Noise complaints from downstairs neighbor

By Missie


    My family and I have recently moved back to Florida and have rented an apartment in what we thought was a very nice complex. We moved in in June and it is now November.. We had two previous downstairs neighbors who never had a complaint. However last month we got a new neighbor. This man and his family have noise complaints against us. Granted we are a family of 8. We have four teenagers ages 19, 17, 16, and 14 a toddler ( 22 months old) and a newborn ( 4 months old).  Our toddler is slightly overactive and is difficult some nights to put to bed. The first incident happened within a few days of this family moving in. Our son dropped his bottle on the floor and it resulted in a very loud banging on our floor. The banging was loud enough to frighten our newborn and toddler into a fit. The next day the man stops my husband and son outside our building and is very rude and tells them we need to get a “grip” on our child that he should not create any noise pollution anytime he wants. The neighbor stated that this is because he is running a business out of his apartment. My husband politely tried to explain that our son was only a small child and incapable of understanding.  One night my husband and older children took out the trash and my toddler, infant and i were left in the apartment and a few minutes after they left there was an extremely loud beating on the floor. My infant son was in his car seat across the room and was startled so badly he cried for three hours after the incident, not to mention the toddler who was on his way to the bathroom with me, he was so frightened he jumped into my arms and refused to get down for over an hour. Afterwards we spent half the night trying to calm them and get them comforted enough to sleep. The knocking sometimes starts at 1 in the afternoon and will happen anytime there is noise, even if the noise is in the stairwell outside of the apartments.  Skipping forward to this past weekend, there were policemen knocking on doors of our building at 1:30 in the morning, stating that they had a domestic complaint and it was unclear where or why, except it was coming from one of two buildings the address was mixed up during the call and now this morning we have received a notice from property management that they have received a noise complaint. The only noise that could possibly be heard from outside this apartment is our 22 month old son. Our older children are not permitted to play loud music or anything else ( they know the rules and are very good about abiding by them). Clearly we are at a loss because there is no way to make a toddler understand about noise control,  which brings me to my question, what are we to do? We can not afford to be evicted and do not know how to please this neighbor as they obviously have an issue with our toddler.

Edited on: Wednesday, March 14th, 2012 12:11 am

8 Responses to “Noise complaints from downstairs neighbor”

My response: (We welcome stories, examples, explanations, answers and a touch of your personality)

E. Muppet

November 23rd, 2010 11:09 am

I hate to inform you that there are hours of “quiet time” that you should be respectful of your neighbors. It is all well and good that you have an overactive toddler, but why should your neighbors be expected to put up with constant running and tantrums!! We live on the second (top) floor of an apartment complex, and lose sleep night after night because the downstairs neighbor has her TV on all night LOUD in the bedroom under ours. It has been so bad, we bought a “noise” machine to help drown out her TV noise, but we can STILL hear it! Complaining to Mangement has done us no good. In fact, eventually, when Mangement couldn’t or wouldn’t take steps to solve the problem, they turned their Attorney on US to ask US to leave if we were that unhappy! Somehow, that does not seem just when the other neighbor is causing the noise disturbances. In other words, “Shoot the Messenger!”

To sum it up, NO ONE should have to put up with noise that disrupts the quality of their life. Unfortunately, most Apartment Managers would rather bury their head in the sand or look the other way to avoid taking measures with the responsible party. Moving would not help — you may find a situation just as bad or worse. No one has respect any more and they only look out for what affects them! Good Luck.


January 18th, 2011 8:10 pm

We were respectful of time, we altered everything.. even knocked out naps making our lives turn upside down.. im referring to noise made before 10 PM and after 10 AM.. I try to be very respectful of neighbors around me. But why should i put up with confrontations and banging on walls and ceilings during the course of the afternoon? I never argued the late hour and wouldnt, but regardless of a 2 year olds behavior no one should feel cornered. If you live in an apartment complex you should expect some noise.. they are not sound proof.


March 21st, 2011 8:51 am

Missie, this must be a Florida thing, and it is annoying and I can TOTALLY feel your pain.

We just recently moved back to Florida a few months ago after being out of state for two years and rented a very nice apartment just inside Osceola county. Almost immediately after we moved in the “lady” below us called the resource officer to our door at 7:30 P.M. because we were making too much noise. When the officer spoke with her he said “I stood out here for a few minutes and I could not hear any noise. I am not sure what the complaint was about.” At this time, it was just myself and my 4 year old watching TV. My husband (who works nights) was asleep in the other room.

