Tips for Dealing with Bad Neighbors

For RentIn an apartment complex, you have many neighbors to deal with. It’s likely you’re sharing a wall (or two), floor and ceiling with other people. It doesn’t matter how great the apartment is, there will come a time you have to deal with your neighbors — and not in a good way. But before you storm over there ready to share your opinion, take in these tips for dealing with your difficult neighbors. 

What Does the Lease Say?

Some leases have strict noise restrictions. If your neighbors are being loud past 10:00pm and your lease restricts that, bring it up with your property owner. It is important to point out lease violations to your property owner, because if there is ever an issue between the other tenant and yourself, you will already have proof they have violated their rental contract.

See If the Other Neighbors Agree

Ask the other, non-offending neighbors if they have the same concerns as you do. While you might be annoyed, it might not be something that is bothering all of your neighbors. By making sure you’re justified, you can avoid any headaches when you do confront your neighbor.

Always Be Nice

Your neighbor might be annoying you, but that doesn’t mean they’re doing it intentionally or even realize they are annoying you. Sometimes all it takes is a polite confrontation with your neighbor to let them know how much they are bugging you. They may even hear out your concerns and fix the problem — but if you walk in there rude and ready to fight, it is unlikely you’ll get very far.

Are You Noisy Too?

Before you start going around and accusing your neighbors of being annoying, make sure you’re not equally loud and disruptive to your neighbors.

Get the Landlord Involved

After you have discussed the issue with your neighbor and the problem is not resolved, the next step is to tell your landlord. Give them a call and discuss your concerns with them. This is a good time to point out any lease violations, but also let them know you have already spoken to the neighbor with no results.

Write It All Down

Every time you have a noise disturbance or you speak to your neighbor about it, write it down. If you discuss it with your landlord, write that down too. This is important. Because if your property owner doesn’t take action against the disturbances, you may have a case for breaking your lease, but you need accurate documentation to prove your case.

Five Things Every Renter Should Know How to Do

453535353453543You might not own a home, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have some home skills. As an apartment renter, you still have responsibilities for your apartment unit — and there are things you can do to not only repair your new place, but keep it up so you get that security deposit back.

Changing Out a Showerhead

Do you know how to change out a showerhead? If not, head to your local home improvement store and flag someone down to show you how. They’re fairly simple to replace and could save you a lot of hassle from having to ask your manager for a new one. Plus if you want a nicer showerhead, you can always replace the garden variety one your manager gave you and then put it back when you’re ready to move out.

Plunge a Toilet

You can’t call your apartment manager every time you have a stopped up toilet. You should at least know how to plunge a toilet. That also means you need to buy a plunger for your apartment. If you don’t know how to use one, there are plenty of tutorials online that will show you how.

The same goes for the drains. If you don’t know how to unclog a drain, go to the store, buy some drain cleaner and read the label — you might want to have a bottle on hand just in case.


Cooking is part of the apartment lifestyle. Unless you plan to eat out for every single meal, you need to have some basic cooking skills. There are plenty of online tutorials these days for easy cooking. If you are helpless there are crockpot meals out there that literally require you to dump the ingredients in, walk away and it will do the work.

Use a Fire Extinguisher

Your apartment should have a fire extinguisher — if not, that might be a safety code violation. But, if you don’t know how to use it, what is the point of getting on your manager’s case about having one on the property. Also, if you are just learning how to cook, it might be a good idea to know how to operate one just in case your food gets away from you — it does happen.

Using Basic Tools

There are three basic tools everyone should know how to use: a hammer, screwdriver and pair of pliers. Not only should you know how to use them, but you should have one of each in your apartment — whether to put together furniture, hang a picture or fix that leaky faucet your manager has yet to get to.

May 2014

Traditional Cable or Apps?

Couples In Living Room Watching Television SmilingThese days cable service isn’t the only way to watch your favorite TV shows. In fact, there are numerous apps out there that let you watch TV programs and movies for a fraction of the cost, but which is better? According to a recent study, TV and corresponding premium channels cost the average subscriber around $86 per month — and those costs continue to rise about six percent annually. That means you could pay over $200 by year 2020.

