Why Apartment Living Sucks

I remember being a teenager and watching Friends and thinking about how cool it would be to live in an apartment. I thought that they were the perfect little living quarters; not too much to clean (of course, I was a lazy teenager), too far off the ground for most bugs, and neighbors so close that you could become BFFs with them, a la pretty much every sitcom ever.

Fast forward into adulthood and living in an apartment makes me lose faith in humanity.

Guys, humans are ANNOYING.

My god. In the past five years of apartment living, I’ve lived in a wide variety. Nice, new buildings. Apartments in houses. Houses converted into apartments. And old, not so nice buildings (current). It doesn’t matter what type of building you live in, the annoyingness of human beings just can’t be escaped.

This is how I feel every day every time I come in contact with a neighbor. Which, living in an apartment, is every 10 minutes.

I refuse to be left out of the “annoying human being” category. I bark and growl (loudly) at my dog when we play. Sometimes, I find it appropriate to tickle my boyfriend until he screams (and even thereafter). I play Justin Bieber really loud when I’m cleaning on Sunday mornings and I’m sorry, but if your clothes are hanging out in the dryer all dry but taking up space, I’m the girl that will take it out (underwear and all) and dump it on the top of the machine so that I can use the machine. Get over it.

But man, my neighbors have really taken the cake some days. Apartment living is what makes me hate renting so, unbelievably much.

I have, in the span of 4 years, had neighbors that have done or currently do the following:

  • I used to live under a drug-dealer couple and their young baby. They would have drug induced parties where they would laugh, at the same pitch, volume, and inflection for ten minutes straight (loudly) at 2:00 AM in the morning, with their baby screaming and shut in the next room (the one right above us) and nobody tending to it. And I was told by many people that it would be inappropriate to call CPS.
  • A building that the boy and I lived in had a property manager who was in his 50′s, dating a girl with whom I went to school. He met her because she was his daughter’s roommate. They spent that summer drinking at the pool and he fired all of the groundskeepers in a drunken rage one day. He didn’t hire new ones and that winter, when trying to go down to the underground parking, somebody slid into the garage door because we didn’t have anyone to shovel or salt the driveway.
  • A building wherein every Sunday morning, 7:00 AM sharp, like clockwork, a grown man would stand outside by his truck, right outside our balcony doors, and barf.
  • This same building, and the same man, would frequently put porn on his 70+” TV screen (which faced the window) and leave the blinds up. And watch it. During the day.
  • A building with two dogs that lived above us that never shut up. They also had a habit of pooping by the door that separated us and their apartment, which was neither sound nor smell proof.
  • A neighbor who, in a crack-induced fit, yelled at his girlfriend upstairs that he was going to throw her off of the balcony. That fight lasted for over 11 hours, until I called the cops.
  • A neighbor who knocked on our door to asked if we had $20 to spare.

While I’m living in these torture boxes, I can’t help but constantly dream about buying a house. 

What about you – how do you feel about apartment living?


Comments

Why Apartment Living Sucks — 57 Comments

  1. Oh wow – those are BAD humans!

    I haven’t lived in an apartment since 1999, and my last few rentals were either a) really quiet and no neighbour issues, or b) rental houses, so no neighbours. I have had problems with loud dogs, and in one place the people moved out in winter, left the door open, and their pipes froze, burst, and caused a huge flood with water damage (and eventually mould) in our place. That was awful.

    I love my house. More now after reading your post.

  2. In London there really isn’t an option other than living in apartments (or flats as they’re called over here) or terraces houses, which aren’t much different for the issues you describe.

    I’d love our own house but unfortunately I don’t have a few million to spare!

  3. The absolute most important thing about apartment is thick walls. I don’t even mind the toilet overflowing into the bathtub occasionally so much (assuming the landlord fixes it) and radiators that could give dangerous burns so long as the walls are thick concrete and I can’t hear the neighbors.

    Still, very very glad we’re living in a stand-alone house now. I don’t know how people with children do it.

