Perils of Apartment/ Condo Living
Can you think of some nuisances? Post your stories here.
This happened to me last week. I rarely cook because I order takeout a lot. But twice now, my upstairs neighbor complained about cooking smells when I was microwaving food. For lunch, I’d heated up creamy extra garlicky alfredo sauce with pasta in the microwave. He came knocking on my door telling me how the whole building including his apartment smelled like garlic and that it was smoky and pungent enough to make make his daughter have difficulty breathing. I told him I didn’t fry or smoke anything I merely heated up food in the microwave. He didn’t believe me.
I contacted the landlord who then backed me up, saying cooking smell just like daily living noises are part of apartment living. It only becomes an issue if it’s something way out of normal. Like cooking strong curries or kimchi fish dish every day at odd hours. I once had a stoner neighbor who sometimes cooked pan fried steaks late at night. The smoke would bathe my studio, I’d never be that inconsiderate so it came as a surprise to be accused of it.
|by Anonymous||reply 94||04/09/2021|
Maybe you can open your windows when you cook?
|by Anonymous||reply 1||04/08/2021|
Feet (if you live below them). Awful. Especially when they exercise in their living room and your whole apartment rumbles. I moved because of it.
|by Anonymous||reply 2||04/08/2021|
You’re neighbor should buy a house deep in the woods so he won’t have to smell anyone else’s cooking. You’re not doing anything wrong. One of my neighbors is complaining that his downstairs neighbor talks to loudly in his phone DURING THE DAY. it’s all part of apartment living. As long as you’re quiet between 8pm and 8am you’re fine.
|by Anonymous||reply 3||04/08/2021|
The smell of your neighbors cooking is just part of apartment living. Unless you're stewing cabbage every day, you're not being uncivil and your neighbor should save up and buy a house.
(On the flip side, I don't cook very often, but all during COVID I've been baking. I'm HUGELY popular on my floor now because the hallway always smells like freshly baked bread or lemon cookies.)
|by Anonymous||reply 4||04/08/2021|
This is why I always lived on the top floor. You can flood the halls with fish smells. But if I don’t have you booming over my head, I don’t care.
|by Anonymous||reply 5||04/08/2021|
My apartment was pretty peaceful for a few years. Then last month, the new neighbor moved in upstairs with her stereo and sub-woofers. I didn't realize that people buy stereos anymore, since they can just listen to music on their phones.
She cranked the damn thing up to 10. I knocked on her door, but no one answered. So I assume she must have been in the bedroom or bathroom, so she had to turn the stereo (located in the living room) up extra loud to hear it. Of course, it had the thumping bass.
After she refused to answer the door all five times I knocked, I emailed management, and by some miracle, the noise stopped. She still stomps all over the place, but I can tolerate that better than the loud music.
|by Anonymous||reply 6||04/08/2021|
I live in Los Angeles in a rent control building...actually thinking about buying a condo this year. I've been in the building for about 25 years and made huge sacrifices in my happiness. Mostly centered around loud people and not being about to sleep. I moved in the building to another apartment, about 5 years ago, as I thought the other side would be better....similar problems. The building is flimsy and everything can be heard. I could go on and on about how bad it was but I won't....just know that is was so bad I became sleep deprived and ended up sleeping in my office at work for a week.
I choose to stay as there were circumstances that kept me in the building and my rent was very low. However, I have saved a substantial amount for my retirement, am getting an inheritance in a couple months and then I am out of here. It is long overdue but my savings will put my in a great position for my retirement....a huge sacrifice but happy it will all work out.
So, for any who say why didn't you complain...fell on death ears, so for the most part, just suffered in silence. I have a positive outlook and I know I will be repaid for all of the madness with much abundance and blessings in the future.
|by Anonymous||reply 7||04/08/2021|
OP Perhaps you can suggest your neighbor get a Unabomber cabin; easy to situate it just about anywhere.
|by Anonymous||reply 8||04/08/2021|
R7 good for you, I too stayed too long at my last rent controlled place. I finally left after my building became a sort of a party building, with 20-somethings living there having parties during Covid lockdown, playing loud music, frying up steaks at 1am.
|by Anonymous||reply 9||04/08/2021|
R8 yeah now that I think about it, he’s pretty messed up to be so bothered by microwave alfredo pasta.
|by Anonymous||reply 10||04/08/2021|
I lived on a second floor and the downstairs tenants were two African ladies who ran a hair parlor. The used to prepare some concoction, I think it was something for hair care, it was the worst smelling stench ever. Friends would come by at times when they were making it and couldn't take the smell.
|by Anonymous||reply 11||04/08/2021|
R1 I do keep my kitchen window open at all times because I like to have airflow. My ceiling vents are also closed. Seriously I can’t see how microwave alfredo pasta would generate so much distress. The only explanation is that he has some sensory issues, too sensitive maybe. I’ve never gottem any complaints in all my years of apartment living regarding cooking smells.
|by Anonymous||reply 12||04/08/2021|
I lived in some slightly sketchy buildings and my biggest worry was my personal safety. I think one of my neighbors was a whore or dealer - something illicit for sure. People used to ring my buzzer and pretty much all the buzzers until someone let them in. This went on at all hours of the night but was worst Thursday - early Sunday morning. In another building my neighbor was robbed. His apartment was right off the fire stairs and someone cut a hole in the wall from the stairwell and cleaned him out.
