New neighbors are noise-intolerant

What happens when you move into a new apartment or condo and your new neighbor isn’t really a fan of your hobby no matter the time of day?  David99 finds himself in that very situation right now and it’s not fun.

I recently moved from my house to a 2nd floor apt with one apt on each side and one below. At 3pm today I turned my stereo on for the first time. Low volume IMO. Hard to describe, but there was no problem having a conversation without even raising my voice. Within 10 minutes, my neighbor knocked on my door acting irritated demanding I turn the volume down.

What would you do?
Here’s some advice he’s received from the community so far; add your idea in the comments!


The speakers on the floor will do it.
First thing is to get the speakers OFF the floor. Cardboard boxes may do, if filled with newspaper.
Basically besides that, You can turn it down. A lot.
You may have no choice but to move if you keep it up.

If your downstairs/nextdoor neighbor has lived there a long time, and is friends with the owner/manager(s)… You may face eviction. As short as 24 hours if you have a lease with clauses for eviction.(and disturbing your neighbors is a reason)

Otherwise you still will have an endless series of confrontations. If that person is friends with others in the building they ALL may start complaining.

I have lived in apartments my whole life.
And can say noise can drive a person to shot you.
If you want to stay and fight. then you are in for Hell. But maybe you can. If you realize now you have to get along instead of having your own way.

Generally it is not worth it.
Move out.
If you like to play loud … find a corner apt on the first floor of the building (or another building).
Usually the first floor ‘floor’ is concrete, and the upper floors wood in most 2 or 3 story apt buildings.

I am totally willing to kick the ass of people making a lot of noise. (and have been in two hard fights over noise coming from apt above mine. So I KNOW. And I have no sympathy for you.

I live in a ‘over 55’ building which is totally quiet. I have Magnepan 3.6 and Byston 4B-SST² and play music every day all day long. Seven years of playing music..
After 7 years the manager has said he has NEVER heard a peep from my apt nor about me making noise from neighbors.
The problem is bass. too much bass. It is ALWAYS the bass.
CUT THE BASS and you might get by. If you love bass, and DO own those “Gut Massage 2000” sort of speakers. Change speakers.. buy some MMG Maggies.

But I have myself complained several times about ‘new move ins’ down the hall (not even NEXT to my apartment) making a racket. I can hear their bass thumping four doors away… usually they are gone in a few months.. They do not ‘fit’.

I play at 55dB to 70dB with a Radio Shack meter. “C” weighting from seated position away from speakers.

Try getting a sound level meter and see just how loud you are?
What you think is nothing may be 95dB and your “Gut Massage 2000” brand speakers are thumping the Hell out of your walls and floor.

Everyone has the right to privacy within their home. Including apartments. If your noise disturbs others, then you are at fault.
If you think you have ‘rights’ to disturb the people around you in THIER own home. Well maybe you WILL get a bullet or two? The Cops coming (which any building owner HATES. Tenants call the cops and the reason gets kicked OUT fast.

An alternative is to switch to headphones while you look for a new place.

Others will certainly tell me where to get off. But like I wrote, I have lived in apartments all my life. That is not a house. You are NOT king of your castle. You are a new tenant making problems. You will not last long before they either drive you out, shoot you, or get you to be a ‘nice’ neighbor.
I suggest getting with the program instead of complaining.

But I bet you are evicted within 30 days..
Keep playing. Insist on your ‘rights’.. LOL

added: Right now I am listening to some hard rock, after Midnight.. on my headphones.
Also folks who are used to apartment life know right off when someone is gonna need to be told to ‘turn it down’. You moved in and within a few days you are annoying. This is bad. You are new, and HAVE no rights. All you have are obligations. To be polite, to be quiet. Most folks who have lived in apartments have done so for YEARS. (I’m at 7 years here. Prior was 17 years, in one apartment)
So anyone coming in is going to get hassled for problems way more than an old tenant would. The tip of the iceberg. You make noise and no one says anything? Then when do they say something? When it is too late and you are rocking out at 3AM?

Headphones usually have capabilities to provide better definition and imaging and the best piecefull solution.
My other solution would be to advice neighbors to appear next time knocking at your door with presence of police officer(s) only. Cops less-likely will open the case or even will care to arrive for minor neighbor troubles thus leaving your neighbor ‘grouchy’ and somewhat ‘upset’ and probably seeking some mental help. Had similar neighbor by myself always knocking at my door and complaining about my noisy kids playing in the middle of the day.
While you being PIA to your neighbors you can always place your speakers on cardboard boxes as Elizabeth suggested. I found Egg boxes work best and somewhat as good as dedicated speaker stands.

Talk to your neighbor. Find out if there’s a real problem with the sound or if it’s something else. A few people are totally unreasonable nearly all the time, but most people are kinda’ nice if you’re nice to them.

BTW, when I rented I would always tell the landlord that I play music often and loudly. I don’t think I ever lost out on an apartment because of it, but the landlords were thankful and sometimes made special arrangements for me.

I lived in apts my whole life and hated those neighbors with the thumping coming thru the building. Now that I have a house I can be lord of the manor.
Elizabeth has it right, it’s the bass, you’ll never be able to use cabinet spkrs in that apt. Maybe some small monitors on strands like totems. But she has a proven solution…why not give some Maggies a try. And a good set of headphones for late night listening.

But you will never be able to crank it up again in this current apt.

I disagree with Elizabeth only to a certain extent. Yes, we all have a right to
privacy in our apt.; however, everyone that chooses to (or has to) live in an
apt. has an obligation to remember that, because it is an apt, one cannot
expect the kind of absolute privacy that one gets in a private house. Both
sides need to be reasonable and compromise. That is not to say that you
will persevere in this case, but I would start by presenting yourself as
reasonable and fair to your neighbor: tell him that you are concerned and
want to find a solution. Ask him to allow you to go to his apt in order to
hear what it is he is hearing (while your stereo plays from above at a
normal level). Be reasonable and put yourself in his shoes; maybe the
problem is real. If he is being totally unreasonable because what he is
hearing is truly subtle and very distant sounding, then talk to him and try to
reason with him. If he is completely unreceptive then personally I would
escalate things to reliance on what the local ordinances mandate; but,
always take the high road and avoid nastiness as much as possible. If
there really is a problem (put your own bias aside as much as possible),
then tell him you are working on finding a solution and would appreciate
some patience while you do so. Then try some of the remedies that will be
recommended and possibly ask the neighbor about your respective
schedules; there may be times of the week when he is not around and you
are and you can rock out. Invite him over to listen to your stereo; keep
things friendly as much as possible. Good luck.

 Add your advice to the comments below!

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