When you are looking for a new rental unit to move into, you will probably a place that doesn’t experience noise disturbances, especially if you love your peace and quiet- after all, you have the right to quiet enjoyment of your apartment. Otherwise, you may find that you signed a lease for an apartment where you don’t get enough sleep due to factors such as rowdy neighbors, street noise, and simply subpar soundproofing in the unit. While there is no sure way of determining if the place you move into will be completely soundproof, here are some tips that will significantly increase your chances of finding the peaceful oasis you seek.
How to find a quiet apartment?
- Take into account any potential noise sources in the surrounding area.
- Carefully inspect the construction of the apartment to see if there are soundproofing elements such as soundproof drywall and window plugs are included.
- Looking for a building that does not allow tenants to keep pets to avoid potentially having to deal with barking dogs.
- Go for a rental unit that is on the top floor of the apartment building so that you don’t have to deal with noise coming from above.
- Talk to the landlord to find out his/her policy on noise since some landlords tend to take noise issues more seriously than others.
- Visit the apartment or the neighborhood at different times of the day and at night so that you are able to get an idea of the noise level.
Living in a noisy apartment is hardly the ideal, especially if a peaceful apartment is a top priority for you. There are several strategies you can use to find an apartment that allows you the quiet you desire.
The strategies you can use to find a quiet apartment
1. Noise from the neighborhood
If you are seriously considering signing the lease on an apartment, ensure that you take into account any possible sources of noise in the surrounding area. This could be as simple as noticing that the apartment building being located near a religious institution that has church bells or being directly under a flight path of a major airport. It could also be something that you are not able to determine immediately, such as a fire or police station that may not be immediately adjacent to the apartment, but you will still have to deal with sirens. Other possible sources of noise include elementary schools (noise from the playground), close proximity to a busy highway (car horns and revving engine sounds), hospitals (ambulance sirens), and bars and nightclubs (loud music)
2. Look for soundproofing elements
When you are taking a look at an apartment you intend to move into, you may be able to determine the level of soundproofing that has been incorporated. If this is not the case, you could hire an expert to do a more thorough inspection. Some of the elements you could look out for include:
- The windows – The windows are one of the channels through which noise enters an apartment, so soundproofing them is essential. Inspect them to see if soundproofing materials such as soundproof window plugs and weather-stripping tape have been installed. To test their effectiveness, open the windows and then close them to see if there is a difference in the sound level.
- The door – The front door is another culprit in an apartment that lets in a lot of noise from outside. This is because the doors of many apartments have hollow cores which trap air inside them, and as you might know, air is a great medium for noise to travel through. Try knocking on the door a couple of time to test for hollowness.
- The walls – Another way through which noise enters an apartment is through the walls. Elements of soundproofed walls in an apartment include an extra layer of drywall and smoothed out walls with no gaps or cracks. Knock the walls to attempt to determine if they are soundproofed, or ask an inspection to carry out a conclusive inspection.
3. Look for a pet free building
If you are conscious about noise and you don’t own a pet, consider looking for an apartment building that does not allow residents to keep pets in the rental units. This way, you will be eliminating the chances of not being able to sleep at night due to the incessant barking of a neighbor’s dog. This may not seem that important at first, but if you have ever had the misfortune of living next to neighbors who have dogs that are not well-trained, then you have an idea of how annoying it can be to have to listen to barks at all hours of the day and night.
4. Go for an apartment on the top floor
Other than the promise of great views, another reason why many people value apartments on the top floor of an apartment building is the peace and quiet which is as a result of not having neighbors living above you. Furthermore, the noise coming from levels below you is much easier to deal with than noise coming above your apartment- the thumping of footsteps and screaming of young children will significantly reduce when you live on the top floor of an apartment building. However, keep in mind that top floor apartments tend to be more expensive than units on lower floors, so you will want to factor this into your budget, or consider other options.
5. Visit the apartment you move into severally
When you are being shown an apartment, you don’t really have the option to see for yourself how things would be during the times when you would be actually spending at home. Instead, you are limited to viewing the apartment during the times the rental office is open, which is usually during the day. Of course, the main issue with this arrangement is that the level of noise in an apartment during the day is very different when compared to the noise at night. It is highly unlikely that you will be able to access the apartment to move into at night, but you can easily take a walk around the neighborhood so as to get a feel of the level of noise usually experienced. Doing this may be just what you need to help you avoid picking a noisy apartment.
6. Take the layout of the unit into consideration
The layout of the apartment is another important factor that is often overlooked by prospective tenants who want to live in a quiet apartment. You want to go for an apartment that has been strategically designed to block out noise from adjacent rental units. For example, you don’t want your bedroom to be above your neighbor’s garage, especially if he/she works at night.
7. Talk to the landlord
When looking for an apartment, it is important to talk to the landlord or property manager so as to find out just how strict their stance is when it comes to noise in the rental units. Even though tenants have the right to the quiet enjoyment of their residences, some landlords take noise issues more seriously than others. If possible, request a copy of the lease so as to determine whether the landlord has stipulations regarding noise. Look for specific wording that ensures you won’t have to deal with noisy neighbors when you move into the apartment.
8. Talk to the building occupants
It is not uncommon to find that the landlord may not be too honest when it comes to divulging information on the level of noise in an apartment since filling vacant units is their top priority. In such cases, consider asking your neighbors about how loud the noises are at different times of the door. Keep in mind that this will involve knocking on doors and actually meeting some of the tenants who could potentially become your neighbors. Of course, this is a bold option that may not appeal to everyone, but it is actually one of the best ways to find out what it will be like being a tenant in the building you are considering, and even more importantly, to find out if your potential neighbors are conscious about the noise levels.
9. Consider a prewar building
If you want to find a quiet apartment, you may want to consider living in a prewar building. This is because apartments found in many of these building types tend to have pour concrete floors and plaster walls. On the other hand, newer apartments have concrete-and-steel floors and gypsum. Consequently, prewar apartments are generally considered to be better at keeping noise from traveling from one unit to another.
Disturbances from neighbors and noise from the surrounding neighborhood are some of the things that you probably want to avoid when looking for your next apartment. If a rental unit that is peaceful and quiet is a top priority for you, consider any of the above options to help you determine what suits you best. Also, remember to carry out some research on your own as well on the area that you are considering to move to.