There’s a big difference between the everyday noise of the city and the cacophony that comes from inconsiderate neighbors. Excessive noise from neighbors can affect your quality of life and ultimately make your apartment unlivable. 

The good news is that there are steps you can take to deal with the problem and restore your peace (and sanity). Take a look at our tips for coping with noisy neighbors:

Familiarize Yourself With The NYC Noise Code

Like every other American city, NYC has a Noise Code that imposes limits on noise, defines nuisance or disturbing noises in terms of decibels, and stipulates quiet times. The aim of the code is to decrease noise from various sources, such as inconsiderate neighbors playing loud music or dragging furniture around their apartment. The idea is to protect the health and comfort of residents in NYC apartments for rent and other homes by regulating noise pollution.

If you moved into a Manhattan apartment for rent hoping for a comfortable living space, and noise pollution is driving you nuts, familiarize yourself with the Noise Code. However, laying a formal complaint or calling the police should be a last resort.

Don’t Address The Problem While It’s Happening

Resist the urge to bang on your apartment wall/ceiling/floor or to march over to your neighbors and confront them while the noise problem is happening. There’s a good chance you’ll be aggressive, use language you’ll regret when you’ve calmed down, and your reaction won’t solve anything.

Keep a record of the noise disturbances, speak to other neighbors who might also be affected by it, and bring the matter to your landlord’s or building management company’s attention.

Approach Your Noisy Neighbor Peacefully

Reach out to your noisy neighbor when you’re feeling calm. Speaking to them face-to-face is best, although if you can’t muster the courage to do that, write them a note. Try to approach them in a collaborative spirit. Explain the issue, and, if appropriate, consider blaming it on the thin walls of New York apartments.  This makes it more about the building and less about them.  

You also could try a gentle bribe, such as giving them a bottle of wine with a short and sweet note explaining the problem and asking if it’s possible to reach a compromise.

Try To Dampen The Noise

There are two ways to approach trying to dampen the noise from your noisy neighbor. Most rentals insist that 80 percent of the floor is covered with carpets or rugs. Try asking your neighbor or landlord to comply with that stipulation (if applicable).

The other way is to try to dampen the noise from your side. See if you can better insulate your apartment with rugs, noise-reducing drapes, ceiling clouds, or bookshelves filled with books (depending on whether the noise is coming from below, outside, above, or next door). Of course, depending on the size of your apartment, some of those solutions might not be practical. We would all choose spacious living in NYC if possible, so if you don’t have space for bookshelves, you might want to try noise-canceling headphones or a white noise machine.

File A Complaint

If all else fails and you’re still dealing with unbearable noise from a neighbor in the New York City apartment for rent you chose, consider complaining to the authorities. The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Police Department (NYPD) share the duties of enforcing the Noise Code.

Call 311 to report a complaint or file your complaint online. You will be directed to the appropriate agency that will deal with your complaint. 

Platinum is here for you. If you have any questions about how to handle noisy neighbors or need help relocating to a quieter space, please reach out to us today.