Nov 23, 2011

The Noise Complaint Letter

Most of you that follow me on Twitter will recall that I moved into a new apartment in August. Being an apartment, we expected normal noise to occur, given we are on the first floor. However, our landlord only informed us of the person who lived upstairs after we signed the lease -- and now we know why.

She plays the bass guitar.

NOT like I have a problem with bass guitar. I actually enjoy it. Living underneath someone who plays it at the most obnoxious times of the day (i.e. early mornings on weekends and late nights)? I don't enjoy. 

Our apartment is older, but we really love it. It's hardwood, so we can hear her traipsing across the floor in her rocker boots during wee hours of the morning when she gets in; I'm assuming her bathroom is directly above my room, because I swear she drops a brush the size of Texas on the floor at approximately 10:45 every night, and of course, when she plays the bass or blares her stereo, the entire complex gets to hear Adele's "Someone Like You" 85 times -- that or some heavy metal bullsh*t that I've had enough of.

When my parents were in town, after suppressing the urge, I wrote her a nice note. My friends and coworkers know that I have a low tolerance for irritating, idiotic people, so me writing a note without any passive-aggressive tones or sarcasm is a feat in itself. But I wrote her maybe eight sentences, apologizing that we haven't met in person yet, but that we hear literally everything (including her screaming at God knows who -- which I left out, obviously) and if she would try to help us out, we'd greatly appreciate it, because it's startling to us and it makes it difficult to enjoy the night. The end. Then we gave her a homemade popcorn ball as a token of peace.

The next day, her chicken scratch appeared in a note on my door... along with the popcorn ball.

It basically said that we were "annoying" with our "heels and slamming doors" in the morning and that she had wanted to say something to us before but didn't know how, and that she already talked to our landlord about us. Excuse me, but you think we didn't go to him first about you? Child, please. Also, we didn't throw the word "annoying" around, but now I have no qualms in doing so, as "annoying" can be considered a noise violation, as deciphered by the LAPD. 

I actually attempted to meet this girl, kill her with kindness, etc. I should have taken the hint by the returned popcorn ball, because as I went to approach her, she RAN THE HELL AWAY FROM ME. Yes. It's true. Girlfriend aborted the mission and pretended not to see nor hear me.

Last night, after an alcohol-and-minimal-sleep filled two days in Vegas, I (somehow) got sick. I'm a big girl when I'm sick. I'm not helpless. (I'm headed to run errands and work out soon.) But my tolerance for people I already cannot tolerate in perfect health? It's pretty low, given my ears won't pop for hours on end and I have a stuffy nose and I feel like I can't breathe.

It's 11:25 PM, I'm laying in bed, and I'm watching TV to try to fall asleep. (By the way, Ghost Whisperer is actually a decent show! Who knew?) Except I am sidetracked because, what else, the bass is blaring in the background. Imagine trying to talk to someone and anything personal is talking directly into your ear the entire time. Distracting, right? Annoying? Obviously.

I will not be going home for Thanksgiving this year and you can bet your bottom dollar I will not be dealing with this crap all weekend long. Therefore, the following masterpiece is the final notice I sent my landlord, before I call the cops. I copied the apartment owner as well. Feel free to use the template if you have a noise complaint.

Hi (redacted), 
Hope you are feeling better -- Erin mentioned you were sick the last time I wrote.  
I am copying (redacted) on this as I need to make sure every appropriate party is notified. I will be calling LAPD this week on (redacted), upstairs. The noise is absolutely ridiculous, but I wanted you to have the opportunity to either a) forewarn her or b) figure out a resolve to this ongoing issue. 
I've emailed about this now three times, which is why I feel like I need to go to the LAPD. I know we can't fix things like loud thuds or the way she walks upstairs, as that is normal when it comes to an apartment. However, as I write this in bed, I hear her bass blaring through the floor. Can't be sure if it's her bass guitar or her stereo, but I am sick and I'm frankly at my wit's end. 
Like I've mentioned previously, I have gone straight to her myself to ask (politely) if she wouldn't mind keeping the noise down and to keep in mind we hear everything she does -- whether it's a blasting stereo, yelling at whomever she yells at lately (another issue entirely), or merely stomping across the apartment. It's startling, especially in the early morning hours. We wrote a very polite note, gave her a baked good, and tried to establish a relationship. She wrote back complaining to us about shutting doors and walking in the house with heels on, calling us "annoying" and actually running away from me when I made the effort to introduce myself in person. 
Erin and myself are gone 8-10 hours a day; Erin is gone most weekends, and I make minimal noise. Getting ready for work Monday-Friday during normal operating business hours and walking out the door 10 steps in heels does not render a noise complaint, however, loud music and instruments at 10:00 PM and beyond/early mornings on weekends does. I am somewhat irritated in that we were suspect upon move-in, given we are two young girls and I recall being questioned about our "partying" habits, which I would assume is a direct correlation to how loud we would be. We are making normal noise for an apartment, if any at all, yet we have a neighbor who refuses to compromise on the issue. 
I know I'm not the first nor the last person to complain about her. This situation is getting to be not only unacceptable, but is affecting the peace in our home. Also, I know there are certain hours she is allowed to play (albeit she doesn't abide by them), however I found this to justify my complaint.
Thank you for your time and for helping us out with this situation. Hope you both have a blessed Thanksgiving.

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