The upstairs neighbors walk so loudly I suspect they may wear concrete shoes. Halp.

October 19 2011 | offbeatbride
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Trouble Upstairs
Oh, upstairs neighbors. They so crazy! Photo by CarbonNYC. Used under Creative Commons license.

Katie needs help:

Our neighbors upstairs walk REALLY loudly. This isn't normal. The walking shakes our ceiling, scares our cats, and goes on late into the night. We've only been here a short while, but this stomping is taking a toll on our ability to sleep, since a lot of walking seems to occur at two or three in the morning.

I don't think it's right to try to confront people about walking, when the problem is probably that there isn't enough insulation between their apartment and ours to mask the noise. Is there anything we can do from down here that can minimize the noise?

  1. When we first moved in, our downstairs neighbors sent us an email about the noise. It can be really hard to communicate with neighbors without being passive aggressive. The email said something along the lines of "Hi, welcome to the building, glad to have you. You probably don't realize, but when you're walking in your apartment with heeled shoes on, it's pretty loud down here. Is it okay if you take your shoes off after 10pm? Thanks so much and sorry to be a pain. Let us know if there's anything we can help you with!" And it worked. We take off our shoes now when we're home.

    50 agree
    • This totally works, our upstairs neighbors walked around in high heels on hardwood floors at 6-7am while getting ready for work. We just knocked on their door and asked politely if they would keep their shoes off until they got out the door. They were really nice about it, sometimes you don't realize how much noise you're making, and now they don't wake us up!

      7 agree
      • I agree that a nice note is the answer or even better, to go up and nicely ask them to be considerate of you downstairs.
        what sort of selfish idiot can not simply be aware that there are people below that can hear your every footstep and might be sleeping, doing night shift and need to sleep during the day. These are the doctors and nurses that save your life or look after your parents when they get old and sick. Do you want them to be tired when operating on you or your family ?
        If you live above anyone, common sense would dictate that you create a soft walking habit.
        it is nothing more than being aware that you are not the only person in the world and that your actions always affect other people even when you are home.
        please everyone – don't be a selfish moron any longer.

        64 agree
        • Here's the other side of the upstairs/downstairs neighbor story. I have a HUGE problem with my downstairs neighbor coming up constantly, complaining to the office constantly and now texting me CONSTANTLY about how "horribly loud" we are all the time and it's driving me crazy!! I have a two year old daughter that I have taught to tip toe and isn't aloud to run or even play cars on the floor, no shoe policy AND we walk around like effin figure skaters trying to appease this woman but she STIIILLLL acts as if we are elephantine around on purpose! She even does shit like come to the door on christmas before 10 pm after playing music for 1.3 minutes to complain. What to do about that is the real difficult question?? I'm soooo stressed, I moved to a different state and specifically asked for a ground floor apt JUST to avoid this and the day i was supposed to move in they tell me the past tenants won't live and switch my apt on me!

          11 agree
          • Suggest her to check same floor neighbour. Sometimes you cannot realize which way the noise is coming from. She can easily make this mistake.

            2 agree
          • I understand both sides. I have a heavy walker as my upstair neighbor. The girls upstair walks fine but the guy walk really loud, even the ceiling shakes. I know the guy wears socks when he's walking and he is trying hard to be quite. I just have to live with it until my lease is finished in August. Then I just gonna move to a concrete apartment. Sometime you just don't realize how much noise you can make when you walk. Try to go downstairs and have someone walk in your apt so that you can hear the how loud is the stomping sound.

            10 agree
          • It is the construction type. Wood flooring between or concrete?

            The NR and Sound Transmition are the issue.

            However, living reasonably is something you are entitled to.

            Ask your other upstairs neighbors if they have a similar problem with their downstairs neighbors. Is it just your neighbor being over sensitive (and requiring complete silence) or is it a building problem. If possible, the downstairs neighbor should then move to the top of the building. Or you could move to the bottom? Did this neighbor move in before or after you? If before, did they complain about the previous tenants? If after, did the previous downstairs complain? Those answers may help.

            Some people are just impossible to please.

  2. Honestly, I'm at a loss for suggestions that can be done from the downstairs apartment, unless you're interested in and/or able to install insulation. Noise from the side is easier but I think the only way to eliminate the noise from above besides construction is to talk to the people who live there or contact your landlord if you have one. Although it can obviously be uncomfortable, you might want to just bring it up to them. A lot of people don't realize how their noise impacts the people below them. We had a complaint against us for noise from our downstairs neighbors when we first moved in and we adjusted by buying a few rugs and avoiding wearing footwear inside. We had no problem with it, we just were ignorant to the fact that it was disturbing others.

    2 agree
      • I live on a top-floor apartment in a concrete building AND can always hear the next-door neighbours walking around. I am amazed that what I thought would be a quiet apartment (concrete) isn't. They wake me up with their walking (I call it elephant walking) even when I have earplugs on. It's almost a vibration noise. So beyond frustrated.

  3. First of all, you could contact your landlord concerning the question how soundproof the floors/ceilings actually are. (Test the decibels first – if it is really loud and your landlord does not want to do anything, you might threaten him/her with cutting the rent… check with your local renters' association concerning the possibilities.)

    If there is nothing to be done by building measures, why not put up some nice-looking cloth under the ceiling? Might give the room a kind of tenty atmosphere and reduce the sounds to an acceptable level.

    8 agree
  4. Oh dear. My roommate has the stompiest feet I've ever heard– she can wake me up walking through the apartment– and I cringe with the fear that our poor downstairs neighbors want to throttle us all.

