When you’re dealing with noisy neighbors, there is frustration followed by anger and perhaps the urge to go “say” something to them to restore the peace. The problem is that when frustration escalates to anger, the “saying” may not be as effective as thought.
That’s why we contacted Marvelously Well-Mannered, LLC. Catherine Wallace and Jessica Marventano share some effective tips that can really help the neighbor relationship stay civil, as well as provide a solution to the problem at hand.
“While your house is your castle, your neighbor also has the right to enjoy their castle and to make a normal amount of noise,” says Marventano.
With that said, Marventano adds that if the noise is truly excessive and occurring at inappropriate times (say, before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m.), you don’t necessarily have to take it.
“It is ok to do something to rectify the situation. Just don’t forget your manners… It is best to address it as soon as possible, face-to-face,” says Marventano.
And here’s what they suggest:
1- Pleasantly and politely explain the situation.
2- Mind your body language when you have this discussion.
- Smile, no finger pointing, no crossed-arms, and no accusatory tones.
“Assume the irritating noise is unintentional and that they are simply unaware of its impact on your home. Treat them the way you would like to be treated if the shoe were on the other foot,” recommends Wallace.
What if it were you?
Wallace says that at one point, her family was the one being noisy, although she explains how she went about it.
“We programmed our newly-installed massive generator run for twenty minutes at 8 a.m. every Saturday morning to test it. 8 a.m. worked for us because we were early risers and we could be home to witness the testing before we went out and about with our day. Our neighbor came over and politely explained our generator was outside their bedroom window, they liked to sleep in, and asked us to “run it during the week” when they were at work. We explained that we needed to be home when it ran to make sure it worked and we worked during the week. After a polite conversation we all agreed 4 p.m. on Saturday afternoons would work. And it has for almost ten years,” shares Marventano.
The ladies from Marvelously Well-Mannered both agree that your first neighbor interaction should be a good one so here are some tips to get to know each other before situations like noise even happen.
“We find [that] a friendly, in-person greeting with a warm smile and a notecard with your name and contact information is a great start. An extra bonus would be to add some “need to know” information to the neighborhood note card – trash day, important contact information for the local hospital, library and other public facilities, how to get on the neighborhood list serve, your recommended tailor, shoe cobbler and dry cleaner, and a recommendation or two of some restaurants with great delivery services,” explains Wallace.
Wallace adds that if a neighbor responds rudely or aggressively to your request to turn down the volume, keep cool. You can contact your landlord if you live in a building or apartment complex or, as a homeowner, consider calling the police.