There was a fire I think in Queens this week. A tenant accidentally started a fire in his apartment, ran out without calling 911 and left his door opened. People smelled smoke but no one called 911 for like 10 or 15 minutes. No people were killed but several pets were. The fire completely gutted the building and something like 180 people lost everything. I don’t want my personal safety at risk from being surrounded by idiots.
|by Anonymous||reply 13||04/08/2021|
Any person who lives in a multi-unit dwelling but cannot handle the presence of others in the building is completely unreasonable. Tell your neighbor to jump off a bridge.
|by Anonymous||reply 14||04/08/2021|
Warming Alfredo sauce in the microwave will not cause all that. Your neighbor sounds very annoying. You should have said, "Hey, it's not me, but yeah I smelled it too!" then re-directed his efforts.
|by Anonymous||reply 15||04/08/2021|
If he’s that sensitive, the neighbor should buy an air purifier. Or a cabin in the woods.
|by Anonymous||reply 16||04/08/2021|
[quote]The building is flimsy and everything can be heard.
This is why I refuse to live in apartments ever again. I’d live in a mobile home before living in an apartment again. At least mobile homes are separated and you don’t share a wall.
|by Anonymous||reply 17||04/08/2021|
My previous apartment was quiet. I was a renter, so was not caught up in association BS. My neighbors on my floor were older people.
DLers bitch about old ppl, but if you want a quiet apartment, that’s a fact that old ppl are probably more quiet.
Food smells? Tough shit. Deal with it, unless someone’s running a commercial kitchen from home making habanero hot sauce.
|by Anonymous||reply 18||04/08/2021|
My neighbor complained about smelling weed. The fucking snitch. I live in a house now. Loathed apartment living.
|by Anonymous||reply 19||04/08/2021|
OP I'm sorry your neighbor is a jerk. I think you should double down and start cooking shrimp scampi on a regular basis.
|by Anonymous||reply 20||04/08/2021|
I've lived in single-family houses most of my adult life – bought my first one at 25, back when recent college grads with white-collar jobs could actually afford anything of the sort in a trendy city/area – but had a "What the fuck am I *doing*??" epiphany about a decade or so ago, namely that it's absurd for a 30something single gay man with no kids to live in a 2,000 sq ft 3BR house.
So: now I'm in a top-floor, 800 sq ft apartment (a rental – I invested my home-sale proceeds in the market) – in a five-story building. I moved in five years ago & was the first to occupy the unit. While it's certainly not a "penthouse," I learned back in college the perils of living in multifamily housing underneath others: unpredictable, and oftentimes infuriating, noises, especially if they have dogs or kids. I didn't even consider anything not on the top floor.
To my very pleasant surprise, I've had nearly zero noise issues ever since – hell, I had more at my last house! (my next-door neighbors routinely threw huge parties in their back yard, which the main bedroom directly faces) I vividly remember places I lived in college and a short stint in NYC with paper-thin walls, but apparently developers have figured out ways to much more effectively soundproof the walls between units – though noise from units above still apparently gets through. I can only hear noise through the walls if one of my neighbors is throwing a REALLY loud party, but those have ground to a halt since the pandemic started and were infrequent before then as well. (It might help that my side of the floor has identical 1BR units – there's more of a party scene, including illicit house parties in defiance of Covid restrictions, in our 2BR & 3BR ones.)
As for other perils: package theft is so common that I stopped having packages of *any* sort delivered to my apartment, but I've been WFH during Covid so that hasn't been an issue as of late. I've never noticed any wafting food smells from other units, but weed is another story – on occasion it feels like we have a gang of stoner anarchists blazing up in the elevators just to piss people off. (No, R19, I would never snitch about that or anything else!) Auto break-ins since Covid started got so out of control that we ended up hiring 24/7 security guards to monitor the parking garage.
Our biggest "peril" is basically a design flaw: we have a single elevator, but only emergency stairs at the far ends of the building as an alternate means of exiting – both of which let out adjacent to extremely stinky dumpsters. Far worse, the elevator has been out for as long as three weeks, but routinely dies in the summertime because the room its controls are in has insufficient A/C to keep it from overheating on hot days.
|by Anonymous||reply 21||04/08/2021|
My husband and I live in a 50/50 building - 1/2 gentrified (white), 1/2 old neighborhood (afro-caribbean, latino). It's a pre-war with an elevator, in Brooklyn. The apartments are massive (ours is over 1000 sqf) and we live on the top floor. Rent stabilized.
All that said, we have a Haitian guy down the hall who whispers faggot at us and leaves weird voodoo-like talismans in the garbage room. One was a crab shell with a painted foot glued to it. We think it was a chicken. His wife also prays nervously whenever we're all on the elevator together.
The people below us are fucking disgusting and have like 8 people living there in a one bedroom. Cockroaches crawl up to us from them. Thankfully they're leaving at the end of the month, but the super told us it will take at least two months of renovations to get the grit and smell out.
And we have a teenage black kid who hangs out on the steps to our floor. He brings his friends up there and they smoke weed and get a little rowdy, screaming, etc. They're not bad kids -one is actually a flaming teen queen - they're just FUCKING LOUD. Luckily we have a bi-polar Israeli woman next to us who goes ballistic on them, screaming like a banshee. Oh and she's another one. A vegan who goes off on the evils of cheese if given a chance. "In our family, we call it white blood!!" she told me once.
