Noisy upstairs neighbors can be an intensely frustrating problem if you live in a New Jersey apartment or condo. Sometimes, tenants are inconsiderate and make too much noise late into the night. Creaky floors and thin walls can create noise in older New Jersey houses or apartment buildings, even if everyone puts forth their best effort to be quiet.
The lower floor of a building has plenty of perks, but noise from your upstairs neighbors is is not one of them. However, there are non-confrontational options to manage this problem. Read on for seven suggestions on dealing with noisy neighbors in New Jersey:
1. Add soundproofing to your ceiling.
There are a few options for blocking noise that comes through your ceiling. Ceiling clouds are one such option. These are acoustic panels that can drastically reduce the noise and echoes that make it into your apartment. Ceiling clouds come in many different colors and styles, which enables you to choose panels that suit your taste. The only drawback is that they need to be mounted to the ceiling, so you should not install these without your your landlord’s written permission.
If drop ceiling tiles are in place, another option is to install soundproofing material above them. The drop ceiling tiles can also be replaced entirely with soundproof tiles for the best results, but this can be expensive and your landlord may not approve it. Lastly, a DIY alternative is to use thick foam, cut it into rectangles that are similar size to your ceiling tiles, and place them so that they rest on the tiles in the ceiling. This doesn’t require you to make any permanent changes to your unit, and can absorb a great amount of noise from the upstairs tenants.
2. Add extra fixtures to your bathroom.
One of the most notorious locations for noise in most buildings is the bathroom. The tile combined with more open space creates more echo, and additional noise can come from the pipes running through the ceiling and floor.
Place extra mats or rugs on the floor to reduce bathroom noise. You can also hang towels or other coverings on the walls. This will reduce the noise from your neighbors, and also reduce the risk that your noise will carry over to the surrounding units.
3. Make white noise.
Use white noise to help drown out sound if your neighbors are preventing you from sleeping. Many people prefer white noise over complete silence when sleeping anyway. You could use a white noise app on your phone or run a box fan while you sleep to create a soothing hum that blocks the noise from your neighbors.
4. Use earplugs.
Earplugs aren’t a perfect solution to noisy neighbors as they don’t actually eliminate the sound. However, if you only experience noise issues on occasion and don’t want to confront your neighbor, you could keep a few pairs on hand to use when needed. You can use traditional earplugs for daily tasks, or you can try to find earplugs that are designed for sleeping.
5. Talk to your neighbors.
If soundproofing your apartment doesn’t work, it’s time to bring your concerns to the neighbor who’s making the noise. Try to resolve the situation with your neighbor directly before you involve your landlord or property manager, and be as kind and courteous as possible in your first conversation. Your neighbor may truly not realize how noisy they’re being, so a brief request for them to quiet down might be all that you need.
Check your lease to see if it mentions noise. Some apartment buildings require occupants to be quiet from the late night to the early morning. In this case, you could cite this clause to your neighbor so that they don’t think you’re unfairly targeting them.
6. Document the issue.
Ideally, a simple conversation with your neighbor can resolve the noise problem. Unfortunately, though, not all renters will be considerate. If the issue persists, you should gather documentation so that you can make a case to your landlord. Use your phone to record audio when your neighbor is being loud, and keep a log on paper of the noise issues and the time of day that they occur.
You could also talk to your other neighbors to see if they have a similar issue. Although gossiping with your neighbors isn’t advisable, it can be helpful to know that other tenants can back you up. If you’re nervous about filing a complaint, you and a few trusted neighbors could work together to write a letter to your landlord.
7. Talk to your New Jersey landlord.
A noise complain that you can’t resolve on your own should be brought to the attention of your New Jersey landlord or property manager. Their job is to ensure that their building is safe and functional for all tenants, and a noise issue is most likely a violation of the lease.
You can talk to your landlord in-person or over the phone, or you could write them a letter so that you have a record of your complaint. Let them know that you’d like their help resolving a noise problem, explain the issue, and tell them what steps you’ve taken to manage the situation on your own. You’re probably not the only tenant in the building who has had this problem, so your landlord will hopefully take your concern seriously.
Excessive noise from your upstairs neighbors can make it difficult to feel comfortable in your own home. You don’t have to live with this noise problem, though. Whether you reduce the sound by making changes to your apartment or settle the dispute by talking to your neighbor or landlord, you are well within your rights to try to resolve the issue. Everyone deserves to live in peace, and you have several options for ensuring that your home is reasonably quiet.
Dealing with noisy upstairs neighbors can be frustrating, but many people have successfully resolved this issue in their buildings. You could make adjustments to your unit to muffle the noise, or you could take your concerns to your neighbors or your landlord. No matter what course of action you settle on, you’ll be glad that you addressed the problem when you experience true peace and quiet in your home.