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When leasing an apartment, it is usually a benefit and relief to snag an available apartment for rent on the bottom floor. It is easier to move furniture in and go in and out without climbing the stairs to the upper floors.
However, the joys of the bottom floor may be short-lived when you are relaxing on the couch in your living room, and you hear loud booming noises from above your head. No, that is not an earthquake or the building falling down around you. Instead, it is your upstairs neighbors stomping around, running, or jumping around in their apartment.
Later you realize that the neighbors are loud and do this all the time. You can’t help but wonder if your upstairs neighbors know they are being so loud.
It could also be that they have children, and they are the ones stomping around and disturbing your rest. Irregardless, there is the feeling that “I can't live like this, and something has to be done.”
What Makes Some People So Inconsiderate?
Inconsiderate people drain our spirits. We cannot completely stop thoughtless acts from happening to us, but we can control how we respond to them. The first step in figuring out what makes people so inconsiderate is to consider what makes them do what they do.
It is easy to think of how other people's actions affect us and respond quickly with the first knee-jerk reaction that comes to mind. However, it takes patience, acceptance, and empathy to slow down and take a more systematic approach to understand the actions of others.
There are two types of inconsiderate people that you want to consider. First, some know they are inconsiderate and don't care. Then others act the way they do because of the stress they are under daily. Whatever the situation is, their irritating behavior is not directed toward us necessarily.
Suppose a person already has a rude personality. In that case, they are harsh with everyone, not just you, so again, please don't take things personally. But if a person is simply having a bad day, they may have remorse for their actions and be more considerate of your feelings.
Remember, you may be on the receiving end of the stomping, jumping, and running that ruins your peace… but it is not likely you are the cause.
Many people return rude behavior with rude behavior. When this occurs, you may provoke the rudeness that is coming your way. At that point, the best course of action is to get away from escalating the situation and steer it in a more positive direction. In that case, it is better to apologize to that person to diffuse the problem. Then, the two parties can begin to come to a thoughtful solution instead.
Home is supposed to be our safe space, a place to slow down and step away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. So, here are some steps to help you maintain the safety and sanity of your home.
11 Steps to Deal with Upstairs Neighbors Stomping & Making Noise
1. Plan ahead.
If you are sensitive to noise, you should anticipate that apartment walls are thin, and upstairs neighbors may be noisy. Therefore, it may be best to secure a top-floor apartment in the beginning so that you won't be bothered by noise from above your head.
Just remember that you will still have to be conscious of the noises you may be making to disturb those below you. So, purchasing plush rugs for your floors to lessen the noise in respect for your downstairs neighbors is a thoughtful way to start.
2. Have a conversation with your neighbor.
As simple as it sounds, it may be one of the hardest things to do if you are a non-confrontational person. However, the peace you seek in your home may be realized after you have an honest conversation with your noisy neighbor.
Of course, it is an awkward way to say hello to a neighbor by complaining about the noises coming from their apartment. But you need to make them aware of the issue and allow them the opportunity to make things right.
Your neighbor may be unaware of how loud they are and decide to be more thoughtful about how their actions affect those around them (or underneath them). The key to conversing with your neighbor is to keep the conversational tone friendly and not aggressive.
You don’t have to invite your upstairs neighbor over for dinner, but a softer touch may be as easy as smiling when you see them and saying hello. This behavior can help cultivate a friendly and neighborly environment around the apartment complex.
If you do this, it could make things easier when you have to meet with them later. It won't hurt to ask them if you are being too loud downstairs. Then, the dialog may open up for you to share your concerns with them. Just remember that having a bad attitude will only make matters worse.
3. Tap on the ceiling.
A gentle tap on the ceiling with a mop handle can be a simple way to let your upstairs neighbor know you can hear them. If you have already had a conversation with them about the noise coming from their apartment, your tap will remind them that they need to keep the noise down.
If you have yet to speak with them about how loud they are, they will get the hint after a while.
4. Wear earplugs.
Depending on the type of noise coming from upstairs, earplugs make an excellent choice for you to have some peace. Wear them in bed at night or when you want to relax during the day.
