Ask Kim: Party problems and noisy neighbors collide

Page 2 Advice
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Dear Kim,

I didn’t realize until we were in lockdown how annoying my neighbors truly are.  I work a lot, so am not home much, until now.  My neighbors clearly didn’t get the memo about crowd size or social distancing.  For the past few weeks, their house has been in constant party mode.  All day, all night, every single day.  Their guests race up and down the street, drinking, blaring music, lots of loud people in the yard and tons of trash thrown around.  The police have shown up more than once, but it doesn’t seem to matter.  I guess I normally don’t witness these activities because I’m not home.  My job is now a “work from home position” permanently.  It’s very hard to focus.  How do you suggest I address?

Jamie

Topeka

Dear Jamie,

My first thought – MOVE.  Experience tells me that people don’t change their stripes.  Since this behavior is an everyday occurrence, this is a lifestyle they enjoy.  If you try to put a stop to it, things may escalate.  So, you need to move!

Seriously though, let’s review your options.  Perhaps this is the way they are dealing with the stress of our current situation.  Clearly not ideal, but maybe it’s temporary.  You can wait it out and time will tell. 

You didn’t tell me if you are a homeowner or renter.  Do you live in an apartment building or in a residential neighborhood?  If you’re in an apartment, your apartment manager should be able to help.  Live in a single-family house?  Your options are more limited.  If you are both renters, maybe their landlord can help.  You said the police have been involved.  Typically noise ordinances only address concerns between sleeping or “quiet” hours. 

It’s never easy to have those hard conversations with neighbors.  If you’re on good terms, you can certainly ask they keep it down and tell them why.  Remember, this approach should always be done with kindness and tact.  If you don’t know your neighbors, it is a good opportunity for introductions.  Tell them what you’re going through.  You’ll know quickly if they are open to curbing the annoying activity.

The past few weeks have certainly highlighted how people can be hypersensitive to being asked to do anything they feel infringes on their rights.  If you and your neighbors can’t come to an understanding, moving may be your only option.  I hope you work it out.

Good luck.

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