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Old 03-25-2009, 12:14 PM   #1
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Default Looking for advice, and maybe thoughts from a different perspective.

Hi guys,

I love the support system I have here. I am so thankful for it.

So I am looking for both advice and opinions about something that happened yesterday.

So I am at home, just playing around on the computer, and I hear a knock on the door. I open it and it's the lady who lives in the apartment unit below us. I invite her in, and she tells me she needs to talk to me about something "woman to woman". I can already tell this is going to get awkward, lol, but I ask her to go on.

She starts to tell me that the noise coming from our apartment is too much. She blames it on the poor construction of the building... but she explains that she can hear us and everything we do. She hears us talking, she hears our TV, she hears us walking across the floor (which is carpeted, btw... but the floor boards underneath the carpet creak a lot), and... she hears us having sex . At this point, I wanted to crawl into a corner and die, but I continued on with a straight face and I apologized. I asked her if there is any particular time she wants us to try and be especially quiet by, and she tells me 10 pm. I again apologized, told her we would do our best to accommodate her request, and she went back to her apartment.

I am very appreciative of her coming to speak to us directly, rather than just submitting a complaint to the rental office. I think it took a lot of guts on her part, and I appreciate her honesty. She did it in a respectful fashion, and I hold nothing against her for telling us this.

And.. the sex thing I can understand. My husband and I talked about it when he got home, and we're willing to adjust... either we'll do it earlier, or we'll do it somewhere that won't make so much noise (I would imagine it's the bed that's causing most of the sound problem there... though maybe *I* could try to keep it down a little too... lol).

However... we can't stop the sound that the floor is going to make from us walking on it. Also, it's not like we have the TV particularly loud.. it's at a regular volume. Other than the sex (haha), we're actually not a rowdy couple at all. In fact, I always thought we were good in that respect. I always do my workouts once I know she's at work, as to not make too much noise, we take our shoes off once we get in the house, we NEVER have parties, we never have company over, we never listen to loud music... we always pick up after our dog (which is more than I can say for most of the tenants in our building- yuck).

When DH and I lived in our last apartment, there was a 20-something year old guy that lived above us. He had parties every weekend. He played his music loud, he played his video games... a lot of times we could hear him banging some girl at 3 or 4 in the morning. But, I guess we never complained because we just understood that's part of the territory of living in an apartment. What he did on his own time was his business. And, when you look at him as a tenant, vs. us as tenants... we make a heck of a lot less noise. (side story... I ended up working with him at my last job. talk about awkward...)

I guess my question is, how much should we be expected to change our behavior? Just because she goes to bed at 10:00... that shouldn't mean we have to go to bed at 10 too, right? Besides the sex thing, I honestly don't know how else we can change. Yesterday, the entire evening was awkward, because we were trying to whisper everything and we were afraid to turn on the TV, and afraid to walk around the apartment out of fear that she could hear us. I can't live like that for the next 5 years (which will be how long we'll need to stay here before we can afford a house).

What's your opinion on this situation? Any suggestions, thoughts, comments?

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Old 03-25-2009, 12:25 PM   #2
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I think this lady needs to understand that, that is just the price you pay when live in a downstairs apt. It sucks but its life. I have lived under other people and I remember hearing everything they did, but its usually the construction of the complexes fault, not yours.

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Old 03-25-2009, 01:50 PM   #3
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Right now, I live on the first floor and there are ELEPHANT PEOPLE above us. Seriously, I don't know WHAT they do all day (and night) long, but it sounds like a stampede.

I would never in 100 years imagine asking them to keep it down because they are obviously not being obnoxious on purpose and the building is 30-40 years old and shoddy construction comes with the territory.

It's very nice of you to be mindful of your noise, but you should not have to completely rearrange your life habits to accomodate this neighbor! Just my opinion...

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Old 03-25-2009, 01:59 PM   #4
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This is such a tough one. Everyone needs their sleep. I really feel for people who can't get their sleep, I get so miserable without it. But you also have to be able live normally. There is no good solution, except apartments suck. I'm in an apartment, so I sympathize with both sides.
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Old 03-25-2009, 02:04 PM   #5
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I personally think you're being more than accomadating. I wouldn't worry about it too much.

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Old 03-25-2009, 02:11 PM   #6
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My first apartment was a first floor apartment and I didn't really have any issues. Occasionally, the tenants above me would have a party and I'd hear them on the balcony but I couldn't hear them above me. The next time I lived in apartment with someone above me, I lived in a second floor (of 3) apartment. It was horrible, I could hear every step and I could hear muffled talking. It was that apartment that convinced me I'd never buy a condo and if I ever lived in another apartment, I'd live on the top floor.

So its the construction basically. You can do your best to keep it down but she should probably invest in ear plugs.
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Old 03-25-2009, 02:25 PM   #7
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How weird to see this thread I was just talking about this on another forum lol. I live in a very very old house that was split into two apartments. An upstairs and a downstairs. I live upstairs.

The floors are so creaky & squeeky. We can usually hear them, some talking, tv, their baby crying would drive me crazy lol, their dogs barking like mad, and sometimes they like to have alot of friends over on the weekends and they get very loud.

I don't think my DH & I are that loud. We try to keep it quiet but I am sure they can hear us like we can hear them. I remember once the neighbor that lived below us before said they could hear our cats running around the apartment all the time lol! I am always a bit worried though since my DH & I were night owls and would have the tv on and be up walking around until 2-3am in the past.

