Author Topic: Noisy Upstairs Neighbor  (Read 922 times)

Offline Palermo

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Noisy Upstairs Neighbor
« on: February 20, 2021, 12:08:12 PM »
Moved into our small co-op 6 years ago (one of the neighborhood originals), and for the first three, barely heard a thing from the folks upstairs.  Then they had a kid.  It slowed down the parents a bit, as they now walk about flat footed, but it's their child who is always running and stomping about.  It's enough that the hanging lights shake at times.

So I get that part of the deal of co-op living is dealing with noise, so for a while we never said anything until one day  there was so much banging around that folks on the other end of my zoom meeting asked about it.  So I sent an email.  The response was that they had carpets in every room and they would try to tamp down on the running.  If anything, the running and stomping has increased.  It's my impression that they do not think their little girl can make that much noise.

So I wanted to ask the forum, as I imagine some might be in either position while living in century old housing stock, what is a reasonable course here?  How much can you push for someone to get better carpet/padding, how often can you hector them?  Since the first email conversation generated zero results, what's the neighborly next step?  They are nice folks and we have always gotten along.  I have some sympathy too, as it seems like she runs them stupid, so no one is asking for perfection or silence, but the banging around is getting ridiculous.

Or am I wrong in asking at all?  It is just part of the deal that if someone has a kid, the people below them earn a dozen years of constant banging round?

Offline abcdefghijk

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Re: Noisy Upstairs Neighbor
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2021, 09:43:05 PM »
IMO this is part of the price of living in New York apartments.

And we are all dealing with upstairs neighbor noise.

Unless we're on the top floor. And then we probably have to deal with roof leaks.
Or freezing temperatures.

It all adds to the fun of New York living.

The alternative, I suppose is suburban living.

Which is death by boredom and homogeneity.

Offline JHALUM

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Re: Noisy Upstairs Neighbor
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2021, 11:02:18 PM »
Living in apartments with people above you or below you can be quite challenging.  It is quite possible your neighbor will have another child and things could get worse.  It is also possible some of the noise will subside as the pandemic subsides and we can  be outside of our apartments.

I totally disagree with the  comment  that the noise "adds to the fun of NYC living".  I found nothing fun about noisy neighbors and it was one of the reasons I left JH after living there for 40 years.

I think you need to  figure out what  is a reasonable expectation of your upstairs neighbor.  If the noise is only occurring during the daytime and not between 10PM and 7AM maybe you can just tolerate if until the pandemic subsides.  This is especially true if they have carpeting with padding.  I once had a neighbor that didn't  have the required carpeting or padding and made a lot of noise between 6:30 - 8:00 PM lifting weights in the living room and dropping them on the hardwood floors.  I was about to complain until I realized how quiet he was  the rest of the time.   The prior neighbor played his TV in the bedroom above mine until 1AM everyday and I don't thionk this guy even had a TV in the bedroom so I decided I could tolerate his weight lifting in the early evening.

Several inconsiderate neighbors made me become frustrated with apartment living as did the lack of parking when anyone wanted to visit me.  After  living many years with no car and then one car we decided to move when we needed a second car because neither of us worked in Manhattan and we needed our cars everyday for work.  After much consideration we decided to buy a home in Bayside, which was a financial stretch.  It was the best decision we ever made because we love having our own home, yard, parking and quiet time.  Also our home has appreciated about $500K since 2013.   We still visit JH but not as often as we used to and although I will always love JH  and miss walking out my door and strolling down to 37th avenue the benefits far outweighed the downside.  Lots of restaurants in Bayside and  great parks.

Offline Hagop

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Re: Noisy Upstairs Neighbor
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2021, 10:06:32 AM »
Hi Palermo.

I'm writing as a noisy upstairs neighbor. My wife and I live with our 3 year old daughter in a wood frame coop that is notorious for noise. We can hear our downstairs neighbor on the phone pretty clearly, for example.
So we are very sympathetic to the noise our daughter makes. We have carpets everywhere with 1/4" sound absorbed padding underneath. This doesn't seem to help much. We bought her a bunch of thick, play cushion/mat things (they look like gymnastic mats, but about 5" deep) and she knows if she does any physical playing, she has to be on those. It's still not enough.