All total, there are two senior citizens in the apartment and us ,a 4 year old boy, two small dogs and a cat. We have spoken to the downstairs neighbor and thought that we had come to an agreement regarding the obnoxious pounding on our floor and calling the cops on us for imagined noise. This was not the case, however as this has happened numerous times over the past few months and today there was a note was tacked on our door by the office officially warning us of our noise levels. Ironically enough, since my husbands works the overnight shift and from home, usually during the day when she claims the noises are occurring he is asleep and I am doing “quiet” activities with my son. In the night and evening when she claims the noises are occurring, the rest of the house is asleep and he is working…. at a desk job, not making any noise.

We are walking on eggshells up here and will not even let our son as much as walk more than a turtle’s pace because of the banging that emanates from our downstairs “neighbor”. Forget the fact that she’ll call the resource officer on us one day, then two days later she’s rattling OUR walls with her loud heavy metal music. I swear I think she’s bipolar but this certainly feels like harassment! We have a family of four above us with two young children and some days, it sounds like a herd of elephants above us, but we have NEVER complained because we understand that when you choose to live in an apartment, condo, townhouse, etc you will most likely experience noise from your other neighbors.


February 28th, 2012 2:42 pm

I have lived in my current apartment for 4 years. I got my first complaint from my new downstairs neighbor (the fourth to live in that unit) this morning at 6:25 am as I was about to leave for work. In addition to his over-articulated description of the sounds he was hearing from up above, I got a snoot-full of his personal problems as well and the attitude that his sad life was all my fault. As described elsewhere in these posts, I live in an old building with thin walls. I am sometimes bothered by noise but not inordinately so. I don’t know how many years it takes the average person to grow a full batch of common sense, but why in the world would a “noise sensitive” person take a basement apartment in an old building? Just curious. I came here hoping to find some good advice since I am certain that this isn’t the end.


June 4th, 2012 5:53 pm

I am too having an issue with the property manager, not the neighbors who leave next to me, who make many love making noises, etc. The other day the property manager went as far as to yell at my 17 month old child to tell him to be quite. This scared him and my 4 year old; there for leaving them having nightmares and crying in the night. I had a nightmare that night my self. This property manager does not like children, will not allow families to move into the building despite he is not an owner of the property. I had to call the police to report this incident to make sure it is on file. I understand that people have the right to peace and quite. But if you can not leave in the communal setting where there is natural not un common noise from everyday life then find a place where you can get that. Frankly, I don’t know where would that be. You should look into the tenant rights to find out what your rights are in regards to the children being used as a target to make your life miserable, etc. Furthermore, for those who do not have children: just because we have kids that does not automatically mean that we are just okay with that noise it bothers us as much as it does the next person. But they are children and therefor have the right to be just that, crying and screaming is their way of communication. Think about your self when you were a baby…..

Cathy Monico

June 18th, 2012 3:28 pm

I’m happy that I am not alone. I moved into my apartment, which is a converted split entry home, in Sept. 2008. The landlord was aware that my daughter who was expecting a baby in October would be living with me. I had absolutely no problems with his mother-in-law who lived downstairs. When my grandson was 1 his mother-in-law moved in with him and they rented to two older ladies (one of whom is a friend of his family). They were warned that a toddler lived upstairs and sometimes there would be noise. My daughter has since moved out and had another baby. Every time my grandchildren are here they call him and complain about the noise. My grandson knows the rules, when you come in the house you immediately take off your shoes, no running, no jumping. He is only 3 so of course there is noise. He just called me again for the 3rd time and he said that they told him my daughter brings the kids over every day at 7 a.m. My grandchildren are in daycare every day of the week. I’m at my witts end. I explained to him that I understood that it can get noisy, mainly because there is absolutely no insulation between the 2 floors. When my grandchildren aren’t here you can hear a pin drop. These ladies just want it to be absolutely quiet at all times and as long as they rent they aren’t going to get that. I try my best to keep them quiet but it’s very difficult when you have a 3 year old and a 2 year old. Again, they were warned before they moved in. One of them even complained one day because my son took her “parking spot.” We have street parking, you park where you want. Of course in the winter when it snows we are more careful and do not take a spot that someone has shoveled. Why can’t they just leave me alone.


