When living in an apartment, it’s normal to hear your neighbor’s footsteps now and then. For example, you will hear them when they come off a sofa or bed, but the stomping shouldn’t always be there.
Sometimes you will get into the house, and the moment you step inside, you hear your neighbor start walking around. In some cases, they are so loud that they appear to be stomping on purpose.
Others even throw plates, cups, and other items on the floor, turning your apartment into hell instead of the haven you were hoping for when you came out of work.
What should you do about a neighbor stomping on purpose?
The best way to get your upstairs neighbor to reduce the stomping is to report them to the landlord. This way, you also get to gauge the neighbor’s character. If they tune down the stomping after talking with the landlord, they are of good nature, but if they are defiant, it’s time to pull out the big guns. For example, you can knock the ceiling every time they stomp.
How to deal with a neighbor stomping on purpose
Report them to the landlord
This is the first thing you should do as most buildings have a noise policy, so if you feel you are being exposed to a lot of noise than you should, let the landlord or the building management know about it.
Reporting the issue to the landlord saves you from talking to the neighbor whose character you don’t know.
This also allows you to gauge the neighbor’s character. If the neighbor is of good nature, they should reduce the noise after getting the communication from the landlord. But if they are of bad character, they will become more defiant and even make more stomping noises.
If the neighbor becomes more defiant because you asked them to keep the noise low, you shouldn’t even think about talking to them as chances are they are disrespectful and not worth the energy.
Write them a letter
If you have reported them to the landlord, but you feel the noises are still loud, write them a letter about stomping.
I once wrote a letter to a neighbor who couldn’t stop stomping at night. I politely explained that I could hear their every step and would appreciate some quiet as we had a newborn.
The stomping stopped from that evening, and I lived at peace for the next three years until I left for another city for work.
You can do the same. If your neighbor isn’t selfish and they are ready to listen to you, you can write them a letter and take it to them.
If you don’t have the guts to face them, you can always wait for them to leave for work, then slip the letter under the door to find it in the house when they come back.
Knock back at them
If you have tried talking to your upstairs neighbor, but the stomping isn’t receding, you should give them their medicine.
A great way to do it is to knock your ceiling (their floor) with a broom or any other object every time you hear a stomp.
My friend, Mike, does this, and he has had tremendous success. Mike knocks on the ceiling with a broom every time the upstairs neighbor stomps or throws something on the floor.
While the neighbor often hits back in defiance, she goes quiet for hours or days, giving him the peace he wants.
You can do the same. If your neighbor is defiant and you have tried everything you can without success, make it a habit to knock on their ceiling every time there are stomping noises.
A broom is affordable and readily available, but invest in a thumper (ceiling vibrator) if you have the budget.
The thumper delivers hammer-like slams to the ceiling, quieting your neighbor.
After ordering it, place it close to where the neighbor makes most of the noise.
Of course, order one with a remote control to have an easy time controlling the machine.
As much as you want to get back at your neighbor, be cautious how you set up the thumper as you can set it to vibrate too strongly that you end up damaging the ceiling, and you are forced to incur huge repair costs.
The vibrations you generate with the thumper should be strong enough to piss off the neighbor—not damage the building.
Move to an upstairs apartment.
If the building has a vacant upstairs apartment, move there. You will even be better off moving to the topmost apartment so that you don’t keep worrying about an obnoxious upstairs neighbor coming in.
If the top apartment is directly above the stomping neighbor, don’t shy away from being passive-aggressive right back. Give them a piece of their own medicine and play the same cards they played before.
Have them lay some carpets and underlays
I remember this time I wrote two letters to a couple living right above my apartment. Despite the letters, the stomping noises never went away.
After a week of writing the second letter, the husband knocked on my door and explained they had tried all they could to reduce the stomping, but they couldn’t stop the noises from getting to me.
I offered them a few soundproofing carpets and underlays I had used in another apartment, and upon laying them, the noises reduced by a considerable margin.
You can do the same. If you aren’t willing to move out of the apartment, you can purchase a few carpets and give them to your neighbor. If the noises aren’t getting better, have them stack the mats on top of each other.
Ask your landlord to make building changes to reduce the noise
If you have placed the mats, the neighbor has tried walking as slowly as they can, but the noise is not receding, talk to your landlord and have them make changes to the house to reduce floor noise.
Two excellent projects they can do are decoupling the ceiling with resilient channels and building a suspended ceiling.
Move to a quieter apartment.
Sometimes you will have peace by moving to a quieter apartment. Before making the big move, first, visit the apartment several times at different times of the day to confirm that there is no noise.
You don’t want to waste time and resources moving to a new place only to realize that it’s much noisier than the previous one.
Live with the stomping.
If you can’t move because you are disabled and it took you years to find the apartment ideal for your condition, or you own the apartment, learn to live with the stomping.
A great way to do it is to wear earplugs every time you step into the apartment.
A great trick I’ve found is placing the earplugs in alcohol for them to swell, then putting them on. This way, they get a better seal, which keeps off most stomping noises.