We thought we would stay here forever, but now we've decided that when we retire (20 years) we'll move to a smaller one-bedroom in a full service building. Like in Long Island City. Sure it'll be expensive, but we'll have a considerable amount of money to spend down. I just can't see being here as old homos. No fucking way.
|by Anonymous||reply 22||04/08/2021|
I have lived in apartments all my life and the most important piece of advice I can give: always live on the top floor. Having people stomping around above you is one of the most annoying things that can happen -- it'll drive you crazy. I've had upstairs neighbors who were quite kind and considerate but when the building is not well made, no matter what they did, they made noise. Lots of it.
And when the upstairs neighbors are not considerate, your life is just hell.
|by Anonymous||reply 23||04/08/2021|
If cooking smells is the worst thing you've experienced, OP, consider yourself lucky. I'd tell the neighbors to fuck off if they can't take smells coming from a microwave.
|by Anonymous||reply 24||04/08/2021|
The same damn thing happened to me, OP!
|by Anonymous||reply 25||04/08/2021|
The noise. Simply, the noise.
|by Anonymous||reply 26||04/08/2021|
I've always taken a lot of care with finding buildings that seemed a better bet and done well by that, and some luck, obviously, to have never had a neighbor worse than amusingly odd.
All the rules and having to open up your life and finances to a co-op board? It's my preferred route.
Take a top floor unit if at all possible, and take care to spend a lot of time in the building before making an offer to investigate how soundproof or not the unit is. Unexpected noises have a strange way of carrying from unexpected places.
|by Anonymous||reply 27||04/08/2021|
I live in a co-op. One night around 10pm I had just gone to bed when someone rang my buzzer. As I jumped out of bed and grabbed my robe I heard my lock turn and saw my door opening. I started yelling and the door quickly shut. When I opened it the Super (who goes off duty at 6) was standing there. He said someone complained about a strange smell coming from my apartment. I don’t know why he didn’t try calling me first or at least give me a chance to open my door but I never told the managing agent because they would have taken his side. As for the smell I have no idea what it could have been. It was all very disturbing.
|by Anonymous||reply 28||04/08/2021|
My new neighbors have sex a lot. Loud, squealing sex. She's gorgeous, he looks like Gomer Pyle. I would rather hear people making love than beating the crap out of each other.
|by Anonymous||reply 29||04/08/2021|
When I lived in an old converted 1910 era hotel studio apts building, we lived on the 3rd floor. I guess I was the mean person who used their exercise machine, but I did it during the day before 1pm.
A neighbor down the hall raced his RC cars up and down the hallway all hours of the night when he was on meth.
The neighbor across the hall had the police come knock on the door due to some back child support issue.
Considering my neighbors, I probably was the least of the worries on our floor.
|by Anonymous||reply 30||04/08/2021|
R23, I live on the top floor and it can be just as bad. As someone else commented, it is really important to find out how well the building has been built. Cement between floors is highly desirable.
I appreciate everyone's pains as it only enforces the fact that I must move but I want to make sure it is an educated one and finally a place of peace.
|by Anonymous||reply 31||04/08/2021|
I lived in a building, top floor, and my neighbour would hang her laundry and things to air out on the railing /inside/ the building. This was usually a smelly dog blanket or something that had "homeless blanket smell". It would make my apartment reek like it. I also had to deal with someone who ran out of space in their garbage, we all had separate bins--outside so they would dump a giant bag of dirty diapers in my garbage bin when there wasn't space in mine. Also had an issue with a neighbour who would smoke in the bathroom in a non smoking building and every time I would clean the bathroom the person would immediately smoke in the bathroom and the fresh and clean smell would be replaced with cigarette smell in under 5 minutes.
Was happy to leave that place.
|by Anonymous||reply 32||04/08/2021|
I lived in a spacious one-bedroom apartment in a nice part of town, which I snatched up right away before it was taken. Big mistake. It was on the ground floor at the front of the building near the entrance and adjacent to the elevator and the stairwell. Noisiest location for an apartment unit. Front doors were constantly slamming, people would run up and down the stairs, making my living room walls shake. In my bedroom, I'd hear the elevator go up and down and people being noisy during the wee hours of the morning. Upstairs lived young bachelors who treated the place like a frathouse, so constant partying, loud music, multiple creaky footsteps, bodies slamming like they were wrestling, etc. I complained to Mgmt several times, and eventually they moved out. Thank god. But never again will I live in a multifamily dwelling.
|by Anonymous||reply 33||04/08/2021|
[quote] The same damn thing happened to me, OP! —Jeffrey Dahmer, posting from hell
Actually, Jeffrey Dahmer's neighbors *should* have complained about the bad smells. Apparently, his apartment *was* giving off smells that reeked. If someone had told him to knock off whatever he was doing, maybe fewer dead bodies would have racked up in that hell hole.
|by Anonymous||reply 34||04/08/2021|
Walk-ups, like jeans, are for people under 40.
|by Anonymous||reply 35||04/08/2021|
I live in a 6 unit loft style condo. They're all ground level, one bedroom units. I *specifically* did this to avoid having couples/single parents with screaming kids moving next to me, and it's worked thus far. Plus there's nobody above me stomping around.
Otherwise, sure as can be, every time I would move into a multi bedroom, multi floor apartment, this would happen. The parents/parents are alcoholics, drug addicts, chain smokers, and covered in tattoos. They need a second bedroom for their screaming toddler. They throw loud parties all the time, and their guests carelessly park in your own assigned carport space. The front yard of the building is littered with said toddlers outdoor plastic play sets and tricycles.
|by Anonymous||reply 36||04/08/2021|
I've been searching for apartments here in LA and because of some issues I have with a bike that I'll have to keep inside my apartment, I can't see myself living on an upper floor. I also have some knee issues so stairs are not an option. I'm worried. I've been in a single, tiny guest house for the past 20 years and I enjoy the not having shared walls with anyone. I also stay up very late and am worried that could be an issue if I live above someone.