July 9th, 2012 11:01 pm

I’m a single motherI have lived in an upstairs apartment for a year and a half, my daughter just turned 2, the same people have lived below me since I moved in. I have never had a problem with them since about 5 months ago at about the same time my daughter got old enough to really start moving around, then they started banging on the ceiling everytime my daughter walked across the floor or dropped a toy. I work all day and my daughter goes to daycare, we leave around 7am and don’t get home until about 6pm, my daughter goes to bed about 8:30pm. When I signed up to move in I asked for a downstairs apartment and of course when I signed the lease they promised me everything I wanted and was only showed a dummy unit, they were given an advance notice what day I would be moving in, which was Christmas Eve. When I showed up with all my belongings and movers to help I was taken to an upstairs apartment with no carpeting except in the 2 bedrooms that hadn’t even been cleaned, they didn’t even do the walk through it was so filthy, they called the cleaning lady in while my movers and I went to waste some time on Xmas eve so they could clean the apartment, I didn’t have a choice I needed a place to live. They knew I had a small baby yet placed me in an upstairs apartment anyway, a year had passed I renewed my lease they were/are still aware of the fact that I have a small child. These jerks downstairs ban on their ceiling at 6 or 7 o’clock at night. Quiet time is from 10pm-6am which we follow. At first I was really taken aback and upset by this these people had taken away my peaceful sense of home, I was being harrassed and made to feel unwelcome and like I didn’t even belong in my own home. I had never lived in an apartment before then, always a house so this was really foreign to me. I try to be courteous we don’t do anything ridicolous, just normal living, at first my intimidation had me trying to contain my daughter from playing or feeling guilty about using my microwave, opening doors etc, then I realized what in the F*&$ am I doing? I am not about to be bullied or bulldogged. I pay my rent this is my home and we live here. I consulted some friends and family on the matter and they all agreed that the people downstairs are being ridiculous. Sure my daughter runs and jumps and dances and plays and sometimes cries and drops things or even throws them, but I don NOT see anywhere on the lease that says no children allowed. What really gets me is that these people are a couple about the same age as me 25-30’s they also have a daughter about the same age as mine, you can bet that if it was them in the upstairs apartment and it was their runnung and playing their attitude would be a complete 180. The banging on the ceiling went on for at least a couple months and then I started retaliating everytime they heard a noise they would make one back so then I would take WHATEVER it was near me and throw it down on the floor as loudly as possible. They stopped for a little while maybe realizing that their behavior is making it worse for them. I don’t respond kindly to people who act that way towards me. Quite frankly when I fell that someone is imposing on me and my situation or sticking their nose in where it doesn’t belong or attacking me Ireally start not giving a sh@*, now I make no attempt to stop my daughter from being noisy and all my courteousness went straight out the window, no I’m not going to close the microwave or the door quietly anymore, no I’m not going to not flush in the middle of the night. I don’t care that they have lived there longer than me and I have just as much right to be there as they do. After a couple of months I thought that all was in check and all was good as they had stopped the banging. Then just yesterday my daughter was excited and jumped up and down real hard on the floor and just as I was telling her don’t do that I hear several real hard real loud bangs on the floor. That instantly sent me into anger zone, I lost my cool real bad I took my daughter’s plastic ride on scooter as it was the closest thing to me and slammed it down as hard as I could on the floor repeatedly for and screamed real loud F*$# off! If you don’t like it move out! This is an apartment, if you don’t like it move into a house or mobile home! Then of course my daughter got scared and started crying, which pissed me off all the more, so then I had to calm her down, but no more banging, but then I went to the grocery store and had 2 big arms full of groceries and just as we were about to head up the steps my daughter budged and wouldn’t walk up the stairs, we argued a bit until finally I put all 10 sacks of groceries in 1 arm and her in the other as I was struggling with all of this those stupid jerks downstairs had their window open and the B came outside with her baby on her hip and slammed their fron door as hard as she could and then pretended that she was doing something at their storage she wouldn’t look directly at me and she didn’t say anything and then she stormed off to her car, when I went back outside for the rest of my groceries her car was still sitting there, what an idiot. I would like to try and see them complain, the apartments aren’t going to do anything. I hope they tell them if they don’t like it they can move out. I hope they do complain just so they can be put in their place and see that nothing will be done about it. What idiots these people are, if noise from your neighbors were a valid complaint then everybody would be evicted, how would the apartments even attempt to enforce that? On the tiny off chance that the apartments would decide to do anything to me, it would kind of be a blessing in disguise, if they asked me to leave then it would get me away from these a-holes. Obviously they are unaware of where they are at. Anyone living in an apartment needs to be aware that yes there are nighbors, yes other people live there, yes sometimes you can hear those neighbors. If you can’t handle it that is your problem not the problem of everyone else around you. If you don’t like it you shouldn’t be living in an apartment, you need to go live in a house or a mobile home. The problem is you, not your neighbors. The problem with these people is that they NEVER leave their apartment, maybe if they weren’t such losers and if they actually had a life they wouldn’t be so obsessed with what I was doing. They should feel lucky that I live there, we’re only home at night during the week and then sometimes on weekends. Alot of people would love to have a neighbor like me. These people are lucky that I don’t have a couple of dogs a couple more kids and a husband. See how they would like the noise level then.


