Noisy neighbors and basic consideration for others

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Noisy neighbors and basic consideration for others

Postby Raneth » June 3rd, 2011, 7:16:52 pm

I've been living in an apartment for a while, bouncing from place to place in a quest to find a cheap place. One thing I've noticed that is striking about the lifestyle is the sheer amount of noise.

In my first apartment, I had a roommate who never, ever shut up. They would talk constantly, and watch MY TV constantly, when I was trying to sleep. In my second apartment, people would blast their music so loudly I could hear it down the block, much less in the apartment next to theirs. And in my newest place, people still play their televisions so loud that it is audible in my apartment.

The permeation of noise into my home from other people's living spaces drives me nuts. I am paying for my own place, and expect it to fit my requirements. Why do people not realize that the loud music they play or the shrieking they're doing can be heard by other people? I don't care if it is midnight or noon, if I can hear you when I am in my apartment and you are not, we have a problem. The same would go if I owned a house-if someone out on the street was being noisy enough that I can hear them in my home, they are being too loud and infringing on my living space.

Of course, on the flipside people also have the right to do what they want to do-if they want to make noise or play music, they should be able to also.

I would argue that there is no reason for a person to create so much noise that other people can hear it. Use headphones. If you are having a party, have it somewhere else. One person asking another to be quiet is the same "infringement of rights" as their loud music is on the other person's desire to live in silence, and considering that the loud person is probably causing more than one person annoyance, they need to quiet down.

So who do you think has more of a right- the guy who wants to rock out or the person who wants their home to be silent?
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Re: Noisy neighbors and basic consideration for others

Postby RewinAncient » June 3rd, 2011, 7:38:09 pm

I personally believe that the person who wants a quiet has the right, because the guy who wants to rock out can go to a club or a friend's party or somewhere that isn't close to where many other people really can't tolerate it. I should know this because I'm the kind of guy who loves to blast my speakers from my comp constantly, and even though I've got a good sized house, I've had an incident where an elderly neighbor from down the street complained to me of the music I had. After that, I decided that I would go elsewhere to blast my tunes. So I got sub-woofers for my truck so I can take my tunes out of my neighborhood.

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Re: Noisy neighbors and basic consideration for others

Postby TxCat » June 3rd, 2011, 9:06:37 pm

Ideally when choosing a house or apartment mate, these thing should be thoroughly worked out before either party moves in. However, I understand that sometimes people mis-represent themselves and mismatches occur. When I was going to college for the first time, they made us fill out roommate compatibility cards. I noted that I liked quiet, was studious, preferred classical music, wanted a non-coed dormitory, and that my favorite thing to do was reading.

The college put me in a coed dorm on a known party floor. My roommate, from Denver, came from a rich family and had never cracked a book. She was in college for one reason --- to sleep with as many boys as possible and to find a husband. I'll admit that I was also a late bloomer and not so much into the things most early adults like. I still preferred my books, stuffed animals, pastel colors, and ribbons and lace. I put an end to that arrangement when I went to bed early one night in order to make an important test the next morning...and woke up with a strange boy naked in my bed. My roommate's explanation: she thought it time I started enjoying adult experiences.

Given the scenario, I would say unless both roommates are willing to communicate needs and to set down a written agreement by which they can both abide and compromise, the situation is hopeless. The two are two extremes of needs which are not going to meet. Otherwise:

- Set reasonable quiet times during which the stereo is either off or headphones are used.

- Make an agreement about who may have access to the apartment and who does not. Don't lend keys without consulting each other.

- Agree to notify one another ahead of time when visitors will be expected in order to give the other roommate a chance to make other plans. Make sure your guests know you share a home and will respect the roommate's boundaries.

- Don't touch each other's things. Label foods if you're not sharing a food bill and don't eat one another's provisions without asking. Make sure guests know that they cannot borrow, touch, or bother the roommate's things either.

- Agree whether or not overnight guests are allowed and, if so, which days and what hours. The opposing roommate's work, sleep, and study schedule should be taken into consideration when doing so. The same is true for parties or gatherings.

