Why We’re Moving in August


71 Comments
Won't You Never Be My Neighbor

As I type this, I can hear the thump, thump, thumping of our neighbor’s subwoofer. We live in a townhouse and share our right and left walls with our right and left neighbors. We’ve never heard a peep from our neighbors on our left. But our neighbor on our right…. well, it’s an ongoing thang. Like we discussed here, I went and spoke with our neighbor about his subwoofer when I was 35 weeks pregnant. I thought for sure my friendly tone/ginormous belly would make a difference, but no dice. But if I’m being honest, he was definitely drunk during our first encounter. So a few weeks later when our neighbor’s bass was thumping and bumping again, I decided to give it another try. By this point, it was t-minus two days until my due date, which I was certain would melt even his coldest of hearts. I even said as much when I spoke with him.

“I’m having a baby in two days, and I’d really like us to solve this before I bring her home.”
“Okay.” [blank stare]
“If you could just turn down your bass… not even your volume, your bass…. it would help so much.”

The conversation was pretty amicable. I mean, I didn’t bring him his favorite cookies or anything. But still, the thumping and bumping lived on. In the meantime, we contacted our landlord and she directed us to call the police the next time the sound of the subwoofer was bothering us, ensuring us they’d take care of it. Johnny and I were like, “Umm… No.” We couldn’t imagine  calling the cops and threw her advice out the window of possibilities.

Well, when Baby Girl was three weeks old, The Thumper struck again, so we decided to try one final plea. Third time’s the charm? So I knocked on his door. And…… he didn’t answer. Cool. Actually, not cool. No, no, not cool at all Mr. Thumping Man.

So we called the cops. And a police officer showed up at our house and listened to the unwanted bumping bass in our living room. And, well, he wasn’t phased. He said (and I quote), “Unless your dishes are rattling, I can’t make him turn down his bass. This is just a sacrifice you have to make when you share walls.” Let me add that I was holding a sleeping three-week-old in my arms as he stared into our sleep-deprived, bloodshot eyes and told us this. We tried to reason with him: “OK, it’s not rattling our dishes, but that thumping is constant. It’s like Chinese water torture. Doesn’t that mean anything?” But we could see it in his eyes: we had it easy. He’d probably come from a scene with real problems… domestic abuse, drug bust, etc., and here we were complaining about a little thumping.

That was our last-ditch effort to stop the sound. I researched getting out of our rental contract, but it doesn’t look like we have enough cause. So we’re just ignoring it the best we can. Oh, and we’ll be moving at the end of August.

Now that we’ve established that we’re moving, Johnny and I are trying to figure out far in advance just what we want from a new place. It will be less than ideal getting a truck and going through the whole moving song and dance again (not to mention expensive), but we’re gonna make the most of it. We have plenty of time to plan, so we’re going to make sure we find the perfect place for us. And we’ll make certain we meet our neighbors before we sign any contracts.

So I’m interested, what would you do in our same situation? Is there some solution that Johnny and I are missing other than just dealing? Have you had hard experiences with sharing walls? If you happen to be our neighbor and you’re reading this, I’m never baking you cookies.

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71 Comments

  • Reply Laurie @thefrugalfarmer March 22, 2013 at 7:27 am

    Oh, how patient you are. Ironically, one of the reasons we moved from our suburbia single family home to our hobby farm out in the country was because of “The Drummer Boy”. For hours on end, every day, in our upscale neighborhood, the “music” would go on and on and on and on. No amount of begging, pleading and threatening worked (the Drummer Boy was the dad, BTW, not one of the kids. Can you believe it???). We too, just chalked it up as part of having neighbors, but now we’re free, free as the wind. Things here in the country are super laid back, the neighbors are very helpful, and if they ever annoy us, they’re a good several hundred feet away, so it should be bearable. :-). Good luck with your move, guys. Choose carefully. :-)

    • Reply Johnny March 23, 2013 at 1:18 am

      That’s awful. If our next-door neighbor (or your Drummer “Boy”) were younger kids, I’d probably be a little more understanding/lenient. But adults should not behave that way and be so defiant and inconsiderate.

      You’re making the farm-life sound better and better. We really would love to make a move to the country, but my job will likely keep us in city/suburbia life for quite some time.

  • Reply Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies March 22, 2013 at 7:32 am

    I imagine it feels worse than it is largely because of the baby – but I think what you’ve got sounds like par for the course with sharing walls – luckily you can change it!
    And moving isn’t the end of the world. A few hundred bucks for a truck for the day and maybe movers for a couple hours. Consider it the price of not meeting all the neighbors before moving in =)

    • Reply Johnny March 23, 2013 at 1:21 am

      We’ve lived with shared walls our entire marriage and have never had to deal with a neighbor like this. We’re really reasonable people and figured our neighbor would be, too. But it’s a price we hopefully won’t be paying in the future by meeting our neighbors beforehand.

  • Reply Ellie March 22, 2013 at 8:04 am

    As new parents, your sanity is of utmost importance. Take it from a mom who was a sleep deprived zombie for months. Do what you need to to make sure you and baby girl can relax and enjoy each other! Totally worth it!

