Tips for Dealing with Noisy Neighbors and Street Noise
When it comes to noisy neighbors, whether they’re stomping around upstairs, playing loud music below you, or hitting snooze on their alarm clock in the room wall-adjacent to yours, they can cause a lot of stress. Street noise is also a big complaint among renters. You shouldn’t have to deal with loud noise interrupting your Netflix binge or disrupting your sleep cycle, so what should you do when you’re surrounded by noise? Below are some tips for dealing with different noises—from upstairs neighbors to loud streets outside of your window, there’s a solution for every noise.
Talk to neighbors calmly
Don’t leave a passive, aggressive note, don’t yell at them through the walls, and try not to do anything that sounds accusatory. It will be difficult to stay calm, especially if their dog woke you up at 3 o’clock in the morning right before you have a big exam. While it is easy to assume the worst—that they really don’t care about how their noise affects their neighbors—you should try assume the best. Maybe they are also annoyed by their dog waking up so early and are completely unaware that the noise can be heard by their neighbors as well. Whatever the situation may be, it’s probably best to try to talk to them when you aren’t having a noise issue so that you can approach the matter calmly. Explain that you want things to be best for both of you and that when you wake up to the noise, you feel frustrated. Remember to be understanding that some noise is inevitable, and try to simply make them aware of their noise rather than accusing them of being selfish and rude. Now, depending on the neighbors, this may or may not work. Some people are truly selfish and rude, and in that case you’ll have to move on to other options.
Talk to your landlord
This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to “tattle” on your neighbors or yell about the lack of insulation between both interior and exterior walls, but your landlord should know that you are unhappy. He or she may help you with different solutions including transferring you to a top floor apartment, adding some insulation to your apartment, or speaking to your neighbors for you. Each time you have to contact your landlord about noise (or anything else really), make sure to document it so that you can refer back to the notifications later.
Get a white noise machine
Maybe your neighbors continue to throw parties every Friday or maybe the street noise is something your landlord simply can’t help with. Depending on the noise levels, you may be able to get by with a fan, air purifier, humidifier, or space heater to soften the noises from neighbors or the street. If you’re a light sleeper or the noise is just too loud, then you might want to look into a white noise machine that allows you to change the volume. Amazon’s Echo actually has the ability to work as a white noise machine, and you can tell Alexa to adjust the volume without getting out of bed.
Earplugs are another option for noises that simply can’t be removed or softened. On the weekends, when you know you don’t have to wake up at a specific time, you may even want to use both earplugs and a white noise machine to make sure that nothing can disturb your slumber.
If none of these solutions work, then you may need to move on to another apartment. At least if you move, you can look for an upper level apartment, ask questions about the residents, and be more careful about choosing an apartment that will fit your needs. Just remember to be aware of the sounds you’re making too. You don’t want to be the loud neighbor.