familiar with what that is, it’s pretty much just a glorified studio. About like a one bedroom only there is no door on the bedroom area. So, unlike the above writer I can not close a door to keep the noise in check.

    Also, I am six feet tall and the celings in my unit range from 8-9 feet in height. When I first spoke to the boyfriend upstairs he questioned if I had high ceilings. I told him ‘no,’ only the top floor has vaunted ceilings.

    I signed a one year lease. So, I am stuck here I suppose. My friend who helped me to locate to this complex didn’t help when he teased that the noise I was experiencing now was a “move in special.”

    Don’t get me wrong, I like kids, however…they do NOT belong living in the upstairs units in an apartment complex. It is not fair to the tenants who are single such as myself to have to deal with that chaos. I need some downtime from it.

    Iwork from home a good deal of the time and I tried earplugs, but during the day I can’t hear my phone or if someone knocks on my door. Also, I can’t hear my alarm going off in the morning.

    I did bang on the ceiling twice this past week out of frustration with my trusty broom handle. I can feel my jaw clench and pressure building up in my chest. I feel helpless.

    I wonder…I would like to hear some opinions…am I being a ‘wavemaker,’ or, are they, parent/s being irresponsible for not making the tyke cease running? Who’s wall is it? there floor, or my ceiling?

    The Apartment Rules state: “Resident(s) shall not make or allow any disturbing noises in the unit by Resident family or guests, nor permit anything by such persons which will interfere with the rights, comforts or conveniences of other persons. Between the hours of 10 PM and 8 AM no noise must be audible from your apartment.”

    When I spoke to the manager she told me that she would tell them not to make noise after 10 PM, but I told her ANY hour where the child is running on the ceiling is disturbing to me. The manager than said I was entitled to ‘my quiet enjoyement.’

    She said she would take care of it. But I just don’t see that having happened thus far. It’s been over a week since I spoke to the manager and still ‘Diaper Dan’ is going strong as ever up there.

    I feel worn out and defeated. I know, I still have my broom.

    But really…who is harassing whom now?

  18. I can seriously relate to all of you. I have a family living above me that have 2 obnoxious young school aged children living there. There are no words to describe what they sound like when they run, jump, and do their “gymnastics” up there. I swear these kids don’t know how to walk, only run. Every morning between 6:30 and 8 they are jumping out of the top bunk of the bunk beds which is directly above my bedroom. It scares the crap out of me on a regular basis to be woken up that way every morning.

    The first time I went up to talk to her and get her to keep it down was not related to the kids at all. It was 6:00 in the morning and she had turned up the music in the living room loud enough to hear while she was in the shower (ggggrrrrr for me). She was polite enough and I also mentioned the kids running around. She turned the music down about 1 decibal for about 5 mins then turned it up again. (gggrrrr again).

    The second time I went up it was after 2 hours of kids running and jumping and the tv or music blaring. She got po’d at me and slammed the door in my face. I talked to the caretaker/landlord and they didn’t even know that there were kids living there. She said she’d take care of it. Didn’t happen.

    Wow this is getting long.

    Third time I went up I got yelled at and the upstairs lady yelled at me and said something about there being a “bylaw” that said that she could make as much noise as she wanted during certain hours. No “bylaw” exists. Even if there were specified quiet hours, there is nothing saying that she can make as much noise as she wants without regard for people living around her.

    I have taken to keeping notes with specific times, dates, types of noise and durations of the disturbances so I have something to take to the landlord. I also am one of those people who don’t want to stir the pot as I may be the one to be blamed. I’m not bothered by reasonable noise, but this is rediculous. I get so frustrated that I’m looking for a new place even if it means breaking my new lease (signed in May) but I shouldn’t be the one to move because she can’t tell her kids not to run and respect the fact that someone lives below them. These kids are about 8 years old and can fully understand what noise is not like 2 year olds.

    Thanks for letting me vent.

  19. you know, I wondered if maybe we were being unreasonable, but after reading all of these comments, i feel better.

    it’s really unbearable and when our dog is sitting and shaking on the couch because of the noise…sheesh.

    there was also a trail of vomit in the parking lot this morning. don’t know if their little “party” or whatever had to do with that, but sheesh.

  20. Man can my GF and I relate to everyone of these stories!!!!!

    We have 2 nieghbors upstairs in our condo complex that are noisy as #$%@… Well actually the girl isn’t that noisy, but her fat a$$ boyfriend thuds his feet back and forth all day everyday. I just don’t understand wtf he could be doing all day long that requires him to walk back and forth in a 500 sq./ft. condo??? I’ve written a letter to the HOA and called them twice. They’ve sent notices to the neighbors, but not much has helped. Actually my GF called them last week and she was telling the HOA guy how much noise they make and he interuppted her right in the middle of it and said “well what do you expect me to do about it?” WOW… That pisses me off…

    I’m sure the fact that they have hardwood floors in their condo doesn’t help the fact any. I’ve heard that if you are on the 2nd story or above you are not allowed to have them. I’m gonna check more into this. I know my GF’s brother put tile in his condo on the 2nd floor and the downstairs neighbor complained so much he had to rip it all out and carpet the floor otherwise the HOA would fine him. So i’m kinda thinking if they have the same rules with my HOA then I might go that route. I just don’t know what to do anymore. I’ve went up there and spoke to the guy 3 times, sent a letter to the HOA, and called them twice… He slams his loud a$$ screen door, tromps around so heavy footed, and many of the times is up till 2-3 in the morning doing who knows what, and sometimes has a load of guys over and they go outside on the balcony right above our bedroom window till late LATE at night. My GF goes to work early in the morning and I’m in school. So we both need our sleep. I mean the guy is even hammering away up there installing shelves so he says at 10:00 at night!!!! I’m sooooooo pissed i just want to go up there and kick his a$$ but… on the other hand i hate coming off as just some complaining pain in the a$$ neighbor… so i don’t know what else to do. Thought about calling the cops, but i really doubt that will help any.

    We currently have our condo for sell, but the housing market right now is soooooo bad that we aren’t getting any bites. And to be honest, our upstairs neighbors are probably about 80% of the reason we want to move out. Sad isn’t it?

    Just don’t know what to do anymore….

  21. There should be laws against small children living in upstairs apartment. My neighbors, like all our yours, are winners. They have three children, ages 3, 10 months and 1 month. These people apparently never work, and have company over constantly. There are so many people staying upstairs that I swear they could be camping in the yard.
    Their floor/my ceiling is about 1 inch thick. I hear them all the time. I hear them rocking in the chair, playing guitar hero all hours of the day and night, and having sex. These people walk more in one day than I’ve walked around my apartment in 5 months.
    A few weeks after I moved in, the noise was unbearable. The bass was so loud it was shaking my cabinets and rattling the metal in the doors. I called my landlord who called the people upstairs and said “The neighbor downstairs is complaining about the noise.”
    Needless to say, I didn’t know about this and went out to my car. The neighbors also have 3-4 half running vehicles that they park behind the building. The dad was working on one of his cars and when he saw me he banged loudly with a tool and said “Is this too loud for you?” I looked at him, and he did it again!
    I want to call the police, but we live in a very small town and he has told other tennants that he can break into all of the apartments with a credit card. I have invested in ear plugs and a fan in my bedroom but they still wake me up. I can’t believe I’m paying money to live here!
    I’m a college student, and thank God I am out of this lease on May 1, 2007. I’m counting down the days.