  4. Ugh that sounds horrible! I haven’t lived in an apartment since I was younger. My parents moved a lot for my dad’s job, so we pretty much lived in an apartment the whole time. So many bad stories!

  5. WOW… you have the worst apartment luck I have ever heard. Maybe I am just lucky, but the only bad apartment I lived in was at school and that was only because landlords don’t like to put a lot of money into college apartments. This does make me appreciate my solid brick walls on my house more!

  6. Ya renting can be a big hassle and if anything motivation to get one’s finances in order to get out. I owned a flat before but I never had the problems you describe. You do hear the odd noises but nothing over the top. I have many mates who rent and go on about similar problems like you. They want out as well and are working towards buying their first home.

    Sometimes it’s good to get it all out when you get pissed off at people or situations. Holding it in only makes it worse. Set goals and run with them!

    Thanks for sharing your experiences with us.

    Mr.CBB :-)

    • I have a theory that those who live in owner -owned apartments (ie if I owned an apartment that i lived in) are a lot more normal and respectful. Renters can be assholes, haha!

      • If only this were true. Owners can be arseholes too!! I own an apartment and the children upstairs think the living room is a trampoline. These are the parents who think their children are angels, even tho they’ve been caught in our pool/gym where they are not allowed unsupervised having a gay old time abusing the very expensive equipment. And I’m afraid to complain too much because they could make my life a complete misery.

        • Oh no! I’m sorry to hear that. They should be mature adults about it and quiet their children. IMO, apartments are no place for kids anyway.

  7. My last apartment was marginally annoying because the walls were thin, but most people were still quiet at night. Every sunday afternoon, the people living below me would laugh hysterically for hours and I assumed they were doing drugs. But maybe they were just jovial…

    My husband had some bad luck with a guy above him playing rock band until all hours.

    Our current apartment has some annoyance, but in general, the walls are thick and the only sounds are ones we would get if we were in a house in our neighborhood (sounds come in through the open windows). Generally we’ve found if you tell people when they are obnoxious, they stop doing it (see rock band guy above).

    We live in a small building and know most of our neighbors, and the only guy we’ve had to talk to seemed to be seriously unaware that he needs to close his windows if he’s having people over.

    • LOL @ the jovial comment. I’ve never really given the people in my buildings that benefit of the doubt, because that would be a stretch.

      I so wish telling people about their obnoxiousness would work for us. It never has, despite asking politely for the to – example – not throw up outside at 7:00 AM on Sunday mornings loudly.

  8. Haha, the porn watchign dude made me laugh, becuase dude, c’mon, seriously? Man, people suck. But let me tell you this, unless you live out in the middle of nowhere, you’ll have to deal with neighbors. I’ve got this terrible neighbor next door and have been having problems FOREVER with him! Problems with people are everywhere. :-( People sorta suck.

  9. I’m thankful that I no longer live in apartments! It is ABSOLUTELY ANNOYING when you have neighbors above you that constantly stomp on the floor. Doesn’t anybody know how to walk without stomping?

    I haven’t lived in an apartment since college and if I ever have a say in the matter, I’ll never live in one again.

  10. Your stories w/these neighbors made me laugh!

    Yeah, apartment living is not all it’s cracked up to be. I once lived in an apartment next door to a couple who would argue every other night, well into 3 a.m. or so. And the walls were thin. And they smoked cigarettes and would leave the butts outside on the sidewalk, becuase if they weren’t inside arguing, they were outside smoking and arguing.

  11. It sounds like you need to be living in an apartment with concrete walls. When I was in such a building there were very rarely any problems with neighbors. In low rise apartments though, noise between neighbors can be a constant problem. It’s also mostly a matter of finding an area where people are more respectful. In a big city that can sometimes be tough.

  12. I’ve only experienced apartment living before Jeff and I purchased a home and I would occasionally stay with him over the weekend. Even this only lasted a few months. I think the lack of privacy would drive me crazy! I’m sure there are lucky renters out there who have only great neighbors, but probably not. Most people are annoying at some point. For us, it’s our kids. They just scream. ALL the time. Why? Idk. My boys love to hate each other, or hate to love? And my baby…well she’s a baby. So I’m sure I’d be an annoying neighbor, too, unfortunately.

