Would you complain?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by mmswm, Jun 25, 2010.

  1. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Okay, it's 10:52pm. My neighbors above me aren't doing anything wrong, per se, but they DO walk very heavily. The footsteps are so hard that my floor is vibrating. I'm sitting on my couch, with my feet tucked under me, and I can feel it. Also, one of the pictures on my wall fell off.

    This is an every day thing, and it goes on until at least 1am, but often times till 2-3am. This is not the first time something's fallen off my walls. Its loud enough that it wakes my kids, and on one occasion, the vibrations were enough to knock my already unstable screen door of the back sliding glass door frame.

    We do have noise laws. Excessive noise between 10pm and 8am is prohibited. The thing is though, they're really not doing anything but walking around. They're just heavy walkers. So, would you complain?
     
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  3. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    If you think they are just walking (and not purposefully stomping) I would not complain ...
     
  4. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    ku-that's my delima. I do think they're just walking, BUT, I also think that maybe they need a reminder to be consious of the hour as they walk around. While they're not doing anything wrong, I shouldn't have to deal with kids being woken and picture frames being knocked of my walls either.

    I wonder if it would be okay to say exactly that to the mangement...
     
  5. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    My husband is forever lecturing me about my walking because he's worried about how my body will hold up to it over time. I'm not exaggerating...several times a week he goes on about it. It's very annoying. But I do come down with far too much power, but I unless I walk on my toes--which no kidding I sometimes do to avoid disturbing people--I can't do much to modify my walking behavior. Anything else is very unnatural.

    So I don't know. I wouldn't say anything to management before speaking to them. It's not like if management goes to these people about the concern they won't know where it came from.
     
  6. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    If you are comfortable with it, you could say something. I would blame it on the building - These walls/ceilings are so thin, I can hear right though them! Because, really, if they are just walking around, even heavily, and it is doing all that, it is more a fault of the building. But if you ask nicely, perhaps they would be more conscious of it.
     
  7. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    I think it's serious enough to bring up if your items are being damaged, or almost, and it's waking your KIDS up. I'd definitely say something.
     
  8. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Hmmmm, you all make good points. What to do?????

    I think the biggest problem with talking to them directly is that I really don't know them. Actually, I don't know them at all. If you lined up a bunch of people and asked me to pick them out, I'd have no idea where to start.

    So, what do you think of this. I get along well with the apartment manager. It's about time to deliver a rent check. Do you think it would be okay to say something (when I drop of the check) to the effect of "I'm not really complaining, and I don't even know if there's anything you can do, but...", then describe the circumstances. If its not something they can do anything about, then I don't come across as a whiner/trouble maker, and if there is something she can do, then she can do it. She's a very tactful woman. I know if she says something, it'll be in a nice way.

    What do you think?
     
  9. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    I think using the landlord to notify is a smart move BECAUSE you don't know the people. some people look at it as tattling but, I don't because you don't know how people may react to someone discussing an issue with them. Some people take it very personal even though you feel like you are not yelling or complaining to them but rather just notifying them of the situation. It's safer to let the landlord know.
     
  10. Kat53

    Kat53 Devotee

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    I understand your annoyance. I am very distrubed by my neighbors noise, even if it is minor. I just don't like noise in general. The problem is that you (the manager, etc) can't tell them when they can and can't walk. What if they work the night shift and are just getting off of work? What if they are going to the bathroom. I completely understand where you are coming from, but on the other hand, I think that's kind of a price to pay living in a shared environment. I have a very hard time sleeping and this would drive me nuts.
     
  11. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Have previous upstairs' tenants caused the same problems?

    Some places let you switch apartments if you are unhappy with your location. Perhaps you can switch to an upstairs apartment.
     
  12. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    So you would like the apartment manager to tactfully ask them not to walk around the apartment so much and, if they don't mind, don't walk around at all after 11pm?

    I understand the noise factor, but this is what you are asking management to do. Before approaching the manager, try to change your walking habits one evening. From the time you get home till you go to bed, make a conscious effort to walk around as softly and quietly as possible. Then decide if it's reasonable to ask your neighbors to do the same thing every single evening.

    I do understand completely where you're coming from. I lived in a boarding house during college and some of the guys would play their stereo loudly till 1am-2am every night. They also practiced their "stomp dancing" (no joke) late into the night. I lived right across the hall from them. Eventually I learned to tune most of it out.

