Monday, August 14, 2006

A real dilemma

I have a real problem and I don't know what to do about it.
I live in an apartment complex. In back of my apartment is a sort of "courtyard" that is about 20-25 feet of grass, which separates the next apartment building. Well, the two buildings act as a sort of sound chamber that amplify's and echos any sort of sound from opposing apartments. At the end of the spring a few months ago, I must have gotten a new neighbor across this courtyard from me. This person, leaves their window's open (as do I and most other people on these nice days.) But here's the thing... They have their alarm clock radio set REALLY LOUD. It's hard to tell you how loud it is. Lets say that if I close my windows I can still make out every word spoken in the annoying "morning zoo" radio station she listens to. Then there was one point where she was waking to the same CD every morning playing the Dixie Chicks... I was ready to mutilate anyone if I heard the dixie chicks one more time.
So... what do I do? I already wrote a "stern" but not nasty note asking her to keep her radio down, or to move her radio away from the window, but now that the nicer weather is hear again it's obvious she didn't listen (or forgot).
I supposed my only other option is to complain to the apartment complex management, but I'm going to sound like such a complainer. But if you heard the volume you would understand it's way above a "reasonable" level. Just to give you an example, I NEVER have heard another alarm clock radio while living in this complex.
I could fight fire with fire... set my alarm for about an hour before her's and blast my alarm, but that won't really solve anything, AND I'll now have to wake up about two hours before I normally would. And knowing my luck one of the other tenants would complain that it was me causing the disturbance.
Suggestions anyone? I don't think logic and reasoning will work, since I tried that.
Do I just suffer with a stuffy apartment and go to bed with the window closed? Do I suffer by putting in ear plugs every night? Do I retaliate in some way? Maybe leave a stink bomb outside of her window? I won't be able to take 3 months of this until the cold weather arrives and I can then sleep with the windows closed and the heat on.


JWD said...

This sounds very frustrating! I'm sorry you are having to deal with it. :(

I would highly recommend that you write a letter to the apartment manager (and keep a copy for your records). Tell them that you have previously tried to resolve the situation directly with the person, but that she did not respond. (Provide a copy of that letter if you still have it--keeping a copy for yourself, of course.)

There may be policies at the apartment complex regarding quiet hours as well as grievance policies (ways to file official complaints) which could work in your favor.

Don't worry in the least about seeming like a complainer. It's the squeaky well that gets the grease.

Do you know any of your other neighbors? You could check around to see if the noise level is bothering anyone else. Then you can submit a letter with multiple signatures, which would carry even more weight than an official complaint.

If you don't know other neighbors, you could consider posting a notice with an alias email address, asking people to contact you if they are being disturbed by this. Then you can contact them via email directly yourself.

Finally, I would highly recommend that you not try to deal with this through retaliation. That would likely only escalate in very unhelpful ways--and would make you more of a nuisance than officially complaining ever would.

cyen said...

Thanks for the "voice of reason" jwd. Upon waking abruptly with loud annoying "morning zoo" frivolity, nothing enters the mind faster than "retaliation". I will persue the letter writing, though I dread dealing with management even more than the noise. Oh well. Thanks for the advice again :)