If you live in an older building, your neighbors upstairs may be unable to help the noise. So, for your sanity, give earplugs a try. If they don't do the trick, it's time to try something else.
5. Soundproof the ceiling.
With your landlord's approval, you may purchase and install some padded panels on your ceiling to lessen the noise coming from upstairs. In addition, if you are handy with electrical wiring, you can also find an acoustic lighting fixture that may serve as a savior when tolerating your noisy neighbors.
This won't completely stop the noise from over your head but will deaden it, making the sounds more tolerable in your downstairs apartment.
6. Use the art of compromise to come to an agreement with your neighbor.
The noise coming from upstairs may be unavoidable. So, you and your upstairs neighbor may have to devise a compromise. For instance, if they are participating in a daily activity such as aerobics, weightlifting, or playing loud music, you can talk with them about the best time of day to do it.
You'd be surprised how agreeable and compromising your upstairs neighbor may be to keep the peace in the apartment complex.
7. Create a paper trail.
If you have made an effort to communicate with your upstairs neighbor and the noise continues, it may be time to start a paper trail. Take note of the dates and times of day that your neighbor is the loudest.
This may not be your favorite option and could get annoying to do. However, you'll find this evidence useful when you take additional steps to maintain your sanity and claim your peace.
8. Talk with your other neighbors.
Consulting with other neighbors in your apartment complex is a great way to see if the noise coming from the upstairs apartment is an isolated issue or not. If they have the same problem, you will have others who can corroborate your story and the things you documented about your noisy upstairs neighbors.
There is strength in numbers and having the other neighbors behind you gives you more juice. Especially if you have to get a property manager or building owner involved.
9. Get your property manager involved.
After you have tried tapping on the ceiling, talking to your neighbor, and using earplugs, your only other option may be to involve the property manager. If possible, you could address your concerns in an email. If that is not an option or does not work, escalate to a phone call.
It is essential to share with them any documentation you may have and the corroborated stories you have with your other neighbors in the complex. Good property managers will promptly take care of the situation, and you will begin living in peace.
If it continues, ask your property manager what they suggest is the best course of action to get a resolution to the issue.
10. Call the police.
Calling the cops may be the only option you have left to resolve the upstairs noise disturbances you have been dealing with. The police will show up and address the problem.
However, this could create some tension between you and your upstairs neighbors. Besides, you wouldn't want anyone to call the police on you, so try to have as much grace as possible with your loud neighbors before calling the authorities on them.
11. Pack up and move.
You have tried knocking on the ceiling, purchasing earplugs, and soundproofing the ceiling. Then you tried talking to your upstairs neighbors and going to management with documentation and neighbor corroboration. Afterward, you went a step further to contact the authorities.
All options have been exhausted, and you still have no hope of having peace in your apartment. It may be time to pack up your belongings and move to a place where you can have peace and quiet.
Final Thoughts on 11 Steps to Deal with Upstairs Neighbors Stomping & Making Noise
Dealing with a loud upstairs neighbor can be nerve-racking, but I want to encourage you to take the steps necessary to have peace in your home. Rent is too high, and you pay too much of your hard-earned money per month to come home and not enjoy some of the fruit of your labor.
Many people have loud upstairs neighbors and do nothing about it at all. I hope that you choose a different solution. Because the situation can be handled, it comes down to how you decide to rectify it.
The saying goes, “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar…” meaning it is better and more effective to be friendly and polite when dealing with difficult people than to be demanding and hostile.
Still, you should be firm and assertive… just not to the point of making others defensive. This can be useful to remember when speaking with your loud neighbor about the noise coming from their apartment, talking with apartment management about the problem, or contacting the police (if it comes to that).
Taking our frustrations out on our neighbors can create a hostile living situation. Moreover, expressing our feelings resentfully and aggressively to the property manager and law enforcement will not win us any brownie points with them either.
Because we come across as angry people, and in some ways, it leaves them to wonder if we may be overreacting about the whole thing.
So, try your best to choose the path of friendliness and peace with those outside your home, so you can have peace within your home.