h2>Dating : Let Noise Never Bother You Anyway: Deal with Your Noisy Neighbors
“Boom! Boom! Boom!” The irritating footsteps coming from the neighbor upstairs again vibrate through the floor while you almost fall asleep. You put on earplugs trying to block the endless noise but it doesn’t work at all. This kind of noise pollution can really drive you crazy, especially when it happens in the midnight or at time when you’re trying to focus on your work.
My family and I lived in the 14th floor of an old apartment for over 15 years. Two years ago, a young couple and their three kids moved into the 15th floor, right above our house. We never thought that our nightmare thus began. At first it is my mom who discovered that there are always some annoying little sounds coming from upstairs in the afternoon, but we didn’t take it serious.
However, things got worse day by day. We kept being distracted by the noises when we are enjoying our dinner, working or reading in the night, and even several times being woken up by big crashes or some continuous noises in the midnight. Finally, one day while my sister again being woken by a crash at 3 A.M., my mom couldn’t endure it anymore and decided to ask the janitor to inform my neighbor that what they did really cause inconvenience to others.
The janitor told us that they promised to improve, but it turned out that they made a fake promise. My mom again and again asked the janitor to warn them, but they even told the janitor, impatiently, that what we did also caused lots of inconveniences to them. We finally realized that this problem cannot be solved in a peaceful way. The next day, when the familiar noises again coming from upstairs, we immediately called the police to knock on our neighbor’s door, hoping that the officer could punish them according to Social Order Maintenance Act, article 72, “People engaged in any of the following behaviors shall be punishable by a fine of not more than NTD 6,000 . . . Making noises or talking loudly at midnight to disturb public tranquility.”
It seems that we should then live happily ever after. But the truth is, in real case, the police will not punish our neighbor at the first time, since they prefer taking a softer approach, which means they’ll choose to persuade the party and make sure that they already understand the related laws. What’s more, though your noisy neighbor finally got punished, they may likely to hold a grudge against you and intensify their behavior, and this is totally not the result we want.
Some may question: Why don’t you just sue your neighbor if they don’t listen to the police? It sounds attractive but is in fact hard to carry out. To begin with, you need to prepare all the evidence by yourself, for example, the record of noise and the witness who can proof that you are truly suffer from noises. So what’s the difficulty in preparing these evidences? First, the footsteps, the crash of stuffs, the sounds of children running and patting the ball are noises which happened randomly and hard to record by machine (we even tried to stick the recorder on the ceiling), which means it is almost impossible for you to obtain the evidence when your neighbor is making noises.
Assuming that you conquer all the difficulties and successfully get the evidence, you still need to spend a great amount of money to hire a lawyer, and face the time-consuming trial procedure which may last for months or even years. These prerequisites are reasons why some victims choose to endure the noises when their neighbor reject to cooperate.
Sounds that there’s no way out of this situation. However, in this case, people can actually turn to the Management Committee for help. Most people are not familiar with this association, though it exists in every community, helping residents deal with trifles in daily life.
“Management committee: An organization composed of a number of inhabitants elected by unit owners to execute the decisions made in the unit owner assembly and to manage and maintain the condominium” — Condominium Administration Act Building Administration Division, Article 3
Some may have false impression for the Management Committee, thinking that it is merely a non-official group formed by residents and it has no power to force other residents to obey the rules. But what most people don’t know is, according to Condominium Administration Act Building Administration Division, article 6, when an inhabitant “has violated the regulations and refuses to fulfill the obligations after mediations,” the manager of committee in fact have the power to request the competent authority or sue to the court.
Mrs. Chen, the manager of Xin-Guang Yang-Ren committee, advised that when people encounter this kind of situation, they should first apply the committee for the mediation. The committee will ask both parties to come and state the case, and try their best to make the both reach an agreement. She also claimed that there are advantages of asking the committee for help:
- Residents don’t need to find at least two witnesses in midnight to prove that they’re suffer from noises. They just need to list WHEN they hear the sounds and WHAT the sounds sound like, and the committee will let the resident confront the evidence with the perpetrator.
- If the perpetrator refused to negotiate or improve, the committee has the power to, as mentioning above, directly request the competent authority to intervene, which is much faster and more convenient than calling the police.
- Due to Mrs. Chen’s personal experience of coping with problems in the community, generally most residents don’t want to violate the power of the committee, so when they intervene, residents often choose to compromise instead of making a big deal out of it.
In my case, through the help of the committee, our noisy neighbor ended up adding acoustic panels all over the floor, and promising that they will be careful not to make big noise after 10 P.M.. The nightmare which had kept haunting us for almost one year disappeared, and we could finally have a nice dream at night again.
Next time, when your noisy neighbor again drive you crazy in the midnight, don’t knock on his door and punch him in the face. Turn to the Management Committee in your apartment for help, and your problem may, unexpectedly, be solved in a simple and peaceful way.