View Full Version : Ridiculously loud/inconsiderate neighbor (rant/seeking advice)

May 15th, 2014, 16:46
This might be long but I'm gonna try to get all the important parts in.

At the beginning of April I had a new neighbor move in above me -- 201 -- over my first-floor apartment in a two-story building. We're located at the end of the building, so we only have two neighbors each. At first I didn't know for certain I had a new neighbor but the sudden extreme increase in noise and bad behavior made me pretty certain, and I ascertained later that it was in fact true. He's apparently a new student at the local university and moved in with the help of a coop group for students.

Anyway, the noise had been carrying on for about a week and at first I let it go. My previous neighbor had been loud sometimes and would occasionally spur me to complain on social media, but never to the extent that something needed to be done, never at unreasonable hours, and never for long stretches of time. Suddenly, though, the noises changed to shockingly loud footsteps (it's not even proper to call them that; 201 literally stomps as his regular mode of walking) which continue for hours on end (sometimes it sounds like he's jumping/working out, others, he just doesn't seem to stop moving during waking hours) and several instances of banging around -- absolutely no slamming doors, surprisingly, but it sounds like he's carelessly dropping things on the floor (imagine like a laundry basket full of clothes), or when he sits or lays down he just kind of throws himself on the ground. This continues on and off nearly every single waking hour of the day when I'm home from work. My apartment regularly rattles from the noise, and the vibrations are severe enough that even with music on, I can stand in the middle of the room touching nothing but the floor and feel the goddamn building shake.

After a week or two of this (in early April) I was going out of my mind, and the tipping point was when I went to be around midnight (sometimes the usual for me) only to be promptly awoken at 12:30 by his nonsense. I went upstairs and asked him if he knew what time it was, told him he was shaking my room, that he woke me up, and he needed to stop. He didn't even apologize; I basically got "wakarimashita." Luckily, I was able to sleep.

Things just continued from there. I'm not sure if I contacted my supervisor at work before or after he woke me up again, but he's since made a happen of waking me up anywhere between 12:30~4am about twice a week. Early on, he was waking me with company, laughing and talking loudly at like 2 am, and turning on music in the middle of the night. He was also doing this in his bedroom, which is directly over mine, so it's no mystery why he kept waking me up.

My boss started putting my complaints in with the landlord or directly with the neighbor. At first, the neighbor was admitting his fault and saying he would try better, and the landlord said he had asked him to quiet down. But if anything, it got worse, because the instances of loud, 3-am gettogethers and 2-am music just got more frequent. I kept complaining. The neighbor's opinion changed; all of a sudden he was never at fault, and I'm just "sensitive and unusual."

Mind you I have never formally complained about anything living here before in the other 2.5 years I've spent in this apartment.

His transgressions are daily. I still complain to my supervisor but don't think the landlord is really coming down on the guy, and I don't feel like anyone believes me. I also don't know if my boss has complained to the tenant/his mother/landlord as often as I have complained to my boss. At my boss's suggestion, I've started using an audio recorder to capture his transgressions, but most of the banging and stomping is such low-frequency it doesn't turn up as loud on the recording as it is in real life. Still, the landlord spoke to his next-door neighbor who says she's never heard him, so apparently everyone thinks that means I'm lying (except my boss) -- but naturally she wouldn't be hearing most of this since it's his floor to my ceiling, and stuff happening in his bedroom, which is against the opposite wall from the other neighbor, directly over mine. Of course she isn't hearing what I'm hearing.

In the past couple of weeks, he's at least minded his music. I've heard it during the day on a couple of occasions, but never loudly enough to really be an issue. However, he's still waking me up and driving me insane during all hours of the day/night when I am awake. I had to be sent home from work one day (my school is aware of the situation) because I was out of it and they were concerned, so they let me go home and sleep before he could get home and start being an idiot that day. This week, he's woken me up two nights in a row around 3am with banging around and stomping directly over my bedroom. I don't care if he's awake at those hours as long as he can chill out. This is taking a toll on my health; I'm exhausted all the time and can't sleep when I want to, or am woken up; I'm stressed out, and I just can't deal with this anymore.

