How do I resolve a neighbor/noise issue?
August 12, 2014 6:06 AM Subscribe
My newish neighbors keep complaining about the level of noise coming from my apartment, but I'm not being loud. How do I handle this? Sensitive details in the explanation.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (24 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
For the past five years I've lived in a building of studio flats. They are small and you can hear the normal things you'd expect to hear in such a building. If I have no tv or music or other background noise on, I can hear my neighbors watching tv, talking, cooking or having sex, for example. I can hear toilets flushing, washing machines, vacuuming and so on. A few months ago a couple (probably mid-30s) moved into the flat below mine. As it's summer and hot, everyone generally has their windows open. A couple months ago my boyfriend and I were having sex when we heard the woman downstairs screaming to "shut our fucking windows". Point taken, we made an effort to shut the windows during sex. A few days after that the man living downstairs came and knocked on my door, introduced himself and nicely let me know that they could hear us having sex and that he understood that in an apartment building one would hear things going on, but it was really stressing out his wife so could we please keep the windows shut. I felt terrible, apologized and told him we absolutely would close the windows in future. We were both very nice and it was a pleasant conversation.
After that my boyfriend and I not only shut the windows, but also (to the detriment of our own enjoyment) started being much, much quieter during sex. I'm talking mouse-like. We have never done it since without being hyper aware of the potential to upset these neighbors. In my 15 years of living in buildings like this one, I have never had a neighbor complain about noise before.
Then a week or so ago we heard her screaming at us from her flat again. We had been having sex but were not being loud. The tv is much louder when we have that on. We didn't know what else to do and concluded that she must expect not to hear any sex noises at all. We decided to continue being quiet but not to worry about it.
Last night we were having sex and hear a banging at the door, then immediately more banging. It was about 9:30 p.m. We stop and my boyfriend offered to answer the door. When he did, the woman, who was in tears, started screaming at him (I could hear all this). She (while screaming) asked if we had jobs (we both work full-time), said she had to be up at 6 am and all she could ever hear was us fucking and me screaming every day, morning, noon and night and they were moving out. She screamed at him a bit more and then left. He didn't really have an opportunity to say anything though I'm not sure what he could have even said. He was really upset after she left and she was clearly quite worked up about the whole thing. After this we could hear her arguing with her husband.
The thing is, we aren't even here that much. My boyfriend doesn't live with me. We go out a lot. We both work. We have sex here maybe 3 nights a week and we have not been having crazy loud, wild screaming sex. Whenever I leave my apartment or come home I can see that my neighbors are home though--I had assumed that they didn't work full-time because of this and that they're sharing a studio. When we are home, we aren't loud. We sit and talk or watch tv or play games and I never have more than one person over here at a time.
I don't know what I can do about this. I wanted to go talk to them after she left but I don't know what to even say. I feel like she's being unreasonable but she obviously doesn't think so. I don't want my neighbors angry with me but I'm not going to stop having sex. I also don't want her screaming at us or coming to our door when we're having sex. I can't really soundproof anything. Is there anything else I can do about this?