C.L. from Fairfield County, Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I live in a townhouse condo in Lower Fairfield County. My neighbor has a teen-aged son who recently took up playing drums. The noise is so loud in my condo that I can’t even hear myself think. I have called the property manager and complained but nothing has been done. What can I do?
Mister Condo replies:
C.L., noisy neighbors are a real problem in many condos, especially to their immediate neighbors with adjoining walls, floors, or ceilings. It’s always best to try to solve the problem with kindness first but follow up with serious measures to protect your rights.
First, if you know your neighbor well enough, why not start with a conversation about the noise issue? Ask if your neighbor has any complaints about noise coming from your unit. Talk about the noise coming from your neighbor’s unit and ask the neighbor if they have any ideas about how to stop the noise from travelling unit to unit. Maybe they’ll offer to soundproof their walls or maybe they’ll offer to limit the amount of time the drum playing will occur. Or, maybe, they’ll do nothing. Either way, it doesn’t hurt to ask.
Second, review your condo docs and look up specific sections that ensure peaceable enjoyment of your unit. Once you are familiar with what is not allowed at your condo, it is time to write a letter to the Board and the Property Manager demanding that the rules of peaceable enjoyment be enforced. Most condos have this restriction so you should have a pretty good case to have the property manager enforce the rule. Also, make sure your Board is alerted as well. The Board can actually be your ally in making the property manager enforce the rules against noise.
Finally, consider what you can do to help keep out the noise from your unit. You may be able to install some acoustic deadening material on your interior walls to keep the noise from the neighbor in check. I know that can be expensive but it may be your final option if the noise continues.
With all of these options at your disposal, I wish you peace and quiet in short order. Good luck!