Do you need to be a sports fan to live above a sports bar? It doesn't hurt, at least according to a recent story in CityLab. A resident of a D.C. condo building that houses a popular "architectural gastropub" cut the bar’s cable feed at a crucial point in Monday night’s matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins, the story says.
Apparently, the resident had had enough of the din from the rowdy fans below and took it upon him/herself to do something about it. The bar has already filed a criminal complaint against the building as well as an insurance claim for lost sales—the fines and assessments from which could end up being passed along to all residents in the form of monthly fees. Perhaps vigilantism isn’t the best course of action. The better way to handle such situations:
• Do your due diligence: Before moving in above a bar or restaurant, consider the construction of the building (prewar buildings, for example, tend to be more soundproof than post-war and brownstone constructions). Also, look into the establishment’s operating hours to make sure they don’t conflict with your personal quiet time. Then, talk to potential neighbors about the sound levels and try to visit the apartment at various times throughout an evening to assess the noise situation for yourself.
• Consider soundproofing: Look into soundproofing your walls or—if you're an owner—see if the building will increase noise protection measures between the bar/restaurant and the apartments.
• Get out: If the racket continues to interfere with your quality of life, it may be time to move. If you rent, noise conditions that aren’t being reasonably addressed by a landlord may be grounds for breaking a lease.