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Etiquette

I hate my new house. Ugh.

Sorry, this is just a vent. 

Sam and I moved into this new townhouse about 2 weeks ago. It's a cute 3 bedroom townhouse, with neighbours on both sides. But it's driving us CRAZY.

Every single night, all we hear are our neighbours. We rarely hear the one on one side, but we hear the other neighbours constantly. Last night they watched a movie with a lot of violence, and it was so loud I it felt like it was in our living room. Last week they were having loud sex at 2am. Their dog barks inside all day and all night. We have to sleep with ear plugs. The husband either plays drums in the basement, or blasts a base so hard that our walls vibrate. Ear plugs don't help.

I don't know where the line is between accepting the townhouse lifestyle, and reality of hearing your neighbours vs. wanting peace and quiet in our house and asking them to try and keep it down.

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Re: I hate my new house. Ugh.

  • Try leaving an anoymous note under their door asking them nicely to keep it down. 

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  • Oooohh this is tough---especially since you're the new ones and they've (potentially) been doing all this for a while now without issue. 

    I think some states have laws that basically say that reasonable noises (like a TV being overheard through the walls, etc.) have simply got to be tolerated until an certain hour such as 10:00 PM. 

    But I am really not sure.  These things vary by state, county, and municipality. 

    Also, I am sure you already know to tread lightly because regardless of what happens you have to live near these folks. 
  • Check with your association and local laws. I had a similar issue when I moved into my apartment 2 years ago, and after 3 complaints they were evicted (sp). hope it gets better!
  • Oh that sucks. I don't have anything helpful to add though...if I think of something I will let you know! :)
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  • I had that problem in an apartment several years ago.  My neighbor's bedroom was next to mine and I could hear her having sex several times a week.  One night a friend was over and when I knew the neighbor was home I started telling my friend (in a very loud voice) that I was jealous that someone in my building was having crazy sex all the time.  I guess she heard me because the problem stopped.
  • Well, 1.  Soon you will having a crying baby to make noise.  Payback is a bitch :)
    2.  That sucks.  I would def. go to the association (assuming you have one).  They should be able to send them a letter at the very least.  The 'townhome lifestyle" is a 2 way street.
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  • We also live in the middle unit of a townhouse. The people on the one side we don't hear often (unless their watching a loud movie, but I'm not mad about it) but the people on the other side... ugh!  I can't flippin stand them. I am the lightest sleeper in the world and this guy snores... LOUDLY all night long. Ticks me off to no end. So I started to blast obnoxious shows all night long (while I slept on the sofa or in another room) Or I do my favorite thing and re-arrange room furniture, at around 2am (and I make sure to slam every drawer I have)
    I am a very spiteful person though... maybe a good idea is to have a friendly chat with  them, or slip a note if you don't want to get into it with them.
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  • If you own, contact your local boro or municipal, they will send notices and fines. Of if it's music, tv, instruments after 9pm (check with your boro/municipal on this as well), or before 8am, call the police, you pay taxes and have paid the right to live there in peace, may seem petty, but it's also part of their job. If you are renting, contact your landlord and explain the issue. Unfortunately if you do own, there is only so much that local boro and police can do.
    We live in a townhouse and just recently lost our neighbors to a sheriff sale, 2 loud obnoxious dogs that bark all hours of the night, fail to pick up the feces and very unsanitary pool that has caused a very troublesome ant issue. In our case, the boro had to step in, but in her situation, she did nothing and let the fines roll in. What a shame to have to deal with people like that, and i really feel for you!

    Who are you to judge the life I live? I know I'm not perfect and I don't live to be. But, before you start pointing fingers, make sure your hands are clean. -Bob Marley

  • Our neighbors came over to complain about our TV once, and I appreciated it b/c we didn't realize it was too loud when we watched action movies with the surround sound.  I would just politely ask them to be a little quieter.
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  • I would honestly try talking to them first.  They could have no idea how bad it is.  In our old townhouse H and I had no idea how loud our base was on the TV until our neighbors knocked on the door one night and said it sounded like thunder in their apartment.  We felt really bad because they had a baby, and H just unplugged the surround system.  We truly had no idea that they could even hear it, and I'm glad they knocked on the door.

