Probably ever since the first hominids shared a wall between their adjacent caves, neighbors have complained about each other. Modern multifamily housing dwellers are no different. Residents may even sometimes feel like their situations are something out of a movie (consider Mrs. Connelly from 2003’s Duplex for a shining example) and the solution may seem nonexistent.
While the definition of an objectionable neighbor varies from tenant to tenant (of course, we hope your neighbor is not actually a con-artist trying to push you out of your dwelling), dealing with irritations and sometimes bigger problems can get tiring for both the tenant and management. Thankfully there are ways to address problems from simple neighborly bickering to bigger issues that affect the entire building.
Whine, Whine, Whine
“People have different degrees of sensitivity,” says Gerard Picaso of management firm Gerard J. Picaso Inc. in Manhattan, adding that what may drive one person nuts won’t necessarily bother another. He says he’s had plenty of residents who move into a unit and complain about a neighbor when the previous tenant had never said a word.
“In every set of building bylaws, there is a provision that states each resident has the right to 'quiet enjoyment' of the property,” says Gregory Cohen of Queens-based Impact Real Estate Management, adding that in addition to water leaks and cooking smells, noise is by far the biggest complaint his office gets from residents.
“For example, some elderly residents can’t hear their televisions, so they keep them at a higher volume,” he says, which can generate complaints from adjoining units. But noise complaints, Cohen points out, can range anywhere from wild parties to neighbors without enough carpeting on their floors.