  22. I can relate to all these people, I live on the bottom floor of a three apartment house and the people who live right above us are the worst neighbors ever. From what I have seen it is a mother and at least three kids.

    One of the biggest problems I have had with them was them leaving stuff on the bottom floor right in front of my door (Strollers , bikes ,toys etc…) I put a note on my door saying to please not block my door or I was gonna put the stuff outside well that didn’t bode well.

    The Morning after I put the note on the door I heard the mother walk by and rip it off the door and then start screaming at the top of her lungs “You don’t need to put up these F**king notes you cracker ass mother f**kers” (shes black , I’m white). well that wasn’t the end she then THREATENED TO LIGHT MY CAR ON FIRE WITH ME AND MY CAT IN IT.

    I called my landlord and told him about it he said “Yea, shes like that” but then he wanted my go to up stairs and talk to her and I was like “No way”.

    Then just the other day she was arguing with one of her kids and I’ve never heard the F-word spouted more times per sentence in all my life

    anyways I also have all the same problems everyone else has with the loud music and kids stomping around. If I could find a better place on my income i would be gone in a heartbeat. My landlord would probably miss having a tenant who pays their rent on time but then again my landlord is an idiot but don’t get me going on him.

    Thats a whole other story all together…..

  23. Well I don’t know if you’re still having this problem or not but I can relate to you. My upstairs neighbors walk with lead weights on their feet. I have to sleep during the day and work at night and I told them this when I first moved in here about 3 years ago. To this day they still continue to stomp around upstairs like elephants on meth. Since they do it during the day and they are technically not breaking the law, I can’t do anything about it. I’ve told the management about it and the said “oh well, you’re in an apartment so you’re gonna hear your neighbors whether you want to or not.” What fuckin ever. Ever since then all I can do is bang on the ceiling and yell at them. I’ve tried knocking on their door to confront them but they never answer. And I know they’re home when I knock because I can hear them stomping around up there. It’s been a noise war for the last few years with these ass holes. At first I thought they were pissed at me for staying up really late during the week (I only work the weekend night shift and I keep my sleep schedule during the week) but I can’t imagine what they’re hearing since I’ve always tried to be quiet on those late nights during the week. Granted I know they can hear my toilet flush, my AC kicking on and off, and water running in the bathroom after I use the toilet. But shit….I can’t even match the amount of noise the make with their stomping and their bowling ball dropping. I don’t know what to do anymore. I walked out to my truck one day and found my tire had been slashed. The tried to be clever by popping it on the inside underneath the vehicle. On that day I was pissed and I knocked on their door to ask them about it. Once again I knew the were up their and I could hear them stomping but the wouldn’t answer their door. I realize I’m a pretty big dude (6’3″ and 210lbs” ) and maybe they are afraid of me but if they have something to say I wish they would say it to my face rather than taking the chicken shit way and causing damage to my car. Oh well….what can I do? I wish I could move but I don’t have enough money to do that at this time.

  24. my upstairs neighbor is black, so is my downstairs neighbor, so is the neighbor upstairs across from me. I get along with all except one. The one next door keeps her kids out in the alcove until 1 in the morning, plays her loud music til 3 in the morning, and allows her kids to throw rocks onto the roof where my bedroom is. I went over to talk to her, she only stared at me, no words. Within 5 minutes she is nocking at my door, calling me white trash, f—–g white girl, get used to it. She had her fists up like she wanted to hit me. She then went on saying she was going to call the police to tell them that I hate black people and I was harassing her. I want to move, but the landlord won’t let me out of my lease. Now what? I have called the police and she has been fined twice already for loud noise. But it still goes on. Can I sue the landlord? thanks susan

  25. I moved into my aprtment on the first floor of a four family house in July. The upstairs was empty – and therefore QUIET! Augst 1st, i left my garage ( to be shared with the upstairs) to drive my daughter to her friends and returned 10 min later to find the new neighbors hogging the garage – their 2nd cart behind the one in the garage too close for me to get in. they said they would move it – I said I’d try again in the morning – they don’t kow how to park! I’m still outside the agarge! And the

  26. I moved into my aprtment on the first floor of a four family house in July. The upstairs was empty – and therefore QUIET! Augst 1st, i left my garage ( to be shared with the upstairs) to drive my daughter to her friends and returned 10 min later to find the new neighbors hogging the garage – their 2nd cart behind the one in the garage too close for me to get in. they said they would move it – I said I’d try again in the morning – they don’t kow how to park! I’m still outside the agarge! And the

  27. I was reading some of these complaints, and I must say when you hear what is happening to me you will think you are in heaven. These welfare bums above me constantly bang on the floor, drag furniture, scream and yell at each other (Mother and her 2 40 year old sons). Nobody likes them in the building as they bother everyone. They stink and have 8 cats and 3 people in a 1 bedroom apartment. They driver their peddle bikes near my car and other peoples and scratch them, and dent them as they are to lazy to go around to park their stolen rusted up bikes. The lady as we call her “Rat Lady” has been sene outside carrying a up-rooted tree at 3 in the morning whil bobbing her head, her son behind her on a scooter bobbing his head while they sand ‘jingle bells’. She, and her sons have also been seen digging through peoples trash cans up the road. These people are extremely sick in the head, and need to be in a mental hospital. They bang so much on the floor constantly all day that my roof is cracked. I work, and go to college, and they are on welfare and are there all day banging around. I have put up with this for a year constantly asking them to stop, but the first time I asked she called the police and claimed “I threatend to kill her”. Everyone, and I meen everyone has called the police on them. The police have been here literly over 100 times. The police hear dthem on a few occasions and the cops around here do nothing to them, no fines, nothing. I have recordings of them screaming and banging, stil they do nothing. I just called them again tonight as I heard a bang on the floor at 2am sounded so loud that I thought it was a bomb, thunder sounds like a faint fart compared to their bangs. Tonight the f***in cop not only did nothing, but he told me that if I call the police again, I would be arrested for mischief! Unbelieveable! I am a tax payer, they are welfare bums harrassing everyone, doing drugs and I am treated like a piece of sh*t criminal for simply calling the police (as I was told to do by them!(the police)). Finally I told the landlord that if he doesnt kick them out Im going to sue him, and move and he will pay all of my moving fees, motel fees, etc. So I am just waiting on them getting evicted, but in the meen time I have to listen to this sh*t and try to cope with day to day life of being constantly disturbed, and not being able to sleep. As I said the cops do nothing about them, so I decided to go out and by a 1000 Watt sub-woofer for my stereo system. I bolted it to the ceiling and simply turn it on full blast when they wake me up for 1/2 hour at a time. The cops came an dgave me a $450 ticket for a noise disturbance! Un f*cking believeable! So 2 things to say, the police are corrupt, and this will be the last time I ever move in a place where people are above me. I am fighting the ticket and have put a complaint about the pig that gave it to me. I have enver put up with so much BS in my life. ANd according to the cops, and by-law, etc there is nothing that can be done, so they have the right to harass me everyday and I have to sit here and put up with it, and when I decided to give them a taste of there own business by blasting my stereo for only 30 minutes, I was fined. I swear I live in the twighlight zone! If anyone has anything they know that can help plz reply or email me. Thanx!

