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Old 02.01.2015, 11:11
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How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

Sorry to create yet another "noisy neighbor thread," but I just don't know the best way to handle this situation, and it's really beginning to negatively affect my sleep and, in general, my everyday life.

A few weeks ago, a new couple (no kids) moved into the apartment above us. Every morning since they've moved in, including Saturdays, I am woken up at 5:45 by one of them. It's mostly the sounds of their footsteps in the bedroom above mine but also by something that sounds like them sliding wardrobe doors. It sounds like someone up there is really rushing to get ready for work. Every apartment in our building has hardwood floors, and the building is quite old and has very little to no sound-proofing.

I realize that, to some of you, waking up at 5:45 may not be considered early. But, unfortunately, I'm just not one of those people who do well on only 6 or 6 1/2 hours of sleep. Normally I go to bed around 10:30 or 11:00 pm; and, ideally, I sleep until about 7:00. It's difficult to me to go to bed earlier because I work in the evenings/nights from my home computer and have a little boy who doesn't like going to bed before 9:30.

So, despite sleeping with a white noise machine, I am still woken up every morning by this new neighbor. And I really have no idea how to change the situation. But this 1 to 1 1/2 hours of less sleep is really starting to catch up to me, and I can feel myself becoming a bit more cranky each day. I fear it's just a matter of time before I go up there in a sleep-deprived rage and demand that they be a bit more quiet in the morning. Yet I also realize that they aren't really making "excessive" noise.

Moving really isn't an option for us, because apart from the fact that we just moved into our place last March, I really, really love everything (else) about our new apartment. We had searched for a garden apartment for well over a year and finally found the perfect one. There is simply no way we can move.

I've "met" these new neighbors only twice, but it was mostly just a "welcome to the building" while passing one another in the hallway. And I have a feeling they don't speak English. Since I speak only some German, if I do approach them about this, it's going to have to be either my Swiss husband and myself who goes up there, or I will have to ask my husband to translate a letter for me. But I worry that a letter seems too passive-aggressive. And of course, with a letter, it's difficult to convey a nice tone as you can in-person. (I certainly want to remain on good terms with these neighbors!).

So I'm wondering... How do you think I should approach this situation? If there was something I could do, on my part, to be a deeper sleeper, I would. But as it is, I already sleep with a noise machine, and going to bed earlier isn't really an option for me.

But the thought of spending the rest of my time being so tired all day just kills me. Again, I can feel myself becoming crankier and crankier; and I'm even beginning to lose patience more easily with my little boy. So something obviously needs to change. But I don't really know what to do.

What do you think? Should I approach the new neighbor? Or would it be irrational of me to ask them to try to walk more quietly and close doors more quietly, etc.?

Thanks.
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Old 02.01.2015, 11:14
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

Im sure you're aware, within reason, no noise before 7am is the norm here... so of course just speak to them and tell them. Not even sure why you need to make this into a long-winded thread, just use some basic social skills and speak to them nicely about it?

Alternatively, ear plugs...?
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Old 02.01.2015, 11:14
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

Go to bed earlier.

Tom
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Old 02.01.2015, 11:19
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

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Im sure you're aware, within reason, no noise before 7am is the norm here... so of course just speak to them and tell them. Not even sure why you need to make this into a long-winded thread, just use some basic social skills and speak to them nicely about it.

Alternatively, ear plugs...?
I guess I wasn't sure if footsteps at 5:45 am was considered "excessive noise" and could fall into that "no noise before 7:00 am" category. I thought that rule only applied to "excessive" noise.

Yeah, I wish I could wear ear plugs every night, but after a few nights, they really begin to hurt my inner ear.

The reason my thread is "long-winded" is because I tried to explain the situation in detail so I didn't have to explain it later.

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Go to bed earlier.

Tom
As I mentioned, it's really difficult for me to do that because I work at night and have a little boy who usually doesn't want to go to bed before 9:30 pm. It would be very difficult for me to go to bed at 9:30 pm. I would basically have to quit my job to do that.
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Old 02.01.2015, 11:27
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

Having lived next door to a woman who finds it necessary to shout for her cats to come in every evening outside our bedroom window (until 11pm in the summer as of course they don't want to), I can totally sympathise with you, Pancakes. You end up anticipating the coming noise so that it wakes you up even when it hasn't happened (or in my case not being able to go to sleep knowing she would shout). It can really get to you.