    14 agree
    • I had two of these roommates at the same time. Our apartment was one floor, so I have no idea how tortured the downstairs neighbors felt if it bothered me while on the same level. I swear knee and hip pain are in their futures.

      9 agree
  5. My downstairs neighbors walk so hard that it sounds like someone is walking in our apartment UPSTAIRS. Sometimes we wake up thinking there's an intruder in our apartment. (sigh) However in your situation, I think that out should be ok to ask them to be mindful of it after a certain time. After all your not asking them to stop walking your just asking them to be mindful of how hard they walk after lets say 10 pm.

    5 agree
    • Urgh, I have the same thing with my side neighbour. His kitchen is next to ours and his bedroom shares a wall with our corridor. When it's quiet I can even hear people talking in there (not make out words, but hear that they are talking) and it can really sound like someone is in my kitchen. Which is freaky when it's 9pm, dark and I'm home alone.

      2 agree
      • Oy, I know how that is! I've had the annoyance both from a downstairs neighbor and also ones next to me. One my neighbors, whose bedroom wall was against my living room wall, ended up receiving a note from me because I could hear him THROUGHOUT his apartment at all hours of the day and night! (Well, it was his girlfriend, mostly) Needless to say, after a polite note left in their mailbox following an evening of their especially noisy arguing, they quieted down quite a bit. Just say something like "…unfortunately, if this continues, I will need to inform the landlord of the noise…" and chances are, if they're reasonable people, they'll be more considerate!

        1 agrees
  6. If they are clicking their shoes on hardwood or tile, I think it would be ok to ask them to take theor shoes/boots off or put down a rug. it's uncomfortable, but sometimes you just have to do it.
    Some people just aren't very graceful and are "stompy" walkers. I had a neighbor who would make so much noise above me even without shoes. She just slammed her heels down with each step. I used to refer to her as "the elephant upstairs". I wouldn't know how to ask someone to walk lighter.

    21 agree
    • I have experienced this before and have one at this time who is doing so, though others have not walked so hard in the same unit. This tells me that it is certain people who will do this. I have found that they will take offense if you mention it, as if we are asking them to not walk. I have also found that in each case, it was ignored, though asking nicely. The manager also seems to take it lightly, so I don't know what to do.

      4 agree
  7. If you haven't yet, introduce yourself. Take a gift houseplant and say your introductory hellos. This may help you pinpoint the source of the noise. For instance, I'm pretty sure the noise from my upstairs neighbors is them chasing their dog around and playing Wii games. They keep it to tolerable hours, so I grin and bear it. I also quietly suspect they have a bunk bed or really high bed, because they always jump up there. Knowing that, though, if I hear them having another one of their "lets get together and play Wii with everyone we know at midnight" fiestas, I can knock and ask that they keep it to Mario Party or something.
    Maybe you'll discover that their weight displacement sort of mandates a heavy step (for whatever reason.) Maybe you'll discover that they're chronic wearers of clacky shoes. Maybe you'll be totally baffled by how they could possibly make so much noise.
    And, in the end, you have to remember–your footsteps may well sound silent to you, but to your downstairs neighbors, they may be absolute atrocities of sound.

    10 agree
    • I was going to say introduce yourselves. Whenever we move into a new apartment building, we make it a point to introduce ourselves (usually with cookies) to the neighbors on our floor and also the neighbors above and below us. That way you can be a friendly face when you complain about the noise rather than a faceless email like the comment earlier. And it's only fair to be open to complaints from below too.

      3 agree
  8. Maybe try hanging some fabric on the ceiling to reduce the noise, but with the amount of noise you're talking about it might not work. Is it a stompy sound or clacky? Try to discern if it's due to them wearing shoes indoors and ask in a very nice way that they take their shoes off because it is quite loud. If that still doesn't help then I'd do what a previous poster said about talking to the landlord about insulation.

    1 agrees
    • side note: We have a drop ceiling in our living room, but our upstairs neighbor plays music so loudly that it sounds like it is coming from OUR apartment. We've asked him in person several times to turn it down and he does, and the frequency of this has gone down dramatically. Talking to the "offender" goes much further than being passive aggressive.

      2 agree
  9. I can say, as an apartment dweller, I've worried about being too noisy for my neighbors before. I can't hear very well, and so I sincerely hope that if my neighbors ever find us too noisy, they'll come over and let us know. I would be embarrassed, but I'd rather know that they find our late night romps loud and obnoxious than to make them just bear it.

    4 agree
  10. Our flat has a few loose floorboards – they make an almighty racket if you don't tread very softly.

    I'm a natural shuffler, but my partner is a stomper, and I'm always yelling at him to stop bouncing on the bad spots because of our downstairs neighbours.

    It might be something as simple as that causing the problem – and if you mention it to them, they can make a point of stopping.

  11. There can be a lot of restrictions on what you can alter in an apartment. Really, the best thing you can do is put in a complaint to the manager/landlord, and hope that they can help you get it squared away. Perhaps the above neighbors need thicker carpet, and getting the complaint will help to persuade them to do so. Unfortunately on your end, there really isn't a whole lot one can do to a ceiling to muffle the sound.

