What to Do When Neighbors Complain About Crying

Do you know what’s adorable? A baby. You know what...

Do you know what’s adorable? A baby. You know what isn’t adorable? Channing Tatum. (Seriously, someone tell me what the appeal is. I mean, he’s certainly not ugly, but still, meh. Give me Collin Firth any day, amiright, ladies?) Oh, and listening to a baby crying. Crying babies are certainly not adorable—just try sitting next to one on an intercontinental flight.

Or living next to one.

Have you heard about the Ferber Method? That’s a technique some parents use to get their babies to sleep by allowing them to “cry it out” for a certain amount of time before they go in and see what’s wrong. Which is great for the baby, but probably not so good for the neighbors, especially in an apartment, where people can often hear noise from other units.

So, as a property manager, what should you do if your residents complain to you about their neighbors Ferberizing their baby (or if they just complain about a crying baby in general)? This isn’t a normal situation where you can just tell the residents to turn down their TVs or radios. It’s a baby, after all, and babies cry. It’s not like you can knock on the door and say, “Excuse me, baby, but your constant wailing is a little troublesome for your neighbors. Would you mind keeping it down, or at least trying to contain it to the hours between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.?” (Although…how awesome would it be if that actually worked?) Then again, you don’t want your residents getting so frustrated that they refuse to renew their lease (or threaten to call CPS). And if you do nothing, they’re definitely going to end up writing bad reviews of the community.

Maybe the solution should be to try to help the complaining resident deal with the noise. Suggest that the person add carpeting to the room if they haven’t already to absorb some of the noise. Maybe keep some white noise machines in the leasing office that can be signed out (or even rented, if you’re feeling particularly entrepreneurial). Or, if the person comes to you and explains the problem, you can work out some sort of discount on the rent for a month. Don’t suggest blasting death metal in retaliation. Babies hate to be one-upped by screaming, and will do their best to top it. You should probably also leave the poor parents out of it—they are probably more upset about the baby crying than the neighbor, and, due to lack of sleep and the thought that someone is attacking their parenting skills or their child, will likely rip your throat out. Literally, quite likely.

What are some of your suggestions to help residents if they complain to you about having to hear a baby crying all night, every night?

-Jessica Fiur, Senior Editor

Photo credit: Jjustas