    If that doesn't work, definitely talk to the office.  If they can't do anything, you could insist on moving into a different unit.  You've only been there 2 weeks so you probably aren't too settled yet.
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  • I rent half a duplex and am able to deal with the one neighbor (3 people live there) and his girlfriend having loud sex at 1:30 in the morning a couple times a week, but a couple weeks ago he got a new speaker system. He proceeded to blare loud (crappy) music until some point after midnight. I got pissed off and knocked on the wall - nothing. Tried it a few more times and so did FI. I then went and knocked on their door - nothing. Finally I texted my landlord and said f-it because it was now after 12:30 and I had work in the morning. I called the police who after 3 attempts at knocking almost broke down the door over there. Apparently neighbor and his gf and another friend where there the whole time and I heard gf say though the walls "Oh, I thought I heard someone knocking before. Hmm." My entire side of the house was vibrating! I understand your annoyance.

    I would go and politely speak with them. They may be unaware. If your unit was empty for a while they also may have become accustomed to certain noise levels and have since forgotten about volume issues. If speaking to them doesn't do much remember you will have the new screaming baby soon to keep them awake and you can absolutely contact the association or local PD if the noise continues during certain hours of the day or above certain decible levels.
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  • Kelly - that's exactly what I said tonight to Sam. I said theyll be calling the cops on US for being so loud at 4am in about a month. 

    Thanks for the advice everyone. We do own, so unfortunately, there are no awesome co-op by-laws to nail them with.

    We met the woman beside us, and she is actually the sweetest person ever, which makes us feel like bastards for going over there to complain, especially since all of the things that annoy us are just them enjoying their life - dog, sex, and watching movies together.

    I'm pretty passive aggressive, so I actually like the idea of the annon. note.

    Thanks again!  Here's hoping tonight is quiet! 
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  • I'm pretty sure she'll know that the "anonymous" note is from the new person who just moved in next to her. 

    Maybe you could just say something passive-aggressivey? Like "I love our new townhouse, but it's a different type of living to get used to being so close to others where we can all hear each other. I hope my TV isn't too loud at night, because I know I can hear yours too"
  • I can't relate to a townhome, but we live in an apt and have neighbors above us and on the other side of our bedroom wall. Thankfully these people have been pretty good. But the last residents would do the same thing, have really loud sex at like 2am and then blare their music at 11am on a worknight. We went to the apt office and they gave them a notice. It wasn't too much longer after that that they moved out. And we noticed they stayed in the same complex, just a different building and now they are on the top floor, so I feel sorry for the neighbors beneath them. Ah, the joys of townhome and apt living.
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  • edited April 2011
    I thank FSM every day that our older duplex has thick walls and our bedroom doesn't share a wall with anyone.

    I think that certain things are unavoidable. I mean, how loud can loud sex be? Probably loud to you, but you can't exactly ask them to zip it. If you hear them talking or head their TV while it's at a reasonable volume, it's not their fault.

    However, things like shaking bass and drumming in the basement are a no-go when you share walls. Have you ever lived in a dorm? Playing instruments in residence halls is against the rules for good reason. I'd try to casually talk to them about those things.

    Edit: We have another house behind us and their deck is right near our bedroom window. We've been woken up by loud parties (music and people talking over the music) at something like 3:30am before. We called the police that time. Last Saturday they were so loud we could hear them in the front of our house. Our neighbors over the fence from us called the cops.
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  • I might consider talking to them about the drums, at least maybe trying to come up with limits you can both accept on when it's ok to play the drums, and maybe mention the tv being loud. But really, you can't ask people not to have sex! And I certainly couldn't ask anyone to do it more quietly.

    I think an anonymous note is a bad idea -- they'll know it's from you and that just sets a really weird tone.

    And I think you really need to think very hard about how much you want to discuss with them. You ARE going to have a baby soon and guaranteed that if you can hear their tv, they're going to hear your baby, probably all night long at least once in a while. Personally I wouldn't say anything right now (except maybe about the drums if you really can't deal with that) -- payback's probably gonna be a bitch if you do.
  • When I lived in an apartment, I had to complain to the office that our neighbors were having sex at 3 am and the bed was hitting our shared wall.  Normally, I wouldn't  have cared, but they knocked pictures off the wall and books off of a shelf.  That's a little uncalled for.

    When they moved out (for unrelated reasons), the maintenance guy told me there was a giant gouge in their bedroom wall.

    Our current next door neighbors (we live in a house) play their tv and music so freaking loud, the water in our toilet vibrates.  If it goes on past 10pm, we say something.
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