I would definitely ask your husband to approach them & ask them to put down rugs as they probably aren't even aware of the noise.
Good luck.
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Old 02.01.2015, 11:35
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

If it's them getting ready for work, perhaps suggest that they prepare clothes and stuff the night before and leave them in the bathroom. This is what I do anyway and I wake up at 7. The only thing I do in the bedroom in the morning is get out of bed and walk across the room. Then again, I don't walk like an elephant. Apparently a lot of people have trouble not walking like an elephant.
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Old 02.01.2015, 11:48
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

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A few weeks ago, a new couple (no kids) moved into the apartment above us. Every morning since they've moved in, including Saturdays, I am woken up at 5:45 by one of them. It's mostly the sounds of their footsteps in the bedroom above mine but also by something that sounds like them sliding wardrobe doors. It sounds like someone up there is really rushing to get ready for work.
Looks like someone needs to leave the house really early in the morning, tries to sleep as long as possible and then rushes out.
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Old 02.01.2015, 11:54
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

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I guess I wasn't sure if footsteps at 5:45 am was considered "excessive noise" and could fall into that "no noise before 7:00 am" category. I thought that rule only applied to "excessive" noise.

Yeah, I wish I could wear ear plugs every night, but after a few nights, they really begin to hurt my inner ear.

The reason my thread is "long-winded" is because I tried to explain the situation in detail so I didn't have to explain it later.
Basically the story is "neighbours are making noise at 5:45am, I can hear footsteps each morning". The rest was just filler and worrying about how you may (over)react.

Anyway, usually people really don't have any idea how much noise they are making... it's a psychological thing where if you do not feel like you are consciously making excessive noise, then you have no idea how much your neighbour can or cannot hear simply because you are in your own closed environment, not in your neighbours room.

As for the ear plugs, the solution is to do some research and get some good ones that are custom moulded to your ear. I use ear plugs every night since a year and a half or so, and my sleep has massively improved as I am a light sleeper and now I can't hear any background noise.

It really is simple: talk to them warmly and friendly with a smile on your face, and explain the situation, and find out their reasons for being up at that time and making noise before you do anything else. Then they can understand and make more of a concerted effort to tread and close doors quietly.

Until you do that and see how it goes for the next week or two, then all other speculation is pointless.
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Old 02.01.2015, 12:14
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

Simply inform the landlord they are disturbing you. He should tell them to be quiet outside the legally stated quiet hours.

Look on your Gemeinde / Commune website for the exact times, as they do vary a bit.
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Old 02.01.2015, 12:17
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

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Simply inform the landlord they are disturbing you. He should tell them to be quiet outside the legally stated quiet hours.
Report them to the landlord before they actually speak to the new neighbours and give them a chance to do something about said footsteps and doors before getting an official letter to their new home as a welcome present? Clearly your social skills are in need of more than a little development.

Last edited by Richdog; 02.01.2015 at 12:32.
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Old 02.01.2015, 12:41
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If it's them getting ready for work, perhaps suggest that they prepare clothes and stuff the night before and leave them in the bathroom. This is what I do anyway and I wake up at 7. The only thing I do in the bedroom in the morning is get out of bed and walk across the room. Then again, I don't walk like an elephant. Apparently a lot of people have trouble not walking like an elephant.
If you came and told me to do that I would probably show you the "stinkefinger"... It's "life" noise and I suggest that the OP just gets over it.
There is no reason for anyone to start walking on eggshells when they are getting up for work. They can shower, take a sh*t and flush the lavatory if they want. They can walk about and they can open and shut their wardrobe. If they decide they want to listen to Radio24 at the top of the volume scale, that is a different matter.

All I can say is "get a life".

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Report them to the landlord before they actually speak to the new neighbours and give them a chance to do something about said footsteps and doors before getting an official letter to their new home as a welcome present? Clearly your social skills are in need of more than a little development.
Report them for what? Walking around in their apartment? What do you want them to do? Hover? If the soundproofing of the apartment is that bad, is it not the neighbour's fault.

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Simply inform the landlord they are disturbing you. He should tell them to be quiet outside the legally stated quiet hours.

Look on your Gemeinde / Commune website for the exact times, as they do vary a bit.
Quiet hours are for the use of machines or loud music....not walking around.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 02.01.2015 at 14:52. Reason: merging successive posts
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Old 02.01.2015, 12:45
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

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Report them for what? Walking around in their apartment? What do you want them to do? Hover? If the soundproofing of the apartment is that bad, is it not the neighbour's fault.
Maybe you need to read posts properly before replying to them.
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Old 02.01.2015, 12:46
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

You have no case here.

They are getting ready for work. I know plenty of people who need to get up well before 6 to leave for work.

Your problem is that they live above you in an old building with flooring.
This is why years ago apartments were carpeted. This really helps with footsteps from above. But today few people are interested in carpets.

