Living in apartments in Chicago, or any big city for that matter, means having to be in close proximity to your neighbors. One of the biggest problems many apartment dwellers face is dealing with sound from the surrounding apartments. Noisy neighbors can be a problem that will drive you up the wall. Below is some advice on how to best deal with them.
It is true that your options for soundproofing your home are more limited when you live in an apartment. Thankfully, there are things you can do other than rebuilding your walls. One good choice for apartment soundproofing is corkboard. You can wrap it in fabric and hang it from your wall. It should absorb some of the sound.
Also, soundproofing panels can be purchased online or at home improvement stores and hung from your walls pretty easily. If the sound comes from below, there are certain carpets and rugs made from soundproofing materials that will block much of the noise.
Cancel Out the Sound
Unfortunately, soundproofing doesn’t always work. If that strategy fails, you can attempt to cancel out some of the noise with your own noise. We don’t mean you should be as loud as your neighbors. For example, playing an mp3 of white noise can do a lot to bury most of the sound coming through your walls without annoying your other neighbors. Even the sound of a fan can effectively do the same.
Talk to the Neighbor
Unfortunately, the noise may be so loud that stopping it on your own is impossible. If this is the case, you will need to approach your neighbor and ask them to turn it down a notch or two.
Start by talking to the neighbor in person about the problem and ask them politely to lessen the noise. It should be face to face first. Using a letter or going to the landlord first may seem underhanded. Asking in person tends to be the most successful way of handling the situation, as long as you keep your calm and politely explain the problem.
However, if you feel that talking to the neighbor is not safe due then you should avoid direct contact. In this case, leaving a nicely written note may be a better idea. Either way, they should be informed that there is an issue.
Contact Your Landlord
If your attempt to ask the neighbor to cut down the sound is unsuccessful or they retaliate by getting louder you should go to your landlord. The landlord will more than likely take your side and send a letter to that person asking them to turn it down. The landlord’s request should carry greater weight for your neighbor since most leases have a noise clause that if not adhered to could result in the landlord terminating the lease.
What Not to Do
Don’t start a passive-aggressive sound war with your neighbor just because they are loud. No one wins in those cases, especially your other neighbors who now have to listen to two loud apartments.