    • Reply Johnny March 23, 2013 at 1:24 am

      That’s definitely our biggest motivation. If it was just me and Joanna, we could deal with it. But throw a baby in that mix and it’s enough to send us over our breaking point on some nights.

      Glad to know there are fellow zombies out there. :)

  • Reply Johnny Moneyseed March 22, 2013 at 8:12 am

    If you guys are renting then yeah, get the hell out of there. Otherwise, it’s fairly easy to have sound-proofing installed. You may even be able to contact your landlord (if you’re renting) and see how they feel about it.

    I even hate it when I hear people pull into a parking lot or residential neighborhood with their bass thumping. I mean I like to rock out as next as the much guy, but there’s a time and the place. It’s called the highway, or at the least, headphones.

    • Reply Johnny March 23, 2013 at 1:26 am

      If we owned this place, we’d be doing anything and everything in our power to drown out the sound/vibrations. The landlord ought to consider it, but I think she’s pretty cheap.

      Our ears are so trained to the bass now that we can hear cars approaching behind us at stoplights that are bumping their bass. No good.

  • Reply Michelle March 22, 2013 at 8:20 am

    OH NO! The fact that some people can be so stupid just boggles my mind. Can’t people be nice? My neighbors are all nice and it’s probably me and W that they complain about. We now have TWO “muscle” cars that probably make everyone want to kill us at night. However, we do go out of our ways to not drive the loud cars at night time.

    • Reply Johnny March 23, 2013 at 1:30 am

      We’re generally pretty positive people, so it’s a total bummer when we can’t find much good in a situation or a person. If it had been for the occasional party at his house or whatever, we’d have been totally cool. But it’s all.the.time. AND he lives by himself. Lame lame lame.

  • Reply Roo // NiceGirlNotes March 22, 2013 at 8:25 am

    Can you play hardball with the landlord? “Make him stop or allow us to break our lease, penalty-free?”

    • Reply Johnny March 23, 2013 at 1:32 am

      We could probably play that game, but we like our landlord and don’t feel comfortable making her sweat. She’s tried to do her part to remedy the situation… for the most part. But she’s going to have to deal with this dude indefinitely. Which sucks.

  • Reply Executioner March 22, 2013 at 8:26 am

    This is exactly why my wife and I decided against buying a place with shared walls/ceilings/floors right after we got married. We wanted a free-standing structure with some space between us and the neighbors. I am convinced that there are some people who are accustomed to a lot of constant noise and don’t realize how annoying it can be to others who prefer the silence.

    Have you looked into a sound conditioner? It won’t obliterate everything, but it helps.

    • Reply Johnny March 23, 2013 at 1:35 am

      What’s funny is we were actually considering buying a townhome as a starter home and after this experience, we’ve completely written that idea off. Like you, free-standing structure or bust.

      We’ve tried a lot of things to no avail. The best remedy we’ve found is watching our TV really really loud, which is a pretty terrible bandaid.

  • Reply Cait March 22, 2013 at 8:35 am

    Heck yes, I would move! If you rent and, therefore, don’t have the right to rip down and soundproof walls, moving is something you need to do – if only to keep your sanity! Although, I do like Roo’s suggestion as well. Either way, you’re still moving… but maybe you can get outta there sooner.

    • Reply Johnny March 23, 2013 at 1:38 am

      Moving is more or less our last resort unless we wanted to get real nasty and vindictive. Which we don’t really feel up for. We’ve kinda accepted that we’ll be here until August. We keep telling ourselves the weather will be nice and warm in no time so that we can spend those thumping wall hours outside on walks with Baby Girl.

  • Reply Nate March 22, 2013 at 8:40 am

    You should check your local ordinances and state laws about renting. Also look at your lease to see if there is a ‘quiet enjoyment’ clause or something similar. In my state if the landlord fails to enforce this issue you can legally withhold rent or break your lease without penalty. I don’t think I’d take it that far right away but a series of letters to the landlord citing the relevant state statutes and lease clauses will go a long way to making your case if it ever comes to court action. If you become the squeaky wheel in your landlord’s eyes they may realize that it’s in her best interest to address this with the ‘thumping’ tenant and not pawn the issue off to the police.

    • Reply Johnny March 23, 2013 at 1:41 am

      That’s good advice, Nate. We’ve actually done a pretty deep dive into our contract and state laws as it pertains to renters. Unfortunately, there’s not much there to protect the renter in a situation like this.

      The lame thing is that we really like our landlord. She’s tried to be helpful, but I think she fears setting him off and having him be a pain for her indefinitely. But we’re going to tell her it’s high time for her to go over there and chat with her neighbor before it becomes a bigger issue with future tenants.

      • Reply Kristy @ Kristy's Health Revolution March 29, 2013 at 3:18 pm

        I get that you like her, but she doesn’t seem like a good landlord at all. I’ve had this problem before in rentals, and the landlord was never ‘afraid’ to intervene. I think mostly people are more likely to listen to a landlord than a neighbor. It’s so weird to me that she refuses to get involved and that nobody on this post seems to think that is weird.

  • Reply Brian March 22, 2013 at 9:08 am

    Have you explored the flamming bag of dog poo on the doorstep option?

