C.S. from Illinois writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
My husband and I are an elderly couple who are not in the best of health. My husband is quite ill and requires a great deal of attention as well as peace and quiet so he may get some much needed rest. The problem is our condo neighbor who is quite hard of hearing plays a television set at a very loud volume at all hours of the day and night. The sound comes right through our walls and keeps us both awake. We have complained to the condo manager and the Board but no one seems to be able to help us. Do you have any ideas on how we can get this neighbor to turn down the TV volume so we can get some rest? Thank you for your help.
Mister Condo replies:
C.S., I am sorry for your troubles and your husband’s illness. Even in the best of health loud neighbors are a problem at condos all across the country. There is very little you can do to prevent the noise on your own. I might suggest earplugs to help muffle the sound but the real problem here is getting the Board to take action against your neighbor. If your neighbor is approachable, I would suggest a conversation explaining the problem and ask if there is any way you can help to provide a better listening experience for your neighbor. There are TV listening devices such as TV Ears (http://www.tvears.com/) which would work perfectly for your neighbor if your neighbor is willing to wear them. Perhaps you could offer to buy a pair for your neighbor to use. If that doesn’t work you need to pursue your Board to have them enforce your condo bylaws. In particular, I am talking about the right to peaceable enjoyment of the property, which is your right as well as your neighbor’s. If your condo docs aren’t clear about what level of noise is acceptable and at what hours, the Board may not be able to do too much. You should also check your local laws and sound ordinances. Many communities have required periods of time where only limited noises is tolerated. You can contact the local authorities and ask if you have the right to report a loud neighbor. Perhaps a visit from the police in the middle of the night will be the gentle nudge your neighbor needs to turn down the volume or start using those TV Ears you suggested. Good luck!