Our homes should be a place to relax and recover from a long day that’s been or to prepare for one that’s still coming. However, having upstairs neighbors that annoy you with their stomping sounds takes all hopes for peaceful, quiet time.
Here’s how you can deal with your upstairs neighbor stomping:
- Talk to your neighbor directly
- Agree on silent hours with your neighbor
- Ask your landlord to mediate
- Soundproof your bedroom and work area
- Wear headphones when in need of quiet hours
- Find a new apartment
If you need a little more specific information on dealing with your neighbors’ stomping sounds, the rest of the article will elaborate on how to go about your attempts for each of the possible solutions.
Nothing beats putting an end to your suffering by telling your neighbor about your issue directly, preventing further misunderstanding, and can even help build trust between the two parties.
How exactly you’d go about this would depend on your personality and how much you know your neighbor’s schedule, as you’ll have to choose a time to talk to them.
If you feel comfortable confronting them while they’re in the middle of doing the act, then you can just wait for them to make the same annoying habit and let their stomping noises be your signal to go upstairs and talk to them.
You may want to consider, though, that choosing this timing could be awkward. Your neighbors could be dancing their hearts out on their makeshift dance floor, and you’d be the bummer who turns the happy mood around. Whatever they’re doing, stopping them right in the middle could be a sensitive situation.
However, if you’re the type who can go about this type of situation smoothly, then by all means. After all, besides timing, it’s the delivery of the message that leaves a huge impact.
Alternatively, if you know their schedule, precisely what time they’re around even without the stomping noises telling you, then you can talk to them during that time instead.
Choosing this timing could be less humiliating for them and also less awkward for you. However, it would be a good idea to record the stomping noises while you’re in your apartment so they could listen to the recording and find out for themselves.
It would be best to calm down first before talking to them. If you go upstairs annoyed, the conversation may not turn out the way you intend to, and the outcome could be worse.
Prepare for possible scenarios, too, such as if they deny that they’re causing the noise or get furious about you “intruding” in how they live their lives. You may not get things your way by preparing appropriate responses, but at least you’ll less likely be caught off guard. This way, you can keep acting classy, and they won’t have anything on you.
Talking to your neighbor every time you hear them make stomping noises can cause so much stress and cost you your precious time. Not to mention the anxiety it brings if you happen to be an introvert and are uncomfortable with confrontation.
If your neighbor can’t promise to be quiet all the time, you can at least agree on silent hours. Discuss both of your schedules and work around the times you’re both allowed to enjoy each of your apartment units.
They may tell you that they cannot move some of their activities to another time. If this is the case, discuss with them how they can do it more quietly.
They need to understand that your needs are also essential and that their daily activities may be preventing you from making the most out of your apartment.
Perhaps they only have the wee hours of the morning to exercise. Suggest that they do it in a place not directly above your bedroom to lessen the noise you hear. They could also sound search for noise dampening mechanisms to prevent stomping noises from waking you up earlier than your alarm clock.
Remember to talk to them gently and see them as your equal. Avoid any condescending remarks and gestures, and keep your tone calm.
Show them that you’re also committed to tweaking your day-to-day activities to be a better neighbor. The more they see you as sincere, the more likely it’ll be that they’ll stick to your agreement.
3. Ask Your Landlord to Mediate
When things still don’t go your way despite negotiations and offers to compromise, then the next best thing would be to ask your landlord to mediate.
You can both go over your contract and pinpoint specific sections that your neighbor violates, and the landlord can then rightfully remind them of their responsibilities.
Similar to the first two suggestions, though, keep your composure when talking to your landlord. You wouldn’t want to get on their bad side and have them siding on your neighbor instead.
Describe to your landlord what exactly you hear, around what time it happens, and what disruptions this causes to your daily life.
While you’re at it, you can also tell your landlord your non-negotiables, e.g., if the stomping noises don’t stop, then you’ll have to terminate the contract as the place is no longer livable.
Letting your landlord know the extent of the problem and how far you’ll go if it doesn’t get solved might prompt them to work on your issue more quickly.
Another idea would be to soundproof your bedroom and work area. The massive downside of doing this, though, is that it could get costly.
Hiring a soundproofing company could cost you up to $4000, depending on the size of the room. You can ask your landlord to shoulder the cost too, but given that this could already amount to a month’s rent, there may be a slim chance they’d agree to it.
There are some cheap soundproofing materials and techniques that you can utilize instead. However, don’t expect them to eliminate all of the noise.
Another thing to consider is the time it takes to get the job done. It’s estimated that it may take up to a week to soundproof a 80 square-foot ceiling. This is a huge problem if you work from home and need the space or prefer being around to check the progress but couldn’t take a leave from work.
If you’re not ready to pay for soundproofing, then perhaps you can just buy a pair of noise-canceling headphones and wear them while working or when you’re in dire need of quiet hours. The only catch, though, is that it may be uncomfortable to wear them while sleeping.
If you’re the type who prefers earbuds over headphones, you can check out the Bose QuietComfort Noise Cancelling Earbuds (available on Amazon). It already comes with high-fidelity audio, a long battery life, and resistance to sweat and water. Its sweat resistance makes it dual purpose, as you can also use them whenever you go out for a run or hit the gym. However, wearing earbuds while sleeping can be bad for your ears, so don’t wear them through the night.
On the other hand, if you prefer headphones instead, then these Sony WH-1000XM4 Noise Canceling Overhead Headphones could suit your needs well. It comes with a 30-hour battery life, cutting-edge noise-canceling technology, and the ability to connect to two devices at once.
Unlike Bose’s earbuds, though, it’s not sweat-resistant per se, so if you’re planning to use it in the gym, then you may be better off with other product types.
Noise-canceling earmuffs and sleep masks are your other options. They block a decent amount of noise but are softer and more comfortable than headphones.
Finally, your last resort could be to find a new apartment. If the stomping noises are causing significant disruption on your day, then at some point, it may be worth it just to start again somewhere new.
However, a few things to consider would be the flexibility of your lease agreement and the likelihood of finding a strategic place close to work or school.
Moreover, assuming your landlord allows you to terminate the lease agreement right then and there, an abrupt move could still incur problems, such as a limited time to weigh your options.
Lastly, moving out will cost you a substantial amount of time and money. Looking for apartments is a job in itself, but packing is a whole new task. Sure, you may just hire someone else to do it.
Key Takeaways on Dealing With Your Neighbors’ Stomping
The best first step when dealing with your upstairs neighbor’s stomping noises would be to talk to them directly and negotiate on silent hours.
However, if this doesn’t work out, it may be necessary to go back to the building rules and lease contract and ask your landlord to mediate.
Should this still fail, you can opt for other alternatives such as soundproofing your room or settling with a pair of earbuds or headphones when you need some peace. You can also revenge your noisy neighbors if you think that would help.
When all else fails, you may be left with no choice and just move out.