Letters To Insufferable Members Of Society: My Downstairs Neighbors

01/28/2013 · 40 comments

in Letters to Insufferable Members of Society

Dear Downstairs Neighbors,

The both of you can go fuck yourselves right onto the patio you desperately wish was the balcony I possess and rarely use out of spite to you.

Thanks to you, I have three noise violations in the past 6 months and one warning about something seeping through the balcony (you helpfully suggested that I might be allowing my dog to pee out there). You and I must now come to an understanding about a few things.

I have never, ever let my dog pee out on our balcony because that is fucking gross–which is what I told the “Leasing Professional And Community Manager” you scoffed at. I would like to point out that it rained the week before you reported the incident–could the mysterious wet spots have been rain? Water tends to be a substance that might seep through the boards of my balcony from time to time.

I have stopped using my office chair altogether because you have complained about the noise it makes, you know, rolling around on a hardwood floor one or two times an hour. I have taken to wearing soft-soled slippers around my home because my flat feet slapping around make your tummy hurt with worry at the scary sounds. My husband and I have both severely limited our noise from 10 pm-2 am, which is something of a feat, considering those are the only hours we see one another during the day. We do not shut doors. We hardly walk anywhere. We do not allow our dog to run around during those hours. We have tried–with valiant effort–to concede to your wishes because I want to be a good neighbor.

And now we are at an impasse, because you have complained that we are still too loud. Might I offer a few helpful suggestions to alleviate this situation?

  1. Fuck you.
  2. What the fuck am I supposed to do now?
  3. You live in an apartment, chucklefuck. In a complex where someone was recently raped–this shit ain’t great. Are you expecting even the barest insulation if more than half the time, the elevator will not even take you to the floor you need in a 3-floor complex? This place has a 2-star rating on Google, shithead.
  4. Fuck you with fiery rake.

You are in a building with many, many other people, that uses hope and understood discretion as insulation. It is loud as shit up in here. I can hear the maintenance men whistling at an unholy volume in the garage, 2 floors down. I can hear the community cop hate-fuck his girlfriend one floor above. I can hear my neighbor use his rowing machine, his washer, his disposal, water filter, office chair, vacuum, collection of vibrators, and high-heels on amateur strip night at the club down the street.

I do not complain about the noise from him or any other persons here because literally no one is making excessive noise here. The man upstairs, and indeed all residents of this complex, are just living their lives with a reasonable expectation that they will not be bothering others by carrying on their lives as normal. I’m sorry that now, my mere existence ruins your day, but get the fuck over it Tonya Harding. I no longer care about your white-noise pity party–turn up the TV, either and move on with your life or move outta here.

If I get one more noise complaint from you or the insinuation that I have plotted to dirty bomb you with dog piss again, I will face my giant speakers to the floor and play the entire soundtrack to A Goofy Movie, on repeat, all fucking weekend when I’m not home. But you will be…

Your move, Powerline.

Noa D. Gavin

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What shitty neighbors have you had? Has anyone ever called foul on you unnecessarily?

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Starle January 28, 2013 at 3:25 am

Oh, we are the bad neighbors. I live in a semi-detached house between two sets of pensioners. Being an American in the UK I am always the loudest person everywhere I go. When I scream “the next person to leave my refrigerator open will be having a seat in the refrigerator!” at top volume I *know* that my neighbors must be able to hear that crazy shit. What makes it worse is that they are always saying what nice quiet kids I have. Yeah, you can tell when I Brit insults you when hours later you think…wait, what?
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meg January 28, 2013 at 6:46 am

I lived in an apartment in Williamsburg, VA for 5 years. In that time, I had two different troops of Irish Dancers who worked at Busch Gardens live above me. A family with 5 children, with at least one child that constantly jumped of the couch, one day until I thought my head was going to explode. And, I had the neighbors who kept their sons dog and left it out on the balcony and yes, let it pee all over, and yes, it came down onto the stuff on our porch. Never once did I complain to management. I did the adult thing and if there was an issue, I spoke to the offender or my husband did. Your downstairs neighbors are total fucktards. As if you didn’t know.
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Mayor Gia January 28, 2013 at 6:50 am

GAHHH you’re being held hostage by your asshat neighbors! Start wearing heels and use your chair and close doors all you want. You’re not Anne Frank!
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Misty January 28, 2013 at 10:29 am