    2 agree
  12. I have the opposite problem. My downstairs neighbors complain about noise coming from my apartment. I've lived in lots of different apartments with lots of different neighbors, and nobody has ever complained to me (or about me) before, so I'm convinced that it's a problem with the apartment. I live on the 3rd floor of an old Victorian house with loose, creaky hardwood floors and little to no insulation in between. I pretty much had to stop having sex in my own apartment. :'(

    4 agree
    • Well we're in the same situation as you. We live in the second floor apartment, and have been living here for two years without a single problem. We're quiet people, always considerate of noise(keeping the volume low in the evening, not wearing shoes inside) but suddenly out of the blue our downstairs neighbors have begun calling the landlords and banging on our front door around 6 pm (when I am cooking dinner), complaining that we're walking too loudly and that our dog walks too loudly.
      Honestly, we've never met these people before-when I say hello in the yard, they've ignored me. And we've never had an issue. These people aren't quiet (regularly throwing parties and listening to loud surround sound) so I'm unsure how to proceed. I can't stop walking, nor should I be asked to in my own house. I pay my very large rent each month, and I'm considering moving, simply so I can cook dinner without being harassed.

      12 agree
    • Have you tried the carpet and extra padding under it?

      At the very least, having lived in an old Victorian myself, put furniture pads/felt under all connections of furniture to the floor. This reduces the vibration transmission of sound. Wear socks. Carpet with padding. Additionally, if you have single pane glass windows, make sure you get curtains or blinds – glass loves to vibrate sounds into the walls and pass it all around.

      Downstairs people can get a white noise generator (free app on phone).

  13. eep! no solution but I'm paranoid about this – I live in a duplex and my neighbor once slyly confronted me about what room she was next to referring to my bedroom- asking "is that a TV room?" I think she was hoping the answer would be a television and not our …. ahem…. but she never directly said the noise bothers her, so I don't know how to handle it other than keeping the loud sessions for when she's gone or asleep ? maybe i'll line that wall with egg cartons and cover it in fabric!

  14. I'm dealing with the same problem, only the cause of mine is an 8 year old girl with way too much energy. As we're sharing a house with them and it's not an apartment situation we know her and her mom well. Our solution to this problem is getting her big puffy slippers for Christmas and just grin and bearing it until then.

    2 agree
  15. At my last apartment, we decided the upstairs were training elephants to play ddr. But we did talk to them about their loud parties, and it helped.

    This apartment, someone nearby is having really, really loud sex and has a horrible smoker's cough, but I have no idea who it is, so there's nothing I can do.

    2 agree
  16. I think all that I would have suggested is already suggested. (blankets, talking to landlord, talking to neighbors, other soundproofing methods) I've been suffering from stompy neighbors too; I've done almost everything since they moved in and they remain noisy- sadly my landlord suggests that if they are buggin me I should just "call the cops" which I find totally unacceptable and honestly I have more respect for police than to handle a friggin noise issue that the landlord should be taking care of add on that my husband has lived here for ten years+ and only in the last year has there been an issue as these neighbors are extremely inconsiderate. (the women wear heels and come home drunk at late hours and the man wears cowboy boots and never seems to sleep.) They also juggle bowling balls at 3-4am. (at least that is my impression because something large and heavy is dropped EVERY NIGHT.)

    My husband and I moved our bed into the living room to try and get away from their alarm clock that they allow to stay on (I've never known an alarm clock that doesn't stop after a few minutes but this one beeps or rings for HOURS) apparently they sleep right through it. 🙁 It goes from 4:30 to 7am almost every night. Noisy neighbors and lazy landlords are boogers to deal with.

    15 agree
  17. After years of thin, non-insulated apartment walls and ceilings, I finally have a place that's almost sound proof. The only noise I can hear is the upstairs neighbor walking and sometimes vacuuming. I can't hear talking, laughing, TVs, sex, snoring, nothing. I live in a older building and it must have loads of insulation. It's a damn miracle.

    5 agree
    • Our apartment has great insulation between rooms, but between apartments is freaking AMAZING. Partially due to thick fireplaces covering large swaths of walls, but even between the bedrooms you can't hear anything.

      Our next-door roommates are always SO terrified of bothering us, and we've only ever heard them twice–both times were a very faint sound through the wall that must have been the bass on a movie or game. We asked how the apocalypse was going :P. I felt bad though, they were so apologetic, so I went home and turned the TV up louder than we could stand it one floor away, then knocked on the door to show them the sound. They couldn't hear it. After that they pretty well stopped worrying.

      2 agree
  18. I had to deal with an entire townhouse complex full of neighbors so noisy I resorted to sleeping with earplugs. I later moved into an apartment building next to one that later relaxed its policy on renting to students from a certain party school, and had to start wearing earplugs to bed again.

    This created a new challenge – namely, how to avoid oversleeping. I had two tricks up my sleeve. One was my rice cooker – it has a built-in timer, so I'd set it to start 2 hours before I needed to wake up. The "done" alarm was louder than any alarm clock, and I'd have hot rice (and beans) ready for breakfast or lunch. Probably not the best solution in older buildings with unreliable wiring, though.

    My other trick was nature's alarm clock (as seen on a Simpsons episode): drink plenty of water before bed and you'll have to get up early to deal with the results. We all need to drink enough water anyway, right?

    3 agree
  19. I think it would be really cute to leave a written note with a pair of generic slippers to wear in place of the clunky shoes.

    As for the sleeping, when I had some loud and inconsiderate roomies keeping me awake, I started taking melatonin. I did my research on it (it's a chemical your brain makes and is non-addictive). It requires a regular bedtime, and is best taken an hour before then, but it works quite well.

    1 agrees
  20. I second the melatonin suggestion, I use it myself sometimes and it is helpful. I would advise you be cautious though—sometimes it makes me sleep through my alarm.

