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Old 04-13-2012, 01:24 AM
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samosghost samosghost is offline
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Neighborly advice please....

My name is Ed and I have always enjoyed the input from members of the WC community so I have a question for you. It is not art related so I thought I would state it here, sorry if it is not the proper place for off-topic chat.

My question is about neighbors. I always seem to get stuck next to noisy neighbors, it is just my luck I guess. Today the neighbors were playing music (live in a band) so loud you could hear it in every room in my house over my TV radio etc. My wife had to get up early so after 10pm I went over when I saw they were smoking cigarettes outside. I introduced myself, shook the main guy's hand and said I thought the music was ridiculously loud and my wife had to get up early. I would say I was a tad too firm but not overly ostentatious. Is this a reasonable way to deal with a noisy neighbor? The guy shook my hand and said thanks for letting us now and then they stopped. I don't want noise I can't deal with but I also earnestly want to be a fair neighbor.

I guess I am just wanting to know what the 'norms' are for etiquette with neighbors, maybe you fellow artists can relate, because I am socially awkward and clueless when it comes to this sort of thing. What is your guys/gals advice on being neighborly and taking care of noise issues? Thank you very much for your advice.
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Old 04-13-2012, 05:58 AM
JayJay365UK JayJay365UK is offline
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Re: Neighborly advice please....

I think you dealt with the problem very well - and they responded well, too.
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Old 04-13-2012, 07:01 AM
AllisonR AllisonR is offline
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Re: Neighborly advice please....

I think it is fine. In my opinion, after 9 or 10 pm, the person making the noise should be polite enough to know to turn down the noise. It is just common sense. The fact that you had to go over and ask them to turn it down puts you in an awkward spot, which they should be apologetic for.

I guess some people push limits, see how much they can get away with, feigning naiveté. I think that is selfish.

I think you handled the situation well. In circumstances like that, a little firmness is, so a line is drawn and you don't have to go over again in the future, because they know you will if you need to, and you are not a pushover.

Exceptions would be friday or saturday night, might be able to get away with an hour or two later, as it is assumed most people can sleep in the next day. Also an exception, if you are given fair warning, and it is not misused. For example I have young kids, so late night band playing is not on my radar. But once a year I have a 4th of July or Christmas bash, and the shouting and noise level is high. I tell my neighbors a few days before that it may get crazy noisy. It hasn't been a problem, because they know it is on very rare occasion, not every other weekend.
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Old 04-13-2012, 08:13 AM
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Re: Neighborly advice please....

I think it was handled about the only way you could this time, but if you get a chance later to just have a friendly conversation with the neighbors, you might just ask that they turn the amps down just a bit since it is drowning out your television and etc. If it is handled in a casual setting, maybe you can get along as neighbors without the friction between. If that fails, consider mowing your lawn early in the morning while they are sleeping off the late evenings.

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Old 04-13-2012, 08:16 AM
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kaslkaos kaslkaos is offline
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Re: Neighborly advice please....

Argh, it's my pet peeve. Sounds like you handled it well, and it sounds like your neighbours are okay too (they turned it down right away).
As for the other side, letting neighbours know in advance is the right way to go about. In that case, I would plan a movie night or camping trip, for that night, and advance, um, 'warning' , would allow me to do so. Noise isn't something you can just tune out or ignore. Ears don't come with lids.
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Old 04-13-2012, 09:27 AM
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Freesail Freesail is offline
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Re: Neighborly advice please....

They may have also already been outside smoking as you said. because they had already quit playing their music because it was getting late. Just a thought.
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Old 04-13-2012, 11:14 AM
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Horsa Horsa is offline
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Re: Neighborly advice please....

I think you handled it well. Next time you see them be sure to thank them for being reasonable and lowering the volume for you.

It sounds like they are willing to at least try to be good neighbors. Reward them for this, then see if. You can work out a mutually satisfactory arrangement for band practice. They may not have other space, but you and your wife also need quiet time.
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Old 04-13-2012, 08:57 PM
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samosghost samosghost is offline
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Re: Neighborly advice please....

thanks guys and gals, your analysis is helpful and appreciated..! Getting other opinions and advice helps me feel better about it and handling it in the future too, so thanks again. for real.

