Can My Upstairs Neighbors Hear Me?

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By definition, renting an apartment means you will be living close to your neighbors. When you live in an apartment building, you are probably wondering if your neighbors can hear you. Let’s dig deeper into whether your upstairs neighbors might be able to hear you.

In short, while it is possible for your upstairs neighbor to hear you, it is far more likely for you to hear your upstairs neighbor.

Will the Sound From My Apartment Travel Upstairs?

mid rise apartment building

Yes, it is entirely possible that the sound from your apartment can travel to your upstairs neighbors. It really depends on how your apartment building is built.

Having said that, it is far more likely for you to hear noise from the units above you (i.e. footsteps of them walking)

In general, a well-built apartment building with a strong sound control (STC rating) lowers the potential for noise to travel from one apartment to another. Typical noise from sources such as footsteps, television, and/or music should be much less audible in a well-built apartment building.

Noise from a very loud television, music, jumping, and running sounds are still likely to be heard.

Are Top Apartments Less Noisy Than Bottom Apartments?

The short answer is yes! Lower-level apartments tend to hear more noise from foot traffic, furniture moving, and the like. The biggest complaint with regard to noise from lower-level apartments is the noise neighbors above them make while walking around.

Some apartment complexes have done a great job with soundproofing so this issue is minimized in them. Unfortunately, when budgets are tight, sound control is among the expenses to be cut. Sound control is significantly more important to the long-term happiness of a resident, but it rarely makes the priority list of apartment hunters.

Can You Minimize Your Noise?

You may not be able to completely eliminate noise as most of this is controlled by the sound control features of the building itself. You can, however, take measures to help minimize the likeliness of your apartment transmitting noise:

Add Rugs

Thick rugs are a relatively inexpensive way to help with sound control.

Look for Cracks in Your Walls and Ceilings

Cracks in walls and ceilings, and openings along poorly fitted apartment doors can cause sound to travel. Get in touch with your landlord or property manager to have them fix it.

Be Considerate

Even if you think the noise from your apartment isn’t traveling too far, try to keep it down, especially during apartment quiet times. It’s always best to be a considerate neighbor.

Noise can be a big issue between neighbors so it’s important you take steps to minimize your contribution to the problem.

How To Minimize Noise Hear from Upstairs Neighbor?

If you are not in a well-built building, there is not much you can do, but here are some steps:

Ask them to Add Rugs

Potentially talk to your property manager to see if it’s possible the neighbor could add some area rugs. Some leases actually require a certain percentage of the floor be covered with rugs. Check with your property manager on how they could handle this.

Ask Property Manager About Quiet Hours

If the noises are happening late at night and are not normal impact noises, you could potentially ask your landlord to intervene and politely remind neighbor about quiet hours. Ask property manager how they would handle.

Find A Different Apartment

If the noise is truly unbearable, discuss options with your landlord. It is possible they will be willing to move you to a different apartment, or ask that neighbor to quiet down. You’d be surprised how often people aren’t aware of the noise they are making, and most do not wish to be bad neighbors.

Worst case scenario, at the end of your lease, you can move out and find an apartment building with sound control that is built in.

At Fidelity Management, many of our apartment communities are built with concrete floors and ceilings that have an excellent STC (sound control rating) and we rarely have this problem. However, some people are more sensitive to noise than others. There is also hallway noise that is often confused for apartment noise.

Often times, we have people specifically seeking out our apartments because they have had a poor experience with noisy neighbors in the past, and are looking for a well-built apartment complex with sound controlled floors, ceilings, and walls.

When looking for an apartment, ask what sound control measures are in place for the floors, walls, and ceilings. If you want to really get detailed, ask these questions about sound control before renting any apartment.


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