    On the topic of telling a landlord about it. I'm sure most people are thinking, "Talk to the landlord because it's their responsibility to insulate the building," but it can go wrong: Long ago I had a roommate who is—no joke—6'8" and of similar proportions to a refrigerator. It's how nature made him. He has insomnia so he'd often be up late, and sometimes he would do things like go to the bathroom and the kitchen. Normal stuff. He never wore shoes in the house. Still, he is a heavy guy and I can only assume he made noise, because…

    Our downstairs neighbors complained to the landlord about him walking loudly. landlord used it as weird collateral /threat when we were moving out/wanted our deposit back/needed a rental reference (but of course never attempted to insulate anything, or even bring it up prior to our move-out).

    I guess what this long comment is about is landlords can be crazy, definitely go to the neighbor first. Even if they can't help it, it might give you (not just you, everyone reading this thread 🙂 ) more insight into the situation.

    3 agree
  21. Speak to them. smile lots, ask if there's anything you can do to help them, etc. etc. Don't do what my downstairs neighbour did and accost them on the stairs on their way into the house, ranting about how they kept you awake all last night with the noise…when you were just on your way home after a long weekend away. We assumed they were mental and paranoid and sighed with relief when they finally moved out from under us. 🙂

    2 agree
  22. I've been on the opposite side of this- we had people living downstairs who complained constantly about 'walking' and 'opening and closing door' sounds even though we don't wear shoes in the house (we're canadian). It was really horrible of them to complain all the time, especially when they had a son who ran back and forth all the time, all day, making way more noise than us. They seemed to think because they had a kid and were married they were a 'real family' and we didn't count. (they moved in after us). She also left a ton of passive-aggressive notes with smiley faces on them, and did things like unilaterally create a laundry schedule which generously allowed us to do laundry at times which we were working. Skip the notes, they don't work well.

    8 agree
    • I fianlly found a forum I can comment to. Wow, ok. After reading hours of content, the solution is so easily given by the people who may experience a fraction of it, but can never and will never understand the reality of each situation. The comment "move" or "grow up" seems to flood the brains of the less educated. This one cop from Oregon (nick 17 or whatever) that i read on another website really raised my eyebrow and furthered my lack of faith in a department full of what I could only describe as a mob of self-rightous morons with little to no compassion for people unable to buy a house or change apartments. Oregon, really? Try a shift in l.a sparky, see what life can really throw at you. Getting off subject but had to address a disturbing lack of common sense from those who "protect and serve". Anyway as an apartment lessee, for the past 15 years, there is constant chatter out there regarding how to solve a noise problem. People need to know about solutions rather than empty headed advice. Reading thread after thread actualy helped. People are suffering on a day to day basis without support from the the very people we pay rent to (and the ones whom we pay with tax dollars). More often than not, the ones responsible for the noise are protected due to a lease that only the Landlord/Prop Mgr. has the final say in, and typically never experiences the problem first hand and may not even care. We are never helpless. Education is power my friends and kindness, although not always practiced by either party, its a valuable tool. Facetime with neighbors during initial move-in is always best case scenario yet rarely feasable. Allow yourself to be an example of what normal behavior looks like. Those who dislike the feeling of community or are uncomfortable around differet faces or different races ect. have every right to be. Our constitution guarantees that. The problem therin lies between what is lawfull activity and what can be considered defiance of law. Local authorities are swift to dismiss what they feel is a waste of their time. Your local law enforcement officer isn't paid to settle every little case, they have neither the time nor the patients, and will remind you of that. DOCUMENT every incident regardless of magnitude. THAT IS KEY. Patterns of improper behavior can't be established without references describing such activity. That includes the names of the public servants that may be dispatched to your location, time, date, ect. Establish open communications with the landlord/prop. mgr. if at all possible. Ask about what is considered acceptable levels of noise at certain times. He may be your only representative if you need to take your documentation to the next level. It is by the way in their job description to address concerns from tennants. Above all else, maintain composure. Professionalism goes a long way. It's never easy to keep your cool especially being on the receiving end of improper behavior regardless of intent. Cooler heads tend to prevail. Not every case is the same, sometimes moving becomes the only option, but your knowledge of the game keeps you a step ahead. In closing, apartment life is exactely that. No way to sugar coat it. During my years of research and observation into living amongst the masses, I have learned a 2 crucial lessons. Hate is wasted energy and will consume you if you allow it. Tolerance along with compassion is contagious and allows us the opportunity to spread positive energy. Good luck and may our creator bless each day.

      2 agree
  23. I'm not really that hefty, but I'm solidly built, and have obnoxiously wide hips. This causes me to sound like an elephant.
    Thank god I live in the basement.

    Also, having lived in a deaf community does change my views on noise. I was in a house with all hearing folks, but sometimes, deaf people– particularly if they grew up with deaf parents– don't really get that it's kind of a pain in the ass when they vacuum at three in the morning, or walk super heavily, or anything like that. And, when it's brought up, they're usually totally friendly and accommodating. Like many of the above posters said, going to meet them will help a lot. Even if they're not deaf or HoH, maybe you'll be less resentful if they're at least friendly.

    2 agree
  24. I can tell you what NOT to do! We have the thin ceilings/floor problem, though our upstairs neighbor was as quiet as a mouse- therefore we didn't know it was a problem until the downstairs neighbors started playing ridiculously loud music at awful early hours in the morning. After a few weekends of this (I originally assumed it was an alarm clock left on), I went down to talk to them about it.

    What I encountered were two very angry neighbors who were upset about us making noise late at night (after having been out on the weekends), showering, talking, watching tv after 10, etc. Their solution was to play loud music early the next morning when they knew we'd be sleeping in. I was shocked, to say the least. These were adults, in their mid forties, being passive-agressive children. We had no idea we were bothering them, and they thought the best solution was "tit-for-tat?" One, doesn't work because we didn't have a clue, and two, how childish! Just talk to us! I have made a point to go back and ask them how it's been since we talked, and they said we've been fine. Could have happened much earlier and without all the resentment if they had just come up and talked to us nicely and let us know we were bothering them.
    In short, be adults, be polite, and you'll get a lot farther.