Both roommates have the right to their respective needs. It isn't fair to make the noisy roommate leave all the time because he or she is paying to live in that space too. It isn't fair to tell the quiet roommate to deal with things as they are for the same reason. The above ideas are good compromises and if a compromise cannot be found, then the roommates need to decide who will seek new lodging.

If it's a neighboring apartment, I would recommend a polite conversation first. Sometimes people don't understand how thin the apartment walls really are. If it continues to be a problem, check your lease and deed to see if there's a noise ordinance (most communities have these). If so, then you can make a complaint at your rental office. If nothing else works, you can turn in a noise complaint to your local law enforcement.
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Re: Noisy neighbors and basic consideration for others

Postby Eclaire » June 3rd, 2011, 11:31:49 pm

After living in an apartment once, I can say I will never go back. I can't stand living so close to people. They are too damn noisy. Right now, I have a house in suburbia. A lot of retirees and only few families with children. The less children roaming about the better. I think for the most part you are going to have to avoid places in the ghetto - while cheap monetarily, the high price for that is your sanity.

As for the question: So who do you think has more of a right- the guy who wants to rock out or the person who wants their home to be silent? -- They both have just as much of a right, each place is their home. Some sort of compromise has to be made. You can either talk to them and hope they are friendly about it, hope they move, or move yourself.
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Re: Noisy neighbors and basic consideration for others

Postby Ktanaqui » June 3rd, 2011, 11:33:22 pm

Honestly, if you're living in an apartment, you have to learn to deal. The walls are thin, and they are right next door. Your wall is their wall and vice-versa. No matter how loud or quiet the music is, 95% of the time, you're going to hear it. Unless it is so quiet that the person listening to it can barely hear it. Especially if it is in a room right next to the wall that you share. You should always check into this sort of thing when you move in. It'd also help to talk to your next door neighbors and try to work out a plan for noisy time and quiet time.

Now, on the run of living in a house and people outside making noise - that you have to get over. I don't mean to sound rude, but people outside are going to make noise. That's why people go outside. Kids make noise all the time. They run up and down the road screaming and playing. Their kids. Teens walk around playing music on small stereos and talking. People yell up and down the road. It's something that you have to get used to if you're going to live in the city. If you don't want noise, move into a high-end suburb or out into the country.

In my opinion, somebody who complains that people are making noise outside, where they're supposed to, are being a bit of a snob. I understand the preference for quiet. I prefer quiet. But I also like music. My neighborhood isn't hugely noisy but everything that I mentioned above does happen. It's expected.

Yes, it gets on my nerves when people drive down the road blasting music with bass so loud that it is obvious that the speakers are fucked up from it, and buzzing like a beehive. However, it lasts a few seconds and normally goes away quickly. It's something I had to get used to.

Mostly, its a moderation and compromise situation. However, in the city.... noise is something you have to get used to.

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Re: Noisy neighbors and basic consideration for others

Postby TxCat » June 4th, 2011, 11:11:41 am

Ktanaqui wrote:In my opinion, somebody who complains that people are making noise outside, where they're supposed to, are being a bit of a snob. I understand the preference for quiet. I prefer quiet. But I also like music. My neighborhood isn't hugely noisy but everything that I mentioned above does happen. It's expected.


There's noise and then there's noise. No, I don't think I should have to listen to someone's stereo blasted on full while they wash their car ten parking slots away. When I did live in an apartment, I considered it excessive when the person with the stereo had it up so loud that things were falling off the walls in my apartment. It's not necessarily snobbery to want some modicum of common courtesy.

Out here, where the nearest neighbor is one quarter mile away, I tend to respond more to noises because I know what should and should not be there. At the same time, in the quiet of the forest, noise carries. It's not unusual to hear someone using an ATV miles away. We also live next to an artillery range used to train Reserves; you have to put up with the distant sound of automatic gunfire and shell concussion.

Also, most societies have expected quiet hours (generally after 10 PM until 6 AM). I would expect that to be respected in a closed complex of apartments simply because MOST people will be sleeping and have to go to work or school in the morning.

You can't expect total quiet anywhere but you can expect people to use common sense. When they don't, I call the sheriff if they're not open to a friendly conversation.
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Re: Noisy neighbors and basic consideration for others

Postby Eclaire » June 4th, 2011, 11:41:17 am

Ktanaqui wrote:Teens walk around playing music on small stereos and talking.


