Ideas / Recommendations for Dealing With a Noisy Neighbor

5 Replies

I have a really good tenant whom I'd like to keep happy, as much as possible. She is renting a condo from me in a 3-story building. She is at the lower level. 

She sent me an email the other day, she says "I've been trying my hardest not to mention it but it is getting worse and worse. The couple upstairs from me are so loud. They must have hardwood floors without a rug. Between walking and playing with there baby the pounding is getting so bad. 

I've come home and all my pictures are slanted and wine bottles have come off the rack off the wall. The sliding door raddles so hard I almost thought it would break. 

In the morning the kids room is above mine and must be playing with heavy blocks because it wakes me up almost every morning. I've really tried to be patient but I can't take the pounding anymore..."

I would like to help her as much as I can. Do you have any recommendations or ran into a similar situation you were able to solve?

Would you take on the responsibility of talking with this neighbor or let the tenant sort it out if she can?

Ugh, that is frustrating for your tenant, but my first instinct is that it has to at least start as her responsibility to talk to the neighbor about it. For one thing, since it is a condo building, the neighbor may very well own their unit, so there's little you can do aside from asking them nicely to tread more quietly (good luck with that if they have a baby!) - and I think that request will resonate more strongly coming from the person having to actually live with the noise. I also think it starts the conversation off on a more negative foot if the neighbor hears that the tenant was essentially "tattling" on them. 

When it comes to neighbor issues I like to let the people involved handle it unless it is going in the reverse direction (a neighbor having an issue with one of my tenants). Unless you are willing to invest money in soundproofing between the floors (and you can bet the neighbor won't have a strong desire to share this cost with you), I would at the very least ask the tenant to start with speaking with the neighbor directly.

@Jen Harwood , thanks so much for your input. I feel that I want to help her since she is such a great tenant and maybe I could do a better job since I'm not emotionally influenced, but you are absolutely right about this resonating more strongly coming from her. I didn't think of this. 

Thank you again, for the very valuable input.

I just wanted to provide an update here. 

I ended up writing a nice letter to the neighbor above my tenant and my tenant said that this helped to resolve this and she is happy.

In case someone else may be in this situation, here is the letter I wrote:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1fKY3WzQTdzl6S8...

I used some of the negotiation techniques I learn from Chris Voss' book and seminar. The book is called  Never Split the Difference. This is the best book I have ever read on this topic and one of the best books overall.  

Agreed @Nathan G. It was the case here as well. The tenant said she would like me to do this and even though I didn't have a face-to-face conversation, the letter did the trick. I wanted to do this because I want my tenant to stay as she is a great tenant and I wanted to have this experience and it felt great solving this for her. 

Celebrate your successes, no matter how small!

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