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Downstairs Neighbor Complaining About Noise? Here’s What To Do

Downstairs Neighbor Complaining About Noise

Anyone who has ever lived on the top floor of an apartment knows the struggles of having to deal with a downstairs neighbor who is constantly complaining about noise. Such downstairs neighbors will complain about loud parties, loud conversations, or even the use of a washing machine.

Living with such individuals can be challenging. You have to find a balance between being respectful and maintaining your lifestyle. In this guide, we show you what to do when your downstairs neighbor complaining about noise.

If your upstairs neighbor is stomping and walking around and banging and making lots of noise, check out this article instead.

Know Your Rights

When you have neighbor issues, it is essential to know your rights. The last thing you want is for your noisy neighbor dispute to turn into an extensive and expensive lawsuit.

This Nolo Neighbor Law book gives you a full breakdown of how to handle neighbor issues, and specifically noisy neighbor complaints. This book will help you solve this problems you have with your neighbor complaining about noise in the correct manner. The book covers a wide variety of neighbor issues you’re likely to encounter in life, so you will get more than just one use out of this purchase.

Official - Neighbor Law

View the Official 2023 edition – Neighbor Law

Understand Your Lease Agreement 

The first step to take is to go through your lease agreement. This document will specify how much noise is acceptable and how you should handle disputes with your next room or downstairs neighbor. It is likely to also contain details on when neighbors must lower disturbance in the apartment. Most lease agreements even have sections that outline the procedure for resolving disputes between neighbors.

By understanding the lease agreement, you can ensure that you are acting within the rules of the apartment. This will make it easier to respectfully address any noise complaints from your downstairs neighbor. It is also important to remember that your downstairs neighbor complaining about walking has the right to criticize the noise and should be treated with respect. 

Communicate with Your Downstairs Neighbor

Communicating with your downstairs neighbor is essential when handling noise complaints. No matter the situation, it’s important to approach the situation with respect and patience. A few steps to ensure a successful conversation include staying calm and understanding the neighbor’s point of view and avoiding blaming. If you are patient enough, you should be able to come up with a solution that works for both parties.  

You can start by introducing yourself and expressing your concern about the noise issue. Let your neighbor know that you are aware of their complaint and want to address it. Showing empathy and understanding their perspective will go a long way toward establishing and building a positive relationship. Ask your neighbor to explain the noise issue, and how it affects them. Listen carefully to their concerns and try to avoid getting defensive.

If your neighbor states that the sound of your washing machine is too loud, you could purchase a cheap washer and dryer that isn’t as noisy.

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Be Calm and Provide Solutions 

It is important to remain calm when speaking with your neighbor, even if they become upset or angry. This helps maintain a level of respect in the conversation. You can explain to your neighbor that you are willing to be more mindful of the noise levels and that you are open to hearing their feedback. 

Listening to your neighbor’s concerns and being willing to make adjustments can help to bridge the gap between you. You can also try to be proactive by proposing changes that might help reduce the noise, which will in turn hopefully reduce the number of noise complaints you’re receiving. This could include buying rugs or soundproofing materials or rearranging furniture to better absorb sound. This would help if you feel you’re a heavy walker.

You could also adjust the times of day when you are most active. If they are always at work or school during the day, you can consider playing music or vacuuming during those hours. This way, you can be a little more silent in the evening. As the upstairs neighbor, you need to be considerate of these things.

If you have upstairs neighbors but can’t hear them banging and stomping above you, it might be worth having a conversation with them to see what they’ve put in place to quieten their steps around their own house.

Get Your Landlord Involved 

If you have tried everything and the complaints remain, you should involve your landlord. Your landlord should be able to help mediate the situation and bring you two together. If necessary, they can also help you negotiate with your neighbor. For example, if the noise comes from a particular equipment or activity.  

Additionally, your landlord can help suggest ways to reduce the noise or come up with a compromise that would be acceptable to both parties. Getting your landlord involved can also help ensure the problem is resolved quickly and peacefully, without either party feeling like their needs aren’t being heard. 

Get Your Neighbor to Test the Noise Levels

If your landlord is unable to solve the issue, and your downstairs neighbors are still complaining about noise, your neighbor may call the police department. Although you may think this seems a bit over the top, your downstairs neighbors could file an official noise complaint, especially if the loud noise you’re making is during quiet hours.

Now if this still doesn’t resolve the problem, and your downstairs neighbors feel the noise disturbance is serious and still happening, they could even take legal action. This could be in the form of small claims court, where they look for an injunction for for you to pay a fine to cover damages.

Get Your Neighbor to Test the Noise Levels

If there’s two people that live downstairs that are complaining about the noise, you could ask one of them to walk around in your apartment while the other stands in their own apartment and listens to see if there’s any noise.

Sometimes there is nothing you can do about the noise you make, and by doing this your neighbors might realize you’re just casually walking around your apartment, but the structure is so thin that the sound still goes downstairs. Trying this could finally stop your downstairs neighbor complaining about walking.

Final Thoughts on Downstairs Neighbor Complaining About Noise

Apartment living can be a struggle at times. Evidently, having an open and honest conversation with your neighbor is the best way to handle the situation. Showing your neighbor that you are willing to listen to their concerns and make changes can help to resolve the issue.

Ultimately, it is important to remember that communication is key when dealing with a downstairs neighbor constantly complaining about the noise. If nothing works, you must plan your move to a quiet and more peaceful environment. Maybe moving into a house where you don’t have any downstairs neighbors would be a good idea!

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