I have new upstairs neighbours. When I heard them moving in, I thought that I would drop by and offer them a welcoming gift; maybe home-baked muffins or a potted plant. However, I find that I now have a new problem. Well, two problems actually. The first problem was that on the day they moved in I found that someone had thrown cigarette butts from an upper balcony on to my patio. It’s only a three-story condo complex, so the culprit must be in one of the two apartments above mine.
Since the apartment above mine has the new tenants, I’m guessing it was they who did the dirty deed. However, I said to myself, they may have had a friend helping them move and he or she might not be aware of the condo rules. Also, the butts could have come from the third floor. I have no way of knowing unless I see them fall. I’ll give them a couple of weeks and see if the problem continues.
That was all well and good until last night when they had sex, and then again this morning when they had sex again. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m all in favour of people having sex, but twice in eight hours? And loudly enough to hear thumps and screams? This could be a big problem.
How does one politely but clearly welcome new neighbours and at the same time tell them that their sex can be heard and even wake the neighbours? There really isn’t a good way to do this without embarrassing them or making them angry. I actually went online and typed in “How to tell neighbours their sex is too loud” and found that there have been several articles written on this topic, but sadly most of the advice is tongue-in-cheek and not at all helpful.
One suggestion that appealed to me was to make a recording on CD of the noise and leave it with a note at their door. Some people, it seems, like to make similarly loud noises to let the neighbours know that noise travels. Another idea was to have a conversation about the thinness of the walls (or, in my case the floors) in a public place like an elevator or the garage when the neighbours are bound to hear it. My favourite advice, though was to leave them a note about the noise with the postscript “And, in case you guys ever break up, here is my phone number.” I love that.
While I was discussing the problem with my roommate this morning, we heard our upstairs neighbours open their balcony screen door, so we also opened our patio door and had our conversation about them with increased volume. We hoped that the sound would travel up to their balcony. Yes, I know it was passive-aggressive to do that, but if ever a situation called for passive aggression, this is it.
I don’t think I’ll be making muffins today.