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Noise complaints are way up now that New Yorkers are stuck at home

Can we all just quiet down a bit?

Written by
Howard Halle

Having been on lockdown at home for what seems like forever, you may have found yourself increasingly put on edge by things like noise from your neighbors—the guy upstairs playing drums all night, say, or that inexplicably loud cat, yowling through the wall as if Joe Exotic had moved next door.

Well, you're not alone: Since the pandemic kicked into high gear, New Yorkers have been filing way more noise complaints compared to last year.

That's the finding of a survey conducted by apartment site RentHop. Based on calls to 311, the survey covers the period between March 20 and March 28, 2020 and notes that 11,687 noise complaints were made during that week, a growth of 23.2% over the same time in 2019.

The Bronx and Staten Island had the largest increases at 45.6% and 46%, respectively, while Queens showed the smallest hike year-on-year at 2.8%. Complaints rose by 28% in Brooklyn, and by a relatively moderate 17.2% in Manhattan.

But most interestingly, RentHop found noise complaints were highest in neighborhoods that were the furthest from midtown. In Manhattan, for example, the increases were concentrated above 96th Street in places such as Harlem and Hamilton Heights (though, there were some outliers downtown, with Gramercy registering a 70% jump in complaints, while surging 100% on the Lower East Side).

The figures can’t account for these disparities, but RentHop has a couple of theories. One is that as people began to work from home, Manhattan emptied out below 96th Street. Another is that since the area is filled with doorman buildings anyway, complaints are more likely to be handled in-house. Whatever the reason, if you want to find out just how boisterous your neighbors have been, check out RentHop’s interactive heat map below.

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