Traditional Cable Alternatives

Cable alternatives can be streamed over your computer, TV, Xbox and even your PlayStation. Some have apps that work on tablets and smartphones too. These days there are dozens of apps out there that let you watch your favorite TV programs.


For a monthly fee you can catch up on past seasons or watch movies over the web and on your TV using the Netflix app. Netflix has one of the largest streaming libraries, but they don’t have episodes that are currently airing — you have to wait until the season completes and is then released on DVD to access it on Netflix.

Hulu Plus

Hulu Plus gives you access to the latest television shows for an annual or monthly fee. When the show airs, it won’t be live on Hulu. Instead, it will air the next day. But if you are the type that can’t wait for your show’s season to end and be released on DVD, Hulu is the answer. Not all shows air on Hulu, however. While they are expanding their contracts, the selection is still rather limited.


YouTube has joined the paid subscription world. You can access some channels based on the subscription you have. But, just like Hulu, they don’t let you watch a show as it airs.

Amazon Instant Video

Amazon Instant Video is similar to Netflix. It streams things that are already out on DVD — TV shows and movies included. Some programs will air new episodes a few days after they air live on TV. Amazon Instant Video is part of the Prime Membership program, which means you have to pay the annual fee for that.

Going with Traditional Cable

If you like to watch the news or want to watch shows as they air live, then you will need traditional cable. While apps help you save, they lack the capacity to show live news programs every day and cannot show television programs as they air.

Some consumers find it more convenient to order a very basic cable package —that includes channels like ABC, NBC, etc. Then they supplement with money-saving apps for more premium channels to save money and have the best of both worlds.

Apr 2014

5 Reasons to Go for Top Floor Living

bigstock-Family-of-three-on-the-balcony-45110686Searching for a new apartment is exciting. It’s a time to try something new, explore a new area and even meet some new people. A lot of people are concerned about the size of the unit, the rent, amenities, what have you, but what thought do you put into the floor you’re living on? You can usually pick the unit you’ll live in, including the floor. While the top floor often has a higher price tag, there is a reason for it: it’s the most desirable spot in an apartment building.

If you’re not sold on top floor living, consider these five top reasons people go with the highest floor possible.

It’s Warmer

Heat rises, that’s just physics. You won’t have a high heating bill during the cooler California months, because your neighbors will have their units cranked up to the fullest. Because the ground is damper and cooler in the winter, the bottom units will spend more in heating bills than the top floor. In fact, you might not have to turn on your heater at all in the winter.

You Can Enjoy Quieter Living

On the top floor there’s no one above you. You won’t hear your neighbors walking around, exercising or even talking. If you live in an older unit this is especially helpful, since floorboards tend to creak louder with age — waking you up in the middle of the night for sure. Of course, you’ll have to still be conscious of the fact you have neighbors living below, and not stomp your way to the bathroom or kitchen every time.

You Get More Privacy

On the bottom floor you have to deal with all of the foot traffic, including people just walking by to get to their car. On the top floor you are isolated and you have more privacy. You won’t have to keep the curtains drawn closed all day either, because everyone and anyone can’t walk by and look in to see what you have inside.

You Get All of the Sights

In downtown Los Angeles, a top floor apartment is beautiful. You can look down on the bustling city below you, take in the California sun, and never have to leave your place to do it. Depending on what portion of Los Angeles you are in you might even be able to see the ocean.

It’s a Little Safer

Top floor apartments are less prone to break-ins and thefts than bottom floor units. This is because burglars know they would have to pass multiple units and possible witnesses to burglarize a top-floor unit. Bottom floor units, on the other hand, have a higher number of thefts and burglaries.

It’s entirely up to you what floor you live on. If the apartment is nothing but stairs, you will want to consider if you can handle going up multiple flights of stairs on a daily basis. If your apartment has an elevator, make sure it is a working one and that there is an on-site staff member to fix it. The last thing you want is to have to take five or six flights of stairs every day because the elevator is out of service.

Feb 2014