Hearing your neighbors now and again is unavoidable. However, hearing everything they say and do next door can quickly become a nuisance. It might be your apartment needs more soundproofing or your neighbors are just too loud. If you’re wondering if you should tell your neighbor you can hear them talking through the walls, we have answers to help you decide including a few tips to soundproof your home and reduce the noise.
Should I tell my neighbor I can hear them through the walls?
It is useful to tell your neighbors if you can frequently hear them talking throughout the day. They may not be aware of how loud they are or that they are being disruptive.
Bringing it to their attention calmly, explaining why the noise is bothering you, and offering solutions can help solve the problem. It can also be a chance to ask them if they hear you.
If you don’t want to have a conversation with your neighbor, you can also try soundproofing your home first to see if that reduces the noise. Another option is to leave a note asking them to lower their volume and provide soundproofing tips. Chances are your neighbor won’t want you listening in on their conversations and will do their own soundproofing.
How to tell your neighbors you can hear them
When and how you approach the conversation with your neighbors about their noise level is crucial. For starters, you shouldn’t talk to them when you are angry. Wait until you are calmer and can approach them in a friendly manner. You can also bring over baked goods as a friendly gesture.
Make sure you:
- Introduce yourself
- Explain the issue in a calm and straightforward way
- Be specific about how the noise affects you (i.e. it interrupts your work or child’s nap)
- Offer potential solutions for soundproofing or compromising on the time of day they are loud
How to stop hearing neighbors through walls
If you can hear your neighbors talking, chances are they can hear you too. Soundproofing your living space can help reduce soundwaves from going through the walls. It might also be the only solution you need to stop hearing your neighbors and prevent you from needing to talk to them.
Simple ways to soundproof your home include:
- Buy acoustic light fixtures that help absorb sound
- Hang heavy, soundproof curtains to reduce echoes
- Rearrange your furniture to put heavy items or bookcases against the dividing wall
- Place thick rugs on floors to muffle the sounds
- Hang tapestries or wall art to absorb sounds
How can I soundproof not to hear my neighbors?
If the previously suggested soundproofing tricks aren’t working, you might need to put some elbow grease into your efforts. Make sure to check with your landlord or building manager first to get their approval for changes you make to the ceilings or walls.
Here are additional soundproofing solutions to try:
- Install ceiling clouds, which are acoustic panels that help reduce noise and echoes
- Add insulation to your most affected wall
- Seal all your windows and doors
- Add draft guards to your doors
- Install mass loaded vinyl
Can I file a noise complaint?
Yes, you can. However, calling the police should be your last resort and reserved for very serious complaints. You’ll want to first talk to your landlord or building manager and file an official complaint with them. Most buildings have an acceptable noise level that all residents must respect.
Before filing a complaint, check your lease or HOA rules to see if their noise breaks any rules. You will also want to collect sufficient evidence to back up your complaint.
Take note of the date and time of the noise, what the noise is, how long it lasts, and how it made you feel. Double-check your local and state laws if audio recordings of your loud neighbors as evidence is legal.
Can I sue my noisy neighbor?
Yes, in most states, you can. If all other methods have failed, you can sue your neighbor for damages caused by their noise or have the court order them to keep it down. Noise complaints would be considered a nuisance suit. You can get a copy of your local noise ordinance to understand what laws they are violating.
Before taking your neighbor to court, however, you can also try sending them a copy of the noise ordinance or suggesting mediation. An impartial mediator can help you talk to your neighbor and come up with a solution you can both agree on.
- Talking to your neighbor calmly and offering solutions for the noise is an effective way to deal with hearing your neighbors through the walls
- There are various methods to try soundproofing your home first before telling your neighbor you can hear them
- If all methods fail you can file a noise complaint, hire a mediator, or sue your neighbor for being noisy
Talking to your neighbors or leaving them a note can be an effective solution when you constantly hear them talking through the walls. You can also soundproof your home and offer suggestions on how your neighbor can do the same to reduce noise all around.
However, sometimes neighbors don’t care that people hear them and you have to take more serious measures, like reporting them to your building manager.