Post # 1
Condensed version: My neighbor aggressively pounds on my wall when I’m doing normal things in my apartment and the management instructed me to call the cops on her. I want to warn her first with a note. What should I write?
I posted two months ago about the neighbors at my new apartment banging on the walls when we’d apparently been too loud. In that scenario, my boyfriend and I (who doesn’t live with me, but spends the night frequently) had just had sex, but not loud sex at all.
Since that post, the neighbor has banged on about 10 occasions and it’s gotten to the point that I can’t even tell what they’re banging about. At first it was things like when I was on the phone in the bedroom, talking at a normal volume. They banged when I was talking to my boyfriend in the bedroom about our plan for the next day (again at normal conversational volume). They banged when I was unloading my dishwasher. They banged when I was watching TV in my living room. And finally, they even banged when I had paused the TV and was texting a friend, making no noise whatsoever! All of the banging occurs on my bedroom wall, which is in the back of my apartment, and separated by more walls from my kitchen and living room. So they are banging on our one shared wall about things I’m doing in completely different parts of the apartment.
It scares me because it’s so unexpected and the pounding is so aggressive. It’s very loud and hard enough that I can hear the wall shaking. It’s also a complete surprise because the amount of noise I’m making when they do it is so negligible (or even non-existent). The TV was never over 30 on the volume dial and was soft enough that I had to rewind what I was watching to hear it. It’s never just a “knock knock” type of thing. It’s always 5-15 loud bangs. Normally it happens when my boyfriend has been staying with me, but when it happens when I’m there alone, I get nervous that they’re going to come knock on my door or something and then I feel ridiculous because I’m afraid of making ANY noise whatsoever.
I have called the management company twice. They’re condos and the HOA has hired this company to manage the property. They called me back today to discuss my problem. They contacted the owner of the unit and told me which unit it was. I asked if it was the woman who used to live in my unit and they said yes. (Backstory: I was warned by the maintenance people when I moved in about the “crazy lady who used to live here” and that she would probably try to contact me because she likes knowing what’s going on everywhere in the complex). She has indeed approached me three times about random things about my unit and once to let me know if she was ever being too loud. I didn’t know what unit she was in, but I’ve had no complaints about the noise from other apartments. Now that I know it’s her, it’s super ironic that she asked me to come talk to her if she’s too loud but she bangs on my wall instead of following her own advice. The management encouraged me to call the cops next time she does it and “do NOT confront her directly. She’s off her rocker.”
I was hoping it would eventually stop once they got used to normal noise levels with a new tenant in the next unit, but from what I’ve heard about her, that doesn’t seem likely. I was thinking about writing a note and leaving it at her door informing her that if she continues to bang aggressively on my wall, I will call the cops. I guess I just want to warn her, but I’m not sure how to phrase it in a non-confrontational way. What would you say?
Sorry! it formatted strangely when I posted
Post # 2
Are you SURE they’re banging because of what you’re doing, and not just…banging on the wall for other reasons?
Also, you were specifically told NOT to contact her, so why would you write her a note? You don’t owe her a warning, just call the cops.
Post # 3
Agreed with PP – I don’t think there is a way to warn someone you are going to call the cops on them in a “non-confrontational” way. Just call them if that is what the management company told you to do.
Post # 4
cautiously3optimistic: Given that the advice was directly from management, I’d not contact her and just call the cops.
Post # 5
I wouldn’t want to be mean. It sounds like she’s not all there and I’m sure having the cops just knock on your door is scary. I would like a warning if someone wanted to call the cops on me because of noise, etc. so I thought that’s what I would do. Maybe letting her know will be enough for her to stop.
I’m also worried that if I call the cops, it’ll just turn into a “he said she said” situation. And wouldn’t that just make her more angry and bang more often? I just want the banging to stop, and if I can get that done in the least confrontational way possible, I’d rather do that.
