Some people are very sensitive to noise, others are not, but every tenant has a right to the quiet enjoyment of their apartment. During your Houston apartment search, remember your rights, and keep in mind what matters to you. Especially if noise has been a problem for you in previous apartments, keep noise control in mind during your apartment search. The best time to plan for a quiet apartment is while you’re shopping around, before you sign a lease. Here are a few tips:
Choose Your Apartment Carefully
- Think about neighborhood noise. Avoid busy streets, railroads, airport flight paths, and nearby businesses with late-night hours, like bars and supermarkets.
- Consider construction. MSN Real Estate and Cleveland.com both have advice on spotting a building designed for noise control. All doors and windows should be well fitted and insulated. Look for poured concrete walls, floors, and ceilings (usually only found in high-rise or luxury apartments), or at least ask whether soundproofing insulation has been used. Newer buildings are more likely to have extra insulation added to absorb sound.
- Listen carefully when you go to look. Try to schedule your appointment for a time when your potential neighbors will be home, and when noise is most likely to bother you.
Choose Your Landlord and Neighbors Carefully
- Know the landlord’s policy about noise, and how they handle noise complaints. Every tenant has the right to quiet enjoyment of their home, but some landlords and managers take noise problems more seriously than others do.
- The MSN article suggests that you actually knock on doors and meet some of your potential neighbors before you choose to sign the lease. It’s a gutsy option, but it is the best way to find out what it’s really like to live in the building you’re considering, and more important, to find out whether your potential neighbors are friendly and sympathetic to your noise concerns.
If You’ve Already Leased a Noisy Apartment
- Tell you landlord or manager. Extremely loud neighbors should be issued a warning, and can even be evicted if they don’t change their noisy habits.
- Insulate to block the sound at its source. If it’s coming in through your windows, weatherstripping and insulating window film, can reduce noise somewhat. Heavy and layered curtains can help considerably. Noise coming through your floors can be dampened with heavy rugs. Is the noise coming through your walls? Try heavy, fabric wall hangings, or even setting up acoustic foam boards along the walls. This article from AOL Real Estate has more noise-dampening ideas.
- If you can’t muffle the sound to your liking, try masking it with neutral, or “white” noise. You can purchase a white noise machine or even buy white noise CDs to play on your sound system.
Whether you’re new to Houston or relocating within the Houston area, Houston Apartment Insiders can help you find the right apartment for you. Give us a call at 713-701-1520 (866-918-4022 toll free) or contact us online.