    Is there an HOA or Condo Association you could complain to? Sometimes they have their own rules that are more strict. In the end moving is probably your best option.

    • Reply Johnny March 23, 2013 at 1:43 am

      Hahaha. No we haven’t. And one things for sure… we’ve got lots of cat and baby poo around this house right now. :)

      We are part of the HOA and our landlord has tried taking it up with their legal team, but there’s nothing in the charter for a situation like this. So they’re considering drafting something for the next meeting, but if and when it would be implemented, we’ll likely be long gone by then.

  • Reply My Financial Independence Journey March 22, 2013 at 9:10 am

    I’ve experienced both sides of this interaction. I have been asked by my neighbors to turn down my sub-woofer, which I do. Given that I never heard from them again, I assume that I solved the problem.

    I have also asked neighbors to turn down their music, particularly at late night hours so I can sleep. No one cared. The police are often useless. The landlord is also useless unless they are trying to put together a list of reasons to kick the person out.

    Depending on where you live, it might be easier to wait out the problem. I’ve shared a lot of apartment complexes with students. Every year, well over 50% of the people turnover.

    • Reply Johnny March 23, 2013 at 1:49 am

      Problem is our neighbor owns his townhouse. So he ain’t going anywhere fast.

      We’ve had neighbors bang on our wall before when I’ve gotten overly animated during college football games, but that’s it. And I’ve always obliged and turned down the volume of my vocal chords.

  • Reply [email protected] March 22, 2013 at 9:18 am

    Wow as I am reading this article all I can think about is our neighbor’s that live in front of us. We live off the street and share a driveway with an older couple that if we did not occasionally see them would think the house was abandoned. Not so much with the house in front of use. It is a family with 6 children and usually either pitbulls or american bulldogs roaming the backyard. Not to mention their kids running up and down our driveway and jumping the fence even though there is a park right across the street from them. We have warned them about the dogs I don’t know how many times. Either their constant barking at us or terrifying starring as we are in our own yard trying to do things. Sometimes both the dogs or the kids could be out extremely late at night or in the morning. Things have gotten better but it is a pain in the butt when you have neighbors that do not respect anything or anyone. I hope it works out for you.

    • Reply Johnny March 23, 2013 at 2:09 am

      That sounds like a similarly lousy neighbor situation you’ve got yourself in. And I really don’t like the idea of having unleashed pitbulls and bulldogs near my house. Especially with our little girl.

      The frustrating thing is definitely the lack of respect and consideration. I can’t imagine having the gall to completely ignore someone else’s request.

      • Reply [email protected] March 23, 2013 at 11:18 am

        Well apparently we were raised better than our neighbors. We found out later that our neighbors were low income housing which is how they can afford to live in our neighborhood. Not that it is a rich neighborhood, but with 6 kids and the parents with obviously low income jobs, there is no way they would be able to afford it. The problem has gotten better since a little incident happened last fall, or maybe it is just that it is winter time and they do not like the cold. The incident was when I was walking my dog down our driveway and one of the bull dogs easily scaled their fence. Before I knew what the sound was he was at my dogs neck. I pulled my dog back as I was already in the process of thrusting my foot forward as hard as I could. The dog got a glancing blow to the side of the head and took off running around their house. At that point I lost it and just started screaming anything and everything that came out of my mouth. Finally the mom, whom I never met after them living there for 2 years came out with the rest of the family. After speaking with her she apologized up and down and said that she was never made aware of those other situations and she will take care of it. Apparently she works two jobs and is not around much and is the only person in the house with any decency.

  • Reply Heidi March 22, 2013 at 9:36 am

    So. Many. Thoughts. lol I can’t even give examples because there are so many instances running through my mind I can’t settle on just one. It happends to all of us unfortunately. The worst part for us is we looooove our apt. and we loooove our landlord. The neighbors, not so much unfortunately… Stay stong!

    • Reply Johnny March 23, 2013 at 2:11 am

      Haha. In our five years of marriage, we’ve shared walls with neighbors for all five years. We’ve had little problems here and there (like our downstairs pothead in NYC who got our cat high), but otherwise, we’ve enjoyed that time. It’s a shame this dude has spoiled the final leg (fingers crossed) of our shared-wall journey.

  • Reply Carrie March 22, 2013 at 10:07 am

    Have you tried directly telling your landlord that if they do not help solve this issue you are leaving at the end of your lease? Putting myself in the landlord’s shoes, I’d rather keep you happy and in the place than risk it sitting empty. Besides, if the loud tenant stays, the next people that move in your place are going to complain too. The landlord can threaten the loud tenant with eviction or install soundproofing between the walls. I don’t know what else you can do to address the problem. If you end up moving, I hope the new place is a lot better!

    • Reply Johnny March 23, 2013 at 2:14 am

      We’ve put it in very clear terms that we’re out at the end of our contract. The funny thing is she’s a real estate agent and somehow thinks in her head that we’re going to buy a house after this and use her… !!! We like her fine, but a. we’re not buying a home, b. we’ve never even talked to her about buying a home, c. that’s quite presumptuous to assume she’d be our realtor.

