Dear PoPville – What to do about a Couple that Fights Loudly?


“Dear PoPville,

Ok, so this is sort of a weird question… I live in a building in Friendship Heights/Chevy Chase, and I like it for the most part, but a couple I live on the same floor as fights. Loudly. I am sure others have heard them, and I don’t know what to do. It’s their business, but they clearly things aren’t working for them. Do readers have any suggestions on what, if anything, I can do to let them know that everyone hears their fights, without garnering their wrath?”

27 Comment

  • Approach it just like any other noise complaint

  • Slide a note under their door that says:
    Hey, sorry it sounds like you’re going through some difficult times, but many of the neighbors can hear your fights and we’d really appreciate it if you can keep it down. Thanks, and best of luck.

    • That’s the best, most timely approach. But, then again, this will probably just prompt another fight.
      C’est la vie.
      Another option is to complain to building management and they can contact the couple, but they might hesitate to get involved.
      Does the OP believe that domestic violence is occurring?

    • Simple and to the point, but sympathetic. Excellent suggestion, excellent communication skills.

  • I would not use words like “fight” but I would send them a note saying they probably didn’t realize it but at times their voices can be heard in your apartment and the hallway and give some specific times.

    • I can see the rationale for maybe changing the word “fights” to “arguments,” but overall I think anon 2:37’s idea is a good one.
      I also liked another poster’s suggestion of contacting building management, given that they may very well have a system for handling these issues.

  • A note is probably the way to go, but I’d definitely sign the note and leave my apartment number. Anonymous notes suck. And, I’d just speak for myself, not all the neighbors.

    • Ehhhhh… I wouldn’t leave my name and apt. number on the note. It just seems like a bad idea in such an already hairy situation. Even an anonymous note would probably be embarrassing enough for at least one of them to take notice and stop with the loud yelling.

  • Anonymous note is the best approach. If there’s a risk of domestic violence, though, you may want to consider a way to approach the one who may be being abused (e.g., send an anonymous letter to him or her).

  • I would say, “hey, I’ve been hearing a lot of noise lately. I didn’t know if you all have been doing some moving or rearranging things a lot but perhaps you could put down some rugs or something? It’s been really distracting.”

    • Why lie? Moving or rearranging things does not sound like verbal fighting. Lying won’t get you anywhere.

  • As one who has a bad temper and fights loudly with my spouse from time to time, I’d say a note would be upsetting and un-nerving. Am shocked we’ve never received one already after decades of it. There is almost no question neighbors must have had to listen in. Not sure a note would make much of a difference though, when the fighting gets loud, it stays loud pretty much no matter what. I’d say, do some homework for them, and slide them an advertisement for a good anger management program or anger control therapist. (and when you find it, have PoP post it here for my family too!)

  • You should call the police. If their fights are loud and frequent enough for you write in here, it’s pretty likely there’s abuse going on as well. You should call the police and report a domestic altercation the next time a fight breaks out. Having the cops show up at the door might serve as a wake up call to one or both of them and if there is abuse establish a record so that the victim can get an order of protection if necessary. If nothing else, they’ll learn pretty quickly that the neighbors can here their fights.

  • Don’t slide passive-aggressive notes under their door… That’s f-ed up people!

  • This seems like it’s going to be a minority position here, but I’d recommend asking them to keep it down. If their response to an entirely reasonble request is to get violent(?) or whatever you’re afraid of, that’s when you can call the police. Anonymous notes are not how adults behave.

    • “Anonymous notes are not how adults behave.”
      Actually, I suggested an anonymous note because that’s what I would prefer if I were fighting with my spouse and neighbors heard it. I think a lot of people would prefer to have someone they don’t really know slide them an anonymous note rather than approach them and talk about very personal issues. It’s not like we’re talking about loud music or a barking dog – you are hearing these people fight, probably saying horrible things to each other. I’d be really embarrassed if someone confronted me directly about it, unlike if my music was a little too loud. Give them a chance to save face and escalate it to calling the police or talking to them if the fighting doesn’t stop.

    • “Anonymous notes are not how adults behave.”

      says the person who signed their Internet comment “Mr. Poon”.

      I’m assuming Poon isn’t your surname.


  • pick a side and cheer them on. or when they’re not fighting yell at your tv or somethin to make them feel awkward.

  • I have upstairs neighbors that scream things like “I HATE YOU! ” “YOU’RE AN EFFING WHORE”, following by loud thuds and breaking glass. It’s really scary. I couldn’t not do something but I didn’t want to escalate the situation. I called the building management. They usually have a protocol of how to handle situations like this that’s been worked out with legal.

    • Wow. I mean, we all fight with our sig others at times, no getting around that. But our fights usually involve avoiding each other for an hour or two and then making up, not screaming and throwing things! That is nuts…

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