“You’re not Anne Frank!” Oh man, I’m totally going to hell, but I laughed so hard at that. Bravo!
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Beth January 28, 2013 at 8:03 am

Warning….this might be construed as semi-racist. But it totally happened. When I was 18 I moved into my first apartment. It was a first floor apartment. On the 2nd floor lived a woman from the Philippines, who introduced herself when her dog ran into my apartment while I was moving furniture in. She runs downstairs yelling at the dog, in what I can only assume to be her native language. She strolls into my apartment, apologizing for her dog, and saying to him (I swear to god) “My people eat dog. I no eat dog, but I eat you if you come here again”. She then invited me upstairs for egg rolls. I declined…..
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Abby January 28, 2013 at 8:55 am

I was lucky to never have too awful neighbors when I was in an apartment. The best story I have though, is when me and the guy I was seeing were on the roof (attic converted to an apartment, therefore easy roof access) just chilling one weekend, and saw three drunks rolling around in the neighboring parking lot. One chick and two dudes, all making out and gettin touchy feely. After about ten minutes the drunk chick gets up and wobbles towards the house…it isn’t? it couldn’t be? Yeah, it was totally our downstairs neighbor having a kinky threesome in the parking lot. Both guys also followed her home.
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Johi January 28, 2013 at 9:27 am

Thank glob that I live in the country. Sometimes it is so quiet here that I trick myself into thinking that I like people.
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Julia January 28, 2013 at 10:32 am

In the hellhole that was the first apartment I shared with my boyfriend, we were woken up in the middle of the night, more than once, by our downstairs neighbors knocking on the door to ask us to keep the noise down please.

Misty January 28, 2013 at 10:35 am

I don’t remember any major issues when I was an apartment dweller. I mean, the people above us for a while were clompers, but we just dealt with it. It’s what you do in CIVILIZED SOCIETY, NOA’S NEIGHBORS.

But once we moved out to single homedom, we have had quite the issue with teenaged (I assume) trespassers. At our old house, the next door neighbor teen girl would traipse through our property all the damn time, and we would find empty beer cans on our lawn some mornings. When we first moved into our current house, we had a party out by the pool with family and friends, and we left a bunch of coolers out there filled with beverages once everyone left and we retired for the night. The next morning, we found empties floating in the pool and a complaint from our closest neighbor, complaining of loud noises and lots of splashing in the wee hours. We heard nothing, of course. Then there are the punks that drive around smashing mailboxes and painting homophobic slurs in spray paint on them, every couple months.

Neighbor problems? Not just for apartment dwellers any more.
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Jillian January 28, 2013 at 10:37 am

I’d go with A Goofy Movie 2. The disco is particularly delightful.
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TheChickIsRight January 28, 2013 at 11:16 am

When I was a young lass (early 20’s), a good friend of mine and I moved into a new apartment complex – thinking it would be all nice and shit. Not so. It was very deceptive (sneaky, you mght say)- nice area, near newer homes and sububrbs. It was all just to lure us in.

Twice, my roommate was prevented from entering the property due to a hostage/ domestic violence situation that involved SWAT. The first day we moved in, my roommate’s closet shelves collaped in a heap in the middle of her closet – apparently just screwing shelves into drywall (no anchors, no molly screws, nuttin) is an acceptable practice with some contractors. This took two weeks for them to fix. And we had the dubious honor of living right on the MAX line (mass transit train in Portland, OR area) – so you had to be careful at night if you used the service. Our young neighbor (she couldn’t have been much more than 18) got the ever lovin’ shit beat out of her by some gang-bangers while she was walking home – they had followed her off the train. So, mostly it was just a shitty complex and, aside from the SWAT incidents, the neighbors weren’t too awful bad.

On another note, I do work in the property management industry and I have heard many *many* complaints/ stories over the years that truly defy anything remotely resembling logic, sense, and/ or courtesy. My husband (who has also worked in the industry) says that working in property management is just like getting paid to babysit adults… and he’s not far wrong.