      She definitely needs to get control of the situation though, because like you said, this problem will persist with future tenants. Especially since our neighbor owns his townhouse and ain’t going anywhere.

  • Reply Miranda March 22, 2013 at 10:21 am

    I had a similar situation. Townhome. Bass-thumpin’ 18 year-old neighbor. He decided to turn up the beat around 11 every night.That’s when I was going to bed. Luckily he was pretty compliant when he discovered that I had no problem ringing his doorbell in my bathrobe every.single.time it happened. It only took a couple of times for him to figure out how loud was too loud. Granted, I didn’t go over there during the day. It was only after 10. If he was playing music during the day I didn’t go say anything. I agree with some of the other comments that you should check into city ordinances/lease agreements/etc. I agree that you could also just wait it out. Try asking him if he plans on renewing his lease. Also, maybe try the police again. Some officers may be more apt to go talk to him. Maybe the police officer who answered your call doesn’t know the sleeplessness of parenthood whereas another one might at least go say something to him. A friend of mine is a police officer and I get the feeling that a lot of the way that they answer calls is up to their own discretion. Might be worth another try. If all else fails, loud sexy-time is really fun revenge.

    • Reply Johnny March 23, 2013 at 9:54 am

      I think you’re spot on about just getting the luck of the draw with officers and how they view the situation. It was pretty frustrating. We read the laws again and we were and are well within our rights to have the police intervene. So we might try again on a louder night when we’re at our wits end.

      Thanks for the suggestions.

  • Reply JMK March 22, 2013 at 11:08 am

    When we eventually downsize for our early retirement, we’ll be selling our home on 3 acres, 20 minutes out from the edge of town and moving to a condo in the suburbs. First of all a single home does not guarantee peace and quiet. Our neighborhood of homes all on 2-3 acres is generally quiet, but on a regular basis, you can hear dogs barking. We have the luxury of a couple of acres of forest between us, but if you are reading quietly on your porch, it will still eventually drive you nuts. It’s amazing how far sound carries when you move to a quiet area. We actually noticed the noises more here in the country that we did when we lived in our newlywed townhome. In the suburbs we aparently had learned to ignore the general hum of the neighborhood, but in the silence of the country any noise is noticible. When we retire in 7 yrs we’ve already decided we’ll be buying a condo in a particular building which does not permit dogs. We currently have an elderly dog. I love dogs in general. I just don’t want to live next door to someones barking dog for the rest of my days. The building is lovely for many reasons, but it’s the only one in the area I’m aware of with the dog restriction and that alone made the decision for me. When we eventualy get around to shopping for our condo I’ll be making multiple viewing appointments at different times of day on different days of the week to see what sort of noise we can expect from the human neighbours. Total silence on a weekday afternoon doesn’t guarantee the same thing on Saturday evening. It’s generally a building preferred by the 50+ crowd, so I don’t expect a huge problem, but I’d want to be certain before buying.

    • Reply Johnny March 23, 2013 at 10:00 am

      That’s really interesting about sounds travelling and being more noticeable in quiet areas. What’s funny is we probably had the easiest time with noise in NYC, the city that never sleeps. There were always car alarms going off, sirens, etc., but it was so constant, that it was hard to sleep whenever we’d leave the city for a few nights.

      It sounds like you did your homework on your next place. That’s great, and Joanna and I would be smart to do likewise for this upcoming move to avoid a similar problem.

  • Reply Grayson @ Debt Roundup March 22, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    I know a little punk kid in my neighborhood (wait, right across the street) that loves to just turn his car on and pump the bass. I used to be a little ass like that until my mom heard me driving around. I would probably exact some revenge, but you can get in trouble with that. I would move, but first I would check all applicable laws and dig through the lease contract to find any loophole.

    • Reply Johnny March 23, 2013 at 10:09 am

      Without getting a lawyer involved, I think we’re out of loophole options. So we’ll probably just wait it out. But I think we’ll throw some revenge his way the last week of our contract to give him a little taste of his own medicine. What you don’t like me hammering nails into our walls at 3am? Ooops, sorry.

  • Reply Catherine March 22, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    If I lived in an apartment, I’d move for sure. What an asshole! Honestly, what is wrong with people!? We’ve only lived in one apartment and were lucky for two reasons 1) we were the youngest ones by about 50 years and 2) the apartments had concrete structure so it was super quiet even if the old ladies had their TV’s blasting to 1000 :)

    • Reply Johnny March 23, 2013 at 10:15 am

      Right?! We’re really agreeable people usually (at least I think), so it’s been crazy for us to see someone so determined to maintain his own quality of life, even if that means driving his neighbors crazy. After rehashing all this stuff, it makes me want to put down the laptop, ring his doorbell and punch him in the face… and then have the same lame cop show up and arrest me for assault… yeah, maybe I won’t do that. :)

  • Reply MomofTwoPreciousGirls March 22, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    How about recording baby girl during a really bad hungry cry and looping it to play right where his bedroom would be at oh maybe 6am. Just turn up your own player with her screaming and leave the house for awhile! Like 4 hours. Maybe he will learn a lesson…nor I like pp that suggested flaming bag of poo!

