Upstairs Neighbors Stomping On Purpose: What Can I Do?
One of the worst things you can experience while living in an apartment is a rude and noisy neighbor. Although most of the time, your neighbor is likely heavy-footed, other times you might wonder if your upstairs neighbors stomping on purpose. But, no matter what the reason for the stomping and aggravation is, what can you do?
To get your upstairs neighbor to stop stomping, talk with them first or try tapping on your ceiling to send a gentle heads-up that they’re making too much noise. If you suspect your neighbor’s making noise on purpose, try to make a good impression or send them a nice note. You might be able to work out a compromise, or in extreme cases, ask management if you can move, or just deal with it.
If you’ve asked your neighbor to stop stomping on their floor, and they haven’t done so, there are a few other legal steps you can take. In this article, we’ll take you through your options to get your neighbors to stop this bothersome behavior. That way, you can live in peace.
11 Ways To Stop Your Upstairs Neighbors Stomping
1. Tap On The Ceiling
If your upstairs neighbor is making lots of noise, they may not even know they’re doing it. Some people walk very heavily. You could bring it to their attention, but do it in a pleasant, calm manner.
One option is to give a small tap on your ceiling (which is their floor). You can use a broom or any other object that helps you reach the roof.
This can typically do the trick as it is the universal sign for “can you keep it down?” Sometimes people do not even realize how loud they are being, and if you make noise in return, they will cut it out.
To do this, you should tap on the roof of the area you hear the stomping coming from. If they’re stomping in the living room, but you hit the ceiling from the bedroom, then obviously, they may not hear it.
2. Write Your Upstairs Neighbor A Note
If a tap doesn’t do the trick, try writing a simple note. This will allow your neighbor to realize what they are doing and that it’s bothering you. At this point, they may not realize what they are doing, and would probably appreciate a note.
Slip the note under their door to ensure they receive it. Avoid involving management at this point, as it may make matters worse.
3. Nicely Speak To Them
If things continue after sending the note, give your neighbor the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps they didn’t see the note.
You can actually go to their door and bring up the fact that you have heard some noise. Explain how it is negatively impacting your life and ask if they could please quiet down.
You can also ask them if they have ever been disturbed by you. Just as your neighbors might not realize the noise they’re making, you might not realize that you’re doing something similar.
Sometimes, this is the reason for your neighbors purposefully making noise. If you approach them nicely and try to work things out, they may feel bad for their actions and stop making the noise.
4. Try To Make A Good Impression
What if your neighbor is making stomping noises on purpose? Could it be something you’ve done? You might never know, but you can try your best to make a good impression.
You do not need to go and bring cookies to everyone in your building, but you can attempt to change the way they view you. Try to smile at them as much as possible when you see them in the hallway or elevator, wave hello, or start a conversation.
By being personable to your obnoxious neighbor, they might view you as an acquaintance or a friendly neighbor. This perception might make them think twice before they decide to be rude.
5. Deal With The Upstairs Neighbors Stomping
Sometimes after attempting to ask them to stop, you can deal with it. It is not the best solution, but unfortunately, some people refuse to be respectful. You can also try listing to music in your ears, playing music to drown out their noise, or even watching television.
However, just ignoring it can cause them to be even more obnoxious, depending on the person or the neighbors in question. So, pay attention to this because ‘dealing with it’ may lead to larger problems.
6. Come To A Compromise With Your Neighbor
When speaking to your neighbor, if they state that they MUST jump rope at midnight every night, you can ask them to compromise. Instead of doing it in a room that is right above your bedroom, ask them to do so above your living room. You can also let them know that certain hours work better for you than others, and you would appreciate it.
If they are playing loud music or using their TV at late hours, you could also ask them to use a headset, or even consider purchasing it for them. Although this would be at a cost to you, it may be worth it if it is that important to you.
7. Speak To Management About Upstairs Neighbors Stomping
As a last resort, you can speak to your landlord or to building management. This is entirely up to you, but you can give them three chances before moving on to higher management.
Especially if your neighbors are being loud between the hours of 10 pm-7 am, there should be no issue with the management telling them to be quiet. By contacting management, they will most likely put a noise ordinance notification on the door.
However, calling management on your neighbor is more or less waging war. Yes, the noise may stop, but they may do other things to annoy you. Therefore, reporting your neighbors to management should be the last resort.