April 21st, 2013 12:05 pm

To those who think that people in downstairs apartments are “losers” or inconsiderate of parents with children, try to see it from a different perspective. I live in a downstairs apartment. When I moved in, I was told that this was an “adults only” complex (I didn’t know about the FHA rules at the time). My lease has a very clear section about noise and disturbing your neighbors. During the walkthrough, I heard running upstairs. Keep in mind, running can shake a house and the sound echoes horribly (as does noise slamming doors). Because neighbors are on different schedules, running and noise might be occurring when a neighbor isn’t feeling well or has had bad news. Imagine what that’s like. Imagine being sick and being awakened from a deep sleep repeatedly from running. I was told that the running wasn’t allowed and that the problem was that the neighbors hadn’t realized anyone was downstairs. I took the place and learned the first year that wasn’t the case. The boy was 8 years old and he was told he could do whatever he wanted. This wasn’t the case of a child not knowing better or adults trying their best. I was about to move when the upstairs neighbor got a house and I was informed that there would be no more children in the complex. I stayed and for two years had no problems whatsoever and then a series of neighbors who believed that people living in downstairs apartments deserve whatever happens to them because they were foolish enough to take a downstairs apartment to begin with. I’ve had neighbors lie about the noise they’ve committed. The current neighbor has a six or seven year old daughter who has proven to be fully capable of understanding that she shouldn’t run. The issue? Her mother lets her run and doesn’t enforce any punishments for when she ignores the rules. Sometimes her mother even lets her run to “punish” me for complaining. I also have health problems and I’m at home a lot. People who are at home “all the time” aren’t losers. Sometimes they have no other choice. In my case, I’m trying to move but this issue has physically and financially drained me. And this issue isn’t about a weekly one off of running a vacuum or banging some doors when coming home from work and cooking… this is persistent running anytime day or night. There is anxiety that results from never knowing when it’s going to happen. There’s undue stress on the heart. I was also a teacher. Children, four or eight, will stop this type of behavior when they respect the person who gives them the rules. There might be an instance now or then when a child forgets, but persistent running?? That is a sign of disrespectful adults teaching their children that it’s okay to disrespect others. I have to wonder. If I was elderly instead of in my 30s would they behave the same way? It’s awful. Just as some families have no choice but to live in apartments, many single people also have no choice financially and when they’re promised that their living environments will be reasonably quiet, they aren’t losers for expecting it. Btw – my current neighbor and not her daughter are also breaking noise rules repeatedly and yet are upset when I complain. Try living with repeated noise without knowing when it’s going to happen or how long (half a day? the whole day? night time as well?). I agree with E Muppet. “NO ONE should have to put up with noise that disrupts the quality of life.” I’m tired of hearing children used as an excuse. I’ve seen this particular child respect her mother’s “sleep time” from early to late morning… and also when her mother was sick. When they tried to move her in permanently when they originally told the landlord that she would only visit now and then, she was fully capable of walking and not running the first week she was here. Now? Back to the running again and it isn’t because she forgot. It’s because they don’t care and they’re pissed at me. Period. Yesterday, they allowed her and another girl to run almost the entire afternoon until I complained. People shouldn’t use their children to HARM others. That little girl is probably going to grow up behaving the same way and doing harm like to this to someone else some day as a result.


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