At your service

Sounds of life are normal in apartment buildings

Lumo Housing Advisors help our residents with matters like solving disagreements between neighbours. The question of “what sounds are OK” is one of the most typical ones.


People living in apartment buildings lead various kinds of lifestyles and undergo different situations in life. One resident works evening shifts, another comes home late and might shower during the night. One resident gets up early in the morning and immediately takes their dog out for a walk. The soundscapes of apartment buildings might be quite different, and normal sounds of living can always be heard. Sounds coming from the apartment next door might sometimes be annoying, and people might wonder whether the sounds they hear are allowed.

The sounds of slamming doors, loud arguing, dog barking, clinking dishes, furniture being moved around as well as loud noises made by children or coming from a TV might irritate the neighbours. Normal sounds of living are always allowed, but during night-time silence between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., residents should be mindful of their neighbours.

If you plan to organise a party that might cause some extra noise, you can let your neighbours know about this in advance or leave them a note with your contact details on the stairway noticeboard. Good neighbourliness is always about working towards the same goal.

What sounds are considered a normal part of living? There is no simple answer, as different kinds of people live in apartment buildings.

It might well be that your neighbour is unaware of their neighbours being bothered by the sounds coming from their apartment. You can politely let them know about their dog barking when left home alone, for example. If you cannot reach your neighbour, you can also leave them a note with your contact details to let them know about the issue. It is important to always be polite and not aggressively accuse people. In case a polite reminder is not enough, you can report the disturbance through the My Lumo service. Your report will ensure that the property manager becomes aware of the situation. If necessary, Lumo Housing Advisors will get involved in solving the situation.

What sounds are considered a normal part of living? There is no simple answer, as different kinds of people live in apartment buildings. What is normal for one person might bother another person. For example, it is allowed to play music or an instrument during the day. However, a resident enjoying these types of activities might consider if they could sometimes use the building’s club room for their hobby. Similarly, a neighbour who finds the sound of a piano annoying could come up with an activity to distract them from the music coming from next door. At best, the neighbours could come up with the best solution and solve the problem by working together.

In a nutshell, all sounds are OK as long as long as the sounds are not too long-lasting or repetitive and occur during an appropriate time of day. There are also unexpected life situations that cause sudden noises, which is completely normal. Making noise intentionally is another matter.

Treat your neighbour as you would like to be treated yourself. If you need help, contact our Housing Advisors through the My Lumo service. We are here for our residents!

Kind regards, Riikka and Veera, Lumo Housing Advisors


Text Riikka Pasanen and Veera Kantola

Images Essi Lyytikäinen and istock

Test your carbon footprint!

Take our new carbon footprint test and see how sustainable your lifestyle is! You will also get personalized tips for a more sustainable life.

Start the test