  28. I recently moved into a bottom-floor apartment, and maybe that was my own mistake. It was a good deal and I didn’t have the luxury of waiting for a unit on the highest floor. I should have known better, yet I was surprised when I heard above me the stampede of heavy little feet up and down the hallway on the very night I moved in. My now-ex-boyfriend smirked and said I should have known to ask the landlady about the upstairs neighbors prior to signing the lease. Well, it hadn’t occurred to me, and so I felt dumb for a little while. Fortunately, the guy upstairs only has partial custody of the little brat, but that’s bad enough. All weekend she terrorizes the place with her marathons, jumping, and dropping things. But he’s worse. He’s up late (I go to bed by 11:00 and he’s still awake after that), yet I discovered a new disturbing fact about the bastard — HE GETS UP AT 4:45 EVERY MORNING. And stomps around the bedroom. He could be in the kitchen, filling his fat face. He could be in the living room, vegging out in front of the TV. He could be in the bathroom, getting ready for the day. But no. He chooses to stomp around the bedroom directly above me, from 4:45 until 6:00 every morning. Without stopping for a minute. I don’t think he works out (the guy’s a f###ing lazy sack of s###), so what does he do? The earliest I ever hear him shower or leave the apartment is 7:00. Why on god’s green earth does he feel the need to get up at 4:45? And, being a light sleeper, I wake up with his fat feet hitting the floor every morning at that time, and rarely fall back asleep before my alarm goes off at 6:00. I already think I get up too early, but this is absolutely ridiculous. Does he pace the room spanking it for two-plus hours? I’ve wracked my brain for answers, but haven’t come up with anything logical, so I’ve concluded that the dude is insane. Either way, there’s nothing I can do on my own terms that will solve the problem. Anatomically I can’t wear earplugs because my ear holes are too small (the earplugs hurt to wear and don’t even stay in). I’m not about to swig some NyQuil or pop Benadryl just to sleep solidly. I haven’t confronted the guy yet, but one of these days I’ll probably give in and do so. I don’t remember reading about a noise clause in my lease, but hopefully such a thing is included. The last resort would be to move out myself, but I’d hate to do that since I just moved in and am sick of going from apartment to apartment every year. I need a permanent home for awhile or I’ll go crazy.

    As far as the landlady is concerned, I’d probably be wasting my breath to mention the issue to her. She won’t even do anything about my water heater that desperately needs replacing.

  29. Well I have been in a similar situation but I will say this? When you move into an apartment make sure there is a SUB FLOOR! If you can’t take people being inconsiderate you yourself should try living in a house ALL ALONE! This is the state of the nation. People don’t give a rat’s ass about each other. Get on with it. Why don’t you spend your time better and figure out how to keep all the jobs in this country that we outsource overseas. Maybe you can use your awake time for that little conundrum!

  30. After battling with horrendous upstairs neighbors for 2 years, my boyfriend and I exhausted all civil (and not very) tactics: we tried talking politely, writing nice but firm letters, and ofcourse banging the ceiling with a broom. We now got a little more creative: if banging the ceiling doesn’t help, then we blast the sound system on max and it works like magic! Neighbors pack their kids and go outside. The only problem is the collateral damage that other neighbors have to suffer (ofcourse we sound-proofed our apartment with thick rugs, but others shouldn’t have to suffer from our little “war”), so we are still in process of inventing a way to direct the music upstairs only, maybe mount the amplifier to the ceiling or something like that :).

  31. I recently bought an upstairs condo. The thing looked beautifully built, everything looked high quality. High quality windows, nice fixtures, concrete floors. I asked about noise and was assured that there was nothing to worry about.
    I’ve spent time in cheap wood frame motels and noise from above is irritating but I never heard peoples conversations or tv’s on the same floor.
    I’ve also spent time in wood frame apartments. I could hear toilets flushing and the occassional door slam but never conversation.
    So anyway I move into the condo and everythings fine. First disappointment is the airconditioning units. They’re on the roof and they create this annoying resonance when they kick on. I learn to live with it and rugs strategically placed seems to cut down on the noise a little.
    Then the neighbors move in either side and the hell begins. On the bedroom side of me theres an irritating college age girl and her ham faced boyfriend who seem to have about 5 brain cells between them. Their first night in their condo they are hammering on our adjoining wall at midnight. Welcome to the neighborhood. It goes down from there aided by the paper mache walls. The concrete floors in the condo seem to accelerate the noise, because I can hear their tv in their family room which is not even the room that adjoins my bedroom!
    I was in a state of shock when this happened, as you realize you have agreed to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to live a life of torment. You will hear every toilet flush, every sink running, you will hear every bone headed thing they do.
    This was traumatic enough, but I resigned myself to the fact that I could spend plenty of time in the entertainment room, and could sleep on the couch if the neighbors were up late.
    I thought the entertainment area was safe because I thought the neighbors the otherside had already moved in and I had heard no noise.
    I was wrong they hadnt moved in. At about 7 in the evening I hear conversation on the other side of the wall. Can hear dressors being open and closed, and can hear a bath being run. Then after a half hour this subsides as they go to another part of the condo. Only to come back with a vengeance at 10:30pm apparently their bedtime. More conversation, more opening of dressors. These people must have their bed against the same wall that I have my sofa, because I can hear them talking literally inches from where I’m sitting. Not loudly mind you in fact they are close to whispering. Then the whispering turned to upset talk as no doubt the horror of their situation dawned on them as it dawned on me as they no doubt could hear my tv set which despite its reasonable volume was no doubt resonating through these whoresishly thin walls.
    I am near a nervous breakdown at this point realizing that every evening in this expensive condo from here on out will be one of unmitigated misery. So I retreat to my bedroom to get away from the noise to be greeted with the other neighbors stereo which despite its reasonable volume is somehow being amplified into a hellish vibration which bounces around my bedroom making sleep totally impossible.
    Welcome to hell. I will take a bath on this and will be able to get the hell out. I feel sorry for people trapped in this situation. Its great living in a location where the building codes apparently are somewhere around the level of a brazillian cardboard slum.

  32. ugh! I wrote a complaint here a little over a year ago…and after driving out that last obnoxious bonehead, I am now saddled with another clueless twerp.

    The problem in both of these cases is people who stay up past midnight and refuse to acknowledge that they are sharing their space with others.

