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How to Deal with Loud Neighbors (Without Losing Your Mind)

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Everyone has neighbors (unless you're Ira Rennert or Ron Perelman, who are just too rich to have neighbors) and most of us have wished at some point that they'd pipe down. Whether the people bugging you are the loud share house next door or the overly enthusiastic lovebirds on the other side of a tissue thin wall in a co-op, neighbor noise can be very stressful, so here are some tips for keeping it down to a dull roar.

Calm down!
Is the noise from next door annoying or actually in violation of a local noise ordinance? Southampton Town, for example, prohibits airborne sound in excess of 65 dBAs from 7AM to 7PM. (For comparison, a window air conditioner is about 60-70 dBAs.) From 7PM to 7AM, airborne sound is prohibited that has a sound level in excess of 50 dBAs. (50 dBAs is an electric shaver.)

If it's merely annoying, is it something that's likely to recur or just a one-off loud party? If it's a one-off, maybe the easiest answer is to distract yourself—put on some headphones and rock out, turn on the TV, or grab your partner for your own sexytime.

Even if it's a recurring problem, like the kid next door practicing tuba every evening at seven for a half-hour, it still might be easier to distract yourself. Find a Real Housewives repeat to drown out the bellowing. Turn on a fan--fan noise is relaxing. Or buy a white noise machine.

Get out
Go for a walk. Take your laptop to a cafe. Go jog on the beach. Is it fair that your neighbors are being loud? No, but is life always about fairness? Sometimes you have to compromise to be part of a community.

Have a nice chat
Once you've calmed down (as tempting as it is to yell KNOCK IT OFF I'M TRYING TO SLEEP HERE, not that we've ever done that, of course, it isn't going to get you the best outcome), knock on their door and ask your neighbor to quiet down. Be polite! Maybe they don't even realize how loud they are. Maybe you're loud too sometimes.

Call the cops
Sometimes noise complaints are best dealt with by your local police station. Don't call 911—Southampton Town, Southampton Village and East Hampton Town have nonemergency numbers to call.

Complain to your landlord
If you're a renter, you probably have a noise clause in your lease. If you do, consider contacting your landlord. Keep in mind that if you complain to the landlord, your neighbor is quite possibly going to call as well and complain about anything you do that violates the letter of your lease.

Basically, tread softly when you are having neighbor problems. While loud noise is stressful, these issues can get even more upsetting when in addition to having a loud neighbor, you now have a loud neighbor who's angry with you. And unlike Ira Rennert, you can't just hide in one of your 39 bathrooms. [Curbedwire]