  13. OMG! The barfing guy would just send me over the edge!!! I have always living in apts…and A LOT of apartments! I’ve had some good experiences and some not so good experiences. Fortunately where I live now is awesome, which is why I have a hard time thinking of ever moving to a cheaper apt or with a roommate. I think if you lived in a house (depending where it was), you still run the risk of annoying neighbors. Unless you can move out into the country, I think you always run that risk unfortunately.

  14. I have been very lucky to have nice neighbors in my apts. So far, we all just keep to each other. I hope the same story holds true in our new apt.
    Of course, the first three years were in university apts, so no little kids. The fourth year, we were in a quiet area for the most part.
    Do I dream about a house? Sometimes, only to have more room for when my family comes and visits. I like living in 700 sq. feet.

  15. We live in a house and are very fortunate that our neighbors are awesome, but there are some people down the street who are totally obnoxious and LOUD and their house is NOT well taken care of (and we live in a nice neighborhood). And they own the place. I feel so bad for their neighbors since they clearly aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

    I know what you mean though…I love having a little more distance from my neighbors than we did in the last apartment that we lived in.

  16. Ah, apartment living.

    My dorm was an apartment building, and the people above us were ridiculously loud. We’d hear really strange noises at all hours of the night. Some nights it sounded like they were bowling while riding office chairs around the apartment, and some nights all you heard was water splashing EVERYWHERE. This was constant, even during the week. By the time we moved out I wasn’t even annoyed by them anymore- I just wanted to know what the hell they were doing.

  17. That is not apartment living! It sounds as though you are picking bad location or apartments. I used to own apartments, I don’t think I heard that many bad stories in 13 years that I owned them. You need to move!

    • This is over the span of four apartments. One was fairly new and upscale. The one we’re living in now (the one with the crackheads) is certainly not a nice apartment but we don’t see the point in renting something nice, because it will still just be rented. But as I mentioned, owning an apartment is a completely different ball field. Renters suck, but if you own an apartment that doesn’t allow renters, it’s usually all good.

  18. Ha, I just finished a post about how buying our house has been my worst financial decision, and I come across your post about how apartments suck. Funny stuff. I didn’t have any real bad apartment stories, but now that we have a hoisted have some bad neighbors.

  19. k those are HORRENDOUS renting experiences.

    I’ve had the odd disagreeable neighbor, but for the most part, apartment living has been good to me.

  20. Wow- Brutal! Where do you live? I rented 2 apts before buying, but one had a lot of seniors and the other had families. Sounds like you are in some rough buildings! I suppose those types of rentals are good money saving technique though!

    • I live in the Vancouver area of BC (Canada). Some of the buildings were not rough at all – brand new buildings, even “upscale”. The one we are living in now is pretty bad but we are saving a lot of money.

  21. Yeah, I’m dreaming a lot more about buying a house lately too. Our 4th of July evening was punctuated by a woman following and screaming at her boyfriend(?) Junior. Junior’s trick (he did it at least three times to accompany the three shouting sprees) was to cross the parking lot and hop over the fence which his girlfriend was too short to get over herself. Unfortunately, our unit is directly across from the fence in question.

    I’ve never heard somebody scream like that. She was pissed. It wasn’t even all words; several times it was just loud “AAAAAAAHHHHHHH”s.

    I admit that my mindset is probably skewed because I’m blessed to be in a healthy, loving relationship, but I just don’t understand why people would react in that way (both Junior and the woman) instead of just getting out of that drama.

    In any case, I suppose I could get crummy neighbors with a house as well, but at least there’s be a little more distance between us.

  22. Hate to break it to you… But sometimes house isn’t much better. You still have neighbours to the right and left of you sometimes. I can’t stand my neighbour on one side of our house. Super snoopy and they put their garbage out on the side attracting the raccoons. GAH!