I will probably not respond back to this thread but of course keep discussing if anyone else is getting more out of it, I will certainly read the responses.
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Old 04-14-2012, 06:59 AM
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Diane Cutter Diane Cutter is offline
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Re: Neighborly advice please....

I can totally understand the irritation. We had a similar situation. An elderly couple hosted a weekly revival type meeting in their yard with humungous speakers. Although it was over a 1/4 mile away, with the contours of our valley and us above them, it was so loud that watching TV or reading was impossible. This went on for weeks and we finally drove out one evening to identify where the noise was coming from. We had a polite but fruitless (shouted over the microphone) discussion with the couple. A trip to our local police was also fruitless since there is a law that noise is allowed until 10pm but we could report them to the EPA-type organization which would send out someone with a noise sensor to determine if it was a problem. Because it was a religious group no one wanted to offend them, while hundreds of people in our valley were subjected to the noise.

I finally caved in, bought ear plugs and read in bed (furtherest room)... and, yes, there was a happy ending. Turns out the couple has moved from our valley to the next one over... so now it's the problem of the couple of hundred people there...

Moral of the story... sometimes it helps to find out what the local laws are. In our case, revival groups are a protected species...

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Old 04-14-2012, 07:07 AM
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shadwell shadwell is offline
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Re: Neighborly advice please....

i'm probably not the best to advise i'd have hit him !!
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Old 04-14-2012, 08:14 PM
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Katie Black Katie Black is offline
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Re: Neighborly advice please....

Honestly I cannot think of anything worse!...its my biggest fear living near to people that constantly make a noise, its a kind of torture, and these type of situations have to be handled really carefully as otherwise they can make your life really miserable and difficult, but it sounds like you did the right thing.

When I lived in an apartment years ago I went downstairs to tell the old man that lived beneath us to expect a little noise as we were having a few people round (for the first time) and he completely threw me by asking "what time are they leaving"
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Old 04-15-2012, 07:59 PM
savedbyhim01 savedbyhim01 is offline
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Re: Neighborly advice please....

Sounds like you did the right thing to me. A similar thing happened to me. I live in an apartment complex. Every night a bucket of water would come pouring out of a some apartment above us. If our kitchen windows were open then the water would come into the kitchen. I went to the apartment above us and asked them about it. Actually they denied it. However, no more water came down. As long as you do it in a polite way, there is no problem with "confronting" a neighbor.
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:08 AM
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loft artist loft artist is offline
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Re: Neighborly advice please....

Politeness usually works .... for a while... but they will revert to their usual inconsiderate ways , just hope they move on to pastures new !
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Old 04-16-2012, 01:44 PM
olive oyl
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Re: Neighborly advice please....

We lived in Boston in the heart of a gay-friendly neighborhood. Our apartment building had 3 floors/3 apartments, and we were in the middle. On the bottom floor lived a single gay man and about once a week, at night, I heard...disturbing crying and whimpering followed by angry yelling. Some "thing" (a door or what?) would repeatedly slam over and over and so loudly it made everything shake. It always woke me up and I tried to imagine what was going on down there. I told myself they were just having their version of "fun" on their "date," so none of it was my business. My husband always snored and slept through it until I woke him up once to listen. He got up and started banging on the bare floor with a wooden broom handle or something and things went suddenly silent. Never heard the neighbor after that and could barely look at the guy when we passed in the downstairs hallway. Both embarrassed. Despite that, I still love that old neighborhood and if we could afford it (one bedrooms sell for around 1M so hahahaha), I'd move back there in a minute.

So yeah, noisy neighbors and I suppose...nosy neighbors, too...are the worst.

But there never seems to be a shortage of people that can annoy and aggravate the sanity right out of you.
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Old 04-16-2012, 05:04 PM
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Re: Neighborly advice please....

Originally Posted by shadwell
i'm probably not the best to advise i'd have hit him !!

Only because a gentleman doesn't hit a man with kilt

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