Do they really still do that? That's like something out of an 80s movie.
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Re: Noisy neighbors and basic consideration for others

Postby Pshawraven » June 4th, 2011, 7:10:06 pm

I lived in an apartment for about twelve years, and spent about five managing another complex. Noise is ... an issue.

I found that most of the time, if neighbors were bothering me with something like loud music or TV, and I politely asked them to turn it down, they did so an apologized. Sometimes you may not realize how loud your stuff is. What just made me want to spit nails was when people who were asked to turn music down responded that "It's not a noise violation, it's the middle of the day and I can do what I want." Uh.

For myself in those situations I do understand there's a time for noise. Children can't be expected to be silent all the time - they need to go out and play. But to me there's a big difference between that and, say, the constant stereo booming three doors away or the dog that won't shut up. If I could hear someone's TV through the wall, I didn't so much mind. The walls were thin. And it had to be very quiet in my apartment to hear it.

Happily during those twelve years I had a reasonably tolerable roomie in my (at the time) husband. He was actually less tolerant of noise than I, and it was more annoying to me to listen to him complain than the actual noise itself. Go figure. It's always been my opinion that an apartment complex should have clear rules about noise and times outlined for things like parties and childrens' playtime on equipment if they provide it. Then there's no question - if the noise violates the rules you contact the manager on call.

That said, I've had a few times when noise was ... different. A few years after I moved into my first place I woke up one night at around 2 a.m. to a hell of a ruckus upstairs. It was the cops busting my upstairs neighbor for dealing pot. :aah: Another night there was an INS raid on the apartment at the other end of our block, and when I poked my head outside to see what was up I saw a bunch of guys with guns so I stayed my little ass indoors. It was kind of a rough place until another management company bought it out.
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Re: Noisy neighbors and basic consideration for others

Postby NellaFantasia » June 4th, 2011, 10:16:55 pm

This is something I'm struggling over currently. The bedroom to my apartment is right underneath a bedroom to a teenage girl. She plays her music at all hours of the day and night, and it's not just music. It's bass. Our walls and ceiling shake, and it's especially disheartening when we're trying to sleep. I've talked to the landlord and the mother, and three times now they said they'd take care of it. Which only resulted in the girl playing her music louder. Now I've taken to basically sleeping on the couch in the living room (though I can still hear the bass, but it's not as bad).

So no, I don't believe it's a matter of just "dealing with it". Of course there's going to be noise when you're living with other families. That's expected. I don't want to be on tiptoes around my own place, and I don't want others to have to do the same. But there should be some semblance of common courtesy. For instance, I stay up later than most people. In order not to disturb the people living below us, I make sure not to run the laundry or dishwasher any time past 10 pm.

Just like someone has to realize they're living with others and should expect some noise, others have to realize the same thing and be courteous. There's nothing wrong with a balance.


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Re: Noisy neighbors and basic consideration for others

Postby GrowlingCupcake » June 5th, 2011, 1:16:14 am

Some noise is certain to happen. Kids, arguments every now and then, the music/tv being too loud, a party, dogs barking. But all of these have limits. Here, we try to end everything by about midnight. If we have a party and it goes past, we make sure most doors and windows are closed and there's as little noise as possible going to the next house.

Living in Singapore, its is rare to find a place where you're not sharing a wall. Most people live in apartments and houses are generally terraced and the next most common is two houses with one shared wall. To live in a house with no shared walls requires being pretty damned rich. So you do have to put up with a lot of noise from neighbours. For instance, I live in a corner terrace with another row of terraced houses behind and in front. The neighbour to the side has kids and they're often getting yelled at. The neighbour behind has several dogs who bark a fair amount (and set off our dogs though they stop barking quite fast). To our other side is a food court, a fairly busy one and this means noise till past midnight and around 4AM. Throughout the day, you can hear them talking, their radios, the singing, noises of cutlery and plates clanking together, etc.

Part of it is simply getting over it. But the rest... either your neighbours have no idea they are bothering you or they don't care. If they have no idea, then a polite conversation ought to do it. I would think most people fall into this category; we simply don't realise how loud we are and that we are disturbing other people. For the rest... report them.
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