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How to Live with Annoying Neighbors Beneath You

by Eliza Martinez

There's nothing more stressful than neighbors who annoy you and make it hard to relax in your own home. Whether the people beneath you blare loud music night and day, slam doors in the early morning or knock on your door to ask questions or hang out all the time, living with them is necessary unless you find another place to live. Dealing with neighbors takes tact and politeness, but, in most cases, you can come to a compromise you'll both be able to live with.

Talk to Your Neighbors

Your neighbors might not realize they're annoying you. Maybe they don't know you can hear their loud music or heated arguments. Go downstairs to their apartment and ask them up for coffee or a walk around the block. Gently tell them your issues and concerns. Your neighbor might be shocked to learn he's been annoying you all this time. Once he's aware of the problem, he can take steps to satisfy you both. Maybe this means turning up the music between set hours or setting aside certain times to do neighborly things so you don't have to see his face at your door at all hours.

Spend Time Together

If you know your neighbors only by sight, it might be time to get to know them better. Invite your downstairs neighbors up for dinner or a drink and talk about your jobs, interests and hobbies. You might find things you have in common, but an added benefit is that people are generally more kind and thoughtful to someone they have a relationship with. Once you get to know one another, it won't be so hard for you to bring up annoying habits, and your neighbor might be more likely to see your point of view and try to be more considerate of you.

Take Notes

If your attempts at friendly neighborly interaction don't go over well, start a record of the annoying things your downstairs neighbors do. Some of these things might be cause for action from the landlord. Record the hours you lie awake as music rattles your floors, the times your neighbors leave their trash on the stoop or how often they forget their key and ring your buzzer to let them in. Bring your records to your landlord and ask the landlord to intervene on your behalf. Sometimes, the threat of eviction or legal action can calm down neighbors who cause problems for other tenants.

Seek Legal Action

Excessive noise is a problem many neighbors complain about. If your neighbors can't stay quiet, it might be necessary to call the police and make a noise complaint. Call the general station number, not the emergency one, and report the issue and the address where the noise is occurring. You can remain anonymous if you wish. If chronic noise continues, you might have cause to bring legal action against your downstairs neighbors. Contact a lawyer for advice, but be prepared for a backlash from the tenants below.

About the Author

Eliza Martinez has written for print and online publications. She covers a variety of topics, including parenting, nutrition, mental health, gardening, food and crafts. Martinez holds a master's degree in psychology.

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