Post # 6
ClaudiaKishi: it’s our only shared wall and it sounds like an open hand or a fist, not a hammer or something, so it’s probably not hanging something. The management also didnt’ seem at all surprised, so I’m pretty sure she’s banging for my benefit.
Post # 7
cautiously3optimistic: I dunno, sounds like she’s not concerned about being mean to you. Notes are usually seen as being passive aggressive, it will probably just escalate things instead of helping.
Post # 8
I would not give her notice. I wouldn’t say that about a customer/tenant/client under any circumstance, so I have to think she’s really nuts for them to be so blunt about it. Do you keep track of all the times she knocks? I might start keeping a log of it so you can document how its interrupting your life.
Post # 9
If somebody is “off her rocker” and you warn her she is more likely to retaliate and do something that will seriously endanger you. Absolutely do NOT warn this person, you were specifically told not to. Somebody that doesn’t understand societal norms, like it seems she doesn’t, cannot be dealt with in a normal way.
This isn’t about you being “mean”. It is not “mean” to call the police on somebody. All they do is knock, as if there is a problem, and if anything it will get it through her head to stop banging aggressively on the wall. Heck, she COULD be banging on the wall for reasons NOT related to noise like to get a rise out of you, assert dominance, whatever.
Don’t be naive, don’t ignore being directly told not to contact her, and call the police if it happens again.
Post # 10
cautiously3optimistic: I agree with pp. She sounds uh, well, its not normal behavior. As such you can’t deal with unstable people on the same level as a normal person, becuase they don’t see things the same way because their perception of reality is off. If mgmt suggests you call the police, you should follow that, because she sounds crazy enough to probably see your note as a threat or something and might retaliate.
Post # 11
I’m sure the police have better things to do than respond to neighbors banging on walls. That said, I would go with my boyfriend next to me, and knock on their door, and politely but firmly tell them that their banging on the wall is becoming a serious problem, and unless it stops, you’ll have to call the police. You are merely living your life normally in your apartment, and that’s just a reality of apartment life– noise! It’s hard to escape it entirely.
But I’m a confrontational person… I just had enough of people treating me like a doormat, so I confront problems head on.
Plus, you may anger your neighbor more by going to the police first.
It’s your call. But if you’re not going to do it in person, don’t write a letter. I wrote a letter to a neighbor who kept their constantly yapping dog on a leash tied to a tree in the front yard EVERY DAY, and that letter did nothing. They kept that poor thing out there. I should’ve just called the police.
Post # 12
cautiously3optimistic: girl. Stop. Listen to the management. Your neighbor is crazy. They told you not to confront her for a reason.
It is not mean to take reasonable steps to protect yourself.
Also, if she is off her rocker, she’s not going to receive a note or warning well. It will seem like a threat to her. This is not going to be helpful.
the next time they bang, record the wall shaking and the noise on your cell. Show it to the police when you call them. Avoid interacting with this woman.
Post # 13
I think giving a warning like this (the note) is nice if the person is unaware that their actions are bothering you. Like if their dog barks when they’re gone I think it’s nice to give them fair warning so they can try to fix the situation before you involve someone else.
In this case, the woman already knows what she’s doing so I don’t think you need to give her a warning/note about it. If she really is a little off, that note might cause her to come confront you directly. I would just call the cops next time, it sounds like the HOA will back you up.
Post # 14
- Wedding: December 2019 - Paris, France
crazy is crazy. Just call the cops. no warning. The next time she does it, call them and keep calling them everytime she does it.
Post # 15
It sounds like she has a mental illness. People with mental illnesses do not process life the same way. I have a feeling the banging has nothing to do with you specifically, but possibly taking her anger out on the wall. Don’t write her a note. She may possibly get very paranoid about that. You can call the cops and they might be able to find her some help. I would make sure she doesn’t know it was you who called. When you call, tell them what’s happening and that you think she may be mentally ill, and you don’t want them to tell her you complained. They can talk to her about the noises and banging she makes hopefully without her knowing. It is possible she bangs on other walls near other units as well.