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Not very neighborly... (A rant)

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Old 08-20-2011, 09:44 PM   #1
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Thumbs down Not very neighborly... (A rant)

Update: Goodness, I keep forgetting I posted this. The note itself has been long taken down. And, in as far as apartments go, this one has stayed fairly quiet over the three years I've lived here. All is well!

(Note: This is mostly just a rant.)

I live in an apartment complex.

For the most part, it's a fine place. Generally quiet, and well kept.

Some of the neighbors have children of various ages. Quite a normal thing. And you can occasionally hear a child or someone stomping about. It doesn't usually last for very long, though, and other than that the soundproofing tends to take care of things.

Overall, a fine place with little to complain about (except when the laundry machines break ).

However, this morning I stepped out of my apartment to go shopping, and the neighbor across the hall from us put up a sign. It reads:

"If you're here to complain about the noise, don't bother.
We have a child. We're doing our best.
When you have kids come talk to me.
Until then, enjoy your easy life."

(Their underlining, not mine)

Now, I'm not really sure what happened that this (very recently moved in) neighbor put up a note on their door... but it's so... un-neighborly. It's off-putting, rude sounding, and condescending.

It's on yellow paper... on their front door!

It's not very inviting, nor neighborly. Plus, even if a neighbor did have a problem with the noise, what are they teaching their child? It's okay to make noise in an apartment complex as long as you tell your neighbors to buzz off if they want to complain about it?

I think what I really don't like about it, is that it's right across from my door, and I've tried to make my door inviting looking... but any guests that happen by are sure to have a look and be a little put off.

Like I said, just a rant. Hopefully they'll take the tacky thing off their door soon, and if there is a problem between neighbors they can go through the manager.
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Old 08-20-2011, 10:32 PM   #2
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I agree...That is very off putting, and NOT very responsible parenting. And why oh why would they say NOT having kids is an easy life.

I think there are difficulties in everyone's life. Kids or no kids...

Having kids does add a level of stress, but also a massive level of reward.

Maybe they were just having a REALLY bad day. It happens.
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Old 08-20-2011, 10:39 PM   #3
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Yeah, I get that. I had a very loud (she was a screamer) child in an apartment and I was so worried about the neighbors. But, luckliy I never had a complaint. If I had I would not have dealt with it like that. Hopefully, they'll get settled and realize it's just one complaint and they don't need to be so defensive about ALL the neighbors. I can imagine it doesn't look too good the rest of the neighbors! I hope they don't think it was you that complained. Do you suppose they assume it was someone on that floor or right nearby? I hope it doesn't get personal. That would be crappy.
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Old 08-20-2011, 10:49 PM   #4
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I'm sorry, I had to laugh at the note. I was going to say who does that and then remembered that when I lived in a 2 level duplex several years ago I put up a sign on the main door of the apt that read something like this:

SHUT THE DOOR BEHIND YOU. IT CUTS ON THE DRAFT COMING INTO OUR PLACE. I'M NOT HERE TO SHUT IT FOR YOU.
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Old 08-20-2011, 10:53 PM   #5
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I've never been under the impression that everyone is kind, polite, or socially apt. But it is fun to make fun of them! There's a whole website for it. You should add yours to it:

http://www.passiveaggressivenotes.co...an-you-dig-it/
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Old 08-20-2011, 11:28 PM   #6
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I would probably just assume that though their note was a bit on the rude as heck side, they might be under a mass amount of stress. Not necessarily an excuse, but forgivable. Parenting is hard. I once lived in an apartment complex through student married housing at the college I was living in. Nobody ever had a problem with the noise until someone moved in about 3 months before we left. We got a complaint once about the vacuum being on at 12 in the afternoon, which was hours when reasonable noise was allowed. What were we supposed to do? Not vacuum? After that, we were walking on eggshells. once something fell out of the top of the closet and made a loud noise. Oh lord. 5 minutes later, we got a complaint. Another time, I accidentally fell in the hallway. Complaint. Before long, we were whispering in our own apartment tip toeing night and day. I was always too much of a chicken to say anything to them about it. I just insisted that we put up with it,just to keep the peace. But, maybe someone was over reacting with them.Even if they didn't, I'd just overlook it and file it as a temporary oversight in manners and cut the busy parents some slack.
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Old 08-20-2011, 11:50 PM   #7
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Children and dogs make noise. That is just the way it is.
I have a huge woofer living on one side of me. He is a beautiful hunting dog.

The landlords can't discriminate against people renting with children.
Most cities have an ordinance against excessive noise before and after a certain hour. And there is a curfew for children under a certain age.

There are all adult communities. But I live in a neighborhood with 4 children right next door to me. They make a lot of noise. But they visit me and I give them books and kids movies. They like me. We have long discussions about fantastical adventures, and bugs, and firetrucks and airplanes. And I teach them silly kid songs. And I listen to them. They have a lot to say. None of the other neighbors associate with the kids but me.
And I have a noisy schoolyard behind me.
But I like children. Noise and all. I like to see them enjoying life. They are a lot of fun.