    I mean, really, do these jackasses behave like this when they are in a house where others are sleeping? I doubt it.

    I have left my courtesy first note…and then I will just jump right in to the ol’ broomstick routine. (I don’t do a light tap–I get mean)

    I drove the last one into a crazy frenzy with that–where he banged on my door at 2 am and woke all the other neighbors up. Basically looked like a nutter and embarrassed himself.

    Anyway….I read through the posts here since my post last year and I was laughing til the tears streamed. Mostly because I can relate and the descriptions of these loud buffoons is so funny.

    The problem is that people are transient and they don’t give a crap.

    I give up. So I am just going to save my money and try to find a place where there are no neighbors sharing walls or ceilings. I do not want to be at anybody’s mercy anymore.

    I doubt it. And this is exactly the same.

  33. thanks to everyone for posting their problems. we thought we were the only ones. the first year in our apartment, we lived below a single woman who barely made a peep. this was reassuring after my living above a bongo-playing, yappy-dog owning couple. my bf-then-fiance-now husband lived below a weight-lifting, obvious second shift-working single guy. we were in our own private hells. so living below the single woman was a breath of fresh air.

    then she moved out. we had already signed a 6-month lease extension, with hopes to move out at the end of those six months. but we were also planning a wedding, so househunting wasn’t the first priority. the quiet lady moved out two months into our lease renewal and two just-out-of-college women moved in. they seemed pretty normal for a while. we thought it was just the two of them but now there’s a guy. not sure about the second girl anymore 😦

    at first we just heard them walking around, or should i say stomping around. who needs to walk around that much?? seriously? and does he throw her on the ground? or vice-versa? that’s totally what it sounds like.

    oh, and then there’s the sex. at first it was kind of funny… we were sitting on our patio one summer night and heard the “ah oh ah oh” of porn sex. i only wish it was porn. it was our neighbors. it’s not just the sex sounds though – it’s the sound of a rocking chair on a hardwood floor. we don’t have hardwood floors in this building, so we figure it’s just either a really bad bed frame or something like that. but it’s not just during the sex. it’s all the time. we can even hear them opening and closing their dresser drawers.

    we talked to the leasing office about the sex. not really as a complaint, but more of a “gee, if it were us we’d really rather know” courtesy sort of thing. it seemed to have worked for the sex. they go into the living room now.

    but the stomping! and the wrestling!!! i won’t resort to the broom handle on the ceiling. i’m thinking of investing in a bullhorn (and some ear plugs for us)… for every instance, we’ll let off a loud blast! either that or i’ll just set off my car alarm for a while. but like someone else said, it punishes the whole damn building for one offender. that’s not cool. 😦

    sometimes i REALLY feel like they will drive me insane. we’ve only been married for two months, but i find when i’m woken up early in the morning by bed bouncing and drawer opening-closing, that i get really grumpy. and i know i am guilty of taking it out on my darling husband (who’s just as frustrated as me.)

    i think we might move to the inside bedroom… but that doesn’t fix the wrestling in the living room… it makes me so sad.

    oh, to make matters worse, we haven’t found a house yet, so we need to sign another 6 month lease. i am so sad. 😦

  34. Oh man…It’s crazy to see that so many people have problems with their upstairs neighbors being ****ing loud…I’ve been living below selfish a**holes for the past year now and completely understand how horrible this entire situation is. So here’s my story.
    I moved out with my boyfriend about a year ago. The building at first seemed like a great choice. Beautiful apartment, indoor parking, close to downtown + we could actually afford it! The first 2 months were pretty good. That is, no one was actually living above us at the time, so we had peace and quiet. Then, neighbors # 1 move in. Since the very first day, they put on such loud music that our lamps (and pretty much everything else we own) started vibrating. And it was bad music too. It only got worse from there. I’m talking REALLY loud stomping, banging, watching movies on surround sound every night until about 11:45 pm (by the way it actually sounded like the same movie, over and over again) and fighting really loudly about every other day. My boyfriend (who’s much better than me at dealing with this kind of conflict) went up to talk to them once. VERY bad idea. It only got worse afterwards. It actually turns out that the people upstairs were a man-hating lesbian couple in their 40s, of which the loudest was an ex-convict. LOL. We were pretty shocked (about the ex-convict part)! I don’t really know what happened, but after months of ridiculous noise (which even managed to piss offother neighbors), they moved. Apparently, the ex-convict was “called back to prison” as the landlord put it. So we had about 1 month of peace. Then, our current neighbors moved in. These ones like to move furniture every night and get up at 6:30am every day (yes, week-ends included) to incessantly stomp across our apartment for hours on end (without actually stopping anywhere). Our apartment (and theirs) is a 3 1/2. Where are they going?!?! I find it hard to believe that they clean that place every single morning from 6:30 to 8:3o (which by the way is usually the time I get up at). My boyfriend and I are full-time university students who also work a fair amount to be able to afford the apartment. We need quiet time to study and get some quality sleep. We’re quiet people. Often, we’re just sitting by our computers studying. And the truth is, sometimes it’s impossible to tune out noise. : (
    We’ve tried everything, the bottom line is: they don’t give a sh**. So we’ve decided to move next summer when the lease expires. We don’t know where yet, but definitely either on the top floor or in a concrete building. This is exhausting, finals are coming up and I can’t wait to get out of here. The only thing that makes me feel better is counting down the seconds until july 1st.
    Good luck to all!!! : )

  35. I moved into my dad’s apt at the end of June when my mom went crazy and kicked me out (haha whole nother story). The day I moved in I heard loud banging upstairs and said “WHAT IS THAT?” My dad said it was like that all the time and that he has gone up there before and the man said he had a 2 year old. My dad said he probably chases the 2 year old around the apt. Okay, so I felt kind of bad because I am not going to be an asshole and tell someone to not let their 2 year old run around. But seriously, it is ridiculous. My first month living there, my dad went up there and I eavesdropped into the hallway, and all I Heard was the guy saying he couldn’t help it, that he had little kids. He sounded like an ass and my dad told him he was being a jerk. Knowing my dad can come off as a grumpy man, I went up there and explained that it WAS really bad and it wasn’t just him. The man looked genuinely concerned and said he would try to stop it and I went back downstairs.
    Ten minutes later the guy is at MY door and he looks like he is about to cry. He says my dad has told the landlord on them and that he has really tried to be quieter but the landlord keeps saying my dad has complained. So i thought maybe my dad was being unreasonable. UM, NO. It has gotten worse. Constant running back and forth for literally hours at a time, pictures falling off my walls, lamps vibrating. I have now resorted to banging on the ceiling but then I feel bad and stop. Well, my dad BANGS for a solid minute and even though it embarasses me, I don’t know what else we are supposed to do. He told the landlord we were going to move if it didnt stop and she said “oh no no please don’t move, I will talk to them”. Yeah? that was 3 months ago and it is worse than ever. They even now have the nerve to BANG back when we use the ol’ broom tactic. It’s seriously affecting my health as I am a college student and often stay up late doing work. I don’t have class till later in the morning so I really don’t have to get up til at LEAST 9:30 but am woken up by them at about 8am everyday. I wanna go back up there but I hate confrontation. It is not fair. I have a heart problem and being awoken everyday by LOUD BOOMS doesn’t help my heart, as it will go into arrythmias because I am so stunned. It sucks that I have to have hard feelings to a young couple with twin babies and a 2 year old but I AM NOT THE ONE WHO HAD THE CHILDREN. They even had the nerve to tell US TO MOVE!!!!!!! My dad said I AM NOT THE PROBLEM, YOU ARE!! It’s like 5 year olds bickering, I swear.
    Okay, long enough. I don’t know what to do. It’s SO FRUSTRATING.

