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A great day for Pole for the Soul but not so much for the neighbors

I never thought I would see this happen! On June 6th my school is hosting 5...count 'em 5...bachelorette pole dance parties in one day! Definitely a record. They go non-stop from 12:30 in the afternoon until 9:00pm. Two of the parties will be at the same time in both the main studio and the home private lesson studio.

I am deeply concerned about the neighbors though. They hate the music. Hate it. Hate it. They have complained to the landlord and I had my attorney send them a letter basically telling them to leave me alone and not complain to the landlord unless the music goes past the legal sound ordinance time of 10pm -- and I make sure it never does! If that music is going all day and evening until 9pm, which it will on the 6th, they are bound to be extra upset.

In spite of how difficult they have been to deal with, to the point where I had to bring in an attorney, I'm thinking about leaving them a letter with advanced notice of the schedule for June 6th along with a Visa gift card they can spend anywhere. I'm thinking $100 might buy them off for the day. But that money could go toward other things for the business and so I'm only feeling generous enough to give them a gift card for $50. Does that seem like a good idea? Is $50 a slap in the face for an entire day of having to listen to loud music and screaming wild bachelorettes (and these girls do laugh and scream and yell and cheer mightly loud at the parties)? Or is it an effort at peace that might be appreciated and possibly even keep them from complaining?

Should I leave the neighbors a note with a $50 gift card?

Don't bother, you're obeying the city sound ordinance laws and they can't do anything about it.
Yes, $50 is a nice gesture.
Yes leave a gift card, but $50 is not enough considering how much they put up with living over a dance studio. Make it $75 or $100.
Other - please post suggestion in comment.


I would talk to the landlord first, basically saying "I know I'm within the law but there might be a complaint because of the length of time the parties are going on", then I would talk to the neighbors and say pretty much the same thing but ass "I know you're not fans of the music, so I thought I would give you a gift certificate so you could go out to a nice dinner." A nice dinner for 2 is usually under $50 and would get them thinking about leaving the apartment for the evening.
True. But the noise will go non-stop from 12:30 in the afternoon until 9:00pm. So just going out for the evening for dinner won't entirely erase the noise annoyance for them.
No, it won't.

But no one else gets a perfect life why should they? And why should you provide it for them?

*hugs* I actually think you are doing more than you need to but I think it is a good idea to try and make you long term life easier. Let's hope it works.
I think the $50 is a nice gesture. While you aren't doing anything illegal, it would be annoying to live so close to. By giving them a little gesture like that, I don't see it as "buying off" but rather being extra courteous that you know you are bothering them. I think it's really nice actually.
Be careful, once you something like give the neighbors money because of the noise, it's likely to become something they *expect*.

Before you decide, how often is this type of situation going to come up? This is the first one, but how many more will there be? Do you want to set a precedent that whenever you have "more then usual" duration of noise, that you give them a gift card or money?

Do you have an attorney? Run this by them real quick and see what they think.
You're doing everything legal. Annoying for being legal and running a business doesn't matter. You're not gloating or being passive aggressive, just trying to earn a day's living. Sorry, neighbors.

The others have brought up good points - don't train the neighbors to expect a treat, nor admit to guilt by offering them one. There's an old addage that says it's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. Run your business, and only if they freak out supreme, give them a dismissive head pat in the way of a token gift certificate but mostly, remind them that this sort of thing is going to go on, and in the future, would they like notification 24 hours or more in advance that it's going on so they can leave, wear earplugs, stew angrily in their own juices while you carry on business, or something. They really have no right to be crybabies in this case. If you were abusing the law, or gloating to them about your ability to do things that annoy them, then they'd have some reason to speak up. Short of that, if they run a business, they're working 8 hours - or if they live there, this might be incentive for them to consider dwellings that are not partnered with a location that is or could be a dance studio. I simply have no sympathy for them. They choose their own fate.
I think it's a gracious gesture, especially if accompanied by a nice note letting them know the schedule. I wouldn't apologize or be defensive in the note, just say something to the effect of, "In these difficult economic times, I'm pleased that business at Pole for the Soul is going so well. On June 6, we have the following parties scheduled, and will make certain that the music is shut off before 10p. I'm happy to let you know in advance when we have such long days booked - as a token of my appreciation for your consideration, please accept the enclosed gift card."

I've had noise issues with neighbors before, on both sides of the issue, and have found that most of the time, a little personal contact and pleasant notes goes a long way toward defusing anger. Most people just want to be listened to - they don't even seem to care if you can't fix it, just so long as you listen to them and agree that that's certainly a difficult thing to bear.
Pretty much all been said. Nice gesture. Go for it. $50 is more than generous, considering you are not doing anything wrong, legally or ethically, and while I understand they might be totally annoyed, they should respect that you have to make a living and that it's necessary.
absolutely not

It may seem like a 'nice' idea but by the law it could be construed as bribery suggesting reconsiliation for possible wrong doing.

I wouldn't do it.

But, letting them know would be nice. Besides as long as you are zoned for commercial you are perfectly within your right as a business owner. But as someone else pointed it out .. gestures of this type may become expected. Followed by "can you give me more notice" ...

Edited at 2009-05-20 06:32 pm (UTC)