    8 agree
    • Well, you say they should have just talked to you but you don't know what their previous experience talking to their neighbors might have been. It could have been totally unpleasant. Lucky for them you are a reasonable person, but honestly I know many aren't

      3 agree
    • Hmmm,

      I had a similar issue with my downstairs neighbors. Very kind people who are in the habit of cooking heavily and walk up and down –as heavily– at any time of the day or the nigh with no awareness of what it could mean if you need to wake up at 5 am to keep a job.
      I made the resolution to ask them if we could meet as I wished to discuss something with them only to have them behaving as if they were the victims.
      She started crying telling that now our friendship turned awkward, and that is was done. And he stated that "that is who we are".
      I am not sure there is any solution to this type of issues other then moving out. I informed our landlord who played hookie.
      One of the previous posters brought up a good point. This types of issues arise for a combination "…of lazy neighbors and landlords…", and I would add in the mix poor parenting which never pointed toward nourishing "respect" for other people.
      It is definitely a fact that each person has a certain set of rights, but the extent of these end when one;s rights infringe upon the rights of others. Just because I can have a super huge speaker, it does not mean I can play it at full power wherever and whenever i like it… got my drift?

      1 agrees
    • Unfortunately, not all neighbors are as approachable as you are. I tried with my above neighbor (you can read my story a bit below) and she accused me of harassment, even though I approached her twice in over 6 months, and always extremely politely and apologetically. If you have a loud walking neighbor above, the only way to counter it, is to play loud music. It is the only thing that dampens the thumping from the footsteps. Your neighbors should have talked to you, but maybe they have been callous about this for years and had bad experiences talking to other neighbors before. That leaves them with the only choice of doing the one thing that will bother you as much as you are bothering them: playing loud music. Ultimately everyone loses.

      1 agrees
  25. Oh my… Remember those days well — I was an apartment dweller for most my adulthood until I moved into my own home. I can remember the stompers well…

    What I did was introducing myself to my neighbors (with gifts of food or a plant) welcoming them to the building. Once you get on a good "footing" with them ask for a favor and mention to them about the loud noises causing havoc in your household and that you really didn't want to become "THAT" neighbor and wanted to make their acquaintance also open the door to a potential friendship.

    Some of my building friends that I made are still my friends today. Sometimes you never know by attempting some friendliness you gain so much more. Not to mention a quieter house — the only time my upstairs neighbors would stomp would be an informal invite for margaritas on a Friday night after that. *grin* WIN! WIN!!

    2 agree
  26. I had a similar problem but decided that I would look at what I had control over in the situation. On top of the upstairs neighbor wearing shoes around the apartment, the floors were very creaky as well. So asking her to take off her shoes would have been pointless. So I imagined up an alter ego for her: Mrs. Walker, and began making up stories about her life just by the sounds I heard from her apartment. It gave my boyfriend and me a good laugh, allowed me to maintain my pleasant neighborly relationship with "Mrs. Walker" rather than risking offending her or coming off all controlish and in the end I found that I didn't quite mind her clomping around as much.

    7 agree
  27. Well, I am in the same boat as many. I live in the 3rd floor of a 4-floor apartment complex. My unit is poorly designed as it has a long tiled area that goes from the entrance to the living room, including the kitchen, that has close to no sound insulation with the apartment below. Historically, I have been very self-conscious about not bothering my neighbors below, so I have always used slippers when walking on the tiles. The result is that I never had a complaint. On the other hand, my neighbor above, who happens to be a mid twenties rather short woman, pays no heed to the stomping and walks barefoot continuously on the tiled area. She also seems to be rushing and banging her heels all the time for whatever reason. When she first moved in, she did workouts in front of her tv also. I had to call someone from the office to come listen in my unit. This person decided he needed to talk to her and asked her to stop the work outs (there is a top notch gym in my building). At that time too, I asked her if she could please use slippers in the morning (she wakes up at 6:30am) and she complied. Well, about 6 months passed, with no communication whatsoever between us, and she probably thought that the slipper thing was not a big deal, so she has been walking barefoot again at all times. This week, I decided to slip a super nice, brief and apologetic note under her door, asking her if she would consider using slippers as before. Well, today I got a call from the office and the manager of the building told me that she had complained about my note, which she considered as me harassing her.

    So, in summary, going about things nicely with your neighbors will not necessarily work. At the end of the day, you are at their mercy, no matter what. You can ask and they may comply but, if it is in their nature, they will revert to their old habits. Also, if they are on the top floor, they have no frame of reference and they may think you are being irrational and report you for "harassment" when you try to approach them nicely. Conclusion: talk to the office, reach an agreement, and move out. Do not make the same mistake in the next place you are renting.

    3 agree
  28. I share the same problems as all of you. I've had many neighbors above me since I've lived in my studio. The best answers are: talk to your neighbors nicely, they often are not aware at all that you can hear every creek of every floor board. Most people are nice and will try to make you happy at least for a while. Occasionally you will have a rude asshole living above you because unfortunately rude assholes abound in society. In that case tell your landlord. Unfortunately though landlords really can't do much to tenants but have a talk with them. Also just note that just because you occasionally have a rude asshole living above you, not all people are rude assholes so don't approach the next neighbor in the same way you approached your rude asshole neighbor.