  23. For the most part, I’ve had pretty good experiences with my neighbors. A little over a year ago, a ghetto husband, wife, and spoiled kid team moved in next door to me. But one day, they just packed up and left. They probably weren’t paying their rent. I wouldn’t be surprised. I was just glad they were gone. They were so loud and inappropriate.

  24. Sorry to hear that! I had some minor bad experiences, but nothing too bad. Our current upstairs neighbor crank up his music at 10pm some Saturdays. I guess to get ready to go out, but that’s quite hour…

  25. OMG. I can totally relate to this. I’ve only lived in my apt for a year and I want OUT. I want a house like yesterday. lol.

    -Kids constantly running all over the parking lot in the evenings when I come back from my part-time jobs (I have been constantly asking about underground parking, apparently none is available, so I gave up a few months ago)
    -Only 6 washing machines in the entire building
    -People leave their garbage OUTSIDE the garbage chute. How lazy can someone be?
    -The elevators are super slow. I often take the stairs.
    - I sleep with earplugs because I have been woken up in the middle of the night

    It really sucks with people living beside you, above you and below you! With a house, at least you have more privacy.

    I spent most of my life in a house growing up, so living in an apartment with all sorts of “characters” was such as huge change for me. It kinda sucks, but I’m used to it now I guess.

  26. I’m totally antisocial and dislike people showing up at my door. I lived in a duplex for the last 3 years, and I had to get used to people looking through the window to see if I was home. HATED it. Now we live in a townhouse and the backyard is a communal one – and all the kids come up to our windows and look inside to see if we’re home and our son can come out to play. Yesterday I had one of the neighbor kids at our window for our entire dinner, just standing there knocking on the window. Pissed me off!

    But nothing compares to hearing someone get stabbed to death in the hallway of my husband’s old apartment…while I frantically called the police. That was pretty bad.

  27. Apartment living does suck. We’ve been pretty lucky to have considerate neighbors where we live now…and we try our best to return the favor. There is this one girl who, while she is really sweet, has a habit of taking up both washers and both dryers for 12 hours straight at least once a week. I don’t understand how someone has that many clothes that they need to wash every week. I don’t know if we’re ready to buy yet, though. If we have to move again before we’re ready, a free-standing home would be ideal, though it’s generally more expensive as almost no utilities are included in rent.

  28. In the UK in the 1980′s apartments were called flats, and they were where the poor, elderly, and unemployed lived because that is all they could afford. By the 2000′s we seemed to have been brain washed, possibly by friends, that they are cool, and now they are also called apartments here too.

    Perhaps its so that more housing can be crammed into areas where demand is high. Whatever it is, I wouldn’t want to live in an apartment unless I had to.

  29. OMG those are some crazy neighbours! Luckily I only have one crazy guy below us, everyone else seems to be fine. The last last place I lived at had terrible partying hippies that would literally have 20 people over all the time and would run up and down the stairs constantly. I can’t wait to live in a house again!

  30. Wow. I’ve had no such problems in my 4 years of apartment living and 5 years of renting. This is why I choose apartment complexes dominated by grad students! Virtually no noise and I hardly ever even see a neighbor passing in the hall. One time our downstairs neighbor asked us to stop playing Rock Band at 9 PM on a Saturday so maybe WE are “those” neighbors!

  31. After reading the first two, I didn’t think it could get worse for you….but it did!! As much as renting can be rough, worse is buying a house and finding out you have neighbors from hell. At least with renting you or the others can leave in a year. With owning, you can’t up and move as easily.

  32. Yikes! I haven’t had neighbors quite that bad, but in college I dealt with a lot of the crap you would expect in a college town- lots of drunk people screaming and puking, people smoking various things outside (and the smoke coming in through the drafty doors), and just generally a lot of noise.

    In our first apartment down here, we had the yappiest dog EVER on one side, and people with screaming kids on the other. It wasn’t horrible, and the people were nice, just loud.

    Now, in our condo, I thought things would be better, and two of our three neighbors that share the same building are great…and then there’s crazy neighbor. He was on vacation for two weeks, and everything was awesome! Maybe they’ll move out…we can only hope!