    What a bouchedag!!!

    • Reply Johnny March 23, 2013 at 10:25 am

      Hahaha. What’s funny is we’ve actually thought about doing something like this. But knowing this dude, he would make it a point to make our lives even more miserable. So I think we’ll wait until we’ve only got a few weeks left in our contract before we start teaching him a lesson. At that point, I’ll open up the floor to more suggestions. :)

  • Reply Chris March 22, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    I would’ve lost it miles before you decided to move. Especially if my baby was trying to sleep and homeboy couldn’t get by without his Tupac. I sound old. I’m not old.

    In college, I shared a wall in the dorms with some guy that used to play loud rap music early in the morning. So we decided to get back at him and play really loud rock music when he started every morning. He thought it was funny and came to talk to us. We explained to him that his beats were too phat for the walls and he moved his stereo around and turned the bass down so that he didn’t bother us. Ended up being a pretty cool guy.

    Another thing I always dealt with was people smoking weed in the next apartment. It used to drive me crazy. I lived in the ghetto though so maybe that was why.

    • Reply Johnny March 23, 2013 at 10:35 am

      Haha. Good stuff in here. I expected our neighbor to be a cool guy, despite the red flag that he was bumping techno in a house by himself at all hours of the day and night. Icing on the cake, he smokes on his back porch which is only 5-10 feet away from our sliding screen porch door, so we can never keep our back door open. Sounds like a cool dude, right?

      Now I sound like *I’m* old. I’m not either. :)

  • Reply jrm March 22, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    My shared wall neighbor actually plays his bass too much as well. It’s usually during the day on the weekends and it hasn’t been to the point yet where I’m going to talk to him about it but it could easily get to that point. I do know though that one other neighbor complained 6 months back, went to the apartment manager and the apt mgr got all up in the bass thumper’s grill. The apt mgr talked to me about it too, to see if it bothered me, so it’s good knowing that if it gets bad again the manager will help out. Now with that said, the apartment manager is generally a person who gets on my last nerve and is all up in everyone’s business so….

    I think you’ve taken all the approriate steps. I agree with what someone upthread said in that looking into all the various legal/tenant law options to see if you there isn’t some hidden clause or something that could help you all out.

    • Reply Johnny March 23, 2013 at 10:37 am

      We like our landlord and thinks she’s a nice lady, but we definitely think she needs to step up her game with confronting the guy face-to-face. After all, she’s going to have deal with him for a long long time after we leave this place. This whole situation though has got me rethinking rental properties… I don’t know if I’m cut out for being a landlord. Maybe I could just hire someone to do all the dirty work. :)

  • Reply Melinda Gonzalez March 22, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    One of the worst things about living in the city is the noise issues. I am especially sensitive to noise, and I cannot imagine having to deal with it with a baby.

    My neighbors dog used to bark constantly at night, until I finally started throwing pieces of meat over the fence to shut him up. I am guessing that probably wouldn’t work with your neighbor?

    Not to sound biased, but this is why I moved into an old retired Jewish community. The most noise I hear is the various wind chimes the old folks love to put up. I can handle that.

    • Reply Johnny March 23, 2013 at 10:40 am

      Hahaha. That’s awesome that you took the dog barking situation into your own hands. I’m not totally sure if that would work in this situation, but I’m willing to give everything a shot right now. The sad thing is when we scoped out the neighborhood, we heard that a lot of the community was comprised of empty nesters. We just happened to pick the spot next to the middle-aged techno dude who never leaves his house. :)

  • Reply Ty March 22, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    The worst I’ve probably had it was when our neighbors regularly had a guest over. This person would park their van across our little street and just blast away. This wasn’t bump bump but boom boom, rattling our windows into the night. I can’t bring myself to understand this.

    Fortunately we live in a much quieter neighborhood now. The biggest noisemakers here are cats picking fights with each other in the middle of the night. And pidgeons. I had no idea how loud pidgeons could be until I had one sitting outside my window.

    • Reply Johnny March 23, 2013 at 10:47 am

      Pigeons? I had no idea they make sounds. Actually I take that back… when we lived in NYC they’d come hang out on our fire escape and make weird coo’ing noises. I think it was their mating call or something. It probably would have annoyed us if it weren’t for the fact that it provided hours of entertainment for our cat who would sit and stalk her prey on the other side of the glass.

  • Reply Nooneyouknow March 22, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    “If you could just turn down your bass… not even your volume, your bass…. it would help so much.”

    I have had that conversation so many times with several different neighbors, and I don’t even share my walls with anyone. When the weather’s nice many of my neighbors will go outside to work on their cars, throw parties, or just hang out – always with an accompanying car stereo. Some are fine, some are really annoying. The worst offender lives a few doors down and behind me, his truck’s sub is loud enough my walls quite literally shake. The cops almost looked happy on the few times I called them, he’s given them enough trouble they’ll take any opportunity to give him trouble – one time they even arrested him. I don’t even bother asking that particular guy to turn it down anymore, either no one in that household speaks English or they pretend not to understand.

    Then there was my apartment neighbor whose music was so loud during the day I had to call in sick for my night shift – he tried to rob my apartment that same night. His music was much quieter after that arrest, but it was still part of my motivation to buy my house – no more sharing walls!