    I have found the white foam ear plugs made by flents to be my best friend. They used to be sold at the drug store but I don't see them in stores anymore so I buy them in bulk on Amazon. If anyone knows where I can get ear plugs that are even quieter, do tell! I've tried the melatonin thing as well. You need to be careful with that stuff. In Europe people are required to get a prescription for it but not in the US. I have found that only Solgar 5 mg pills work. No other brands work very well and the 3 mg tablets make me super groggy for hour before I go to bed and after I go to bed. So I can only use the 5 mg pills. If I need to take less, I just cut the pill and take less of it. That's the best solution to sleep getting really messed up that I can find.

    1 agrees
  29. I live in a mid-rise apartment complex built in the early '60's. Management has been through several changes over the 10 years I've been here, but have done a fairly decent job of maintaining the building. Recently a young lady moved in right above me (I'm on the 2nd floor, she's on the 3rd). She is a little younger and you can tell she is in a stage of life where she's getting to spread her wings and self-discovery. However; to be that oblivious to the noise created is just unacceptable. If you are TRULY that headless, then you need to pack up and take it on back to Mom and Dad's place. However, another scenario that might not work for all, or might inspire some adaptation to your specific arrangement: I'm remodeling my place. Most apartments come with whats called "builder quality" CRAP for fixtures and lighting. I decided to give my place an overhaul after 10 years at my own expense (gonna get in so much trouble when I decide to move out). But, this could be a segway into conversation with your loud neighbor who has zero self awareness. I'm considering a conversation that sounds a little like the following: "Hi, I've seen you around and wanted to welcome you and hope you are enjoying living at …(insert apartment complex name here)… Wanted you to know that I'm making a couple of changes to my place right below you so if I ever drill too loudly, or too late, please do not hesitate to bang on the floor or something will ya?" Then switch it…"While we're on the subject, I was wondering if it would be a problem for people who are in your place to remove their shoes after 10PM (for example). It kind of bothers my dog (who I've brought with me to their doorstep), and creates anxiety for him. We would both really appreciate it very much…etc." However sappy you need to make it. Point here is that on at least 2 points in the above conversation, the blame has shifted away from her (my dog is upset…and if I ever drill too loudly…your friends that come over…not you, of course not…my little Gladiator heathen neighbor). I think this will make my stupid little sex monkey more likely to show empathy . I know its her because when I take my dog out for his business conferences in the courtyard (potty break), she is out on the common balcony smoking yapping away on her cell phone with no regard to the volume of her voice in an enclosed courtyard with solid walls and windows (echoes fly around like crazy). Even when I was her age I don't think I have ever been as oblivious to life as she appears to be.

    • One other remark is that this early '60's apartment complex has hallways instead of outdoor corridors. So when you open your front door, most times you are in an AC controlled hallway…with blank walls textured with that spray on junk…you know what I'm talking about. Previous comment mentioned echoing in the courtyards and made me think to post about hallway etiquette. My unit is at the top of a stair well so there's a lot of traffic that marches before my front door. I hear people just passing through and I would never pose a complaint about some of the normal causal conversation I hear muffled past my unit (my own fault for not realizing this unit's location would be high traffic), however what I wanted to point out is 2 things…you should STILL be aware of the volume of your voice and how it resonates. If you say you are not aware, you are either lying or drunk (I've heard both). But the 2nd point is that in a larger metropolitan-inner city location like mine, you get all walks of life and they are all beautiful by their own right. I am a 37 year old male who speaks English very fluently, and thats about it (a little French maybe). Other languages require a tone that is sharp or piercing, and several need to be spoken in an agitated or excited tone to be considered normal. While this is lovely and passionate in its respective land of origin…to the untrained ear…IT SOUNDS LIKE CLAMOR, NOISE, RUKUS, GIBBERISH, and is possibly 10x more annoying that an upstairs neighbor with a heavy trollop. Self awareness people…if you don't know what it is…get a book at Barnes and Noble or something…I promise you'll be happy you did. Thank you! (<–see that…thank you for the time you spent reading my post when you could have been doing something else…self awareness).

      1 agrees
  30. It is always frustrating. I have lived in apartments where I could hear everything living below. I once had a neighbor, when he would invite his guests over, we could hear every mattress coil. I know he was trying to limit his noise, and I did let him know as politely as I could,and he did adjust. But to some degree I know it is part of apartment life.

    We have lived in an apartment for 6 years. We made the mistake of politely asking her to keep her holiday parties down as they were very loud thru the night during the fall holidays. Since then even when my kids are quiet, sitting on the couch reading a book with me and nobody is even walking she complains. We take our shoes off. We don't play music or the tv in the house, and we do not have any guests over at all even for tea. I feel like our downstairs neighbor is obnoxious as she complains about everyone to her side and below and above. I feel if she is so sensitive to noise she needs to find a side street one level bungalow. She has approached me by screaming that I am fat and an elephant, blocking my paid parking spot and refusing to move her car,and other aggressive things. She fought with the lowest level residents over noise when they had an infant, and got really aggressive and rented a UHaul that she left in front of my parking space to "move out." Although the apartment manager said she was moving out in response to my complaints,but she is still here and that was a couple of years ago. It seems like with every new manager,she starts by complaining when there is no noise at all. Then when a child cries, even if it is few minutes or a rare thing when they are ill, she excessively exaggerates it. She has her male partner come to complain,even once we were gone all day as we had been staying overnight out, and coming home and found him knocking on the door saying that all morning there was "jumping and running." The management always tends to initially side with her, and then over time they find she is excessive. We just got a new apartment manager so the harrassment has started again, so our manager came over twice recently. Once to tell us that we are "heavy set people" and "heavy weight" (nobody has a BMI above 18) and so we have to stop walking so much, and that if our youngest child cries "at all" we have to leave the apartment any time of day until the baby stops crying. We are not letting our child cry incessantly for hours, we literaly have to tiptoe and whisper at home. Her complaints are all in the day and before 10 pm, but she has no sense of how we have to put up with her slamming doors and windows beyond midnight, playing music late at night, yes we hear her intimacy with her partner, and we hear her barking dog…but really,we live in an apartment. I am just trying to live here and I feel she is inconsiderate expecting everyone to be so silent yet making noise herself. Yes,it would help if she were not so aggressive and hostile and people could talk. I would love to be able to say, hey it's 1 am, please be careful with slamming the windows shut. But hey, some people would rather live nastily hating everyone. I loved my apartment location and view, that's why I moved here, and I have been here for years before her. Apartment living is give and take, there will be noise and you have to put up with noise, but really there is only so much that is reasonable that you can do to diminish noise and those complaining should also be conscious that they are not all that quiet either.