  36. update on my situation (above)…. the people upstairs always say “Well we would move into a bottom floor apartment if we could but there are none available!”

    Well, when my dad went to the office to complain AGAIN, the lady said they offered our upstairs neighbors a ground floor apartment and they REFUSED. HOW ANNOYING IS THAT!?!?!???????????

  37. I stumbled upon this while searching for solutions to neighbor noise. Compared to some of your stories, I guess I’m not in the worst situation, but it’s still a pretty bad situation.

    I live in a condo and above me is a two-story townhome. When I bought the condo I had no idea what the noise was going to be like. Anyway, without going into too much detail, the upstairs place has been rented out first to a couple, then to a family with two incredibly noisy kids (similar to those stories above), and now three young guys recently graduated from college.

    The family was probably the worst. The couple was not bad. The college students can be very noisy, especially when they have parties – which are just unbelievable from a noise perspective. They might as well have it at my place, the noise level would be the same. When the music does get too loud, I tell them and they normally turn it down. Still, that doesn’t stop dozens of people running about like elephants., bothering the hell out of me. Even when they walk normally, it’s just constant thumping. Their kitchen is right above my bedroom. Now that’s a bad thing (no carpet, dropping stuff sounds like airplane taking off), and a good thing (I’m not normally in my bedroom for the evening, which is when they spend the most time in the kitchen). But they often stay in the kitchen chatting with friends till early morning hours – I can hear their entire conversations, and every slight move is like an earthquake in my place. That makes it pretty difficult to sleep at times. I do have a spare bedroom that shields some, but not all, of the noise.

    Anyways, you know how it is, and you can relate to the pain I have to go through. I do have a decent relationship with them, so that helps slightly.

    But I wanted to address something here that no one has really talked about – alternative solutions (i.e. other than talking to your neighbors).

    To help myself sleep, I bought a bookshelf stereo system ($100) and I play white noise all night (downloaded a fan noise from the Internet for about $5). It really helps me out! I can still feel vibrations of the thumping, but the noise gets masked out pretty well. It’s not perfect, but I do get much more sleep now, and I wake up on my own terms rather than on my neighbors schedule. I tried a regular white noise machine but it just didn’t cut it. This bookshelf system has amazing sound and excellent volume levels.

    I also leave my kitchen vent fan on most evenings, and that helps mask out just a bit of the general noise from upstairs. Not much, but anything is fine. Anybody else used sound masking effectively? Perhaps around the entire home? Please share any tips.

    I have also researched some construction fixes. There seem to be options out there, but I am skeptical of the effectiveness, especially given the high cost of such a project. I wanted to get your advice in case anyone here has tried such measures. Here’s an example from Dr. Bob of Soundproofing America:


    Any thoughts? Then there’s this guy, who seems to have pretty good credentials.:


    He comes out and gives you a detailed report on the causes of the noises, and what solutions exist. Bad part – he’s very expensive! $2000 to come out to where I live (an hour’s drive from him) to do a noise assessment! Then he’ll tell you what is wrong, but he has no stake in the actual solution since he is not a contractor at all (note: the solution will likely involve construction to the upstairs unit as well, so it’s not entirely feasible).

    Anyone know anything about him, or similar consultants? Or, can you provide my info on other such consultants???

    I am willing to put in some money into construction if I know it will make a difference. The alternative is to sell and move, which is not easy. I really like my place. The only reason I would move is for the noise. So if I invest the costs of moving (closing costs, moving costs, etc) into reducing the noise at my current place instead, it’s probably worth it. Plus, I would have an advantage in selling my place at some point. Probably won’t recoup all the money, but it makes my place more attractive to a buyer. Most importantly, I’d be investing in a more comfortable life for myself!

    Any comments/thoughts would be appreciated.


  38. I love it! Everyone thinks their upstairs neighbors are the worst.

    I was excited to learn that our upstairs neighbors were the same age as me and my fiance, but it would never have worked out b/c they work evenings and have people over on Sun & Mon nights.

    Nice guys, really they are – they are aware of us and considerate since we’ve spoken with them. Unfortunately, their drunkard friends could care less and will stay up until 4am – now that’s the worst!

    Our solution: white noise during the week – we bought a fishtank and lowered the water level so it sounds like a bubbling creek. That covers up footsteps and voices most of the time.

    On nights when they have people over we’ve made a deal with them. They either stay out of the bedroom above our bedroom – or one time they were confined to the bedroom and we slept in our living room. There’s no way to sleep through people falling down or chasing each other/the cat.

    It also helps if I really try to exercise hard on Mondays so I fall asleep early before their guests arrive Monday nights.

    We haven’t had to call the police on them and I really don’t want to b/c the upstairs neighbors have the advantage. If they get angry with us they are capable of annoying us much more than we can keep them awake. (Mostly b/c we’re at work when they sleep).

    Our landlord doesn’t own the unit above us and hasn’t done anything except offer to move us to a more expensive unit in a different building. There are no plans to improve the insulation.

    My advice is to be civil and considerate. My fiance loves to crank the bass on our stereo just to annoy them, but I would rather hope they realize we’re keeping ours down in hopes that they will keep theirs down.

    Treat others as you would want to be treated, it’s always been the best advice – hopefully your upstairs neighbors will!

  39. OMG can I relate to a lot of these horror stories about upstairs neighbors!!! I have had my share of ‘fun’ over the past few years with one or another noisy, inconsiderate thumpers and stompers. I can’t understand why people have to be so d— noisy!!! I hold my cupboard doors when closing them, I hold the outside hallway entry door when going in or out. I open my sliding windows slowly as they have noisy tracks. I don’t start up the vacuum at 11PM, nor do I play loud music or TV. And I live on the bottom floor, so the only people I would annoy are above me, but I wouldn’t think of doing this because I ‘realize’ there are others living very closely to me. However, my upstairs neighbors don’t seem to give us the same courtesy. Even though it is a condo and you own rather than rent, there is big turnover, I believe mainly because they are ‘cheap’ condos and most just come for a while then move on to a real house or higher-end side-by-side condo development. In the past 11 years I have had 4 families above me and all 4 were noisy as hell. Most of the owners regarded the condo as a ‘halfway house’ or leased roommates into the condo, what a nightmare of loud foot steps coming and going all day and into the night. Of course, as luck would have it, if there were roommates, everybody worked different shifts so there was always some commotion and ‘fireworks’ going on above us. I couldn’t even tell you the last time I truly had a restful, peaceful night’s rest, or didn’t feel tired from sleep deprivation.

