Residential Property Management/Excessive noise from neighbors
Dear Mr. Fortunato,
I truly hope you can help me.
I live in Vladeck Housing Projects on the Lower East Side of Manhattan with my mother and father. It's a pretty good neighborhood. Maybe about 2 months ago, our new neighbors directly above us moved in. We just never heard that kind of noise before. It was exceeding. A lot of running, slamming, banging, furniture dragging. It sounded like people were brawling, like bodies where hitting the floor. One day, we heard 3 loud BOOMS against our ceiling like a pile driver. My mother is hard of hearing, but she heard it. Sometimes it went all day and sometimes late at night. We didn't know what to do, but I opted to be patient. Finally, my father paid a couple of visits, but then he began clanging on the pipes.
From what I understand, she is a mother of 4 children. All under 16, I guess. There seems to be no father. She moves the table twice a day to mop and the chairs drag excessively. She has told my father he can no longer come to their home.
There was dramatic improvement after my father clanged on the pipes. I tried to be appreciative, but the stomping of feet, the running would start up again. I didn't tell my father, but I would hear a tapping of a beat against my ceiling sometimes-- almost like it was a taunt. The times of peace would break out into rashes of a more mute slamming and commotion.
Between my father clanging and them stopping, only to start again a few days later, it's affecting my nerves. I didn't tell them this, but I've been going through a severe depression and the constant noise has me on edge. I was prescribed Zoloft at a low dosage and I'm seeing a therapist. It's helped, but I'm literally at the end of my rope. I've been thinking of what measures I can take to cause an effective change. I was thinking of writing a letter first as an appeal to them for the same consideration that I'm positive their family would want for themselves. I don't always trust the management office. They have very questionable ethics.
I'm not a jerk. I have sympathy for this woman and her children. It's one of the reasons why I've dragged my heels about intervening. I've seen her twice in the elevator with her family and I've been very respectful; I've held the door open when getting off. This is my normal manner as I treat all of my neighbors this way, even those who don't like me. It causes me grief that my family can be treated this way and it adds to the stress. It's not something I want to admit if I can avoid it.
I'm asking you to please advise me. We've had our share of bad neighbors, but this is beyond me. It's a big problem. Please help me.
I get this question a lot, and almost always the best approach is to personally speak with the offending neighbors. Often they don't realize how sound is traveling and how bothersome it can be, particularly in a multi-family setting. I would strongly suggesting taking this approach before resorting to formal letters, since a personal conversation with likely be better received. If that doesn't work, then you can try appealing to the management company to see what they can do, but in reality, that may not be so effective. If the noise is that severe, it may come down to finding another place to live (assuming you're not locked into a lease term). I realize that's not ideal, but often that's the only solution. Best of luck.