    1 agrees
  31. I have the same problem. I moved in a few months ago and have never met the people upstairs. It seems like they are purposely walking heavily because i can't understand how a normal person would ever walk like that. Also, i don't know why they walk so much. It doesn't sound like kids. I make an effort to walk quietly so as not to disturb the people below. Sometimes their stomping makes me so angry that i almost scream at them from downstairs. I don't want to tell them to please be considerate cause i don't want to face them. He sounds like the largest man alive. If it continues to bother me i will leave a note. "Hi, someone lives below you. Please stop walking. Completely."

    5 agree
    • I hope you've got it sorted out by now. But honestly, don't ever underestimate how involved people are in their own lives and how apologetic they can be when someone asks them nicely for consideration. Go speak to that Hulk, most likely he's a perfectly reasonable guy and it just didn't cross his mind people can hear him.

      1 agrees
  32. Talk to them nicely about the problem. If little or nothing is done write them a letter saying that you're going to have to start playing music to drown out the noise. Buy the most powerful radio you can find and if the footsteps are too loud place the speakers as close as possible to the ceiling and blast away. Better to listen to loud music than footsteps. Also a white noise machine might help. you can buy them on Amazon.

    1 agrees
  33. Boy have I got a story for you. So my girlfriend and I moved into a new (4 year old) house, the basement suite specifically, about 8 months ago, and signed a one year lease agreement. We were totally happy with this at first, because the people upstairs were 3 20-something guys who were really friendly, and we didn't have a single problem with them. I should mention also that one of these guys was rather large, but we never heard them walking, talking, or making any noise whatsoever. When they moved out about two weeks after we arrived though, they were replaced by a family of NINE. SEVEN kids. All between the ages of 8 and 15. They were rather loud while moving in, but who isn't? We went and introduced ourselves, were really friendly and everything. We decided to not say anything about the noise until days, and weeks passed, and it still sounded like they were moving in, walking around with boots and shoes on, boxes being dropped, furniture being moved around and scraped on the floor, not to mention the kids running and screaming for about 14 hours out of the day. The woman is home all day, almost every day, yet she only starts doing laundry around 9 pm, and goes through the night, getting up as late as 2 am just to come start another load, and of course their laundry room is right beside our bedroom. Finally about a month after they moved in, on a particularly loud day when the walls of my apartment were shaking and my fish looked like they were having seizures from being scared every second and a half me and my girlfriend went and knocked on their door. When the husband answered we tried to be as polite as possible, asking them to be a little quieter when they are in the kitchen and dining room (the rooms that are directly above our living room and bedroom) but as soon as we started talking he started slowly closing the door on us, saying "yeah, okay, uh-huh" the way people do when they are completely ignoring you, and closed the door in our faces. After that we realized we weren't going to get anywhere with him, so we started complaining to the landlord and keeping records of every time there was excessive noise. But of course, since they were paying more than twice what we were for rent, she didn't care about our complaints. Eventually we got fed up and called the RCMP. They couldn't do anything, since they couldn't hear the noise from the street, but it shut them up for a few days, then the noise resumed as before. About a week later we got a call from the landlord saying that the people upstaris were complaining about a smell of marijuana coming from our apartment, which I thought was a bit rediculous seeing as how neither my girlfriend or I smoke at all, and I told her as such. For the past six months every couple of weeks we get a phone call telling us to stop smoking in the suite, and I'm getting tired of the constant harrassment. We're moving at the end of the month, and I'm quite afraid that the landlord will try to withhold our damage and pet deposits, either for breaking the lease or for "smoking", but I think I can force her to give it back, as she has no evidence of us smoking, and we signed the agreement when there were three guys above us, not nine children. I say nine children because thats how the parents act every time I try to talk to them, and they are just as bad for stomping and screaming as the kids. Plus I have the constant harrassment as a basis for leaving, so hopefully it all works out.

    • Just a quick thought about the odd times to do laundry. I'm not sure where you live, but does your electric company have "peak hours?" A lot of electric companies charge more for electricity used during the day so it's quite common in these areas for people to do laundry during the night to save money on their power bill. That doesn't necessarily help the noise situation for you, but it might help with the empathy thing.

      There's not a lot you can do about loud kids, especially 7 loud kids. It sucks for you, but they aren't likely to be able to magically control the noise emitted by the young people in the house, especially toddlers or teenagers. They didn't need to be rude, though. They could have had an adult conversation.

