What's That Spooky Noise?
Perhaps the supernatural isn't to blame... but the lack of proper sound-proofing. Just ask New Yorker Heather McCartney. Sensitive-ear McCartney first fought the noise of a squeaky elevator next to her apartment, and then the regular whistle and rumbling of a nearby train. Solution? Her boyfriend is springing for triple pane windows. Nice boyfriend!
If you aren't fortunate enough to have a significant other willing and able to purchase and install top-quality windows, here are a list of techniques you can use to get that noise to "pipe down, already!"
Prior to Moving In
Be sure to find time to investigate a new location even if you're in a hurry to find a new apartment. Request an upstairs apartment to avoid overhead noise caused by people and pets. A corner unit that only shares one wall with another unit can occasionally be desirable, too. Just be sure you're not trading a shared wall for a busy street or other external noise.
Dealing with New Noise
Perhaps you've enjoyed peace and quiet until recently. If neighbors are to blame, politely and firmly address the situation immediately. (Even if it's Madonna making you miserable!) If it abates, take a moment to thank them for their efforts.
If the noise persists you have a few options. You can start by leaving them reminder notes (try not to be passive aggressive). You can also talk to your super or apartment manager about mediation. If the noise is truly disruptive thanks to impromptu dance and drum parties, call the cops. If all fails, consider moving to a different unit in the same building. A landlord will frequently agree to such a request to keep you as a tenant.
Full-on Noise Attack
Here are more DIY options for every renter. Some require a little bit of money, but, isn't silence golden?