Awesome post, as always! Thanks, Noa! :-)

Dana the Biped January 28, 2013 at 12:45 pm

What about the theme song to Bubble Guppies? It’s repetitive to begin with, and will get stuck in your head for days on just one run-through, as I well know from my babysitting forays.
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Misty January 28, 2013 at 12:49 pm










Damn you Dana!! Damn you to the watery pits of hell!!!
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winopants January 28, 2013 at 12:56 pm

I have one downstairs neighbor now, and she miraculously shares our late time schedule. She’s in her 50s but likes to do laundry at midnight and take showers at 2 am. She was relieved when we were moving in and she found out we were night owls.
I think you have listed at least 10 really good reasons to move the hell out of that apartment! I know that’s easier said then done of course, but seriously, screw giant apartment complexes.
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Brooke January 28, 2013 at 1:48 pm

I am right there with you. We’re the downstairs neighbors though. We’ve put hundreds of dollars into training equipment to keep our dogs quiet because she kept complaining she could hear them upstairs (where I live, every single person has dogs including her). So we have to keep the dogs and kids as silent as possible to avoid eviction and haven’t been able to leave together in over a year and a half. The landlord said we are not to leave the dogs here alone, so I leave the apartment once a week to pick up groceries and he stays here with them. The neighbors across from us have a yappy weanie dog, she has a two-ton bear of a dog that stomps all day long, but we’re the ones threatened with eviction.
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Jen January 28, 2013 at 1:48 pm

First of all, don’t talk smack about Tonya Harding; she’s the most famous thing to come out of my hometown, yo. Second, I have a similar relationship with Grey Gardens pot-smoking 70 year old bitches who live downstairs from me and the fraternity douchebags who live next year. I’ve found that leaving brochures for 55+ communities on the door of the former, and playing Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never, Ever Getting Back Together” against the connecting wall of the latter has greatly improved my status in the community.
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Molly Dugger Brennan January 28, 2013 at 2:17 pm

When I was 20, I got a letter of complaint from property management at my apartment complex. There had been complaints about the loud noises coming from my apartment at midnight. I framed the letter and hung it with pride in my bedroom. Go me!
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Ashley F January 28, 2013 at 2:27 pm

That’s pretty shitty. Nobody wants to get into a long standing argument with their neighbors.

My most awesomest ever neighbor ever lives in a studio apartment that shares a wall with my bedroom. It just so happens to be the wall where her kitchen is and apparently she must like to play music on pots and pans while doing the dishes at 1am because that’s the only thing that could account for the noise. Did I mention that she’s officially mentally ill and the entire building has been warned that she randomly goes off he meds? Oh yeah. Cause she’ll have days where she runs up and down the halls screaming and throwing herself into doors. But the landlord can’t evict her because she’s part of a social assistance program.

I’d say that’s the worst but 2 years ago there was a guy living above me who was TEACHING HIMSELF HOW TO PLAY THE FUCKING GUITAR!!! After 2 months straight of the opening riff to Smoke on the Water I was about ready to pay for guitar lessons but thankfully he moved on to Simon and Garfunkel’s Cecilia. I shit you not. It was so bad, I’d actually catch myself humming it at random times during the day.

Then there’s the chick down the hall with the fluffy dog that’s barks could rival a Rottweiler. He gets soooper excited when she gets home from work every day, runs into the hall like a little psycho ball of fur and pees up and down the corridor because he’s THAT excited.

OMG I need a new fucking apartment.
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Shannon January 28, 2013 at 2:50 pm

When I was in my 20s, I lived on the 6th floor of a 6-floor building in Brooklyn. My downstairs neighbor was in her 80s and would not only complain about excessive noise to the property manager, but would walk up the 2 flights of stairs to my apartment and bang on my front door with her metal cane. And we’re not talking about noise at 2am or some other ungodly hour. This would happen at 2pm on a Saturday afternoon or some other time when the rest of the world was allowed to make noise.

After returning from the supermarket one day, I took off my jacket and forgot that I had some quarters in the pocket. 2 quarters fell out of my pocket and landed on my livingroom floor. Within 5 minutes, the banging started. I swung the door open to finally confront the old broad and damned if she didn’t raise her cane above her head and threat to “beat my ass” with it. That was it! I called 911 and reported the incident. When the police got there, the officer told me that “if it happens again, grab the cane, drag her into your apartment, and go to town. Once she’s in your apartment, you can pretty much do whatever you want to her.”

“Holy shit! No kidding?”

“No kidding. Have a nice day, ma’am.”

Gotta love the NYPD.

