Whether you live in a condominium or a homeowner’s association, having noisy neighbors can be frustrating. Noisy neighbors can really be a disruption, disturbing your sleep and regular activities. It’s especially wearisome when you know that neither you nor your neighbor is likely to be moving in the near future.
Obviously, noise issues are most significant when you share walls or a floor/ceiling in a duplex or condo. But noisy neighbors can make life challenging even in freestanding homes. This situation is a delicate one, so you need to keep your head and stay calm.
Some people have a lower tolerance for noise than others do. What you define as a noisy neighbor may not constitute nuisance behavior. Check your HOA rules to understand if the noise is in violation. If so, don’t suffer in silence or worse — work with your neighbors. Take some steps to resolve the problem.
Start by documenting each time you are disturbed. Record dates, times and what the noise sounds like. How does the noise affect you, i.e., did you lose sleep? Writing each episode down is important because it can help you establish a pattern, repeat incidents, etc.
Discuss your concerns with your neighbor. Avoid being confrontational or judgmental. In many cases, your neighbor may not even know that he/she has offended you. It’s helpful if you can suggest a compromise such as keeping the noise level down after 10:00 p.m. or wearing headphones. This step is vital because anyone else you complain to will ask if you’ve talked to your neighbor. The only time you should skip talking to your neighbor is if you are concerned about your safety.
If your neighbor does not take action and the noise continues, talk to your condo or homeowner association manager. Noise disruptions are typical issues that arise in associations. Most association bylaws contain rules and restrictions regarding noise. Because you have documented the dates and times, the Board has sufficient information to contact the noisy owner.
In the extreme case that the issue is not resolved within the association, you may wish to consult an attorney to guide you in what to do next. Your written documentation of the disruptions and actions is key in talking to the attorney and any future steps toward restoring peace and quiet in your home.