A breakthrough during Golden Week was that a Japanese friend saw me desperately asking for help and advice on social media and offered to take me to the police. Before we got there he called the realtor, who hadn't heard about the situation. The realtor was supposed to talk to the tenant, but I don't know if he has. Certainly nothing has changed if he did. In the meantime, this friend who is also an audio engineer, has been helping me try to get the most out of the recordings. We were supposed to have a meeting with the realtor last week but he had to cancel; now, we're supposed to go tomorrow, but I'm kind of worried he'll cancel again because perhaps at this point he doesn't believe me, either. I feel totally helpless because this is a Japanese guy's word against what they probably perceive as a "stupid foreigner." I live a quiet life and I just want to be able to rest in my own home.

I'm sorry for going nuts on this post, but this is where I'm at now. I've printed all the emails with my boss and highlighted dates and times, and have as per the realtor's advice, started taking memos of all the noise I hear. I also have an arsenal of recordings.

The tenant's mother and the landlord think I should move out -- they'll pay -- but the catch is that I'm moving in two months and I don't think my already stress-addled self can handle extra bullshit, especially when I'm not the one being raucous. (Also, it seems we have a clause in our leases that says if someone is causing other neighbors trouble, especially to the extent the police may be called, they will be forced to move, so shouldn't he be held to that?)

All in all, putting this bastard in a first-floor apartment would solve a lot of this nonsense and I don't see why they can't just do that. Two more months of living like this and my hair is going to fall out.

Well, that was a theraputic rant. I'd like to hear from other people who may have had severe problems, and what worked for you or didn't. Also, personal experiences with going to the police? My Japanese friend would be with me, and I can speak a high enough level of Japanese as well that language isn't an issue, just credibility, really.

May 15th, 2014, 16:57
He sounds like a good laugh. Head upstairs, crack open a few beers and embrace it.

May 15th, 2014, 17:06
Yep, troll post is not helpful. Thanks anyway.

May 15th, 2014, 17:44
Ear Plugs for Sleeping - Sleeping and Snoring Relief (http://www.earplugstore.com/ear-plugs-for-sleeping.html)

May 15th, 2014, 17:56
Gotta go with Ini's suggestion; that totally sucks arse, but I dunno what other solution is available, given what you've told us. Maybe take some melatonin before bed?

May 15th, 2014, 18:07
I'm at a loss too, unfortunately. At this point I don't think that going to the police would really help you much, and might just make the landlord less likely to listen to you. I don't think mrcharisma's suggestion is trollish - sometimes getting drunk with someone can solve the problem better than getting angry. Either that, or if you know anyone at his school or the coop you could try to complain to one of them; he might be more inclined to listen.

May 15th, 2014, 19:32
I totally understand your situation. I had a similar neighbour that constantly woke me up and was a general arsehole. I tried the avenues you have gone down (except for the police) and they didn't really work but I did hassle him personally. Every time he got too loud I would be polite and ask him to be quiet. Sometimes the guilt card worked but I think that sometimes he shut up just because he was sick of having me knock on his door. He was a naturally loud and obnoxious person so he never permanently stfu but the temporary relief was enough for me. That's really the only input I can give. I don't suppose it's overly helpful but that's what worked for me.

May 15th, 2014, 19:51
Beat on the exterior wall as he sleeps.

May 15th, 2014, 21:35
Yup, I remember those footsteps well. They're awful. How do Japanese people not know how to walk quietly in the slightest? But yeah that situation sucks, and it sucks that they want you to move out. Good luck though.

May 16th, 2014, 03:32
That sucks!!!! It sounds like you are doing all you can!!!! Is there a different room you could sleep in for the next couple of months? It doesn't sound like he's going to change or like anyone will do anything about it, so maybe strategizing about saving your sanity would help?!