Arrogant Ass January 28, 2013 at 2:55 pm

When I lived in Massachusetts, I lived in what used to be all section 8 housing. They were trying to transition out of it, so they put nice quiet people like me next to some of the section 8 stragglers. The skank who lived next door to me used to lock her young sons in the closet. I’d hear them yelling, “Mom let us out! We’ll be good!” Naturally, I called the po-po. She also had violently loud sex and screaming fights with her estranged husband (who attempted to win her back one day by pissing her name in the snow). There was also a Vietnamese family that set bowls of rice right across from my apartment. I’m not sure what their goal was, but there was a skunk that ate the shit out of that rice and kept getting fatter and fatter. One day, Mr. Skunk disappeared.

carrien - she laughs at the days January 28, 2013 at 3:39 pm

I had a downstairs neighbor complain of the noise when my 2 year old ran around, which we tried to keep to a minimum but seriously, during day light hours, learn to deal with noise. That was the last time we rented and upstairs apartment, especially as we added more kids. But that same neighbor liked to have sex so loud with the windows open that we could actually hear the sound of them bumping uglies.

New apartment, we lived downstairs, upstairs neighbor every night getting ready for bed stomped around, slammed cupboards, made a general racket for about an hour, same time every night. Same time every night my 2 year old would wake up and cry for a while before going back to sleep. Upstairs neighbor had the audacity to come down and ask me to close my window and attend to my child, whom she was waking up, because the noise of her crying was keeping her from sleeping and she was an RN on an “adjusted sleep schedule”. I very politely told her to go fuck herself, using different words of course.

Kerri January 28, 2013 at 5:09 pm

I own my own home. When we moved here 16 years ago, my neighbor (who I think was 150 years old) called the police once because my 12 and 14 & 15 year old sons were skateboarding IN OUR DRIVEWAY and again a few months later because they had “too many friends over”.

My boys are not perfect, but they are respectful (adults now) people. I honestly think she was afraid because as anyone knows, three boys having friends over means anywhere between 3 and 12 other boys around!

Bill G. January 28, 2013 at 11:22 pm

I’ve had perpetual complaining neighbors like that. They’re now thankfully gone. If I ever feel a little put-out that I can hear them skateboarding or playing basketball in the cul-de-sac, I remind myself that I’m glad they’re not out spraypainting shit, driving like nutcases, or beating up younger kids.

Bill G. January 30, 2013 at 8:12 pm

Oops, I mean “I can hear THE KIDS skateboarding or playing basketball in the cul-de-sac, I remind myself that I’m glad they’re not out vandalizing or whatever.”

Janene January 28, 2013 at 5:42 pm

I’ll never forget my first apartment post-separation. I was on the ground floor, and the guy above me rented a 1 bedroom where he shared custody of his twin 18mth old boys. One day as I was walking across the parking lot, I made some small talk with him, and he apologized for the noise that they’d make (they’d play with their toys and run down the hallway). I told him not to worry about it because it made me feel not alone (after living with someone, it’s hard to just adjust to not hearing anyone).

Speaking of which, this past weekend, Boyfriend and I were blissfully asleep at something like 4am when I was startled awake hearing a woman shout something audibly muffled. I woke up enough to sufficiently deduce that it was my neighbour, realized she wasn’t in my home, and went back to sleep. Boyfriend heard nothing. She’s heard me before talk loudly, and well, it’s what normal people do.

Only a fuckwit complains about normal everyday noises, Noa. What about a movie or video that sounds like the waves crashing onshore? Really loud? That’d be a hard one to deal with, always wanting to use the bathroom…..

Valerie January 28, 2013 at 7:51 pm

Ok… Here’s how we’re gonna handle this:

1. Purchase hooker and kill her. Don’t feel bad. It’s for the greater good.
2. Hide hooker in neighbor’s hall closet
3. Report strange sounds coming from their house. “sounded like a herpes infested hooker struggling for life, officer… I bet it was coming from their closet.”
4. Put heels on and slam all your doors after they are arrested!

You’re welcome…


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Bex January 28, 2013 at 8:55 pm

OMG. I just laughed so hard I peed a little. I’ve lived in aptmts for almost 9 years now and I TOTALLY GET IT. If you don’t want to hear your neighbors than move the frack out already!! I would love to put that crap on a poster and plaster it all over the community rooms. I live here. You live here. Don’t acknowledge my existence and we both can be the Best. Neighbors. Ever.
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Bill G. January 28, 2013 at 11:18 pm

Those are some seriously fucked-up neighbors. If they’re that princess-and-the-pea about everything, here’s a helpful hint: GO BUY A FUCKING HOUSE IN THE COUNTRY.