    I’d suggest you try the police at least one more time when it really gets bad, maybe you’ll get a less jaded officer next time. Or leave a note that clearly spells out what the issue is? It might also help to put thick blankets on the walls, although I don’t know how you’d do that without making holes. Worst comes to worst, you can always try crying to the neighbor – or bring your daughter over while she’s screaming.

    • Reply Johnny March 23, 2013 at 10:53 am

      Man, our neighbor situation sounds delightful compared to yours! That must have been terrible! Your neighbor tried to rob your apartment? I bet you were the happiest person in the world the day you signed the papers on your house. Congrats!

      We’ve considered bringing our crying, poopy girl over late one night when it’s bad and then be forced to yell at him to be heard over her crying. I think that will probably be our plans for our next visit over there. And then we’ll do the cops again.

  • Reply Jane Savers @ The Money Puzzle March 22, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    I would not like sharing walls. There is ten feet between my house and weird people next door and if my windows are open then their cigarette smoke blows in my windows. What a way to wreck that first cup of morning tea in the spring when the birds are chirping and the sun is shining.

    At least the worst member of that family, the always screaming the F word kid, has moved out.

    Just remember the old saying The Devil You Know…..

    • Reply Johnny March 23, 2013 at 10:56 am

      We didn’t mention it in the post, but the icing on top to his thumping bass is that he also smokes on his back porch. And that means we can’t leave our back foor open unless we want our family room to reek of smoke.

      Glad to hear the the “always screaming the F word kid” is gone. Those are never fun conducive to a nice homey environment.

  • Reply Michelle March 22, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    I seem to always share walls. I own a garden level unit and with places like that you have to worry about overhead noise. Happily, I own my place and am president of our 3 person HOA. HEHE. The tenant above me has lived there for years and is pretty respectful and aware of how her noise affects me. The owner on the other side is great too! I’ve been pretty fortunate so far. But, my next home will be a stand alone. I’m sorry that he’s being such a tool and I hope that things will let up soon.

    • Reply Johnny March 23, 2013 at 11:00 am

      President of a 3 person HOA… nice! This is actually our first place without a neighbor living above us. We were pretty fortunate that we never had any problems with stomping overhead noise. We did have problems with downstairs neighbors who liked marijuana a little too much. But I would take them any day over our current next door jerk.

  • Reply Rob March 24, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    Sorry to read about your next door neighbour’s “village idiot” antics. I would say that move you must but here’s another consideration:
    since you still like your landlord (whom you say is in real estate), perhaps you might want to get her help in finding your next rental location – perhaps some other place closeby (thereby cutting down moving costs), perhaps another rental that she owns (where she could give you a decent break on the lease), perhaps another place that she knows of (whether she owns it or not) where she knows it would be more appropriate to your needs. It wouldn’t hurt to run it all by her, right? Nothing ventured, nothing gained considering that you’ll be moving this August in any case.

    • Reply Johnny March 24, 2013 at 10:27 pm

      Those are definitely things worth considering. I’m sure she’d much rather have our business as buyers, but that ain’t happening. So hopefully we can include her in our upcoming search. Thanks for the ideas.

      • Reply Rob March 25, 2013 at 6:58 am

        Here’s another suggestion: rather than having to tough it out until August (when you planned to move), why not ask your landlord to fully pay for someone to come in and totally soundproof your place. I figure that sooner or later that she’d have to do that anyway if she wanted to keep renting that place. If you approach her carefully then perhaps she’d agree so that then you wouldn’t have to move (and spend $) in August. It would be a cheap solution. If required, you might work out a compromise to have her pay for the materials if you do the labor. Explore all your options. Good luck.

  • Reply C March 28, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    Hey, just a head’s up while you’re looking for a new place; before you sign anything, stay there overnight. What I mean is, if you are about to buy a piece of property, sleep in your car, rent a room nearby, whatever you have to do to check out the night scene. There’s the real estate warning about the woman who bought a beautiful home in a nice neighbor only to find out her home rattles at night when planes fly into a nearby air strip. In my case, we only found out about some of the neighbors in the apartment complex at night. You would never see them during the day, but at night they’d hang out by the entrance to the complex and run out into the parking lot to deal drugs from about 1-4am.

    • Reply Johnny March 29, 2013 at 1:36 pm

      This is a really good suggestion. It’s kinda crazy to think you’re signing your life away for a year without knowing much more than what the place looks like. What’s funny is that we actually live near the landing path of the airport, too. We didn’t find that out until our first week after moving in. It doesn’t bother us anymore, but then and there, I told myself if and when we buy, we are going to make darn sure that everything meets our standards. And staying in the neighborhood overnight seems like the best bet. Thanks!

  • Reply Kristy @ Kristy's Health Revolution March 29, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    Ok, what baffles me here is your landlord’s response. It was absurd of her to tell you to call the police. Of course the police can’t do anything about it, he isn’t actually causing a disturbance. It actually makes me kind of angry that your landlord insisted that you call the police for such a minor issue. Our police forces are underpaid, understaffed and overworked, and that’s just….in bad taste.