      The false "smoking" complain is just bullshit retaliation. Maybe one of their kids is smoking and they just haven't noticed it 🙂

      • There are non-peak hours in the middle of the day too. And after people leave for work in the morning.

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  35. where i live the neighbors are arrogant and will not consider alternatives.

    i'm at my wits end.

    we've been considerate, compassionate, intellectual and even said please.

    i've got a batch right now who are soo bad, it sounds like a dorm BELOW us.

  36. I live on the top floor, have never had a complaint ever. When I walk and when my 11 year old walks (on our fully carpeted apartment floors) I cannot hear us walking. I know what heavy walkers sound (my nephew is a heavy walker) and when he is visiting, he is mindful of this, and tries his best to walk softly. I get along with all of my neighbors and recently, the neighbors below me moved out and a new couple moved in. First day in, they were banging on the ceiling. I went downstairs, introduced myself and asked them to please not bang on their ceiling. I also stated that if we are ever too loud, please come knock on the door. The next day, while standing at the kitchen counter reading, I hear cabinets banging, refrigerator door slamming and the pantry door opening and closing. I think to myself (WOW they are making a lot of noise) but it was 6 pm, (quite time here starts at 10 pm) so I turn on the oven fan to muffle the noise and carry on about my evening.) Go to the bathroom, same thing – slamming cabinets – door closing hard for the shower. So, I turn on the bathroom vent to muffle the noise. Bottom line is this. I have never lived in an apartment where I did not hear my neighbors (beside me, below me or above me) it comes with apartment living. Fast forward to day #4 my new neighbor comes stomping upstairs, banging on my door and enraged. She says we (my 11 years old daughter and I are being too loud) and if we cannot come to some sort of agreement, she will have no choice but to call the police!!) Really?? I have never had a neighbor complain about noise coming from my apartment, and after 4 days in, you are threatening to call the police and you are not a quiet neighbor? I asked her what noise she was hearing? She said she could hear us walking and talking. It was 8:30 pm. My daughter was in the shower and I had just gotten out of the shower. So there is no way she heard us walking nor talking! Then she claimed (after just 4 days in) that we keep late hours (after 10, 4 in the morning) which is a blatant lie. We have to be up at 5:30 am each morning and we are usually in bed no later than 10 pm. I have absolutely no doubt that she is sensitive to noise (not her own noise) just the noise that others makes, and the slightest of sounds sets them off. If you are a noise sensitive person – you are sincerely the problem. Seriously (not your neighbor) I think my neighbor (is) harassing me. No one should have to deal with a neighbor who simply wants no sign of life in the apartment above/next to them. It is an unrealistic expectation. I know and understand that I can't live underneath someone. I once lived underneath an elderly lady. Fragile almost – but when she walked, it sounded like she was a 200 pound gorilla! What is she supposed to do? Not walk? Not live? She has rights. Loud music, loud parties, surround sound movie watching? I get how and why that is a problem – but most of these walking complaints are structural issues that the individual living upstairs has no control over. As a result, I have to live on the top floor. Many of you sound like you need to be top floor dwellers as well. Some people are not bothered by hearing people walk, if this is not you – do not live beneath someone. I think some of you are being very unfair to your neighbors above you. I pay the same amount of rent (and am probably paying more) than my new neighbor and I refuse to tip toe and I refuse to be a prisoner in my own home. And yes, once she threatened to call the police and approached me with an angry disposition, I slammed the door in her face and told her to never knock on my door again. That privilege was revoked once she decided to approach me angrily and proceed to treat me (a 47 year old mother of one), like a child she needed to talk down to. How you approach someone, also matters. Never approach someone when you are angry. Give yourself a moment to calm down, otherwise it will not go well and your approach will come across as harassment.

    1 agrees
  37. We live on the first floor of a two family house converted to condo. I have nicknamed our upstairs neighbors with not so nice names , they are so loud, specifically with their walking at any hour. Now I spoke to the wife about removing their shoes, only she complied with my request. She still walks heavily, but at least she heard me and took off her shoes. Her husband, on the other hand, leaves his wooden heeled cowboy boots or winter work boots on . All day and night and goes across the bedroom ceiling constantly. I want to scream, I am so tired from all their noise. There are other annoying noises they make, but the shoes are the worst. I need advice with how to get through to this guy. If he would comply, I might forget about cabinet slamming and later night laundry. Help!

    1 agrees
    • As someone who never knew the problems of being a downstairs dweller until I moved into this apartment, I think it boils down to the following:

      In my building, the problem is less about the neighbors than it is about the building. We have hard wood floors and from my research, the building is old and has no insulation thus the floor of the upstairs apartment (my ceiling) acts as an ampliphier, just like how your stereo works. So what seems like nothing to people upstairs is like taking small sounds and putting them into speakers for a concert in my apartment. To make this living situation work, give and take on both sides is necessary. What works for me most of the time, is that I first, go out of my way to introduce myself to the people that live above me. I genuinely welcome them to the building and try to become friends or at least get on their good side. If/when that problem arises and it usually does, I nicely explain the problem with the building, not them. I ask if there's anything they can do to help mitigate the circumstances like wear slippers. If that doesn't work, I point out that they are required to have a rug covering most of the apartment floor as per our lease. I've only had to complain to the landlord about one neighbor so far who was really awful, she refused to speak to me about the situation and would set off what sounded like all the balls on a pool table crashing to the floor every morning at about 4 am. She drove several of my great neighbors out of the building before she moved. I'm fortunate though in that the woman that lives on the 3rd floor above my neighbors that are above me is particularly loud and it drives the neighbors above me in sane so they tend to be sympathetic to my situation.

      That's my best advice.

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