I started working out and following dvds in my living room. I am so worried that I am making a ton of noise It isn't like I am doing jumping jacks or anything lol but sometimes the floor will creak & i will be like eek lol. It is tough working out when you are afraid too make too much noise.

I think it was cool that she came & talked to you that was really nice. And I think you did the right thing to ask her what time should you guys really try to be quieter. Hopefully if you can keep it down during that time she will be understanding about the floor making alot of noise. Apartment life bleh lol
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Old 03-25-2009, 03:27 PM   #8
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See if you can switch to a dif. apt. I had this issue living on the second floor as well, only it was worse because we don't have normal sleeping hours. My old downstairs neighbors harassed us about being too loud, even DURING the day! They called the cops on us one night. So . . . my bf and I switched our deposit over to a downstairs apt that was open and we haven't had any issues besides now hearing OUR upstairs neighbors every move.

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Old 03-25-2009, 03:58 PM   #9
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yeah, I guess besides changing our schedule a little bit, there is little else we can do. I mean, I feel bad, but I can't totally change my life to match this woman's schedule.

heather88- while it's a good suggestion, we just can't move. This place allowed us to paint the walls, and it took us over a week to paint our apartment to our liking. I wouldn't want to have to do that all over again, lol.

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Old 03-25-2009, 04:08 PM   #10
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If she's a reasonable woman, I think doing the best you can, is good enough, she'll either understand or she won't. Being that she was so polite, I'm guessing that just being aware and considerate of her bedtime would be good enough (in fact, she might not even hear later night activities if she's a sound sleeper, it may be getting to sleep that she's having difficulty with - especially if there's a lot of "action" going on at that time).

If she's not reasonable, and this is just the first of a long line of complaints, you could be in for a really stressful battle. One thing to keep in mind that if she does call the police, be very polite to the police and when talking about her (not angry about the "unreasonable" neighbor) but welcome them in to hear the volume of your tv, etc, and show that you've tried to be as accomodating and as reasonable as feasible. Generally, the police will go back to the neighbor and tell them that they found no grounds for a disturbance of the peace citation.

I'm not assuming the woman will make real trouble, but you never know.
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Old 03-25-2009, 06:59 PM   #11
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Kaplods- yes, I do hope it never gets to that point, but you never know. She had given us another really odd complaint about our cars a while back... we had gotten a half inch of snow, and she was upset that we were just brushing the snow off of our cars and onto the ground. She offered her shovel so we could remove the excess snow from the ground (????). I dunno... we are perfectly polite to her, but she complains a lot, not just about us, but about everything. lol, we'll see. She's a nice enough lady, I have no problems with her so far... I just don't want it to get to that point.

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Old 03-25-2009, 07:51 PM   #12
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Hey there! I had the same problem. I lived in a top floor apartment above the owners of the two-unit building, and they used to complain that I walked too loudly. Well, it turns out that the previous tenant was bedridden for 20 years until she passed away! There isn't much that I could do but ignore it.
You might check out what the noise regulations are with respect to quiet hours, and start to document what your neighbor is saying just for your protection if the proverbial poop hits the fan. You might also check with your landlord about building rules and regulations are, too, just to keep yourself ahead of the game.
I had a friend who had a shared driveway, and his neighbor used to push all the snow off his side onto my friend's side. AND this neighbor's wife hated snow, and made the neighbor shovel off the LAWN and push it onto my friend's side of the driveway....some people...
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Old 03-25-2009, 07:57 PM   #13
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I lived in an apt before where the downstairs tenants complained of similar issues (except there was no one for me to have sex with). The place had very creaky floorboard and they could hear me walking around, esp the husband. He was a night owl, and we were all grad students. I got up at 8 am, and that was "too early" for him.

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Old 03-25-2009, 08:30 PM   #14
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I would buy her some ear plugs as a gift..LOL.. t

he thing is you pay your rent you have a right to be comfortable in your own home... as far as when you and the hubby do it- I would NOT accommodate when that takes place based on some one else's schedule.. keeping it interesting and spicy is hard enough with out saying ok we can only do it between these hours and these hours.. I would just say if you do do it after 10 then try not to be loud about it... or find interesting places to do it like the shower.. plus the sound of the water will help drown out the noises... and I would talk in your normal voice But after 10 It probably wouldn't be fair to shout or yell or sing or anything really loud- or chase each other around and be laughing or things like that

ANy ways my point is I think you need to meet half way... tell her you ARE going to live your life normally- just with the volume down a little after 10.. but by no means would I stop watching TV or talking or making love with my husband- you pay to live there!

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Old 03-26-2009, 01:59 AM   #15
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we had a complainer below us in our last place too. i hated it so much. we can't control that the floors squeak and that you can hear every move we make. one day she actually slammed on our floor- her ceiling because... my husband took off his pants!
i am not joking. the sound of him taking his pants off and flopping onto the floor of our bedroom was enough for her to bang on her ceiling.
once our bathroom flooded and we got a noise complaint because we were making too much noise cleaning it up. The day we moved in she complained about us making too much noise. HELLO we have to move our furniture in here. ugh!
Anyway- apartment life sucks. I guess I'd try not to do it really loud after 10- but other then that I agree you just have to keep living your life. One thing we did do- years before we even got to that apartment- was get some good wireless headphones to watch TV with. We watch a lot of movies and we both like the volume at different levels anyway- so having headphones worked really well. We used that most of the time when watching tv.
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