    Now, I’m not saying you don’t have a complaint — oh, you do, but it is 100% your landlord’s responsibility to take care of the situation, not yours and definitely not the police. Just like you have a rental agreement that you must live up to, she also has a part in that agreement — and it is that you must be able to live there. The constant bass-thumping is NOT something that you should have to live with, at all, and it’s the irresponsibility of the landlord to take appropriate action.

    I can’t believe she told you to call the cops. Wow.

    • Reply Joanna April 1, 2013 at 12:40 am

      I completely agree with you, Kristy. Johnny and I have definitely discussed with each other that our landlord should talk to the guy herself. I’m not sure why she won’t. I’ve checked what would be deemed “unlivable,” and I don’t think our complaint is considered grounds for being able to break our contract, so I can’t really use that as a threat with her. There’s a lot I could say about our landlord… but it would be a post in and of itself. We’re trying to stay on good terms with her so we won’t have both our neighbor AND her making our lives miserable. But, yeah, we’re put out that she won’t talk to the guy herself. I need you here to talk some sense into her! :)

  • Reply Pros and Cons of Moving Yourself | Our Freaking Budget April 1, 2013 at 7:06 am

    […] six times. Each move has had its own reason: internship, graduation, new job, and soon to be, lameface neighbor. The longest we’ve lived in a single dwelling is 23 months, and we’ve lived in five […]

  • Reply Erika April 19, 2013 at 11:23 pm

    We just moved into our newest place on Monday and we’re having the same issue. I’m hesitant to say anything because we’re also expecting our second baby in June. I don’t want to complain to this bass-thumping neighbor and end up being just as loud (although, in my opinion, for a better reason- it’s not for a lack of courtesy, like he apparently has with us). I don’t understand the desire or need to be so loud and rude- even when I was younger, I was very aware of other people- that’s how my mama raised me! :)

    • Reply Johnny April 20, 2013 at 1:31 pm

      The different between a baby and bass is that one of them has a volume knob. Also one of them is a HUMAN! :) The bass isn’t necessary and any considerate neighbor would recognize that. Unfortunately, it sounds like we’re both in a situation without that type of neighbor.

      Good luck, and congrats on the baby!

  • Reply MDavey December 19, 2013 at 2:25 am

    Just finished yelling at my neighbors for this very thing.

    I didn’t start out yelling at them, but it soon devolved into a major shouting match. It’s their “sub-woofers”, apparently, both vehicles and house. Bugs the hell out of me, all night long. Feels like somebody thumping me in the sternum.

    I don’t even want to know what they do all night long over there, but they’re up rumbling and bumping and thudding the night away, while we’re a few dozen feet away attempting to sleep. Not just weekends, either. Weeknights.

    Hubby talked to them about it a few months ago, but apparently they thought one night of quiet would be plenty enough for us. I finally called the cops a week ago after 2 nights of not getting to sleep till 1 and 2 a.m. when it finally stopped.

    By the time the officer arrived, it was down so low he couldn’t hear it. That’s what they do, you know—turn it to minor earthquake a few minutes or seconds, then back to distant rolling thunder that one feels more than hears, and it’s hard to pinpoint where that kind of rumble is even coming from, for sure. Either level bothers me terribly.

    So when I heard it good & loud at 11 p.m. tonight, I was positive it was them. Drove right over, laid on my car horn until they both came out, told them straight up, it’s after 11 p.m., your music is keeping us awake, we’ve told you before, now get rid of the subwoofers or the next visit would be from the cops. They managed to hold it together in a druggy sort of way until I said that magic word, “cops”. Then the woman ordered me off “her property” and the man said “you’re just a regular old b-[word], aren’t you?” ( Like that’s supposed to scare me). I said, ” I sure am a b—-, buddy, and I live right over there, and you better not forget it! ”

    Then I backed around, threw a little gravel, barely missed their collection of nasty roadside trash cans, and called the cops (again) from my place. Officer who showed up still couldn’t hear it, same as before. Not surprised. Down to a low rumble. But I don’t care. From now on, I told him, I’m calling the cops every time it bothers me, regardless of how phantom it might seem by the time y’all get here.

    I figure if I bother the cops enough, maybe they’ll do something about it. Plus, when I said “cops”, to those two, it was like they got stung by the same bee. Something illegal going on over there, willing to bet. They did smell like pot…or something. Maybe crack. Maybe cops will spot something more important, if they go over for a noise complaint, right?

    And yeah, I’ve already called their landlord (yeah, they’re renters…surprise surpise), and my councilman. Not much help. Next I’m calling the department of public works. Not that I really care they don’t ever move their trash cans from the street, and that beside one, there’s a pile of liquor bottles topped with crusty vomit au gratin, and that they’ve stacked up discarded yard and household debris way too far from the road for garbage to pick up and it’s now covered in 2 months of weeds, all of which is subject to fines, but at this point, I’m just trying to make their self-centered, drugged out, blast-the-neighbors-outta-their-shoes lifestyle just a little less easy.

