I have noisy upstairs neighbours. We're not talking 'thumping bass at 3am' noisy, but certainly people who play their TV and music loudly enough that I can hear it in my flat, seem to communicate by shouting across their flat, and frequently bang furniture and things on their floor (my ceiling)!
They have only lived above me for a few weeks. A few nights after they moved in, I knocked on their door upstairs and (politely) asked them to turn down their music (it was 1am) as it was keeping my bf and I awake. The girl who answered the door was civil, but I didn't notice a particular drop in the volume after I went downstairs.
Since then, we have frequently been disturbed by noise from this flat, during the day and the night. Like I said, it's not so loud that we have to call in Environmental Health or something ridiculous, but it is often loud enough to distract me from working and my bf from sleeping. We haven't gone up to speak with them since the first time, because we don't want to be 'that annoying couple' who complain about every little incident. However, last night was the final straw - music buzzing through our ceiling till after midnight, loud voices, banging footsteps.
Rather than go up there in a rage, I waited till this morning, when I wrote a note and posted it through their letterbox. The note was polite - the gist of it was "You have a right to play music etc., but you are making noise at a level that is disturbing us downstairs. We would really appreciate it if you kept the volume down a bit, especially at night. Thank you."
Since putting the note through, the silence has been eerie! I think my note was very reasonable, but I am now paranoid that the people upstairs are plotting revenge, or will bang on my door at some point to shout at me. Should I have gone up to speak to them in person? I know, a note is about as passive-aggressive as you can get! Should I have ignored the noise, given that it was 'annoying' rather than 'unbearable'? Help!
Yeah, it was slightly passive-aggressive - "It's the final straw; I'm writing a note!" However, I think it was the right thing to do: you didn't create a confrontational scene and managed to communicate your displeasure at being kept awake. Also, I think its perfectly reasonable to request that people stop annoying you because, after a while, "annoying" does become "unbearable".
I don't think it's passive aggressive at all and think it was quite reasonable to do pop a note round.
However, I do have to ask this as I lived in a flat and had problems with noise, is the noise actually excessive? The girl who lived in the flat above us used to play music and have TV on and could hear her moving things but it was just normal day to day noise and more the structural building problems than the noise actually being excessive. I got to know her quite well and she would have music or TV on at a "normal" volume.
I do sympathise - I would never live in a flat again.
As another view though we had a similar problem, but with our next-door semi-detached neighbours. Our note to them (after speaking about things many times) led to a huge irrevocable falling out. We moved out eventually, and are much happier where we are (detached bungalow).
So notes can backfire, depending on how the recipient takes them. Ours certainly did.
On the subject of flats, we lived in a flat for many years, and had a lovely quiet neighbour up above. As soon as his flat went on the market I said "We're moving". And the new people who we lived with for a short while were very noisy. Very very noisy. We were glad to get out.
I think you did the right thing. It's often difficult to complain face-to-face - your neighbours might become defensive or 'take it the wrong way'. There's more control in a note. That said, it depends on the type of people your neighbours are - some would ask "well, why didn't you just come and ask us instead of writing a snotty note". I always leave notes on the cars of people who park in my space (it has my house number painted on it and I own the land - boils my blood thinking about it :-s).
I live in a semi. The house is 10 years old and, like all modern houses, it's made from cardboard. Luckily we have the quietest neighbour, but we hear every move he makes. The sound of him going up and down stairs or running a bath can grate on me if it goes on too long, so I understand your frustration. Even if they're not being excessively loud, I think not disrupting you with music late at night is a fair ask.
Hope it improves (gift)
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