It would be so nice if the world was set up so that single people could afford houses. Unfortunately, everyone I know can only afford one if they are partnered and even then most can't. It wasn't always like this. I remember being just out of high school and working at a flower shop and a girl I worked with there was buying a condo on her own. I know zero single people who own and the number of people I know who can no longer even afford an apartment on their own is dwindling.
|by Anonymous||reply 37||04/08/2021|
^ typo, I meant parents/parent
|by Anonymous||reply 38||04/08/2021|
I live alone in a large single floor duplex and my next door neighbors are TV writers who work elsewhere in evenings and nights, so we get along perfectly. However, there's so much multi-floor condo construction in LA that through the day, I'm get hammering and saw dust pollution from 2 adjacent properties.
|by Anonymous||reply 39||04/08/2021|
[quote]Take a top floor unit if at all possible, and take care to spend a lot of time in the building before making an offer to investigate how soundproof or not the unit is. Unexpected noises have a strange way of carrying from unexpected places.
Excellent advice, and to it I'd add a suggestion of definitely visiting on a weekend night as well before signing any variety of offer. A friend of mine found this out the hard way after he failed to do adequate due diligence about a downtown apartment he found that was "such an incredible bargain" ... which it was, but only because a dance club with OUTDOOR music going till 4am four nights a week was less than 100 feet away, albeit obscured by foliage in the way.
[quote]It would be so nice if the world was set up so that single people could afford houses.
To take the progressive stance on this one: it'd be *really* nice if the world was set up so that houses are viewed as an essential need, not a commodity/investment vehicle, and cities like NYC & SF could maintain their appeal while also giving their respective middle-classes a place where they know they'll be able to stay put. This would likely require putting most housing into some form of nonprofit collective – and Repugs would of course go apeshit over the idea.
R37, just to clarify, do you mean "housing" generally or a literal "house"? (of the detached variety) If the latter, I'd point out that the US is one of the few countries where this model remains more or less the norm, even in outlying areas around our biggest cities – but, much more importantly, that the resulting lack of buildable land is a major factor in the skyrocketing housing prices most of the U.S. located in desirable areas has suffered over the past 20 years or so. (In other words, this is part of the reason why no one you know can afford a house.)
|by Anonymous||reply 40||04/08/2021|
I hate the fucking smell of weed in lobbies, hallways... wherever.
|by Anonymous||reply 41||04/08/2021|
[quote]All that said, we have a Haitian guy down the hall who whispers faggot at us and leaves weird voodoo-like talismans in the garbage room.
WTF? Why don’t you whisper back “quit fantasizing about me”? Freak.
|by Anonymous||reply 42||04/08/2021|
r40, I meant a house. But even apartments here are now becoming so expensive that it's rare to see a person who is single being able to afford even a one bedroom that isn't in some shady area.
|by Anonymous||reply 43||04/08/2021|
Can hear neighbors screaming at each other.
Don’t want to do workout videos because I’m worried the neighbors below me would complain.
Basically neighbors in such close proximity. That’s the nuisance.
|by Anonymous||reply 44||04/08/2021|
I live in West Hollywood (well, one block away) and it's amazing how much construction is going on, so no matter how quiet the building is, there's always noise from the building going up across the way, or next door.
I once lived in the country, in a large house distant from neighbors. The only time I ever enjoyed real peace and quiet.
|by Anonymous||reply 45||04/08/2021|
NYC here. Harlem condo. People like your neighbor are exhausting, OP. I’m on the building board, which is thankless. 2 or 3 tenants constantly complain about pet odor, cooking smells and smoking. All annoying, but not illegal. No rules in our by-laws preventing any of it. It’s basically an inevitability of city life. These tenants expect the board to step in and broker the situation when there’s no rules being violated. Wh3n I tell them their only recourse is to talk to the neighbors they ask me to do. I give a respectful but firm no. They persist and I tell them next time move into a smoke free, no pets allowed building. Sadly, they’ll still have garlicky fettuccine Alfredo with which to deal.
|by Anonymous||reply 46||04/08/2021|
I have a new inconsiderate neighbor move in below me, and it's galvanizing me to be a first-time homebuyer. Unfortunately it is a huge seller's market since 2020, due to covid. Since this asshole moved in Sept 2020, I have been keeping abreast of the USA real estate market via reddit. I am delaying contacting a realtor because I am waiting for home prices to go down somewhat, and inventory to go back up "after the covid housing bubble".
Thankfully, I'm in Ohio. Condo means townhouse here (no one above or below you), but other condo units stuck beside and maybe behind your unit. Before the covid bubble, these could be had for $120-150k for a 2 or 3 bedroom condo, with modest living room space, in a quiet suburb.
|by Anonymous||reply 47||04/08/2021|
Buildings can be quiet, it just depends on the material, concrete being excellent for noise control. My mom's old apartment had a neighbor upstairs, who would wake up and sing karaoke. Yep at 7am and with the whole karaoke setup, not just singing along with the radio. When my mom asked him to sing at another time, he said karaoke in the morning brought him happiness. Needless to say, the karaoke continued.