    I believe upstairs neighbors ought to be a medical condition all its own, what with the stress and anxiety of ‘what’s coming next?’ apt to bring on ulcers, migraines, high blood pressure…

  40. Some thoughts on concrete between floors as opposed to standard wood-frame apartment construction…if you think it will be completely quiet with concrete, it really does not help all that much. I live in a wood-frame condo building, BUT I work in a long-term care hospital setting that was built in the 1960’s and is concrete between floors. You STILL hear thumping of heavy footsteps loud and clear as well as furniture moving around, AND concrete is rather porous so you do hear TV and stereo clearer than through wood.

    In my estimation, there really is only one safe place to be clear of thumpers and stompers and that is in your own free-standing house or in the top floor of an apartment or condo building…

    If I could sell my first floor condo and move to my own house or side-by-side condo I would, but housing market in Michigan is shot right now, for buyers it’s great, but for sellers, well…it stinks, 3 of my neighbors on the same street have had their condos up for sale for well over a year and haven’t sold, so I would guess my chances are pretty slim, and how do you plan an open house or evening showing around upstairs thumpers? The minute somebody heard the racket from above I would expect them to walk right back out the door, I know I would have if there had been anybody living above me right before I moved in…sigh

  41. OMG! I am dealing with this now. I just moved into a studio apartment the beginning of this month. The people upstairs(married couple), are so loud! It’s not super late right now, 10pm – but when you have to get up early in the morning to go to work, it would be nice to read in bed without hearing your neighbors have sex on the balcony right above you! Screaming and moaning. Don’t they have a bedroom for that!
    I can’t take it anymore! They are so loud! I hear them stomping around upstairs, and sounds like sometimes running or jumping on the floor! What is up with people like that? Here I am, being careful not to have my music to loud while cleaning house or even talking too loud on the phone while their music is bumping through the walls and shaking my light fixtures and oven hood. I can hear the base moving through the house. Plus, they I guess have karoake night between the two of them, where they are belting out lyrics, and singing to each other.
    Ugh! I don’t even know what to do. I feel embarrassed to go upstairs when I’ve only met them once, and tell them they are too loud every single night!
    I absolutely hate it! I love my studio, and I have 5 more months on my lease, but these people, I can’t handle it! It absolutely pisses me off.

  42. MAN!!! I’m so glad that I found this site. I’m now dealing with the noisy upstairs neighbors myself. The thing is, I don’t consider myself unreasonable: the developers designed the place, stupidly, with the living room of the upstairs duplex above the bedroom of my 1 bedroom apartment. Nicely for them, the upstairs of their duplex is carpeted, giving ample soundproofing for the downstairs bedroom (which is above my living room). Apparently, the 80% rule (where you have to cover 80% of your hardwood floors with area carpeting if you live above anyone) doesn’t seem to apply in this area; I learned this a bit late.

    I don’t expect them to walk around on eggshells or whatever. I just want them to think before they barrel down the stairs, or come in at 1am, or leave out at 4am, that there is someone sleeping below them who doesn’t effin want to wake up yet!!! So please, take OFF YOUR FREAKIN HIGH HEELS BECAUSE, BELIEVE ME, NO ONE IS RECRUITING YOUR ASS FOR AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL ANY TIME SOON!!!!!

    Ok, I feel better 😉

  43. As i’m reading this my upstairs neighbors are stomping on the floor,we moved in 3 days ago,we were assured that it was quiet and peaceful here,we called security,I talked to the manger,the tenant says there is no noise,the manager can’t do anything?

    She says she can’t evict her for that,suggested we move into one of thier upstairs apartments.sigh.

  44. I vow to be in a house a year from now, somehow, someway. I’m thinking that I have more options than I previously believed. I can always rent one for now, if I don’t have a downpayment saved yet.

    Being in a house is where it’s at. It’s just Peace itself.

    I’ve got a beliggerent, delinquent type early twenties or late teens girl living underneath me with an even more belligerent boyfriend. They love to knock against my ceiling, especially in the bedroom area. It increased after I called our security company to tell them to quit the racket.
    My adrenaline gets to dangerous territory where I want to literally wait outside the door and put the guy’s head through the wall.. but I know that eventually his luck will run out and someone will flatten the poor clueless idiot. (I just feel the energy and then release via a technique). There are no managers around that will come inside at those hours and investigate. So I can’t just stop rent for inhabitability – I’ll lose in court without proof.
    — At the very least, if not a house, it pays to cut as much expenses as possible and choose luxury type apartments where you get more high quality people living there. Every time I’ve paid high rent, I got high quality people.

  45. … by the way, though this blog entry is about upstairs neighbor complaints, I thought I would actually have peace choosing an upstairs unit myself. There’s just no guarantee. You can have a d/s tenant from hell as well. Myself, I’m anyone’s dream upstairs neighbor, having been in apts the last 20 years and learning how to be respectful, including walking on floors. But i’m out of here in 2.5 months, just gotta grin and bear it.

  46. I live on the first floor and my upstair neighbors are so ignorant they have one son and two foster children who they let run a muck up and down the hallway. Most of the time they leave them alone to either visit another neighbor or smoke a ciggerett (of which they leave piled outside). So of coarse those moments are worst.
    Most of the people are black here so they think they intimidate the few white folks here so no one calls or complains about them. well They mmet the wrong white girl. I happened to have been raised around black people, my two best girlfriends are black and I dont scare easily. I approched them one time about the noise and they told me that it was still early enough for their kids to do what they were doing… So I called the cops the next time they were loud and it was 10 at night so they couldnt use that excuse. I’ve gotten so frustrated that I’ve blown up in the hallways screaming my distaste for thier ignorance and lack of consideration for others.
    Matter of fact tonight I called the cops and as soon as the cop left they banged and banged extremely loud. So I called the cops right back up… I don’t care what they think of me, I live here too.

  47. Never mind the upstairs neighbors. How about the one who live on either side of you? I have a lady in her sixties to the left of me. She plays her TV full blast morning, noon and night! Oh, and she goes to bed at midnight,only to get up a 2am to watch TV, hammer, and do laundry. She moved in last July ( after the loud sex let’s fight and get drunk neighbors moved out!) The only time I’ve slept is
    when she didn’t pay her cable bill! So, I go to bed at 10pm,only to be woken every hour on the hour. I told the landlord, she told me she’s old and hard of hearing!
    Hello! My toilet is vibrating!

