Sound Wars

It’s midnight and I’ve just put myself to bed after a wasted day of accomplishing very little except ripening my foul mood. The land line rings. This means tenant issues. I see on the caller i.d. which tenant it is and call him by name when I answer the phone.

“You know I wouldn’t call, I’m not the type to call, but this has been going on for a long time. I’ll just call the police because I’m looking at the website and it says the law is quiet hours are 9pm to 9am. I saw him in the hall earlier and he said they are on the same schedule but at 5:30am every day I hear the high heels walking around on the floor. They should have rugs!”

(Yes, this tenant talks in circles and it is often challenging to figure out what exactly the problem is.)

“What exactly is going on right now? Are they having a loud party?”

“Well, yes. They are being loud. People are over. I don’t think it is a party. I turned up Johnny Cash’s ‘I Won’t Back Down’ and then they all laughed. They pound on the floor and then I pound on the ceiling.”

(I also know that he has yelled up obscenities to them in the past. He always leaves that bit out.)

“Okay so do you want me to go talk to them? Because I can. . .”

“No, you get some sleep. I will just call the police and in the morning I will blare my music.”

“Wait. I understand you are upset but you blaring your music tomorrow morning isn’t going to fix this. I thought the two of you had worked this out for a while?”

“We had but I saw him at the mailbox earlier and he didn’t mention a party. I’m sick of being woken up by the high heels every morning!”

“Okay. I can understand that. I can say something to them about leaving their shoes off if they don’t have rugs. I  just don’t think it’s a good idea to have a sound war with them. It will be hard for me to talk to them if they can complain right back about you playing your music loudly.”

(In general, he really does play his music at top volume. Not when it’s quiet hours but still.)

“I can see whose side you are choosing. I am going to hang up now.”

He hung up! After waking me up! WHAT. THE. FUCK. So, I called him back. And of course, I got the voice mail.

“I don’t appreciate you hanging up on me. I am not choosing a side; I am trying to mediate this on-going problem between the two of you. If you are going to call me at midnight to complain then I would assume you would want me to DO SOMETHING ABOUT the problem. I would like this issue to be resolved between both parties and I don’t think retaliation is going to help. That was my point. Now I am going to hang up.”

I am still pissed. They are both getting written warnings because this is petty bullshit. Yelling at each other through the floor? Turning up music to top volume to teach a lesson? Grow up!

36 thoughts on “Sound Wars

  1. Good for you for giving them BOTH written warnings. Childish and petty indeed! And to then call you out for taking a side and hanging up? Sheesh!

  2. Ha, try being the landlord and have “sound wars” and coming up with a solution. I had tenants who in general were loud ABOVE me, constantly making noise, hearing their footsteps, shoes, tv, music, running up and down stairs as loud as possible and it was affecting my sleep. Thankfully they’re gone and the new tenants are much quieter.

  3. Whatever happened to, I dunno, talking to one another in a civil matter? Like you get more flies with honey then with vinegar? Idiots!

  4. Oh, you do have my sympathies! I owned a condo once that had a “War of the Roses” style showdown that went on nearly every night between 2 tenants (and this was in a 4-flat.) Talk about tension! I referred to them all as the hideous neighbors. Eventually I sold that and bought a house, where it now costs me approx 3x as much to maintain. So who’s the winner?

  5. I agree with Vanessa. It sounds like they’re all acting like a bunch of spoiled kids. I lived in an upper for a while and made sure that I was considerate of my neighbor downstairs, but she in turn realized that I wasn’t about to tiptoe around 24/7 just to make her comfortable. It’s not that hard to get along. Hopefully one of them will move soon. Good luck.

  6. At the risk of sounding like a killjoy, it seems to me that this tenant doesn’t believe you will or will be able to do anything to mediate the situation. He has no faith in the situation being resolved, and so he is going to take matters into his own childish hands. Good luck.

  7. And this is why I’m no longer in a apt. I wear hearing aids which are taken out when going to bed. Once back in my apt days, I heard stereo blaring from the apt below and actually felt the vibrations while laying in my bed. I was in my jammies so I didn’t want to go knock on their door. I called the front office’s after hours number and 20 minutes later….the music stopped. End of story. Some people like your tenants have no respect. I’m just glad my neighbors listened because I would not have been so nice the second time.


  8. LOL I love it. 🙂 I had forgotten what it was like to live in an apartment… or have neighbors at all. Suddenly I like living in the middle of nowhere.

  9. Dude… I so hope that you are squirrelling away your extra pennies for a down payment. So, how many kids do you have?

    TL is cracking me up.

  10. Seriously, are you a RA? Cause that behavior is unacceptable for adults. I think you should make it your policy to no longer deal with noise disputes. Your job should be fixing things like pipe bursts and making sure the carpet is clean, not mediating petty squabbles. Ugh.

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