My mom moved into a building built in the 1970s and though it's not pretty, she has never heard any of her neighbors. Not at all and initially my mom found it odd and a bit eerie. The entire place is concrete which makes hanging things on the wall difficult but it's great for sound proofing. I'm jealous because my place is a wood building and soundproofed with two tissues of klennex. And I'm on the middle floor so I get from it top and bottom. I've been here forever because of the many pluses, but the soundproofing is the worst. Luckily, overall, I've had good neighbors. In 15 years, I only once asked a neighbor to mind the noise. She was doing plates and it made small appliances in my kitchen bounce. She never spoke to me again and moved out soon after.
|by Anonymous||reply 48||04/08/2021|
Dammit, she wasn't doing plates, but pilates...
|by Anonymous||reply 49||04/08/2021|
My landlord had to take my beyond inconsiderate downstairs neighbor to court to force him to make changes. I'm pretty sure the judge ordered mental health screening/subsequent heavy meds and smoking patch because he doesn't move for days now and no more flooding my apartment with smoke 24 7. On top of covid 2020 was a horrible year I will never forgive.
|by Anonymous||reply 50||04/08/2021|
I basically live in a shack house divided into 2 apartments, I have lived here for over 15 years. It's not really a shack obviously but, it's definitely not fancy.
However, I prefer living here to anywhere else in Burlington. Rents here are INSANE and we have less than 1 percent availability. I pay less for my 2 bedroom, 2 floor, small yard, private driveway, complete privacy apartment than any 1 bedroom dump in the city.
I have one shared building neighbor and I think he feels the same way as he's been here for about 10 years. I have 2 families across the driveway and one house across the fenced yard. I just learned the guy's name who lives in the same building. I have had some SHITTY neighbors but right now we have the perfect combination. I wouldn't move if I were paid to. And if I get more shitty neighbors, I will drive them out /wait them out.
|by Anonymous||reply 51||04/08/2021|
There's a lot of uncertainty with waiting out a shitty neighbor. If you were here first, you might remember what month they moved in. Most initial leases are 12 month leases. After 12 months, if they are still there, well then you wouldn't know if they signed another year-long lease, or are month-to-month or what.
I'm in Ohio (ie: low cost of living), and at some age or financial status/ new worth, I don't want to live stacked anymore. The quiet "boring" suburb beacons with its almost-guaranteed-quiet. I need an old people suburb.
|by Anonymous||reply 52||04/08/2021|
I'll give you guys the worse peril of apartment living. --- I live in a building where a neighbor fell asleep while he had something on the stove, and burned his friggin' place down. My 8-unit building shared a wall and roof/ceiling with another 8-unit building, and the while the fire was in the other building, because we share the ceiling all of us got smoke damage. Thankfully, firewalls kept the flames contained in his unit. I was displaced for 4 months until my insurance maxed and I ended up accepting a transfer to another building in the complex. It took over 6 months for them to re-open the buildings, and I'm not sure if that specific unit is open yet.
|by Anonymous||reply 53||04/08/2021|
One of my neighbors is older and uses medical marijuana (rec weed is still illegal in this state). Our building is smoke-free so whenever he goes outside to light up, the smell wafts into my place. I don't mind, though. Sometimes I can get a bit of a buzz.
This building is right next to the municipal building in the downtown area, which means cops, which means that it's quiet and calm here always. Some students living in a house down the street once attempted to blast some music and the cops shut it down after mere minutes.
|by Anonymous||reply 54||04/08/2021|
R22 if your building was a TV sitcom, I would watch the hell out of it!
|by Anonymous||reply 55||04/08/2021|
Early 20thC construction that was luxurious at the time tends to be a good start, sometimes excellent and whisper quiet, or sometimes not.
Older, wealthy neighbors tend to auger well, as well as a stable population with loads of residents who have been there not just years but decades (a factor that can work against you if you find yourself advocating for some expensive improvement project.). But I always favor older neighbors -- they're not one day going to turn the dining room into a nursery and try to raise twins in what's a large one-bedroom apartment; they're not going to have wild parties too many nights of every week; and they're not of a generation to complain vigorously about microwaving some Chinese food. Older people tend to have furniture, and rugs all of which absorb noise, whereas young professionals tend to storm home from their work lives in power shoes and clomp about packing suitcases, back and forth from this hollow, drugless room to that, banging things about as if angry at the world but just oblivious to it in their echoey empty apartments.
I've lived in places that were quiet as a morgue, except for that one neighbor who would drag a hefty box of empty booze bottles into the hall for staff to collect in glass recycling days (and make me laugh for the neighbor's dark secret), or the distant but clear sound of a piano playing twi flights up and three units over mysterious and lovely.). Sounds can defy all explanation. And sometimes slab construction and thick solid masonry walls serve more to amplify than to deaden sounds.
|by Anonymous||reply 56||04/08/2021|
My only time we lived in an apartment, we were pretty lucky. The whole building was very pet-friendly and we had a pet terrace. The dog owners all got along really well. The neighbors on my floor cooked, but the smells were delightful. We used to ask each other what the other was cooking. We all got along really well.
Only once did we have a minor issue. We had a couple of weed smokers move in (it was a no smoking building) and our hallway just reeked of weed. My other neighbor and I discussed it and decided because it was a no-smoking building, we would complain. I'd have certainly complained if it was cigarette smoke, so we didn't see the difference. They were cool about it and quit. The super told them to just get a vape pen or edibles since we couldn't care less if they got high. We just didn't want to smell weed in our hallway.
