When one rents an apartment, they typically hope for a calm, quiet, issue-free place where they can enjoy life and get a good night’s rest.
However, this isn’t always the case. Tenants can find issues with the apartment that landlords hastily attempt to mask. They may also discover that the furnishings in the apartment aren’t as high-quality as they initially appear.
They may also discover, as TikTok user Emily Schwartz (@faerie.tits) recently shared, that their apartment is directly above a bar.
In a video with over 19,000 views as of Sunday, Schwartz says she moved into an apartment that she “love[s] deeply.” However, soon after she moved in, a bar opened up on the floor directly below her.
“Had I known that I would not have said yes to this unit,” she explains.
@faerie.tits I am taking suggestions. #petty #pettylevels #pettytok #introvert ♬ original sound – Emily Schwartz
Over the course of the video, she notes that the presence of the bar has presented multiple issues for her.
First, the bar allegedly opted to mount speakers to their ceiling—and thus, Schwartz’s floor. This meant that when they played music, it could be heard throughout the apartment. The speakers were subsequently moved after Schwartz complained to her property manager.
“It kind of got better,” Schwartz says. “Now, there are open mics every now and then where I have to listen to horrible people sing or awful comedy, but ever since the weather got better, now there are all these tables outside. There’s cornhole, so I’m just hearing corn bags slap against wood planks all f*cking day.”
“They’re yelling,” she continues. “They’re cheering for the cornhole. They’re screaming, they’re laughing, they’re cackling.”
Schwartz notes that, as her apartment is downtown, she has a reasonable expectation of noise. The noise of the bar, however, crosses the threshold into being disruptive in her life.
Even though she brought up the issue with her landlord, she says that they are not willing to reduce her rent.
Schwartz finishes the video by exacting revenge on the bar by blasting music from a Bluetooth speaker out of her window.
While there are no federal noise protections for renters, a substantial amount of rental contracts have what’s called a “covenant of quiet enjoyment.” This means that the renter is entitled to a reasonable expectation of quiet while on the property.
If Schwartz’s contract has such a provision, the landlord may be asked to improve conditions for the renter, such as soundproofing the floor or working out a deal with the bar to reduce the amount of noise audible in her apartment.
This isn’t the first time such a topic has been discussed on TikTok. Earlier this month, a user noted that, upon moving into their new apartment, they discovered they could hear basically every movement made by their upstairs neighbor. The TikToker was able to work out the issue with the landlord.
In the comments section of Schwartz’s video, users shared their own stories of noisy neighbors.
“I was in a similar situation. I would regularly measure the decibels of the obnoxious noise and if it was over the limit for that time of day I would call the nonemergency line. I also started leaving reviews all over about how it seems kinda sketchy that the cops are there at least once a week,” offered a commenter. “They closed. I like to think I helped.”
“Hey girl! Same exact situation here! It’s legal for them to do this at least where I live! It starts at 10pm and ends at 1am and they only do it three nights a week,” another stated. “I use a sound machine and it helps! I’ve been here 4 years and am immune to it at this point!”
“We put a down payment on a lot in a new neighborhood and were getting ready to build. Found out a playground was being built behind that lot,” a third recalled. “Switched lots so fast. No regrets. I could never! The constant screaming and laughing? Torture.”
Others advised Schwartz on ways to rectify the situation.
“I’d ask them to break your lease at no penalty for you …its time to get a new apartment,” a user shared.
“Have you considered suing the landlord for fraud?” a second asked. “You signed a lease for a property that is VASTLY different than you have. [Breach] of contract?”
“Talk to the police and find out at what noise level (inside apartment, window closed) can you file a noise complaint & how often you can call it in,” suggested another TikToker.
We’ve reached out to Schwartz via Instagram direct message.
Update 6:39am June 1: In an Instagram DM exchange with the Daily Dot, Schwartz says she attempted to resolve the issue with her leasing manager to no avail.
“After the bar first opened, we were emailing each other back and forth pretty frequently,” she explained. “She was able to get the bar to take the ceiling speakers down but since she isn’t corporate, she doesn’t have much control.”
“The only solution I was ever offered was to move into a townhouse that was available, but it was $600 more per month and I would have to move all of my stuff again. And I had only been living there a few months,” Schwartz continued. “She had also told me that I wasn’t the only person who complained about the noise. But I do have it the worst because my apartment is directly above them, with my windows directly above the outdoor area where cornhole is set up.”
“She is very nice and I don’t blame her for anything,” she noted. “I know what it’s like to be the messenger between corporate and clients and I wouldn’t ever want to take my problems out on her.”
While she appreciated the various commenters who suggested malicious solutions to the issue, she stated that she’ll be refraining from enacting any of those solutions.
“…Some of the things I really can’t do because I’m not about to get evicted or arrested,” she said. “And bird feeders wouldn’t work either, even though it’s an amazing idea because there are screens on my windows. I can’t actually reach outside. I also don’t think I’m allowed to do that based on my lease, and my windows only open about five inches.”
While the bar is violating her city’s local noise ordinances, Schwartz said she wants to resolve the issue without involving the police.
“I would want [the bar] to limit their business to the indoor space,” she said of a potential resolution. “As much as outdoor spaces appeal to a business, I don’t think it’s an ethical or considerate thing to do based on location and proximity to private living spaces.”
“I don’t want to be mean,” she shared. “I’ve dealt with it for several months, and I’m only starting to get angry because the noise has sky-rocketed with this outdoor space. I was annoyed before. But now I’m upset.”