    Now, to the right of my is a family of Jehovah’s Witness.
    The wife gets up at 4am and walks up and down the sidewalk preaching. Did I mention the drunken brother-in-law, who can’t find the right door, so he knocks on every door at 3am? Then we have the husband. He leaves for a week at a time. Only to come home at 1:00am on a weeknight. He proceeds to honk the horn a dozen times, and slam all 15 doors in his 4 door car. Then he slams the front door. Which shakes the entire building. Then he goes to the basement, out the basement door, around the building, and comes in the front door again. Then stomps up and down the
    stairs! And the cooking odors!?! It smells like they fried a
    camel! (if that’s possible). The smell lingers in the apartment for days. Did I mention they set off the smoke alarms frequently? How about playing their stereo
    so loud they hear it in the building across the street?
    I told the landlord about what goes on, she told me they are good people, they just don’t have regular hours!
    Tough. I’m self-employed . I don’t have regular hours either, but I don’t make enough noise to wake the dead, either! Oh, and they have a son. He doesn’t goto school, because the world is going to end. So he plays his flute ( badly) at 4:00 am!!! One of these days I going to get an airhorn, and when they are sleeping, I’m going to let them have it!

  48. I have to say that some of the entries made me laugh, as to the fact that I can relate. I have a two and a half year old and another baby on the way, and a hyperactive husband, and I also have severe knee problems. The knee pain keeps us from living anywhere upstairs, and the last apartment we had, we had to move out of due to the stairs. I lived upstairs for several years and always kept quiet out of respect for those living around me. My Mama taught me manners, thank GOD!!! However, sometimes I wish she hadn’t. Three weeks ago we moved into a “restricted income” apartment. Nice enough three bedroom ground level apartment. With in 36 hours of moving in we discovered our leasing agent, her fiance, his brother, and her four year old twin boys lived above us. I thought with her being employed by the apartments, she would realize the thinness of the walls and ceilings, but I thought wrong. I swear it sounds like a heard of elephant between the hours of 4pm and 12am. At the twins bedtime they jump and run for an hour. Their room is directly above my somewhat tame and mild 2 year old. They jump so hard that the light fixtures rattle. My daughter in in bed at nine (due to the time difference in the move) and she is restless all night due to the noise. They go to bed about 10:30pm and are up and stampeeding at 5:30am. Thus waking my little girl. There is a lot of racial tension in our neighborhood and we are one of the very few white people in our large complex. I have no problem with this due to being raised with the ability to see no color difference in people, however, that is not the case with everyone. I have tried hinting about the noise, the energy of 4yr old boys, my daughters bedtime, but they don’t seem to get it. I am not a confrontational person… never have been, and now I don’t know what to do. There are times I wish I could send tranquilizer darts that are long enough through the ceiling, but I really don’t want jail time. I have thought about calling the zoo, and having them contact my upstairs neighbors about adding to the elephant exhibit, but that would be more out of spite than practicality. I am at a loss, and signed a year lease. Any hints that don’t include cuffs would be helpful.
    Thanks, -A Tired Mommy-

  49. OMG Debbie – that is a horrible scenario. I can imagine you are a tired mommy after listening to that nonsense above you. I have lived in the same condo for quite a while and I have had 4 families above me and each one gets increasingly more noisy. I had 2 sisters and whatever boyfriend they may have had at the time living there, then luckily 1 sister moved out and other was alone. She could be noisy at times, but not nearly as bad as the other sister, and it seemed like that woman would constantly run a daycare center up there, there were always little kids and one adult or another running around and stomping, and it seems like they must have cleaned every other day as I always heard scraping on the floors, vacuum running, etc, etc. And, eerily as it may sound, it was like they just KNEW exactly where I was heading in my place, because I would hear them above my head in the kitchen, then in the living room, then if I went to my bedroom or the bathroom the stomping would follow. When the 1 sister moved out, things were OK for a while, then all of a sudden she decides she wants to have a roommate. Oh, good lord, did the fun begin then. The roommate was a bit of a party girl, and she obviously didn’t require any sleep because she would come in at like 2AM and wake us all up, then up she was at 6AM getting ready for work. And, of course, boyfriend after boyfriend… it was like a bad rerun of before, just without the damn kids. Luck have it, roommate moved out in 2006, and she hasn’t been back. I have caught the girl still living there on occasion, and I kind of try to get information out of her to see what her plans are for ‘future tenants’…I hate to be a nosy neighbor, but I get nervous and anxious EVERY time I hear more than the average amount of noise or she has company over, as it could always be another roommate.

    On the few occasions I have complained to the past owners about the noise, it has done no good, most times making the situation worse as they now know what irritates you and they try to retaliate for an innocent neighborly request by ‘pounding’ a little harder. So, I haven’t said anything to the girl who lives there now, I did mention loud music once to the renting roommate, but complaining really does no good, it is a racial issue and I would most certainly not win any favors if I went to battle with them over the noisy walking or whatever you might want to call it. I would certainly sell my condo, but the market is horrible and most condoowners that try to sell end up moving out and sub-leasing their places. I don’t have the money to do this, and even if I could rent it out, I doubt I could secure 2 mortgages at the same time and that would very scary.

    It really sucks to live on pins and needles all the time and not enjoying your time at home, which is supposed to be your place of comfort and relaxation, so I know how you feel.


  50. Perhaps a different kind of venting, that will provide some contrast to the rest of these responses…

    In the past, I haven’t found the need to live on the top floor. This was before I had to deal with someone who would play his electric guitar with his amp up to 11 at as late as 4:30am. Needless to say, after I moved a few miles away, there’s no longer anyone living above me, and I can sympathize with a genuine noise problem.

    So, imagine my surprise when I’m tip-toeing through my office, and I hear what could only be a broom striking the ceiling beneath me. Granted, the hour was late, but having dealt with inconsiderate neighbors before, I’ve taken great pains to make sure noise wasn’t a problem – I only listen to music with headphones, the TV is rarely on, my shoes are off by 9pm, the floor is already carpeted, and I do whatever I can to tread lightly.

    Now, I’m all for being considerate, and go through great lengths to do so, but I run my own business. And the unfortunate consequence is that sometimes I have to work late into the night, or I don’t get paid – no longer an option, as I’m supporting myself and my fiancee. This, much to the apparent disappointment of those who live below me, means actually setting foot inside my office. With all this encouraging people *not* to go up and talk to their neighbors, but rather *retaliate* against something that may not even be intentional to begin with, it’s no wonder you all continue to have problems! Even with new tenants, you assume “damn kids, they’re no different,” and don’t even bother to make an effort. And you know what they assume? “Damn crotchety old wo/man, I can’t even walk barefoot in my apartment without them causing a ruckus.”

    For all I know, the floor boards may be so poorly constructed that the slightest footfall causes this deafening cacaphony in the room below me. And any advice on how to stop this would be appreciated – I don’t want to be the inconsiderate neighbor. But I’d encourage those who are having noise troubles to at least go out and talk to the people you’re having a problem with, rather than immediately resort to the broom on the ceiling (which will only serve to drive out any good will that was there to begin with).

  51. I haven’t jumped in on this discussion in many moons, but I wanted to let you know that I have indeed been in your shoes! I have been on the other side of the equation. I once had a downstairs neighbor who banged on her ceiling when we were doing nothing but walking about living our lives. Not walking hard. Not walking late. Just … walking.

