C.L. from Hartford County writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I have a neighbor who often bounces a ball in the hallways late at night at my condo. The noise drives me and my cat crazy. What can I do?
Mister Condo replies:
C.L., unwanted noise in a condo common area is really unbearable for most residents. When neighbors behave in loud and unruly ways, the entire community suffers. In this case, you and your cat are both suffering. Let’s talk about a few ideas to keep the noise down and restore the quiet for you and Kitty.
If you are comfortable speaking with the resident who is bouncing the ball, I suggest a cordial conversation may also help. If the ball bouncer is a child, a conversation with a parent or guardian might help. If you are uncomfortable approaching the unit owner in question you certainly don’t have to. I just find that sometimes problems between neighbors are best settled between neighbors. If that doesn’t work, you may need to escalate your strategy for restoring the peace.
Undoubtedly, your condo has rules about noise and allowed activities. Assuming there are rules about noise and not using the common areas for anything other than coming and going to individual units, you need to document the offenses and report it to the Board or Property Manager. These folks are required to investigate your complaint and take corrective action. Don’t just call in the complaint. Write it down, take photos if you can, make a recording of the noise, etc… All of this “evidence” should be reported to the Board and/or Property Manager. If they do their job properly, your neighbor will receive a notice to appear before the Board to explain the complaint and then may receive fines for recurring offenses. Once a problem reaches the point of costing the offender money, the problem usually goes away.
If you simply suffer in silence, you and your cat will likely face more noise and more ball-bouncing. The ball is actually in your court now. Go ahead and score one for the good guys! Best wishes!