Are You a Bad Neighbor?

No one goes in to apartment living expecting to be a bad neighbor—it just sort of happens. Seriously, it’s not like people, when they’re taken around by their brokers, say, “Nice size, great amenities, convenient location. It’s a perfect spot for me to act like a crazy person and annoy everyone around me.” (Unless they have some sort of scam going where they’re trying to scare away other renters so they can get the gold buried in their neighbors’ walls or something. But then I’d suggest cutting holes in a sheet, putting it on and pretending the building is haunted.)

But when you move in, as they say, life happens. It’s hard living in close quarters. After all, as Satre said, hell is other people (I should know. After dating a philosophy major in college and hearing stuff like that all the time, I starting wishing he would just go there).


Here are six things you might be doing that are secretly (or not so secretly) driving your neighbors to think very un-neighborly thoughts. And, of course, you have the right to do these things in your apartment. But your neighbors will also have the right to shoot you murderous glares over at the mailboxes if you do.

Playing music/watching TV that’s too loud. It’s the old standard for annoying your neighbors—blasting music so people below you can feel the bass, or keeping your TV at movie-theater decibels. And, yes, it’s hard to know what’s “too loud.” Here’s a good test: Is your music Justin Beiber? If yes, then it’s too loud. If you can only fall asleep with the TV on, then set it to a timer so the Golden Girls reruns aren’t annoying people at 4 a.m. (Although, that might be a bad example, because it’s impossible for anyone to be annoyed by Golden Girls reruns.)

Running on the treadmill. It’s great exercise, albeit a little boring (you’re working hard but not going anywhere. Like many a cubicle dweller). If you have a treadmill, make sure you put a rubber mat under it to absorb some of the sound.

Cooking smelly stuff. Look, if you were baking chocolate chip cookies every day, no one would complain, ever. It is the best smell on the planet. But, unfortunately, man cannot live on chocolate chip cookies alone (although who hasn’t at least tried?). So if you’re cooking curry, or fish, or something garlicky…Wait, I’m getting really hungry. What were we talking about? Oh yes. If you’re cooking stinky foods, just make sure to run a fan and keep the windows open to air the place out a bit.

Letting Rex bark all night. Yes, he’s a good dog. Yes, you want to cover his widdle face with kisses. But you have to do something if he is a barker. If training doesn’t work, maybe he isn’t meant for apartment living.

Mooching off your neighbor’s WiFi. No one wants to pay for WiFi. But just because your neighbor didn’t password protect his network doesn’t mean you should start using it. That slows down his network, and makes every single download take for…ev…er. (But, to that neighbor who didn’t password protect his WiFi: Seriously, dude, you’re sort of asking for it. Just set up a password.)

Banging on the ceiling/tattling to the landlord. So, you think just because you’re not noisy or stinky you’re the perfect neighbor? If you’re one of those renters who bang on your ceiling every time your upstairs neighbor is just walking around her apartment—during the day, no less—or if you run to the landlord after the TV was blasting once, then you’re part of the problem as well. Snitches get stitches, after all. All joking aside, of course if there’s a serious problem, go to the landlord. But if your upstairs neighbor’s mere existence is driving you nuts, well tough noogies. Maybe, like the aforementioned Rex, you’re not cut out for apartment living either.

What else could you be doing that could make you a bad neighbor—maybe without you even realizing?

-Jessica Fiur, News Editor