Ms. Demeanor's Vertical Etiquette

Dear Ms. Demeanor: My neighbor has big, loud parties on our shared roof and I can't stand the noise. Help!

Rules about rooftop parties might be a drag—until you're the one trying to get some sleep.

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Question:

My building has a beautiful roof, which can be used by tenants for private gatherings. One frequent user often has noisy parties that disturb others, including me. Help! Signed, Quiet Party of One

Answer:

Dear Quiet,

Don’t you just hate rude people? That is probably why my building, which has a lovely rooftop deck, does not allow any parties at all. You can go up to the roof and have a drink and look at the view but that’s pretty much it. And don’t even think about getting romantic up there either: A certain couple here got reprimanded when the super took a photo (yes, we’re that strict).  

Along with the “no-party rule,” we have a rather long list of other rules posted on the door to the roof, and the board takes responsibility to see that those rules are followed. With the rules in place—our quiet hours are before 9 a.m. and after 10 p.m.—noise isn't really an issue. Of course, if someone is making noise during the day there is little you can do about it.  

Perhaps your board could put a cap on the number of guests allowed at parties, which might cut down on the rowdiness. It might also help if you enlisted other people disturbed by the noise when you state your case; there is usually strength in numbers.  

And if you know the person who is causing the disturbance you might just ask them to pipe down. But it might be a better idea to write a note to the board and ask them to intervene.  

After all, the roof is no place for a squabble, especially after people have been partying.

Ms. Demeanor


Dianne Ackerman is the new voice of reason behind Ms. Demeanor. She has lived in her Upper East Side co-op for the past 20 years and is the vice president of her co-op board. She is filled with opinions that she gladly shares with all who ask—and some who do not. Have something that needs sorting out? Drop her an email.