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“I’m in constant pain from my paper thin apartment walls”

photo by Eric P.

“Dear PoPville,

I’m in constant pain from my paper thin apartment walls, which lack soundproofing to the point where I can hear the conversations my neighbors are having and various noises from normal day-to-day activities, including the ones that should remain private. I am stressed out knowing that my neighbors can also hear everything coming out from my apartment.

  I hear my next door neighbors (not upstairs neighbors), for example, talking, stomping, and dropping something on the floor 24/7, to the point where I know when they are home, when they have left the house, and when they are having a guest or guests over.  I’m having trouble falling asleep because of my next door neighbor stomping 24/7, and it is making me feel anxious. It is more of a flaw with the building (which was built during the pandemic) rather than the neighbors being unreasonable, but the management has not been helpful, and they suggested that I call the concierge or the police when stomping happens because the neighbor has denied that the noise is coming out from their unit (and trust me, it is).

I don’t think it is the right thing to call the police for stomping, and I know if I report to the concierge, they will come up and disparage me and my concerns because the noise can’t really be heard well in the hallway and it is intermittent unlike loud music or party noise. And what bothers me is not only the noise itself and the vibration it causes but also not knowing when it will stop and being exposed to it all the time. What recourse do I have and can DC regulations help? I cannot afford to pay the penalty for moving out early (which is 2 months rent + concession I received). Thank you for reading.”

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