Upstairs Neighbors Stomping? Here’s 5 Solutions

What the heck is going on up there? Bowling? A square-dance? A jumping jack contest?? Rachel and I have rented many apartments before becoming landlords and we know how hard it can be to live with noisy neighbors. One of the most frustrating type of noisy neighbor is the upstairs apartment stomper.

We’re going to help by sharing some solutions we’ve come across during our years of renting and land lording.

Living in an apartment that is right below another apartment unit will always mean a little extra noise. Honestly, they can probably hear you at times even if you don’t know it. There’s no magical soundproof layer that exists just because they are two separate units- sound can always come through. Hearing your upstairs neighbors stomping is super annoying and we want to help offer you some solutions.

Before we begin- you need to understand that some noise will always come through, that’s just apartment living. If you find the floor stomping a bit excessive, here’s what you should do.

How do you deal with an upstairs neighbor stomping

How do you deal with an upstairs neighbor stomping?

1. Talk to your upstairs neighbors

This one is pretty obvious but might not be easy for those who try to avoid confrontation. The truth is that this could be the easiest and fastest way to get your upstairs neighbors to stop stomping.

Your upstairs neighbors may not realize how loud they are being. If you can mention it to them you may be surprised at how they react. Hopefully they apologize and understand they need to be quieter now that you’ve politely mentioned how noisy it is.

Maybe they wear shoes in the house and have hard floors. This alone can sound crazy loud and they may not even realize it. By simply mentioning it to them they may just simply stop wearing shoes and change to socks or soft slippers which would greatly quiet things down for you.

Speak to them in passing, text them if you have their number, leave a note, or just knock on their door. No matter what you choose, remember to be polite even though you are frustrated. You will get better results by being friendly than yelling and being aggressive.

2. Sleep with a white noise machine

We didn’t know how great white noise machines were until we had a baby. Now we have one for our child in their room and one for us in our room.

White noise machines can help create a soft but constant sound that will help drown out other sounds. If the stomping bothers you most when you are trying to sleep, this is an excellent solution.

You can also wear ear plugs as well to help drown out unwanted noise. We lived in a busy city and found that a white noise machine not only drowned out unwanted neighbor noise, but also random city sounds that could wake us up.

During the daytime you can try noise-canceling headphones as well.

3. Talk to your landlord

Your landlord will first ask if you spoke with the neighbors yourself, so you might as well try that first. If that doesn’t work, it’s worth mentioning to your landlord or property management company.

If the stomping is loud and excessive, the landlord or property management company should contact the tenants and warn them about their excessive noise.

Normal tenants do not want to be on a landlord’s bad side because if they deem you problematic they may not want to renew your lease.

4. Ask the landlord to change units

If things are really bad, and no other solution works for you, try to move apartments. We suggest moving to an apartment on the top-most floor that cannot have upstairs neighbors stomping.

I actually did this years ago when I lived with a roommate. We lived on the middle floor of a tri-plex, and when our upstairs neighbors moved out, we moved up into their unit. Nobody likes moving, but this was just moving our things up one level and was a great trade-off from having to deal with loud upstairs neighbors stomping.

To this day, Rachel and I cannot live on any level but the top level. Once you live where you can’t hear stomping above you, you don’t go back. Plus the views are better!

5. Notify the police

We don’t suggest you do this unless things are really bad and you have already tried the first 4 steps listed above. Police will respond to noise disturbance calls and will come by and likely tell them that somebody called and to please quiet down.

If the neighbors do not listen and the police can still hear the disturbance, they may give your neighbors a citation.

Please understand that this is a last resort and by doing this you may be escalating the tension once your neighbors find out that you called the police on them. Just use your best judgement.

Beyond this step there could be legal recourse you can take but we are not lawyers and cannot give any advice on that. So if you do feel you must go this route, consult with local legal professionals who can better provide options to you.

Why do my upstairs neighbors stomp?

In our experience, there are usually pretty straightforward reasons that upstairs neighbors could appear to be “stomping”. Quick disclaimer, if you are hearing very aggressive stomps where you think they are trying to get your attention, you should definitely talk to them. For just common stomping sounds here’s some common reasons.

  1. Walking: Believe it or not, simply walking in the unit above you can create a sound that carries below. This gets louder when the floor is hard, when shoes are worn, or when people appear to be very heavy-footed. Again, simply communicating with your neighbors upstairs can help to make them aware of the excessive noise they are creating.
  2. Kids: Little kids running around and playing can sound like a heard of elephants especially on hard flooring. Unfortunately there’s not much you can do about this, but talking to the parents could help make them aware and maybe try to
  3. Activities: Covid definitely brought an influx of people working out at home. Your upstairs neighbors may be working out, dancing, or doing some other physical activity that could unintentionally be creating lots of unwanted noise. Playing instruments like the drums or anything with a pedal could sound like stomping as well.
  4. Trying to send a message: The neighbors are trying to either get your attention to stop doing something, or are just being annoying and aggressive. Hopefully this is not what you are experiencing, but if it is, definitely reach out to them to get to the bottom of it.


Is it normal to hear your upstairs neighbor footsteps?

Yes, especially in older apartment buildings and apartments with hard flooring, you can hear your upstairs neighbor’s footsteps. This is just something that apartment-dwellers have to get used to. If it seems more excessive than typical walking, then you may want to check out our guide above.

How do you tell your upstairs neighbor they are loud?

Speak to them in person, leave a note under their door, or text them if you have their phone number. Always remember to be polite and try to not come off aggressive even though it probably drives you crazy.

Hearing your upstairs neighbors stomping around may just be part of apartment living as long as it’s not too excessive. In a perfect world we’d have our own dedicated space without people sharing walls or above/below us.

Unfortunately, sharing space with other apartments is just something that apartment renters have to deal with to some degree. Not everybody can afford a single-family home, but sometimes that’s the only way to eliminate noisy neighbors. We hope that our guide above has given you some ideas on how you can better deal with upstairs neighbors stomping- good luck!

About Chad & Rachel

Rachel and Chad have over 17 years of experience as both renters and landlords. They were tenants in 7 different apartments before becoming landlords of 9 apartments in Chicago. Renting apartments from landlords and being landlords themselves have helped them gain the knowledge that they want to share with renters. Whether you are at the beginning of your rental journey or in the middle of your lease and dealing with complex apartment issues, we are happy to help where we can. Read more about Rachel and Chad, or send a message using this contact form.

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