I guess you must have been luckier with the previous tenants above you.

This reminds me of the neighbours who complain about babies and children crying. This must be tolerated.
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Old 02.01.2015, 12:48
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

Except when some people walk around it IS excessive noise. In poorly insulated buildings I would expect people to walk on eggshells in the bedroom if it's during the quiet hours, as I do when I go to bed late.


But of course you should talk to them as they may not be aware of it. Letting the frustration build up until you snap and are rude is no good to anyone.
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Old 02.01.2015, 12:50
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

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As for the ear plugs, the solution is to do some research and get some good ones that are custom moulded to your ear. I use ear plugs every night since a year and a half or so, and my sleep has massively improved as I am a light sleeper and now I can't hear any background noise.
What a marvelous idea. So if the OP's young boy wakes up in the middle of the night crying, as children can do, only the neighbours upstairs will hear him. Brilliant.
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Old 02.01.2015, 12:50
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

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Maybe you need to read posts properly before replying to them.
Ooops! Apologies....so much for speed reading when one is agitated!
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Old 02.01.2015, 13:18
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

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What a marvelous idea. So if the OP's young boy wakes up in the middle of the night crying, as children can do, only the neighbours upstairs will hear him. Brilliant.
That post doesn't even make any logical sense, considering she already sleeps with a white noise machine, which would provide a similar level of interference against crying, except does less well against loud knocks and bangs than earplugs. I know as I have tried both, at length, including in a house full of babies and toddlers this christmas.

All ear plugs do is block out background noise, they don't block out all sound entirely. Here is a site explaining it from a parents and childs perspective http://www.sensorysmartparent.com/pt...oundnoise.html

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Contrary to popular belief, earplugs do not block out all sound. They simply reduce overall volume.
Maybe best to do some basic research before making yourself sound a bit dense, Mrs Duhlittle.
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Old 02.01.2015, 13:34
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

Totally agree about talking nicely and calmly to the neighbours first, and see if you can come to an arrangement. They are probably totally unaware that they are causing you a problem. Going direct to agency/landlord is really so unpleasant in my book. If it does not work, then 1 more pleasant ask- wait 2 days, and then straight to agency if it does not work (make sure you keep records of when you talk to them). Sbrinz I am surprised at you- why escalate without trying to sort out amicably? Daughter in the UK recently had such an issue- she had put out on the landing (top floor so not in anybody's way-) a large parcel that was to be collected by a friend. He didn't come immediately, so she put a large friendly note on the parcel- to say she hoped it was not inconvenient, would be collected soon- but to get in touch with her (door next to parcel) if it was a problem. Next thing we knew, the Chair of the owners' assoc phoned us in.. Switzerland (as we are the legal owners) to say there had been a complaint! How ridiculous and passive-aggressive (not just a Swiss thing,hey!) - when the complainant could have rung her bell, stopped her when coming back from work, or put a note in her letterbox or on doorstep)- idiot! Really not condusive to future good relations.

I am very sensitive to noise, as apart from the time we lived in London on a busy road with single windows (but fortunately on attic floor of run-down Victorian conversion on Putney Hill)- I've always lived in very quiet locations as regard to noise. But I just can't wear ear plugs, as they make me feel very claustrophobic and uncomfortable- tried several different sorts- with the same effect. What works for one or many, may not work for all.

Last edited by Odile; 02.01.2015 at 13:45.
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Old 02.01.2015, 13:40
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

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As for the ear plugs, the solution is to do some research and get some good ones that are custom moulded to your ear. I use ear plugs every night since a year and a half or so, and my sleep has massively improved as I am a light sleeper and now I can't hear any background noise.
Any brand to recommend? I am like OP, it hurts me.
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Old 02.01.2015, 13:42
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Re: How to approach new neighbors about early morning noise?

Unfortunately for OP, excessive noise before 7am does not include activities which are unavoidable and constitute normal use of the apartment. E.g. getting ready for work, flushing the loo etc.

I posted a link to a Mieterverband (renters association) article on EF on this many moons ago - I will try to dig it out. This had an example of a SBB shiftworker who wanted to have a shower after coming off nightshift - the conclusion was a quick freshening shower is fine at such times, though running the bath would not be.

The best would be to have a friendly word with the neighbour and come to some compromise.

Edit: Here is a link to an article in Beobachter: http://www.beobachter.ch/wohnen/nach...achts-duschen/

Cheers,
Nick

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Im sure you're aware, within reason, no noise before 7am is the norm here... so of course just speak to them and tell them. Not even sure why you need to make this into a long-winded thread, just use some basic social skills and speak to them nicely about it?

Alternatively, ear plugs...?
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