    It sounds very much like this is an issue with the building rather than the neighbors. They aren't partying all night. They're not yelling and screaming or turning the TV all the way up....they are just walking heavy. Unfortunately, as a PP said, this is just part of living in a shared environment. They pay the same amount of rent as you (presumably) and have just as much right to walk around their apartment at any hour of their choosing, just as you do.

    I think the idea of moving to a different apartment is a better option in this case. You never know how the neighbors might react, but if I lived in an apartment building and the manager seriously asked me to stop walking around my apartment so much or to walk more softly, I'm not going to have a good reaction to that.

    Another option would be trying to introduce yourself to the neighbors and get to know them better. Maybe invite them down for a glass of wine one evening. Once you know them, then you might mention how the floor and walls of the building seem to amplify every move you make. Who knows, maybe they have the same problem with the neighbors above their place?
     
  13. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jun 26, 2010

    When I was first married, the people who lived in the apartment below us would knock on their ceiling (our floor) EVERY day, regardless of time of day, if we were walking around, even once when I dropped a fork on the floor- it was ridiculous.

    I think you should ask for a change in apartment location, if that's available. If there are seriously doors falling off track and pictures falling off walls, that sounds like a building construction issue, not a matter of neighbors walking around. Your neighbors shouldn't have to walk tiptoe everytime they go to another room in their apartment, and you shouldn't be kept awake and have things falling off walls.
     
  14. nykteacher

    nykteacher Rookie

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    Jun 26, 2010

    I had a similar issue, but in this case, WE were the offending neighbors. My downstairs neighbor complained he could hear my children running around, and that they woke up too early for his taste. It turns out, there is a much unenforced rule in my condo bylaws that says a certain percentage of the place needs to be carpeted. Management asked up to carpet my living room and hallway, and I haven't heard from my neighbor since! Perhaps there is a similar rule where you live.
     
  15. Securis

    Securis Cohort

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    Jun 26, 2010

    Make friends with your neighbors. Have the one you think is most empathetic over for tea or coffee and a chat while her family is home. Let them witness your experiences while they visit. You wouldn't have to say anything. Just look up or wait for something to fall off the wall.

    The conversation might develop naturally or not at all. But at least you made someone aware with a 'complaint'.
     
  16. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Some of the responses are exactly why I fear saying anything at all.

    No, I am NOT asking that they not walk around, only that they are conscious of the time and not walk around heavily enough to wake my children and knock things off my walls after 10 or 11pm. There's an enormous difference. If it was just a matter of hearing them, then it wouldn't be an issue, it's the excess that's a problem.

    No, it was not a problem with the people who lived there before. Those people I could hear, as would be normal for apartment living, but it was not excessive.

    Yes, I have changed my walking habits for my downstairs neighbors (I'm in the middle). I'm very aware that they have small children and that they might like to sleep every once in a while, so after 10pm, I move around softly. I don't run, I don't stomp, and I make an effort to be quieter than I am during the day. I call that common courtesy.
     
  17. cmw

    cmw Groupie

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    Ugh! I hated apartment living, but I always lived on top for that reason. Maybe you could bring a basket of muffins upstairs and talk with them. You can totally blame it on the building construction being shabby. You can let them know that you know they are just walking around like normal people but the lack of sound barriers make pictures fall off the wall and the vibrations wake up your kids. You can also use it as a chance to see if they are hearing you. You can even say I'm worried the walls are so thin we could be bothering you too.

    Even if you switch apartments and are on top the thin construction can still cause problems, especially if they are younger or like to party below you. good luck! :hugs:
     
  18. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    What is excess walking? Often at 10 am, I am riding my exercise bike, taking a shower, picking out my clothes for the next day, checking emails before I go to bed...Maybe folding a last bit of laundry...All of that requires walking from room to room (and up and down stairs in my house). With my tutoring schedule, by the time I get home, have dinner and relax for just a bit, 9-11 is when I get things done...
    Again, this seems like a construction issue, not a rude neighbor issue.
     
