Calm, Cool & Productive: Step-by-Step Process for Dealing with Noisy Neighbors

Renters Solutions

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We have all had them before, and some of us may have even been them from time to time, but nobody likes them. Yes, I'm talking about the noisy neighbor. It's one of those things everyone hopes won't happen to them when they move, and can be the most uncomfortable, awkward, and frustrating situation to find yourself in. The last thing you want when you finish a stressful day is to listen to someone's loud TV, music or XBox for hours on end or be woken up early every Sunday by a elderly gentlemen singing Korean Karaoke (yes, this happened to me). Although you may be tempted to go over and throw down, you will just be adding fuel to the fire. So if you find yourself in this predicament, here are a few things to help you address the issue with your neighbors in a calm, cordial and productive way.

Make an Assessment: Collect your thoughts before you approach your neighbor. How bad is the noise, how long has it lasted, what time is it, is this a one-time thing or something that happens more frequently, how is the noise affecting you, how would you like it to be resolved?

Be Safe: Always be kind and always have someone with you when approaching the problem as a witness and for safety. It is better to be safe than sorry, and if the person is unresponsive riling them up probably isn't the best idea.

Talk It Out: Be calm and courteous when you go over. Let your neighbors know about the noise level (in case they are unaware), how it is affecting you, and how you would like it resolved. Ask if they could turn it down or use headphones perhaps.

Take Notes: Make sure you write down all the details of your encounter in case the issue doesn't resolve itself and you have to take further action.

Write It Out: If you have made yourself clear and have made a couple of efforts to talk it out, then try writing a letter and maybe getting other neighbors involved as well. Keep a copy of the letter for your records.

Keep Track: Write down all attempts to contact your neighbor, when and how long the noise occurs, and how it is affecting you.

Make a Complaint: Hopefully it doesn't come to this, but if the situation doesn't get resolved after a few attempts you may have to make a formal complaint either to the landlord or authorities. Bring all of your documents and notes to show the issue.

(Image: Shutterstock)

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Alysha is a photographer and designer living in Seattle who loves dark chocolate, tea, and all things furry. In her spare time you'll find her with paint in her hair renovating her 1919 Craftsman and sharing the process on her blog Old House New Tricks.

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