Living with people is the best – built-in mates, cheap rent, sometimes they have dogs and that’s always a good time. It can also be the fucking wooooorst eeeeever – sharing one bathroom, people who think leaving sushi out in the kitchen is an okay and hygienic way of life, and – noisy folks.
Noise is the worst housemate issue by far, because most of the time the noise your housemates are making is completely valid and well within their right as a tenant in that property. But what do you do when you’ve got a housemate who blasts Nickelback at 11pm and you’ve got to be up at 5am? Or one who has literally zero idea that their sex noises can be heard down the other end of your flat?
Here’s how to chat to a noisy housemate without starting World War 3.
MAKE SURE YOUR COMPLAINT IS LEGIT
Some noise issues are completely valid, and some are, well, a bit selfish. Before broaching a noise issue with your housemate, make sure your complaint has legs. The best way to do this is to run it by a few people in your life external to the situation. Try and explain it as objectively as possible, so you get a fair answer. If you’ve got other housemates, bring it up with them too – if more than one of you has an issue, it can also help you in the long run if the noisy person won’t pipe down based on your complaint alone.
Some examples – noise at night is par for the course with house-sharing, unless it’s after the point where most of the house goes to sleep. This is usually around 11pm-ish for most full-time working households. Ditto for the morning. Someone playing music in their room and you have thin walls? Soz, that’s your own problem. But if it’s on decibel 500? They can turn that shit down.
Basically, make sure YOU are also compromising. Living with people means compromise, OK? Wild how many folks do not get that.
WAIT ‘TIL YOU’RE CALM TO CHAT
Do noooot barge into their room at midnight screeching at them to shut the fuck up. It’ll only put them offside and you’ll be dealing with a hurt and stubborn person who has no interest in seeing things from your perspective. Instead, flick them an email or a message if they’re super non-confrontational, or if they’re your mate, casually bring it up over dinner or when watching TV.
It’s better to do it in a relaxed way rather than schedule in a one-on-one or worse, a house meeting. Basically you want to keep the convo as chill as possible, because anything serious will make them feel shitty.
DON’T INVOLVE THE OTHER HOUSEMATES UNLESS YOU HAVE TO
It’s easy to think that getting your three dece housemates to sit down and grill the noisy one with you could be a good idea. But… it’s not. If anything, the noisy person will feel ganged up on and be likely to dig their heels in. It’s even worse if the issue is personal, like they cum so loudly it makes the walls shake, or you’re off their tone-deaf 6am shower singing.
It’s also not a good idea to even mention you’ve spoken to the rest of the house – this implies the noisy person is being gossiped about. House politics, eh?
SET WHOLE-HOUSE RULES
Sometimes you can even get around having to directly confront someone about noise if you pitch a flat rule for the household. For example, popping a “hey guys, thoughts on a bedrooms-only TV rule after 10.30pm? I can hear the TV through my wall and I got a shit sleep this week” in the housemate group chat takes the “YOU ARE THE PROBLEM” element out of your issue and makes it a house-wide general thing.
Just remember if you set a house rule, you’ve gotta follow it too – no kick-ons on a Thursday night if you told everyone to STFU on Tuesday, ya feel.
MAKE ‘EM FEEL BAD ABOUT IT
Basically, rather than just yelling at them for slamming the front door every night at 1am, make it personal. A “it’s just been really hard to concentrate at work because once I’m awake, I can’t sleep again for hours” is going to do more for your cause than just ranting about how rude it is to slam doors in the middle of the night.
Remember your housemate is a human being who likely would *not* like to put your nose out of joint and also likes a harmonious living situation, so appealing to their decency is the best way to go.Image: Pineapple Express