Dear Uncommon Courtesy,
Our neighbours and I share a semi-detached home. There is a brick wall between us. The other night they had a very loud party – their first loud one in 3 years.The noise, music and loud talking was awful. By 1:30 in the morning, my husband got out of bed and knocked on their door. They said “oh its only 11:30.” He politely corrected them, and they said they’d calm down. We awoke again at 2:30 am due to the loud music. We’ve all been super friendly in the past, and so I’d expected that they would’ve stopped by and offered a chagrined apology by now. Nothing after 3 days. Now we feel like the old, crabby and dull neighbours.
Are my expectations too high? What should they have done (assuming they even remember that we politely approached them)?
Need Some Sleep
Miss Manners always advises a peaceful and civil communication with noisy neighbors.
We’ve also already covered how to be a good urban dweller, which includes not being noisy and how to deal with noisy neighbors.
Victoria: My first instinct is that if it’s the first time in three years and they are otherwise good neighbors, maybe just let it slide.
Jaya: Three years is pretty good!
Victoria: On the other side, when I’ve had friends who had regular loud parties, they would tell the neighbors ahead of time and that seemed to help.
Jaya: Perhaps the neighbors honestly thought they had toned it down at the first request, so they wouldn’t have thought they needed to apologize.
Victoria: Yeah, drunk people are not exactly the best judges of noise. And at that point, honestly, any amount of noise is going to annoy you.
Jaya: You’re gonna hear anything at 2:30 am. Though if someone complains to you about noise, I think it’s good to do a test!
Victoria: Oooh what kind of test?
Jaya: If your neighbors come to you with a noise complaint, have them go back in their apartment and turn your music up and down and figure out at what level it doesn’t bother them, and then just remember where it’s at for your next party.
Victoria: Ooh that’s a genius idea.
Jaya: (We keep trying to do this with my terrible neighbors and it doesn’t work because they’re the worst.)
Victoria: Hahaha oh no.
Jaya; Every weekend we tell them to turn it down. How the hell do they not remember?
Victoria: Yeah, I think EVERY weekend is insane. But one loud party in three years is not much to get upset about. Consider it a free pass to have a loud party of your own!
Jaya: Yes! And maybe be the bigger people and warn them that you’ll be having a party, so they know that behavior is expected.
Victoria: Yeah, that way you’ve covered your bases if you need to call the police later. Which is always an option.
Jaya: The only time I think there really should be leeway is New Years. If it’s 4am and they’re still going it doesn’t matter, it’s New Years.
Victoria: Totally, and a weekend is going to need more leeway too.Though now that I work on Saturdays I’m not sure how i would feel about a loud party on a Friday, lol. But yeah, if it’s constant and you live in a house, you’re always free to call the police. And now reading this question, it might be a nice gesture for their neighbors to apologize and bring some cookies or something over the next day, especially if they complained.
Jaya: Yeah, that would be nice, though again if they thought they had toned it down enough maybe they didn’t think they had to. I’ve had neighbors mention once to quiet down and I have, and never felt the need to apologize. Though growing up in New York apartments, you sort of have a higher tolerance for noise. It’s a bit more expected.
Victoria: Though I would rather have one loud party every three years than a screaming baby every day, which is what I have now.