8. Add Some Soundproofing To Reduce Upstairs Neighbors Stomping
If your neighbor is willing, see if they will lay down some sort of sound-absorbing materials, like rugs, carpet, or underlays. Often the flooring in the apartment might be thin at best, causing even slightly heavy footsteps to sound like elephants stomping around the apartment. You can offer to take care of the costs and even help put down the materials.
Depending on what you install, you might need to get your management’s permission first. other forms of soundproofing might be too intense to add to your apartment. It’s likely the management won’t allow it.
For example, you could install a drop ceiling, ceiling insulation, or use resilient channels between your joists and ceiling drywall. These channels are thin strips of metal that attach to the joists and act as shock absorbers.
Obviously, either of these options is a major undertaking, especially in an apartment. You need special permissions on multiple levels, including permits, so this one is likely a no-go if you’re renting. But it never hurts to ask.
Video: Ways To Soundproof Your Ceiling (If You’re Allowed To Do It)
Again, soundproofing is only a viable option if you have permission to do it. Many situations call for you to hire a building engineer.
If you do end up able to add soundproofing, make sure it doesn’t involve putting holes in the ceiling. Adding holes to the ceiling for light fixtures and other elements can give the sound more places to travel through.
9. Ask The Management To Move You
If you are living in an apartment building and you have explored all other options, you can always ask to move. You legally have the right to quiet enjoyment, which means you have the right to quiet during standard hours.
Your management will also know which tenants have young children, who tend to blast loud music, or even those who work during the night. They can help you pick a more appropriate apartment.
If you are renting a house, then you will need to discuss getting out of your lease early. When owning your home, you will need to skip this step and move on to “Involving Law Enforcement.”
10. Involve Law Enforcement
Unfortunately, this is the last situation you will want to be in, but it may be necessary. If your neighbors are making a lot of noise during the hours of 10 pm-7 am, then you have the right to make a noise complaint. If your management won’t do anything about it, then making a noise complaint might involve calling law enforcement.
They will simply come to their door and ask them to be quiet. If they do not comply, then they will be served a fine. This should be the action you take as an ultimate last resort.
If you have repeatedly asked them to stop making noise, then you will need to have some proof to back it up. Even if you have already called law enforcement, they may deny the noise and get away with it.
What you can do, is to take notes on when they are making noise, and also take videos or audio recordings. This way you will have proof, and the police will have something to back up your claims.
If you have surrounding neighbors, you can also speak with them and ask them if they are hearing the same noises. If you have multiple people reporting the noise, you will make a larger case against the noisemakers.
11. Return The Noise
Okay, so the whole concept of an eye for an eye can get pretty petty. But if you have not been able to have the police fix your situation, and your management is not able to do anything, you can return the sentiment. This will annoy them most likely and might persuade them to discontinue their actions (but it could make it worse).
However, keep in mind that this is likely to get you nowhere in the grand scheme of things. Especially if you’re already dealing with neighbors that obviously don’t care about your comfort. Plus, you’re probably going to end up getting even more frustrated.
One thing you can do is purchase a ceiling vibrator for about $120 to $150. There are different types of vibrators you can purchase to place on the ceiling and make your neighbor’s floor vibrate.
You can also do things like play tennis on the ceiling with a racket and ball or play a loud instrument. But, consider your other neighbors, too. For example, starting to play the guitar at 1 AM to get back at your upstairs neighbors, you will also disturb those on the sides of you, etc. Now, you’re the one being annoying.
So, proceed with caution when it comes to returning the noise. Although this is not recommended until trying every other option, you can let them know that this will continue until they stop with their noise.
Final Thoughts On Upstairs Neighbors Stomping
Having upstairs neighbors stomping can be extremely frustrating if these neighbors aren’t courteous or respectful to your living space. Luckily, there are some actions that you can take in order to diffuse the situation. By being personable to your neighbor or even calling management, you can usually put a stop to the nuisance. Try sending a note, talking with your neighbor, or tapping on the ceiling before involving management or the authorities.
You will need to truly decide if calling the police, getting your management involved, and potentially starting a large fight is genuinely worth it. If your neighbor is simply being loud during the waking hours of 7 am-9 pm, then you technically have no recourse.
If they do not stop even after you speak to them, it might be a lost cause. Some people have no regard for others’ quiet enjoyment, and sometimes the best decision is to get over it or move.
Real estate agent and copywriter, originally from California. Chloe brings her real estate expertise into her writing to create effective and helpful home guides for you! When not writing or selling homes, she spends her time as a digital nomad traveling the world.
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