  33. That’s a rough collection of unfortunate events! We currently have a crazy dog lady living above us who pretty much thinks its the greatest thing to ever live, when in fact it is miserable and tries to bite you. It also runs up and down the length of the apartment every night…

    However, I am not against apartment living and have made peace with the trade off for location that is sometimes necessary.

    We also have neighbors across the alley who live in a fancy townhouse and have full on raves in their garage every few months, so not being connected doesnr guarantee not being annoyed by people :p

  34. Wow. Even though we live like 5 minutes apart, I haven’t really had any bad experiences in my apartments.

    One night I had drunk girls yelling at the drunk guys across the other building. Once in awhile I will smell cigarette smoke from the neighbours on the balcony. But that’s about it.

    No complaints here. Maybe you should move next to me!!!

  35. OMG you’ve had some horrible experiences… If I’m not mistaken though, aren’t you in a rough neighbourhood ATM in order to save money? I have bad memories from when I was livingin Ghettoville but now that I’m in a better area the people are much nicer.

  36. Oh how I can sympathize…I completely understand the apartment living. If you know anything about Colorado and have heard of Colfax…I currently live basically off of Colfax and the stories are endless :) I try to think positively…that it makes life interesting!

  37. I rent a house. I’ve had horrible experiences in a apartment and I chose not to ever go there again. The last one I lived at had a guy and girl who would scream at each other and I swear he beat her. I couldn’t quite figure out where they were but one day I just called the cops and let them know–I couldn’t get ahold of anyone at the managers office and it had been going on for an hour. The cops came but I’m not 100% sure if they found them.

  38. :sad: oh man i hate my apartment so much i feel like common sense isnt common they wont leave me the f alone seriously im sick of it if i want quiet and privacy i have to stay inside 24/7 which is what i do its miserable i have gained an insane amount of weight this is what the landlord lets the kids/ parents do kids rangin from ages 2 to 16 outside running makin noise all hours of the day unsupervised the younger ones banging breaking windows when i first moved in they broke my door knob they steal my mail they constantly stalkin me i hate my life its not fair im sick of it any advice i have a 3 yr old i just dont understand how peoiple dont give 2 shits about their kids just let them outside to do whatever the f they want shit im goin insane HELP

  39. I’m glad I found this blog because I’ve had few hours of sleep the past few nights. My upstairs witch has bulimia. For the past yr I’ve lived here she coughs, gags, and vomits constantly at night. I timed the longest interval of silence last night between 12 and 3 am (I was watching a movie..still hearing the loud gags and heaves) fifteen minutes of heaven. The problem I have is that she totally denies it and she refuses to go to the doctor. She smokes the “spice” stuff and then she sounds even worse like she’s literally dying. Out in public she puts on this jovial show in front of people and DOES NOT cough when she’s in public. Why won’t she get help? Wtf? We were nice acquantainces in the beginning. I didn’t appreciate some of the rules she broke or the inconvenience of dog shit and piss in my floor after her “too good for a leash” dogs ran in my apartment time after time until I learned to keep my door shut even if I’m standing in it. But I dealt with it. It wasn’t until she flipped out one day over her boyfriend not getting the lobby key and me not letting him inside (it was common for them to tap on my window because I’m the apt. Downstairs. I’d get up and let him in) Because surely all I do is sit on my ass all day and wait to assist the babies upstairs. She obviously has mental issues she refuses to address and up until now I’ve been sympathetic. But now, I’m so fed up I feel like a child myself. Yep, it’s time to progress:) Into a nice home. I guess I better get started, this could take awhile lol

    • Wow. That’s horrid! I thought I had it bad — they actually knock on your window and expect you to let them in? That’s insane. Plus, the constant wretching. Mental health issues can be just as exhausting for the people around the carries of such issues. I’m sorry to hear all of this!