Kids this age very much need a lot of physical activity, and they will get it by hook or crook. You can't simply tell them not to jump or make noise. Their bodies will just find some way of moving. In normal times, we spend a lot more time out of the house getting that activity. But winter in a pandemic has been awful. No play spaces, no field trips, no zoo. The only thing we can do is go outside to the park. And if the weather is bad we can only stay out so long, or sometimes can't go out at all. She is recently back in in-person pre-school, so I hope that has been helpful for our downstairs neighbor, who I know is unhappy with us. Hopefully, as the weather warms up and the pandemic comes under control, we will be outside more.

But there's really not much else we can do.

So, what I would say is try to keep communication open and genial. Our neighbor refused to do this, and it made matters worse. We tried to find out a little more about their schedule, to help us manager our daughter's time in a way that might synch better. But they refused to do this and would only communicate with us through the super.

You should also consider that it's not that they don't understand how much noise their child can make or that they aren't trying to address it. But maybe they're just out of ideas.

Offline voelteer

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Re: Noisy Upstairs Neighbor
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2021, 12:56:58 PM »
Only chiming in to say there's been some really good perspectives offered here, from both the noisy and the noiseless. I echo (ahem) awaiting the end of pandemic restrictions, dealing directly with the neighbor involved, and only then, if need be, contacting supers/co-op boards. It is, in fact, our own possible plan of action.

Since Covid struck, our upstairs neighbor has been screaming even more often at all hours at his imaginary frenemies; our downstairs neighbors' little boy apparently has only their apartment to tear around (though admittedly just right before and after preschool); and our next-door neighbor has taken up what sound like sad trombone lessons, sometimes twice a day. I am not making this up (though maybe looking for a little "pity-party").

We remind ourselves that the impact on our quality of life is nothing compared to what so many of our fellow JHers have experienced this past year. We will forebear, endure, and survive because, living in NYC, that is simply what you do.  :)

Offline itsit

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Re: Noisy Upstairs Neighbor
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2021, 01:46:52 PM »
 It's so nice to hear these different perspectives. Rational thoughts are being posted here. We all have to think post-Covid which may not be so far away. My family has been both the noise makers, along with dogs barking, and on the receiving end. We were not as aware as the poster here about our culpability and we did make real efforts to change once we were aware of the problem.

  One the other side, we had neighbors when we first moved into the building who said they couldn't imagine what kind of loud noise their toddlers were making as they were around two. A glance inside the moving truck when they left revealed a number of those hard plastic bike things that make a ton of noise of awful noise. I wish they had be candid about it and we could've found a solution somehow. I do think it pays to ask the person directly, negotiate times for noise allowances and to be civil in discussions and behavior.

  And what about the 80% rug coverage? Do you EVER see this? I don't and our co-op does not enforce it even with numerous issues and lawsuits for noise. What do other co-ops do?

Offline BrooklynQueens

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Re: Noisy Upstairs Neighbor
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2021, 04:18:23 PM »
I write this as the kid upstairs screams bloody murder. Our upstairs neighbor has 2 toddlers and one in particular cries and stomps all.the.time. It's frustrating, but we are hoping this is a phase (the crying/screaming part especially) and that it won't be an issue when we are not working from home anymore since we will notice it less. It definitely tests our patience though.

They did acknowledge the noise once, so we try to be understanding. Pre-covid times it wasn't as big of an issue.

I agree with this sentiment below:
We remind ourselves that the impact on our quality of life is nothing compared to what so many of our fellow JHers have experienced this past year. We will forebear, endure, and survive because, living in NYC, that is simply what you do.  :)

Jackson Heights Life

Re: Noisy Upstairs Neighbor
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2021, 04:18:23 PM »