    I began to bang back. It was giving us a complex. At the time I had two small children (who were in bed timely!), and they couldn’t even play in the apartment anymore. We found ourselves constantly telling them to be quiet, and that’s not healthy.

    After a shouting-match confrontation with the woman downstairs, I went to the building manager. She patiently listened to my story and said there was nothing she could do. While we talked, I observed her two children playing in her apartment. “My kids can’t do what yours are doing right now,” I said. “Do you realize that?” I think she heard me on that one, but still felt powerless to do anything.

    Eventually we moved.

  52. an update to my situation… finally some peace and quiet (almost). we built a house. out in the boonies, or as boonie as this area gets. finally we have peace. we almost didn’t know what to do with ourselves. then the mating bullfrogs from the pond behind our house started up… it’s almost comical. luckily it’s nothing that a little white noise in the form of a fan can’t cure.

    i empathize with all of your stories. i know the pain and frustration you feel, even you top-floor dwellers! the one time i lived on a top floor and the guy below me played bongos. yes, bongos. i hardly believed it myself until i saw them with my own two eyes.

    i sincerely wish peace and quiet for each and every one of you. i hope you find it soon.

    peacefully yours,

  53. Cyberbitch, I absolutely worship you.

    That is all.

  54. I can really relate to most of the stories here, but Kristen’s story really hits close to home. I live in a 3 story apartment building in a complex. My upstairs neighbors just moved in about 2 months ago & they are the rudest, most obnoxious people I’ve ever met! They have a 4 year old daughter & just had a newborn about a week or so ago. The baby doesn’t make much noise other than crying, but I can handle that. The 4 year old is a MONSTER! She runs around constantly until about 4 or 5am, banging, pounding & thumping on my ceilings nonstop! Every time we run our water or flush our toilet, she runs into that room & starts jumping up & down on the floor above. Her parents do the same thing. I was brushing my teeth the other night before going to bed & as soon as her parents heard me running the water, one of them came into the bathroom & started banging on my ceiling. I pounded back & yelled something nasty at them. These people have loud, obnoxious guests over late at night, stomp through their apartment at all hours, drop heavy shit on the floors, bang, pound, blast their tv. You name it, they do it. As if all of this wasn’t bad enough, they moved their 4 year old into the bedroom directly above mine. What a fun situation that is, let me tell you! She stays up most of the night, banging, pounding & jumping on my bedroom ceiling & her parents don’t even do anything about it! I am forced to sleep with 2 fans running on high & have to use earplugs or I’d never get any sleep. Unfortunately, I’m a very light sleeper so the slightest noise will wake me up. I also have to take sleeping pills so I can drop off every night. Even after doing all of these things to try & get some sleep, I still get woken up because of that spawn of Satan that they call a daughter! I have complained to the property manager, but she’s worthless & won’t do anything. She told me if I’m unhappy here then I should move! Can you believe that crap? I’ve lived here over 5 years & I’m not the one causing these problems, but she tells me I should move?! I’ve also tried calling the cops, but these douchebags won’t answer their door! I think the guy is hiding from the cops because he’s home ALL THE TIME! He never leaves his apartment, which is very strange! I’ve been looking for another place to move but no luck so far. I’m at my wits end here! Any suggestions?

  55. Oh, I forgot to add that these people upstairs also run their vacuum cleaner about 10 times per day. I don’t know if they are clean freaks or just plain nuts! I have 2 cats who are terrified of vacuums, so they are constantly traumatized by the noise. One night at 12:30 am they started vacuuming right over my bedroom, so I banged on the ceiling & it stopped. These people are horrible & have to go! By the way, if any of you reading this happen to know the name of a good hitman who will do a job cheaply & discreetly, let me know! >:)

  56. WOW. Thank you! I often feel I am going insane and am completely unreasonable to want peace in my own space. This is the second time I have had to live under a person who clearly does not CARE about anyone but himself. I thought I might have a different situation here, but the person I was taking over the lease from LIED. I told him I had just endured 9 months of hell under an extremely loud man and continually had to call the police because he was so loud. I was a nervous wrecks so was my cat. He assured me that the person above this apartment was quiet, he never hears a thing. So, here I am stuck again. The boy above me has a dog, a large dog. The dog likes to run. What kind of idiot has a large dog in an apartment above other tenants? He also gets up at 4:30 or 5:00AM most days. His walking actually shakes my dishes and glasses in my kitchen area! I am a grad student in a stressful/emotionally draining program. I tried the pleasant introduction, the letter. The notifications to the manager. He wrote me a letter and even signed “respectfully”. Ya right. Nothing has changed. The only time I have peace is when he is not home. The manager even told me it is ok to blast my ambiant music or watch movies at the loudest setting, all to drown him out-but like others have said, I don’t want to bother the other innocent neighbors. I have turned my speakers to face the ceiling. I am irritated 85% of the time and I pay to live here! It is crazy people can be so inconsiderate and managment/HOA’s do so little to help the innocent people. I wonder what they would do if we all boycotted rent? Form a union? anyone?
    I do believe these beings will pay for their actions in the long run…and my job is to be as kind as I can, but really people their is strength in numbers!

  57. I wanted to add the latest fiasco involving my douchebag neighbors. Thanksgiving was several days ago, & from the moment I woke up that day I knew there was going to be problems. First of all, these neighbors of mine are Mexican, which means they have a BIG family. They always have family members running in & out of my building. On Thanksgiving they had a bunch of people up there & there were lots of little brats running & jumping all over, so of course my family had to suffer the consequences. We had to listen to this the entire day & it sounded like the ceiling was going to cave in on top of us. I had had enough so I banged on my wall really hard. Well, they didn’t like this very well & since the guy upstairs is obviously a coward, he sent his gangbanger relative down here to confront me. I think this was done for intimidation, but it didn’t work. I opened my door & asked him what the hell he wanted. He asked if I was banging on the wall & I said yes, I was because of all the noise coming from their apartment! I told him it’s a constant problem & we never get any sleep because of that kid running around up there the whole night, every night! I told him the shit better stop or I’m calling the police! He told me I should have come upstairs to tell them to quiet down & I told him no, I don’t do that anymore. Been there, done that & it never helps the situation. I told him that they should be able to tell when they’re making too much noise without me having to go up there. He said he would tell them to keep it down & he went back upstairs. Well, the noise didn’t stop & it seemed to get louder after that. Their company left a few hours after that & it quieted down a little. I ended up having to call the police on them last night because the noise up there was unreal. The cop was an asshole & was rude to me. He said “What is it you want me to do about this?” I felt like saying “YOUR JOB!” I mean, come on now! I told him to go up there & tell those fucking assholes that I’ve had it with their shit & I want them to STFU! I was so pissed off. The cop went up there & talked to them & they have been quieter, but it won’t last long. I’m so damn sick of this place & want to move but it’s Winter so I can’t right now. Just wait until Spring, though! Then I’m outta here! Can’t wait to finally get away from these nosy bastards!

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