  40. Living in an apartment is sooooo annoying. First of all, for your room view you have the choice of:
    -The lovely, big city with all the lights and a magnificent view
    OR
    -The view of either the neighbor, or of the garbage deposit and another apartment
    As for my neighbors, they are (almost) all in their 50-70′s so yup, Except for the ones living below us and above from us.
    Living in an apartment restrains you from having parties, dancing to music, listening or singing to music out loud, jumping on the floor, doing “noisy” yoga exercises, screaming, and when you’re renting them, you just know that this isn’t even YOUR apartment, it’s somebody else’s and that after a year or so, you’re out of there. I have this neighbor that lives above us and at approximately 6:00 PM, he would scream and punch the floor. He did this for 3 months. I always get freaked out when my neighbor gets up because old apartments are NOT soundproof. Plus, the Wi-Fi isn’t always great, and neighbor’s have their own Wi-Fi but if you want to get on theirs because yours is running so slow that even the Google homepage won’t open up, it’s locked. Also, to specify that this is THEIR Wi-Fi, they come up with names like:
    -1lovegod
    -notyourwifi
    -stopbeingsoloud
    -Kappa Castle
    -scout
    etc.
    Well, after all, it is their Wi-Fi, but not everyone lives on the floors 1-5. Also, when my floor neighbors cook something strong smelling, you can feel the odor tickling your nose and it smells…like vomit. Now, for packages, I JUST LOOOOOVE THE SYSTEM (okay, I’m being too sarcastic). If you get the guy in charge of the packages that has 4 big warts on his head, has an eye lower than the other, has a santa belly and says “I dunno” when you ask about packages that you know have arrived today because you just checked your e-mail and it confirmed that it was delivered, you’re going to get mad. You’re going to insult that guy after you leave the “package and others” office. Because you just want your darn package, and that is all, it is his job, and ACTUALLY checking to see if that specific package came in the office today takes like what, 2 seconds? But oh no, for Mr. Santa Belly and big warts it takes 0 seconds because he just doesn’t check it! So you get your package you expected today after 3 days or more. Awesome right? Then, you’re all jealous of your friends’ apartments because they actually have very, very nice, modern apartments with soundproof rooms (so they can actually have parties) and they are located near the best shops and malls in the city and their elevator goes up faster than yours even though it has more floors. Ah, I almost forgot. For your laundry, you have to hunt for quarters because the old washing machines they have downstairs doesn’t accept anything else, and if you’re a fashionista or a person who likes clean clothing, well this won’t be possible. Aaaaaaand for the parking, if it’s not included with your apartment, you’re just going to have to walk fifteen minutes a day in the Chicago cold for only milk, ham and bread or others.

    “So, do you want this apartment?”
    Well, you see, after thinking a little, I think I’m going to say OH HE** NO

    Sorry for such a long post, but I had to let it out. I have only lived in “that darn apartment” since September 2012, and up until then I lived in a house. So that’s why I criticize it a lot. But after all, it is better than living outside in the cold, like homeless people do :(. Aaaaanyways, I really admire you for still living in one, plus you’ve lived longer in one than I did.

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  42. If you live in an apartment, show some respect:

    (1) Shut up
    (2) Shut up
    (3) See above

    That’s right. Shut up. You do not live in a sound proofed confined dwelling such as your own house. I am sick and tired of hearing your god damned music, or your god damned dogs, or god damned stomping around, or slamming balcony doors. You’re a renter, get that through your thick skull.

    You have no right whatsoever to be making noise. There are other people to your left/right/above/below.

    These people are arrogant, not ignorant.

    -End

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  44. iAgree thay do sucks sometime but even i reather live rentail house but even rentale house sucktime becouse landlord think thay own you and think it easy to be clean and good looking 24/7 and think it so easy keep place clean some people have problem clean after them self but i wonder what happen to those halp those have hadicapes problems . it just me or people like to hurt those that trying live and trying make it out there own sometime i feel like what to die becouse i landlord think him/or her self as perfect person even she or saying not thinking that but then it think rich people act hade something do with that i liven in English Villlige and not always great but im not sure i keep on liven sometime better of dead and hate the internet becouse how thay make me feel like typeing not great at time and people i never went to school in my life.

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