    If the nighttime booming continues, I’ll also be cranking up my lawn mower at 7 a.m. Hubby has firewood to cut with the chain saw, and early morning is definitely the best time. And I think the boat horn needs testing, and our metal shed really could use a roof repair. After all, the neighbors seem to go for that heavy metal sound. What’s not to love about a hammer pounding a nail into sheet metal when you’re trying to sleep, right?

    BTW, just so you all know, in my entire adult life (let’s just say, several decades) I have never, ever, called the cops on a neighbor. Ever. And I have some neighbors the cops know well. Usually I’m a really nice, tolerant person…H, I’m a danged LIBERAL DEMOCRAT—but get on my last nerve as these two have, and I go into major b—-word mode. That’s an apt description of me in this state, and I take it as a high compliment even though it wasn’t meant as one.

    So unless this nighttime noise stops and stops now, my new hobby will be making my next door neighbors’ lives difficult. I figure, if their nighttime fun causes me to lose sleep, I’ll at least have a little daytime fun making them miserable any way I can. Legally, of course.

    Yep… she might be old and gray, but this B is Back!

    • Reply Johnny December 30, 2013 at 12:43 am

      Ugh… it’s just the worst, right? We’ve since moved far, far away from our awful, no-good loser of a neighbor, but reading your experiences brought back haunting, thumping memories.

      Hopefully your cops will be more helpful than ours and you’ll put an end to the madness. Best of luck, B! 😉

  • Reply Good Reads for the Week Ending 3/22/13 | The Frugal FarmerThe Frugal Farmer April 26, 2014 at 10:38 pm

    […] over at Our Freaking Budget wrote about Why They’re Moving in August.  If you’ve ever had annoying neighbors, you’ll identify with their need to […]

  • Reply Montrealer August 14, 2014 at 10:52 pm

    Hi there,
    I stumbled upon this page in researching what the **** my neighbour below could be doing to cause constant vibrations in my place, with constant video-game “boom” sounds heard in every room yet nothing else coming through the floor or walls (a slight improvement over the constant TV blasts at 3 a.m. I used to get). Obviously there is some noise-cancelling going on down there, but if the solution is to fool my brain but vibrate my guts (and those of my pets), then I am not sure what is worse. I haven’t spoken to the guy, but I figure that if months and months of smashing the floor at 3am stops him only for a few minutes until he is right back at it, then he is the type who, like your neighbours, Johnny and Joanna, won’t give a ****. (At least he has stopped yelling for 3 hours straight during the evening, as he did at least once a week when he first moved in.)
    I am at my wit’s end — I moved to this place because my last flat was neighbour-hell too, and I don’t want to move again so soon. The super and landlord could not be less moved, either.
    SO… any tips on blocking out these low vibrations? Or causing my own? Stomping on his head at 6 am have grown pointless and exhausting, not to mention ineffective.
    People — they’re the worst! 😉

    • Reply Julie September 8, 2014 at 1:35 pm

      Hey Montrealer and others,
      Read this entire post today and it helped ease my frustration somewhat. Like you Montreal, oh and I am in Ottawa btw, my next door neighbor is home all the time and plays straight up bass thumping music all day (I know cause sometimes he cranks it really loud) but most of the time I hear thumping, banging and rumbling noise that also vibrates the floor. Justmoved here

  • Reply Julie September 8, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    Hey Montrealer and others,
    Read this entire post today and it helped ease my frustration somewhat. Like you Montreal, oh and I am in Ottawa btw, my next door neighbor is home all the time and plays straight up bass thumping music all day (I know cause sometimes he cranks it really loud) but most of the time I hear thumping, banging and rumbling noise that also vibrates the floor. I have health issues and am also home a lot so can’t get the rest I need, and so on. All stuff that has already been posted here. Complained in writing to landlord and they sent him letters, complain to bylaw when noise is really loud and they go and warn him but he just don’t care. I am waiting for an apartment better suited to my needs but that might come next month or next year (probably not longer than that) and I am still under my one year lease so will wait it out here until new unit is available – and who is to say things will be better there right! I do think that music that emphasizes bass so much as well as extremely powerful (and affordable!) home theater systems are parts of the problem, as well as the people choosing to play this kind of music on a powerful system in an apartment building. I do not think that exposure to these physical effects from bass music is at all healthy, but most people do not understand this. Sometimes when it is bad I tell myself that it is not for long…glad I am renting at this point.

    • Reply Montrealer November 17, 2014 at 2:53 pm

      Hi Julie et. al,
      Decided to check this site again today–so sorry for your own subwoofer hell!
      You are so right that affordability of high-powered stereo and home-theatre systems does not make for good neighbours, nor do wall-mounted flat-screen tvs, etc.
      And really, this guy is home all day and night smoking drugs and playing video games? Well, I know why he’s home all day… 😉
      In any case, I hope you find better housing and with better neighbours. I can’t imagine being so uncaring and a constant nuisance…
      My superintendant has had minimal success getting this fool to keep it down (he always slowly creeps back up to full-blown pest), so Saturday eve, after feeling his video blasts and hearing his tv blast up through the wall, and after no change after I smashed the floor, I texted the super that I would be contacting the bldg. owner, who hopefully will be less useless…
      Good luck to you and everyone…

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