If it was me, I'd bring over my crying preschooler who was woken up and not leave until she was back asleep. After a few times of that, he should start to think again ;) but obviously that isn't an option for you :( good luck, and I hope you get some sleep soon!!!

May 18th, 2014, 21:22
I have about the same problem, except my obnoxious neighbor is downstairs. The walls and floors here are thin so I can hear his music/movies blasting through the floor and whenever he gets into a fight with his girlfriend (which are screaming matches that can last for hours). We've complained to management about it and they've sent him notices that he ignores. We've asked him to turn down his music but he shuts the door in our faces every time. We've also called the police for some of the more violent sounding fights but it hasn't done much.

I go to bed very early (7pm for work at 5am), hours before he would quiet down, so sleeping was hard because I had try and fall asleep with that ridiculous music throbbing in my head. Basically I decided to get some ear plugs and it was the best thing I could have done. Highly recommend them.

May 19th, 2014, 03:30
Put scorpions through his letterbox

May 19th, 2014, 08:25
retaliation. get some sleeping earplugs and... let me tell you what I did in college.

It was many moons ago in a galaxy far far away... So what I did was hook up a 20inch speaker and a 400watt amp to my computer stereo. I then attached the speaker to the wall (facing the annoying person) and wrote a script that would turn on the stereo every hour, on the hour for 5 minutes and play Baby Got Back by sir mix a lot.
this was 24 hour, on the hour.
after 3 or 4 days of that, i then randomized the program just in case.

after about 2 weeks, I never heard anything from this neighbor again, except a few noise complaints myself and the cops being called on me... it was worth it

Revenge, revenge is what you need.

May 19th, 2014, 16:24
Although it may be a bit too late now, I would recommend not going with any sort of revenge-based option. There are few things more stressful in this world than a blood feud with a neighbor.

May 20th, 2014, 16:00
Buy a broom with a long handle and at the very slightest hint of sound bang it against your roof. OR, if he's staying up at stupid hours of the night then presumably he must HATE being woken up early in the mornings - Try some heavy metal with the sound dial turned up to 11 a 6 in the morning to fight fire with fire!!

May 20th, 2014, 16:00

May 29th, 2014, 10:19
I think this is a common problem in Japan, what with the crap insulation and old apartments. But I guess most Japanese people just "gamman" through it; it is us crazy foreigners who actually believe that we should be able to *gasp!* actually sleep in our apartments! Shocking I know.

Let me tell you my poor bf's story. Back, long long ago, when we actually lived in the "ALT" apartment building (aka the sketchiest one in town), after coming back from a US trip together one August, my bf noticed a new neighbor had moved in above him. We originally thought it must be some girl with her big, beefy boyfriend. The noises would start about 4:30 AM with banging, maybe a washing machine, LOUD footsteps, I mean we thought this guy was HUGE! Talked to our supervisor, to the landlady, etc. and the landlady even came to his apartment one early morning to listen to the noises and agree how loud they were. "Who's the big guy who moved in?" he asked. "Oh no, it's the tenants elderly mother!" came her reply. HOLY CRAP a little old obaachan makes THAT much noise?

Anyway, in a spectacular show of the lengths Japanese people will go to to avoid confrontation, instead of telling the obaachan to stop being so loud and running the washing machine at 4 freaking 30 in the morning, she moves my bf to a new apartment on the highest floor. He wasn't super happy to move, but as the apartment was bigger and the rent stayed the same he moved. Apparently, problem solved.

Well, not really, because when the Gunma winds swept in, the ceiling would start to make low booming noises, which was almost worse than old obaachan, so we decided to just get the heck outta dodge.

So I dunno, you might just be screwed. If there is a particularly noisy time, perhaps asking your landlord/lady to actually come into your apartment to listen will clear up the issue of them not believing you at least...

May 29th, 2014, 13:22
And yet any conversation you have with a Japanese person about musical instruments involves the phrase "kinjo meiwaku"