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How to Record your Upstairs Neighbor Stomping

Ways to prevent your Upstairs Neighbor from Stomping

One of the most annoying issues when living in an apartment can be your upstairs neighbors stomping. Especially late at night, this can prevent you from sleeping. There’s a lot of people who live in apartments that are in similar situations, so don’t worry, you’re not the only one!

In this article we’ll go through some options for how to deal with your loud, noisy, upstairs neighbor, including how to record your upstairs neighbors stomping on the floor above you.

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Why is my Upstairs Neighbor Stomping?

There are multiple reasons to explain why your upstairs neighbor is stomping. For example, if a family lives above you, there could be children playing by jumping off sofas or beds, which will make a loud thud on the floor.

There could possibly be issues with the structure of the apartment building you live in, which means your neighbors aren’t actually stomping, but because of poor architecture, their steps appear louder. Lots of apartments over 10 years old have an increased risk of loose connections and open pipes, which means sound travels easier between floors.

Another reason for your upstairs neighbors to be stomping on purpose could be them wanting your attention. Maybe they think you’re making too much noise and by stomping they’re trying to tell you to be quiet.

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How to Deal with Upstairs Neighbors Stomping

First, we recommend you talk to your neighbors in a polite manner. Being angry when confronting them is only going to make the situation worse. Your neighbor may not be aware of the noise they’re making, so once you speak to them, they may be more careful when moving around their house.

If you’re not confident enough to talk to your noisy upstairs neighbors, you could write a civilized note or letter just asking them to stop stomping, and put it through their letterbox. Hopefully your neighbor will then write you an apology letter for the noise they were making. You can use a neighbor complaint template to help you write the letter. 

Ideally after one of these steps the situation will be resolved, and you’ll have quieter neighbors. However, if your conversation doesn’t end peacefully, or you continue to hear stomping noises from your upstairs neighbors, then you should get in touch with your landlord or homeowner’s association.

There may be a possibility your landlord also owns the apartment above you, so they could speak to your neighbors and ask them to be more respectful when moving around their house.

If you feel the reason for your upstairs neighbor stomping is because of the structure of your apartment block, you could paint your ceiling with a dampening product. For example, Green Glue is a great way of blocking out low-frequency noise and is cheap to buy.

If your neighbors are extremely noisy during unsociable hours, they could be violating local noise laws. Speak to your local authority if this is the case.

In an attempt to block out your neighbors stomping, you could play your favorite music through a speaker. This way your brain will focus more on your favorite songs instead of your annoying neighbors’ footsteps. Just make sure to not play your music too loudly to avoid getting noise complaints yourself!

Options that involve spending money

When you have neighbor issues, it is essential to know your rights. The last thing you want is for your 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 neighbors. This book will help you solve this problems you have with your noisy upstairs neighbor in the correct manner. The book covers a wide variety of neighbor issues you’re likely to encounter, so you will get more than just one use out of this purchase.
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View the Official 2023 edition – Neighbor Law

How to Record Your Upstairs Neighbor Stomping with Recording Device

Recording device

Buy yourself a recording device. This device comes with six different decibel levels, which means you’ll be able to pick up the sound of your neighbors stomping really well! It has 32GB of storage so you can record your neighbors for hours at a time. The recordings are also really easy to upload to your computer, and this is how to record noisy upstairs neighbors for evidence.

Check out the price on Amazon here.

You could purchase some earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones to help you sleep better at night. However, this doesn’t solve the problem if they’re also making noise during the daytime.

If you have extra funds, a more expensive option would be to invest in soundproofing your walls, which could completely eliminate the problem. But why should you have to spend lots of your own money because of your inconsiderate neighbors?

A last resort option if your upstairs neighbor walks like an elephant, would be to look for another place to live, but only consider this if you feel there’s no possible way you can resolve the situation.

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Can I Legally Record my Upstairs Neighbors?

You should make sure you’re not violating any federal or state wiretapping laws before you decide to record your neighbors stomping. Typically, a person needs consent from everyone involved to record a conversation.

However, because you’re recording stomping you may be able to bypass this. The best thing to do if you’re unsure, is to speak to a lawyer or attorney for advice before recording your loud neighbors. You don’t want to record your neighbors being noisy, report it to the police and then face criminal charges for recording them using a recording device without consent.

This being said, if you go to the police and complain about noisy neighbors without any evidence from a recording device to back up your claim, why are they going to believe you? Your complaint must be justified. You may find that your other neighbors have also complained about the same noisy household, and the police may be able to solve the situation for you.

How to Record Upstairs Neighbor Stomping – Option 1

First, you must close all the windows and doors in your flat, and turn off anything that makes noise such as your TV, air conditioner or any equipment. Your room needs to be as silent as possible. You will then need to use a digital device to audio record the noise. This could be a cell phone or tablet.

For better recording effect, stand on a sturdy chair or table so you can hold your device close to or on your ceiling and start recording. By having your device as close to the ceiling as possible, the quality of the sound recorded will be higher. Hold the device with the screen side facing the ceiling to also improve the sound quality.

By doing this, you will record directly below their floor, and therefore pick up all the sound.

Once you feel you have enough evidence, stop recording and cut the recording to only when the loudest stomps occur. Then save your recording and name the file as the date and time you collected the evidence.

Now you can choose to take this recording to your loud neighbor and play it to them as evidence of the stomping you experience, or you can take this to your landlord or even the police. It might be a good idea to take several audio recordings to show your neighbor is stomping regularly.

How to Record Upstairs Neighbor Stomping – Option 2

Another option is to use a decibel recording app such as Spectroid. You can download this on a smartphone or tablet which has access to the Google Play Store. If you own an Apple device you can download the app Audio Spectrum Analyzer for this same use. This app is super handy if you want to monitor and document noisy neighbors.

Spectroid records noises measuring their decibels and frequency. The baseline is -100 because zero is the maximum power that the microphone can measure. This is the reason the values are negative.

Noises that are about -50 or -40 is the same volume as a conversation face to face. This means if you use one of these apps and record stomping at this value, then your neighbors are potentially violating a lease agreement, condo association, or bylaws.

You can video record your app as it’s collecting the noises and use that data to build your case to document and report noisy neighbors that aren’t following the rules.

Final Thoughts

When experiencing issues with a noisy neighbor, the best practice is to try and resolve the issue in a civil manner. You don’t want to fall out with them which means it will become awkward when you pass them in the stairwell. You also don’t want to end up as the bad guy and get in trouble by executing a revenge plan!

However, if you feel you must record your upstairs neighbor stomping as evidence to take to people that can help you, then I hope this article has been helpful!

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