Overall, it wasn't a bad experience. The building was solidly built and very soundproof. I guess we got lucky. We only stayed for two years and then bought a house, so who knows how it would have been if we had stayed for several years?
|by Anonymous||reply 57||04/08/2021|
r51 - burlington, vermont? what's going on up there with the housing market? did they just not build enough? say more please.
|by Anonymous||reply 58||04/08/2021|
r58, it's a combination of things but the biggest 2 are, we don't really allow tall buildings /really strict coding and multiple colleges in addition to UVM. But yes, always less than 1 percent availability every single year. Even buying a home is not an option for most. You pay ridiculous prices just to get something before it's snatched up and most people who work in Burlington live at least 45 minutes away (and housing prices are high everywhere around Burlington even small towns just because they're kind of in commute distance).
I actually don't tell people what I pay for rent because it just really pisses them off.
|by Anonymous||reply 59||04/08/2021|
I have a friend who lives in a 4-unit apartment building. One of his neighbors is a family of 5 living in a 2-BR unit. The family, prior to Covid, held weekend barbecues inviting their multigenerational family members. Get this, the barbecues are held inside the shared garage with the garage door open to let the smoke out. Whenever my friend drives into the garage coming home, the neighbor’s family has to move the barbecue set up to make room for his car coming in. They’d all stare at him trying to maneuver between the barbecue set up, smoke billowing inside the garage, Mexican pop music blaring and kids throwing soda cans at his car.
|by Anonymous||reply 60||04/08/2021|
Im in Florida and luckily the huge central AC units running almost all year drown out all the but the loudest noises. In the summer all you hear outside is compressors working. I guess they also clear out any food smells from someone's apartment in a short time, I have never in my life heard someone complain about something so ridiculous. Its not a good idea to live on the top floor here with the sun baking your roof and making your apartment hot and your electric bill astronomical.
|by Anonymous||reply 61||04/08/2021|
There was a guy who lived on the same floor as I and everybody passed my apartment to get to the elevator. He bathed in patchouli and it invaded the hallway for hours after he flitted by. I find patchouli to be one of the most revolting smells ever.
|by Anonymous||reply 62||04/08/2021|
I fuckin' hate patchouli. Ugh! Any douchebag using patchouli deserves a formal complaint.
|by Anonymous||reply 63||04/08/2021|
3 out of 4 floors. Never had an issue in 30 years. Lucky I guess. Nice neighborhood so not going to get crazies. But amazing hearing these stories to think how lucky I am. Also really thick prewar walls - probably helps a lot.
|by Anonymous||reply 64||04/08/2021|
I live on the top floor and we recently had someone move in who my next door neighbor had a run in with because she was allowing her kid to run around the whole floor and when my neighbor opened the door the mother told him they were just getting their exercise because the kid is cooped up all day learning from home. When he told her that a lot of us work from home she scoffed and acted offended as if he was being unreasonable and called out for the kid to stop running so she doesn't disturb this neighbor. We were both in shock she seemed to think it completely alright to have her kid using the top floor as track for exercising. Stomping and screaming about like a maniac.
|by Anonymous||reply 65||04/08/2021|
During the day I'll put up with normal noise. But we have it in our HOA that at 10 PM it is quiet time. It is enforced. People get fines. We don't play. But I want to confirm one thing said earlier. If you live in a complex with a lot of seniors and middle aged, single working adults, you shouldn't have too many problems.
|by Anonymous||reply 66||04/08/2021|
When I lived in Mosso in SF...We had a gaggle of Asian girls in one apartment that couldn't put their garbage in the chute...They would just leave it on the floor in the garbage room...Also they would just toss any sort of cardboard boxes in the room...Rather than breaking them down and putting them where they were supposed to go...I have tons of stories of high rise/complex living in Chicago and SF
|by Anonymous||reply 67||04/08/2021|
I used to live on one of the cable car lines in San Francisco. Loud even when the cable car wasn't passing by (the cable lines continuously move and it's loud). The cable car stopped service between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. only. The rest of the 20 hours: loud.
I also lived in an area that had at least two hospitals closeby. Loud. Ambulances, etc.
Somehow, both of those places were OK. It was almost like white noise.
|by Anonymous||reply 68||04/08/2021|
I had a neighbor in an apartment building who had a full sized pool table, which was right in his living room. He played almost nightly, from 2a, -4 am. I complained to the landlord, but they did nothing. I'd retaliate with Yoko Ono's vocalizations, the really out there ones, that no one likes but me, but moved out as soon as my lease was up.
|by Anonymous||reply 69||04/08/2021|
I live in a co-op complex. All 2 story buildings. I live on the 2nd floor and it is fine for the most part. The couple across from me are pretty quiet. Their dog barks a lot, but they nip it in the bud. The guy under me travels a lot and is usually quiet when he’s home. We have a 10:00 pm quiet time, and it’s usually obeyed. There are a lot of nice retired people here. There are some trashy people on the other side of the complex, but the current board are being more discerning about who they let in.
