If you rent your apartment, or if you are a shareholder in a coop, you cannot legally do any significant soundproofing of the type that attaches to or permanently modifies the premises without approvals from the management. Most effective soundproofing treatments are of this type, despite what you will read on the Web from companies who make all sorts of amazing claims for "do-it-yourself" materials. Your landlord, coop or condo board should do the soundproofing. We suggest:
1. Contact the landlord, coop or condo board by certified mail return receipt, stating in one sentence that you have a noise problem and need it fixed right away so you can enjoy your apartment properly. You might state that if nothing is done, you expect to be reimbursed for fixing the problem yourself. Request that the problem be properly analyzed by an acoustic consultant, rather than simply having a contractor start building things based on pure guesswork. You can suggest they contact Acoustilog.
Is "bass" or "vibration" your problem? The DEP's simple "dBA-only" meters won't measure that kind of noise adequately.
Click for more details. 2. If that doesn't work, contact an attorney with noise experience. Once we have done a consultation for you we can recommend one if you like.
3. The attorney will use our objective decibel readings. We can take in-person or automated sound level measurements to help prove that there is a problem. These readings can be done during the day or late at night if necessary. Long-term readings and/or calibrated audio recordings can be made to help document a "course of conduct" or "pattern of behavior". One incident may not be sufficient evidence. Attorneys usually want at least three. See Expert Witness Testimony for more information on our long-term recordings.
4. Some clients go to Small Claims Court with our report, to recover the cost of our fee, or they simply deduct it from the rent and forward the report to the landlord.