When I was a kid we had a couple of old grouchy neighbors. I made up my mind not to be the neighborhood grouch when I grew up. It has paid off. The kids really like me...and so do their parents. But I have a really hateful neighbor who will call the cops when the 4 little kids congregate on my porch to talk to me. They are ages 2,5,7 and 11.
She considers them to be an unruly gang! LOL

I just had a new neighbor move in with 4 more kids. And a couple of my friends are all up in arms about the kids. I hear one hateful complaint after another.
The kids are 2,5,6 and 14. The 5 year old girl is just darling. The 2 year old is so cute. The 14 year old can ride his bike 30 miles. OUCH! And the 6 year old is still shy of me. So I showed him a couple of Monarch butterfly caterpillars I am raising in my milkweed. Now he knows not to hurt them because they will be flying over 2,000 miles to Mexico later in the year to overwinter. And I let them all pick my raspberries. And I let them take home a little garden toad for an hour. When my pears get ripe next month, I'll invite the little ones over to pick a few. It's great to help build happy childhood memories for the little ones.
Summer is a great time to get to know my new neighbors.


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Old 08-21-2011, 12:44 AM   #8
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I lived above a deaf lady with 9 kids. Her kids made noise and she had some speech training but not quite enough to teach her how to speak at a normal loudness so she screamed every time she talked. I'm not sure you can beat that for noise
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Old 08-21-2011, 01:23 AM   #9
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It's possible that the note is aimed at a specific person (if so, most likely one of the tenants living a floor below), who has complained numerous times over sound that is unavoidable.

If you had said that you had heard outrageous noise coming from the apartment, I would agree that the person is setting a bad example for their children - but if there's not unusual noise comiong from the apartment, they may be responding to harassment they have received in the building (or in the past). I can understand the sentiment (even if it's a rude and low-class way to express it).

We don't have kids, but in our current apartment, we had noise issues with the neighbors above us. Even though they made tons of noise, they were constantly complaining about noise coming from our apartment. They were college students and one brother had migrains (I suspect hangover-induced since he'd usually complain on Sunday Mornings), and I swear he was imagining things, because we live an insanely quiet life. I can turn the tv on a little loud, because I'm a little hard of hearing, but we had to tell them to come down and TALK to us when that happened - because they would try to tell us we were being too loud by POUNDING on the floor, which I would sometimes not hear, or would think they were just wresting (because they did that alot. Literally, they would move furniture aside and wrestle with their friends and you could hear them body slamming each other to the floor). The brother with the headaches would stomp down the stairs and knock on our door, enraged that we hadn't responded to his pounding. He'd ask us to turn the music or the tv down - sometimes when we didn't have music or the tv even ON - and he'd accuse us of turning it off before he came down the stairs - psycho).

We could hear every move they made and they'd wrestle and have late weekend parties that were super loud (and their weekend parties wouldn't START until bar close, so 2 or 3 am), and yet they were the ones making noise complaints (it wasn't in retaliation to complains we had made against them). My husband only complained to them, when the noise was excessive after midnight (which occurred for the first time after they had made three complaints to us about our noise). I swear that I think the guy was schizophrenic, and was hearing voices because he'd come down and rant about the noise when we hadn't made any or couldn't hear any from any of the other apartments either (and the walls are thin enough that we can hear loud noises from all 8 apartments in the building - and sometimes when the windows are open, even from all three building in the courtyard).

After they moved out (thankfully) a new couple moved in, and we still hear them quite well though it's normal noise, nothing excessive. We've asked, and they've told us they can't hear us at all. We've become friends, and the man is a cop - so he's familiar with excessive noise complaints and what constitutes excessive noise. We we even turned our tv's volume up as far as it could go to test what they could or couldn't hear in their apartment - and they still couldn't hear it - so I don't know what headache boy was complaining about.

We've lived in several apartments, and we had never had anyone complain about our noise level before, and we've rarely had to complain aobut other tenants, but we have witnessed bizarre noise disputes between neighbors. Some people seem to believe that they should not be able to ever hear even a single noise coming from the apartments around their own. And then there are others who think they should be able to do anything they want to, even having loud, parties that start at 3 am on a weekday, or decide that 2am is the perfect time to move all the furniture and vaccuum.

I've even seen people ignore all the noise in the building except when it was (or was imagined to be) coming from someone they didn't like. They'd ignore their friends' loud 3am parties, but would freak out that their "enemy" was vaccuuming at 7:30 pm.



If the note bothers you, and/or if the family is making noise that isn't just normal family noise, then I would suggest photographing the note, and talking to your landlord about it (or if you want to be anonymous, send it to the landlord with a letter), and express your concerns.