I guess one thing that sometimes bugs me is that I don’t always want to CHAT every time I walk to my car or to the trash cans. That’s mostly me being a moody bitch, though.
|by Anonymous||reply 70||04/08/2021|
Has anyone else had apartment neighbors with a pet pig? A redneck couple who briefly lived in my building a few years ago got one. The squeals and smells were really something else (as were their screaming fights), though I did find out that my cats aren't terrified by pig noises as they are by dogs or people in the stairwell.
|by Anonymous||reply 71||04/08/2021|
I lived the floor beneath someone who played loud music during the day and night. He also had a ton of parties. I made many complaints, but it didn't matter. He was allowed to party as much as he wanted without any thought for others. I had a headache while living there. I couldn't sleep and needed a prescription for sleeping pills. It was really bad. I couldn't handle it anymore so I eventually sold it and moved. I now live in a townhouse and I'm very happy. My neighbors are quiet. I'm able to sleep.
|by Anonymous||reply 73||04/08/2021|
I live in a crap part of Hollywood, and for years, I was fortunate since I lived on the 2nd (top) floor, had the parking garage below, and the stairwell next to me. So I only have one neighbor on the other side. Our living space is up against each other though, and the walls as well as the windows are paper-thin.
After 7 years and 6 different neighbors, the most recent as of December is my reason for leaving. No matter how many times I've tried to talk to her, it's like Groundhog Day. She's not exactly light on her feet; I can actually 'feel' her walking around her space, her voice carries and is loud AF, and she slams the door so everything shakes. She defines the stereotype that females don't shut up; she really never shuts the F up be it on the phone or to her friend that comes over. This used to go on all hours of the night but she finally stopped so it's not as late now.
When she has that one friend over (which seems to be several days a week), the smell of weed leaks right over to my unit, and these are supposedly non-smoking apartments.
I've gone to the useless lady property manager and yes I'll say it...this neighbor and her are 'cut from the same cloth' so shit won't be done at all.
|by Anonymous||reply 74||04/08/2021|
When first married, my husband and I lived in an apartment complex, with our top floor (4) unit above that of the lead singer of a local group with a national hit song you all would recognize. He played music at all hours, loudly. I tried banging on the floor, then playing Sousa marches, then finally moving....
To an older urban row-home whose corner living room had been transformed into the landlord's barber shop. Oh, the lovely smell of pomade in the morning! Not. Plus the rather loud conversations with his elder customers enriching our Saturday mornings. So we then moved....
To a new townhouse. Never heard the neighbors on the right, and seldom those on the left. But then the latter moved, and a Hispanic family arrived. When we realized that we couldn't go on with being force-fed lessons in Spanish via their phone calls, we moved....
To a single suburban home. And though suburbia has its noise, some of it infernal (riding mowers), I have sworn, with a Scarlett O'Hara accent, that as God is my witness, I'll never reside in a shared-wall dwelling again!
|by Anonymous||reply 75||04/08/2021|
I know this will make me sound weird but I find most of the noises coming from my neighbors relaxing, in an ASMR sort of way. Listening to my upper neighbor vacuuming (and luckily she does it A LOT) is like music to my ears.
I do have a super sensitive nose, though. We never had any problems with stench in the building until an annoying Macedonian family moved downstairs. Now the whole building smells like cigarettes and some godawful ethnic dishes they seem to be making from dawn to dusk. Even stuffing a towel at the base of the front door doesn't keep that awful smell from coming into my apartment.
|by Anonymous||reply 76||04/08/2021|
R76 Not weird. I'm single so I live alone. It's only me and my cat. I live in a small town in Norway. I can actually afford to buy a house here, despite me having a job in the public sector and my salary not being that great. Housing prices are low here. Despite that I still opted for a townhouse. I would feel way too lonely in a big house. It's nice to have people around me. Also, this is co-op housing, which means I only own the inside. I pay a monthly fee, a lot is included, like property and municipal taxes, internet, mowing the lawn in summer and snow removal in winter. All the green areas are communal, but I have my own deck which I use a lot for grilling in summer. Co-op housing is prefect because if anything happens to the building, like a leaky roof, my costs will be covered. It's nice not having to think about it. So yes, townhouse living is nice. I once lived in an apartment with an asshole in the unit above me. Never again. I don't mind living in close proximity to others, as long as people behave. If they don't though it's hell on earth. You can make as many complaints as you want and it won't matter. Usually it's better to just move.
|by Anonymous||reply 77||04/08/2021|
I'm a landlord who owns an apartment in a not so great area of my city. When I first bought the place, the rent hadn't moved in years and a single mother with two kids lived there and was worried that I was going to increase the rent, which was about 30% lower than it could be. I took pity on her and kept it the same until she moved out 3 years later. It was only then that I found out that she had three indoor cats who had pissed all over the floor, curtains and walls, leaving me with a 20K bill to sort it all out.
|by Anonymous||reply 78||04/08/2021|
[quote]I find patchouli to be one of the most revolting smells ever.
[quote]I fuckin' hate patchouli. Ugh! Any douchebag using patchouli deserves a formal complaint.
|by Anonymous||reply 79||04/09/2021|
R78 - You’re admitting that you bought an apartment building without inspecting the condition of each unit? And you never went in to do any extermination or repairs? You deserved to be taken.
|by Anonymous||reply 80||04/09/2021|
rescue-chick, what's the deal with montpelier? does anyone live there and commute to burlington or is it not a desirable place to live?
i've visited vermont (montpelier more than burlington) in the summers and loved it but i would imagine the winters get depressing unless you are in a place with activity?
|by Anonymous||reply 81||04/09/2021|
Hi r81, people either love living in Montpelier or hate it. I personally was not a fan but, that's just me. People definitely commute from Montpelier to Burlington for work. It's a better commute than from Vergennes /Middlebury. I really like Waterbury which is really close to Montpelier, I would actually prefer to live there and commute. If you ski it's a great area to live. Montpelier doesn't get as much snow as Waterbury or Burlington. It's fine just not much of anything. I tend to not prefer anyplace with a hippie vibe.
|by Anonymous||reply 82||04/09/2021|
[R67] Can you tell us a bit more about your Chicago days?
|by Anonymous||reply 83||04/09/2021|
My first boyfriend lived in a tiny apartment with two large black women living above him. Mom and daughter I think. They never spoke to us. The walls were paper thin, and every time he and I fucked, they would start vacuuming. Even at 3 in the morning.