  19. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    Obviously, the neighbors are causing issues. I'm sure not just the OP is having issues. The neighbor may not know how they are affecting others and waking a child and knocking down things are a huge issue of concern. The landlord needs to know as well as the neighbor. When living in an apartment EVERYONE needs to be aware of their actions and if they are causing grief to others not just one.
     
  20. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    :agreed:

    I lived in a downstairs apartment only once. The people walking above me drove me crazy. After that, every apartment we rented I was sure to get one on the top floor.

    I don't think it is reasonable to ask them to limit or soften their walking. However, letting them know of the issue in a friendly way is a great idea. If they are considerate, they will try to have less of an impact.

    Stuff should NOT be falling off your walls!
     
  21. futureteach21

    futureteach21 Habitué

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    Even if it is a construction issue, I don't think its unreasonable to expect neighbors to have some courtesy. They probably don't realize how loud they are walking, and perhaps would be glad to be a little more careful. Have your landlord say something, try to switch apartments, or you talk to them. You will never know until you try.
     
  22. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    My condo entry is on the ground floor, but you immediately go upstairs to the living areas. I had never lived in a condo before I moved here. My two young adult kids were here with me. Needless to say, they went up and down the stairs at least 200 times a day. (I don't know why.) Then we got a young dog about 2 years after I moved in.

    My downstairs neighbor, a very sweet older man, knocked on the door in tears. He said that he and his wife heard every footstep, every time we flushed the toilets, every time we ran water, when faucets leaked, the washing machine, etc. They'd put up with it all along, but now they couldn't take the dog noise - running, with us throwing toys for her. He said his wife was too ill to move, but they couldn't stay.

    OMG, I felt so awful. I had no idea they could hear anything at all. I told him we would do everything in our power to correct the noise. I love this older couple and I still feel terrible about this 5 years later. We successfully cut down on the heavy footsteps and got rid of the dog for other reasons. They only live here 5 months out of the year, so when I know they have arrived for the winter, I pass the word along to my kids so they know to tread lightly.

    Your neighbors might not even be aware that their seemingly normal footsteps are disturbing you. Why not talk to them?
     
  23. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    My husband always chooses to live in the downstairs apartment because he's a heavy walker.
     
  24. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Didn't read all the replies this time, so sorry if I'm repeating someone, but can you write an anonymous letter to the landlord or will the tenant/landlord know it's you who's complaining? Another tenant below them could probably complain just the same as you right?
     
  25. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    I don't know, I think it is a part of apartment living
    when My wife and I first got married we lived in a 1st floor apartment
    The couple above us were newlywed also we could hear a lot of things and they could hear things from us
    There was NO sound deadening at all in the bathroom area so if we took a "couple's" shower :eek: or sang in the shower :whistle: they knew and we knew when they did.
    It is just a part of life.
     
  26. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I don't think it's unreasonable to expect neigbors to be courteous either. But I don't think that walking in your home is rude--whatever time of day.
     
  27. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Oh, I feel for you, mmswm. Our last apartment had a great little balcony that we could open the slider to. But at least one (and probably more than one) neighbor smoked on their balcony. Constantly. And not just cigarettes. We were choking on smoke all day and had to keep the slider shut at all times, even in the 90-100 degree heat of the summer. It was so frustrating! I had no idea if I should go knock on doors or what-I ended up staying quiet and we just moved after 6 months-I couldn't take it any more. If we had had a manager, I would have spoken with them asap. If it was not corrected then, we would have moved. But it might have bought us a few more months there. No manager on our end, though.
     
  28. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    We all just adjusted the way we walk through the house. Sounds strange, and it felt strange for a short while, but it worked.
     
  29. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Thanks for all the input. Once again, walking around is not the issue. Walking around with footsteps heavy enough to knock things off my walls, wake the children and cause my floor to vibrate is an issue.

    I've talked to several other people, including my downstairs neighbor. We talked about the noise she hears coming from me. She says even when my kids run through the house, stomping and wrestling, the noise is minimal, and she certainly doesn't have anything falling off her walls. Also, the people who lived above me before these people didn't cause these sorts of problems, and they were, um, large people, so between those to things, I can only conclude that construction isn't an issue.

    I've come to the conclusion that the definition of excess noise, not walking, starts when things of mine are being damaged and broken because of it. While they most certainly have the right to move about their apartment, I also have a right to expect my things to stay in one piece. To whomever mentioned cleaning and such, there are actually rules against it. I re-read my lease. We are not allowed to engage in any activity that causes "excessive noise" after 10pm. In that, they specifically mention vaccuuming, moving furniture, and running in upstairs units.

