Downstairs neighbor complains

Frances - posted on 02/26/2010 ( 10 moms have responded )




I have two children ages 16 and 6. I am a college student and we live in the Universities Apartments and Family housing in a 2nd floor flat (all they had left when I applied). We moved in in the middle of the semester and I might have opened a can of worms by asking her if they can hear us. She said yes some. But a week later she asked nicely if we could keep it down because she needed to study for finals. I worked very hard on that one. The kids were to be quiet and all or go outside. Well after that we would get bang bang bang even when I did dishes at 5:30 pm or when I dropped a casserole dish on the table at 5:30 on another day. It feels like they are poised under us just waiting for a sound. My children are in bed by 8pm most nights. One night my little girl was crying around 10pm cause she was upset no more than 5 mins after she started we got the bang bang bang. My only thought was what kind of person complains when a child is crying (she was not throwing a temper tantrum or anything she was just crying). The most recent episode was at about 6pm when she was throwing a little temper tantrum because of not getting her way again about 5 mins after it started we got bang bang bang, then a few mins later the neighbor lady was at our door complaining saying she needs to study and that we are always loud and its every day. Sorry but she does not throw a temper tantrum everyday because I pick and choose my battles so to not have the noise. This lets my daughter get away with anything just to keep the quiet.

My question is how quiet should we be during the DAY. We walk very carefully most of the time, we are afraid to clean (yes I got the bang bang bang while vacuuming around 5pm one day). Granted they were here first but we need to live too.. I don't want to mess up her studies but mine are suffering as well in the attempt to keep everything as quiet as possible. We are meeting with them and a community adviser later today and I am hopeful that goes well.


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Daisy - posted on 05/19/2015




There is no "tuning out factor" when you have children creating noise pollution and the acoustics and insulation are just not up to snuff.

Invest in carpets and good padding,

Daisy - posted on 05/19/2015




I don't agree with your advice at all. Given that every community has thrift shops, free lists and garage sales, to not invest in some decent kitchen mats and area rugs with padding is selfish.

[deleted account]

I hear you OP. We have a similar problem with our 4 yo and the downstairs neighbor. On the one hand I want to let my son be a 4 year old and it's not fair to make him be quiet all the time, but I also want to be a good neighbor and care about the people around me.

I've had to explain to him that he must be quiet early in the morning and we try to keep the noise to a minimum throughout the day. We start our storey time around 8 pm and put him to bed shortly after. I think we've acted as fairly as we can, but some people will complain about noise if you drop pin.

It sounds like your neighbor is being unreasonable. Tolerating a reasonable level of noise is what living in an apartment is all about and you shouldn't be made to feel guilty for using your vaccume at 5 pm. Thats just ridiculous. You are living in the family housing after all. What does she expect? Perhaps she should try living in the young single student accomodation and she would know what noise really is. lol

Frances - posted on 02/26/2010




Thanks all...We meet with the community adviser and got some things cleared up...The main suggestion was to get to know each other better so there would be an understanding between the two of us...which I thought was good..she will know that we are not out to deliberately annoy and we will know more of her study habits and timing for things... She has just never been around children before and has a hard time studying...she has not gained the tuning it out factor yet...So hopefully this will work out for the best...I am still trying for a townhouse in the same area so no one below us to worry about...but that may not be till the end of the semester in about 4 months...

Terra - posted on 02/26/2010




My suggestion is this... if you are too loud for her try to switch appartments lol. You can't walk on pins and needles in your house. Remember this fact the next time she complains... YOU PAY RENT THERE TOO!

Theresa - posted on 02/26/2010




If things were excessive I would understand, but the next time you get the bang, bang for something minor bang back. If she comes up and complains, say something like "I'm sorry my vaccuuming bothers you, but if it's that hard for you to study while we carry on our day to day chores maybe you should try studying at the library." Say it politely, without attitude. If those minor things bother her that bad she shouldn't be living in FAMILY housing.

Tracy - posted on 02/26/2010




Her expectations of total silence are a bit over the top and unreasonable. You say your in the family housing, correct? I would suggest to the community advisor to drop by her apt from time to time to monitor the level of noise coming from your apt. Honestly, vacumming? A child crying? the woman sounds like a child hating witch who thinks the world revolves around her.... I could be wrong, but if you live in student housing, esp the family section, you need to realize there's noise

Stephanie - posted on 02/26/2010




We lived in University apartments too. They were HORRIBLE. I lived on the first floor so I can somewhat sympathize with this woman because you could hear EVERYTHING, and it was so distracting when I was trying to study. The sound proofing was so poor that it seemed like the sound of their footsteps were echoing. Seriously! We moved out after our year contract was up. I lived with it though and that woman below you can too. That's life.

Alison - posted on 02/26/2010




Ugh! That is ridiculous! My thoughts have always been, if you can't afford to buy a home, you need to suck it up. Noise is part of the reality of appartment living. If your neighbour cannot deal with the noise, she needs to find an appartment on the top floor.

Is there a designated residence for families???

Erin - posted on 02/26/2010




Well I'm glad that you are meeting with someone about it. That would have been my suggestion. You should be able to "live" without worrying about her. She must be something. I hope you can get some peace. Good luck!!

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