I was 25 and he was the first guy I had sex with, so I was game 24/7. If someone tried to have sex with me NOW at 3 am, I’d tell them they must be crazy.
|by Anonymous||reply 84||04/09/2021|
When I was younger, I didn’t notice how annoying neighbors were in the apartment buildings I lived in. But perhaps I wasn’t home much because I was out cruising the bars, being a full time whore.
Then we lived in a townhouse for many years and had zero noise. Last year we bought a condo in a high rise, and we could only take the noisy neighbors and cooking smells for 6 months. We sold it and moved to the burbs - which isn’t perfect, but it’s acceptable. No more shared walls or ceiling for us.
The only thing I miss about living in a densely populated area is being able to walk down the street to get a coffee and croissant.
|by Anonymous||reply 85||04/09/2021|
Never a new (or newer than pre-WWII) building for me.
Noise insulation can be incorporated or added today, but contractors hate to do it and often do a very half-assed job of it. Generally it has little more effect than to deaden, a bit, the hollow, echoing quality of a space.
Older buildings are generally much better at noise, and one part of that owes to ceiling heights. By the 1930s and certainly by WWII ceiling heights dropped substantially to 9' or 8' putting the sound of the clomped upstairs almost within reach as if you might grab it with a hand. Ceilings of 10' make a big difference, but 12' or 14'/15' is a great luxury just for all that added space in between and the generalization of sound that comes with in. If you can still hear footsteps, they should be less loud and also less specific in their exact location, which somehow makes the problem a little less personal.
|by Anonymous||reply 86||04/09/2021|
If you live in an apartment where you can't hear your neighbors, you can never move out.
|by Anonymous||reply 87||04/09/2021|
The problem is cheap building, not using materials that would deaden sound.
|by Anonymous||reply 88||04/09/2021|
When I was a very little kid I lived in an apartment with my mother and my room shared a wall with the neighbors' bedroom next door. I heard all kinds of weird thumping and squeaking noises and squealing sounds coming from there every night. One day I complained to my mom that it wasn't letting me sleep because they were being very loud. She heard the noises, suddenly got very flustered and let me sleep on the couch that night, then switched rooms with me. As an adult I now realize the noises were my straight neighbors having loud dramatic sex every night and the squealing was the woman very obviously and loudly faking it for her darling hubby. So that would be a real peril of apartment/condo living to me: having to listen to straight people have bad sex every night.
|by Anonymous||reply 89||04/09/2021|
If you smell a strong scent of some type of apple-cinnamon scented air freshener in the building when checking the place out, do not move there.
|by Anonymous||reply 90||04/09/2021|
My biggest concern was my "interview" with the co-op board. I dressed correctly and had to hold myself in check with the attitude of one board member. My gaydar was in full operating mode with that individual. I did meet their criteria but I also had several questions to ask them.
|by Anonymous||reply 91||04/09/2021|
I have lived in my condo for 15 years, and loved it for the first 12. Then, as a response to rising HOA fees, and owners being unable to keep up their condo fees, the Board made the decision to allow owners to rent their units. Oh, woe is me.... We've had every manner of renters--some good, some bad, some indifferent. About four months ago, my next-door neighbor put her unit on the market and got a quick sale to a 60 year old woman whom the Board interviewed and who was "moving in as soon as she could go north and sell her house. " in the interim, her "son" was going to use the unit. He's a late 20s something that smokes so much dope, I've had to pick up a white chip at my recovery meetings from the contact high. (A joke, but not far off).
|by Anonymous||reply 92||04/09/2021|
I don't know, OP. I've never lived in the type of establishment where someone's cook's or chef's (they are fussy about the difference) food-preparation odors is noticeable outside one's premises, I keep a few apartments away from my usual residences and so am able to be definitive on the subject.
As for your absurd neighbor, do you know any Italian gentlemen who could take care of your problem? You are American, I suppose, from your essence wafting about your post.
|by Anonymous||reply 93||04/09/2021|
Five years ago I lived for a while in an apartment on the 5th floor. The sixth floor was unoccupied. A new guy moved alone in the seventh and last floor. He immediately started to throw unbelievably loud parties even in the weekdays. I once went up at 2 am and rang his doorbell and even knocked strongly but no one opened. Either the music was too loud for them to hear or they didn’t care. Something was weird because sometimes I would hear strange songs sounded like hymns. I thought maybe they were in a cult doing rituals. I complained to the Super but nothing changed. One afternoon I knew he was at home I went up and knocked. I have never seen him before but there he was a very handsome late thirties guy with piercing green eyes. I never expected this. He was extremely nice and sweet talk and apologized. He said he would keep it low and mentioned he would love to see me joining them in their next party. He was like a devil. He threw like two more crazy parties, one of them only five days after the death of his father who lived in a big house in the same city according to the Super. Afterwards he moved out to live in his father’s house.
|by Anonymous||reply 94||04/09/2021|