    Again, thanks for the input. Also, in accordance with my lease, I will not approach them directly. It is probably a matter of them having no clue the kind of effect they're having, but I will go through the office as my lease says to.
     
  30. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I think this is sort of like telling someone living in a next-door apartment with thin walls to stop snoring because it keeps you up...maybe easier said than done. But I really, really hope this works out and that by being made aware of the problems they are causing they will be able and willing to modify. Please let us know what comes of it!
     
  31. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Only there's a huge difference between noise and destruction. I'll say it again, it's not so much the noise, but the destruction that's an issue.
     
  32. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    First off, I want to say I hope you can find a solution to this. I'm sure it's annoying and frustrating. The thing is, the other tenant causing this ruckus can be uncompassionate about it & say, "Well, maybe you need to secure the pictures on your walls better or make your kids wear earplugs." Of course, you shouldn't have to do this, but I doubt they're going to wear softer-soled shoes, etc.

    Again, I hope you can find a solution. Do you think you'd ever end up moving due to this?
     
  33. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Yes, I would move at the end of my lease if its not resolved. If it weren't for the fact that the previous tenent in that apt didn't cause such a problem and my young, energetic boys don't cause damage to the unit underneath me, I might not, but as that's not the case, then yes, I would move.
     
  34. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I understand it's not so much the noise but the destruction they are causing. And trust me, I feel you! I only meant it may be difficult for them to stop their behavior that is causing the destruction. It's certainly not impossible, as someone else has already explained her family modified things for her neigbors, but it's going to take not only an effort on their part, but their willingness to change. That may prove the difficult part but I hope not! Heck, who knows...they may feel like to total idiots and send YOU brownies. :)
     
  35. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    JustMe, that's what I'm hoping. The best posible senario is that they're totally unaware of what's really happening. Like I said before, if it was "normal" walking around noise, that would just be an annoying part of apartment life, but this is beyond that.

    As my lease says, I will not "confront" my neighbors directly. Not that I would be confrontational. I'd be more likely to go up with a couple of beers and say "I don't know if you realize this, but...."; however, my lease says not to. The only reason I talked to my downstairs neighbor is because she and I are friends. Actually, she babysits my kids while I'm at work.

    So, the plan is to talk to the manager on Monday explaining that it's not the noise, but the destruction that I'm taking issue with. Heck, they have rules about vaccuuming after a certain hour, so I don't think I'm out of line asking if there's anything that can be done.
     
  36. jab87

    jab87 Rookie

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    Could it be something other than heavy walking? When I lived in my apartment I had a treadmill. I did not realize how much noise and vibration it made until my downstairs neighbor nicely complained to me about it.
     
  37. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    Did the other people before them have rugs or anything on the floor? That can make a HUGE difference. Maybe they could add some?

    In college we found out that we made a lot of noise, especially wearing high heels at night. We didn't find out until the day we moved and we felt really badly. We had no idea! I am sure that is what is happening with this couple. The only this is, once the landlord gets involved it will be obvious that it was you who complained and they might resent that you didn't talk to them.

    But you are just following what it says in the lease so I am sure they will be glad someone told them. Its like bad breath...eventually you are glad to find out so you can fix it. These people need to know how to fix their walk:)
     
  38. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Sue, the office manager is really nice, and very diplomatic. If she can and does say something, I'm confident it won't be a "you're a bad neighbor" tone, but more like the tone I'd like to convey, which is "I'm sure you don't realize what's happening, but here it is", all nice like. :).
     
  39. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    Oh that sounds perfect. I remember when I first moved to my apartment the neighbors above me had a cat that played with a jingle ball all night. Ugh, I wanted to go upstairs and throw that ball out their window.

    Hope it all works out!
     
  40. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    One of our neighbors had a pool. For some reason the pool and the surrounding buildings acted like a theater. All the neighbors could hear every word spoken when anyone was in the pool. It could get pretty X-rated until someone told the homeowners about the sound effect.
     
  41. gigi

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    Good luck and be sure to let us know how you make out with the manager. Can't be much fun to live with.
     

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