I'd agree that no matter what the situation, they're not handling it well, but I also know how frustrating it can be to be the victim of harassment over imagined or normal, unavoidable sound. We even went to our landlord, asking if anyone else in the building had complained about us - and we were told there were complaints ABOUT the college boys, but not from them (and yet for the year they lived above us, we got at least three complaints every month from them - sometimes more than one in the same day. It was exhausting - if I had thought a nasty note would have kept them away I would have posted it.).
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Old 08-21-2011, 08:34 AM   #10
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Someone in the building must have complained but your neighbors don't know who it was. The irritating note was put up to catch the eye of whoever the complainer was. If you ever talk to then I would say that I have made no complaints.
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Old 08-21-2011, 08:40 AM   #11
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I'd confront the neighbor in a friendly manner to see what exactly made her put the note up in the first place.She may just be frustrated and not know any other way to deal with it,especially if it's normal everyday noises that are getting complaints on her.Heck,she may think it's you that making the complaints and hence the note ON her door.If it is,you can explain that it's not coming from you and if she could please take the note down.

I had some guy put a nasty note ON my truck once,because I was parked in front of his house (my landlord promised me a parking space and then when I moved in,said,oops...someone else needs it).I parked in front of his house again with a huge note saying that when he says please and thank you...then I will move my truck.We ended up communicating face to face and everything turned out fine after that.He apologized for the nasty note,I said I wouldn't park there anymore and we chatted everytime we saw each other after that.I think communicating face to face with the person is the best way to go.
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Old 08-21-2011, 10:47 AM   #12
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Denying that you complained, out of the blue, can seem defensive - so I'd suggest saying something that invites her to open up about what's going on... something like, "I noticed the note on your door; has someone in the building been complaining about noise? Have you talked to the landlord about it?

I agree that it's possible that she doesn't know who complained, because the person may have complained directly to the landlord or may have slipped an anonymous note in her mailbox or under her door. In my experience landlords often pass along noise complaints, not by saying "someone has complained," but by stating "I've been receiving complaints," or "people have been complaining," so that it doesn't seem personal.

In my experience, people tend to get more upset (and more irrational and paranoid) about complaints (whether they're giving them, or receiving them) when they're anonymous. Which is why the note is unfortunate - they would have gotten better luck, if they had knocked on every door around them and had asked nicely if anyone had been bothered by noise, and if so - what specifically and when). That would have been the best response, but it's also a difficult one.
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Old 08-21-2011, 11:02 AM   #13
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I would guess the neighbor was having a bad day and it was maybe aimed at someone that had been giving them grief, like a downstairs neighbor.

We used to live next door to this super nice woman, got along with her great, but boy she sounded like a pill to live above. She would flip out if the people above her so much as ran a dishwasher after 6 or 7 pm. I didn't know any of this was going on until the day the situation got so strained that she and one of the upstairs neighbors were in the hall screaming at each other.

Some people can just be really sensitive to noise and don't want to hear anything from their neighbors when they are home, put them near children - even if that noise is at reasonable levels - and it's a bad combo.

Or maybe the kid is super noisy during late hours and doing it near shared walls of bedrooms so another neighbor can't sleep. Our downstairs neighbors kids can be surprisingly noisy rather late at night sometimes - once in a while it sounds like they are having a furniture throwing contest in the middle of the night - but it's never near our bedroom while we're trying to sleep so we don't care.

Your neighbor's approach probably isn't the best way to forge a happy peaceful stay in their newish surroundings though. And yeah, not very inviting looking to have on a door near you! Hopefully whatever is going on gets resolved quickly.
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Old 08-21-2011, 11:55 AM   #14
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I lived in an apartment in my early 20's. We were ground floor and never heard anything from those upstairs. The people directly behind us though were another story. They regularly had parties that lasted until 4 and 5am. They would sneak out and jump the fence to swim. We never once complained. At the time I was working the early morning shift and had to be at work at 5am. As I was leaving they were still partying. I walked back to their door with the intention of asking them to quiet down. When they had come home they left the keys in the door lock and no one ever told them. I know it was wrong but I took their keys. Every day for a week I would move their vehicle from spot to spot in the lot. Our living and bedroom windows overlooked the lot. It was hilarious watching them come out and scratch their heads looking for their car. I slipped their keys back in their door lock about a week later and they were never the wiser.
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Old 08-21-2011, 12:23 PM   #15
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zinkemomx2, they didn't know their keys were missing? And they weren't surprised when the keys suddenly appeared again? That's a wild story! lol!

JOLINA, you are so nice! :-) I liked reading your post.

I'm one of those noise sensitive people but, thankfully, my neighbors above me are pretty quiet. I had a kid-family that lived next door to me (I think they just moved) and the kid was fond of opening and slamming the front door to his apartment...over and over again. SO ANNOYING! It would rattle my front door, too. Anyway, I solved the problem by putting insulation on my front door.

I have a dog that, I'm sure, makes noise as he runs around on my hardwood floors. I hope it doesn't bother my neighbor below me.

Lovely, that note is from frustration I'm sure. I hope it comes down soon, though.
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