Home Discussion Forum How should people deal with music in an apartment building?

How should people deal with music in an apartment building?

My boyfriend and I are in disagreement on how to handle music in an apartment and I was wondering who is right regarding this situation. My boyfriend thinks that it is okay to play music whenever he wants to at whatever volume. His reasoning is that he is paying rent and should have the freedom to do whatever he wants. I disagree, having had roomates in the past. I believe that because people pay rent, they have the right to peace and quiet. I also believe even if you live in the same apartment with someone, you should wear headphones or make sure the other occpants can’t hear it when you are listening to music. I believe this because I believe not everyone who occupies the same apartment wants to hear what you are listening to, when you are listening to it. That is why I created a “music room” in the second, unoccupied bedroom off the kitchen (the one we use is off the living room). The music room has no television, but I think it should be one or the other, not both at the same time. I also created the room to be a place of quiet meditation… a “Zen Lounge”, if you will. When I listen to music, I shut the door to the room I am in and go to the room farthest away (our bedroom) to make sure no one can hear my music. And if someone is sleeping, I pop on the headphones. And just to be on the safe side, I inquired about the sleeping habits of the people who live above us in the duplex (they are my boyfriend’s nephew and his girlfriend), just so I know when they are sleeping and when they are awake because I don’t want to disrupt the sleep of our upstairs neighbors. I just believe people need to be a little more aware of their surroundings and their impact on the others around them. So, who is right on this topic?
A little more help: his parents own the duplex we all live in. Wonder if that is pertinent?


  1. Your boyfriend is a selfish, ignorant boor. Actually, no he cannot do whatever he likes just because he pays rent. Other people pay rent, too, and have the right to a peaceful environment, just as you say. So much so that virtually every state has a provision in its landlord/tenant law that says tenants have the right to “the quiet enjoyment of their home.” They probably had to make laws because of people like your boyfriend who have never heard of common courtesy. Anyway, it means that where there is a question, he does not have a legal or moral right to blast his music whenever he likes at whatever volume.
    Additionally, aside from laws that apply specifically to tenants, cities also have ordinances against noise and most state “quiet hours” in their laws. So that’s two strikes against his uneducated belief. And finally, no matter what the general city ordinances say, and what the rental-specific ordinances say, the landlords themselves can enact rules of their own as private property to say what he can and cannot do while he lives there. His only right is to keep moving until he finds a place where people are as self-centered and me-oriented as he is.
    So on three points your boyfriend is an idiot. I’d say that you win, but you have him as your boyfriend, so I offer my condolences.

  2. I say you are. I mean it is rude to just play music at anytime of the day especially if you live in apartment building. Your neighbors can call the police on you. If he feels this way maybe he needs to try to get a house with a basement that isn’t connected to any other houses.


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