This reminds me of a college roommate of mine. He and his squatter girlfriend were perpetually pissed at me until I moved out and they got another roommate. I am not a perfect roommate by any stretch, but they sure found out what brand of hell a shitbag roommate is. To their credit, they said sorry and we became much better friends after that.

Sarah January 29, 2013 at 9:16 am

Back when J and I were first married, we lived on the ground floor of a two-story apartment building. We, and the rest of the building, went about our normal lives. And then– to use your term– chucklefuck moved in above us.

He was teaching himself to play guitar. In his bedroom. In the middle of the night (say, 3am). Every night. To Staind songs, no less. I can’t hear that “It’s been awhile” song without wanting to throat-punch someone. His girlfriend once came down and asked to borrow a cup of cooking oil and a carrot. I told her we had neither of those items. Then, he apparently was in trouble with someone (who I’m going to guess was NOT the law) because when they came around in their expensive suits and started beating on the door and screaming at him, he jumped out of the second story bedroom window, fell into the bushes directly beside out bedroom window, and then hobbled away, never to be seen again.

And you know what? We never called and complained to the complex manager. When we had a problem with him, we took it to him.
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Christina L. January 29, 2013 at 9:57 am

We had a neighbor that used to go out & get cable splitters so he could tap into our cable line. Every 2 weeks or so we had to go out to the side of the house & disconnect everything & hook it back up. They would deny it every single time. After a couple of months of this, we finally started calling the cable company everytime they tapped back in. I think it was the third time cable had to come out that they called the cops while they were there & the cops went & talked to our wonderful neighbors, who continued to deny everything, saying that we were the ones hooking into their cable. Freaking nutcases!

Bill G. January 30, 2013 at 8:19 pm

They’re idiots all right. It’s nothing for the cable company to install a little hidden camera and see who’s doing what. If the place is rented and the landlord gives them any shit, the cable company will tell them, “Fine, we’ll just go after YOU for theft of services.” Don’t worry, their day is coming. The penalties are bad enough that it’s worth it for the cable company to take them to court. The restitution that those nutty neighbors will have to pay is like college tuition.

Jaclyn January 29, 2013 at 12:03 pm

I lived in the same building for 4 years, with 2 people who had lived underneath me without a single complaint before the demon whore moved in. She lived there for like 2 weeks the first time she showed up at my door all pissed off and asking me not to walk into my apartment at midnight, which is when I got out of work. The second time she complained by leaving a note with my apartment number on it on the front door to our building where everyone could see it, saying how inconsiderate and loud I was. The third time she complained, it was 6pm and she called the cops on me. When I pointed out that she seemed to specifically have a problem with me and not necessarily my husband, she told me that she knew I was the one walking too heavily because of my WEIGHT PROBLEM.

It went on for a couple of months and we ended up having to go to court before I moved out because I simply could not take it any more. Some people are fucking insane.
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L.A. January 29, 2013 at 10:09 pm

Definitely had a neighbor that stood outside our house for x amount of hours in a scary giant “I’m going to murder you” parka in order to tell us our dog was too loud. She did not ring the bell. She did not knock. I woke up at 5 am, went downstairs and saw her outside, standing and staring.

(By the way, if I could redo this, I wouldn’t open the door)

Her: “Your dog has been barking for hours.”
Me: “I’m so sorry.”
Her: “I have been out here for three hours, listening to him bark.”
Me: “…”
Her: “Three hours, he has not stopped.”
Me: “…I’ll talk to him.”

At which point, I closed the door and whispered to Conan to bite a bitch if she came at me with a knife. He responded by peeing in the house and chewing a pair of my high heels the next morning.
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Lauren January 31, 2013 at 1:52 pm

Is it bad that at the end of this post I actually started singing some of the music from A Goofy Movie in my head…because I definitely still remember it. FML.

Harley August 2, 2013 at 12:21 pm

My neighbors have been filing false complaints about me not picking up after my dogs, and no one at my apartment complex is doing a damn thing about it; I’ve taken to using my phone’s camera to record myself picking up after them, but only if I feel like someone’s watching me. They can go fuck themselves, too.

I hope your situation has gotten better! Because that’s just bullshit, I’d move out if I were you; It’s called a ‘constructive eviction’ and if you can prove that the place was unlivable (I say it is) you can move it with no reason or repercussions (expect proving your case in court)!

Bill G. August 2, 2013 at 12:35 pm


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