Rental Hell

My image of rental hell, even though my apartment building looks nothing like this.

Why would anyone run their bathroom fan all night or for hours at a time during the day? Are they cooking meth or crack? Are they trying to block out radio signals from outer space because their aluminum foil hat no longer works? Or do they think they can blow the coronavirus out of their living space by keeping the fan on? Those are the things I wonder about whenever I hear that fan growling on and on.

Must be someone sending evil messages from space. Right?

What’s the big deal you might think? It’s only a bathroom fan. You must be over-sensitive to noise. It’s true. I am sensitive to noise, but it’s not just me. I live only about a dozen miles from a military base. From time to time a chopper flies by. It doesn’t make as much noise as the fan, which sounds as if the helicopter had landed on the roof of my building. I can hear the fan in the living room, in the kitchen, in my own bathroom. In bed, while wearing earplugs and with the bedroom and bathroom doors closed. 

These things don’t make as much noise as that fan. And they fly away quickly.

Last night I had to drug myself to sleep with melatonin ( a naturally occurring hormone that helps induce sleep) and Tylenol. I managed to get four hours of sleep. Today I had to take two naps. I don’t feel like eating. I can’t concentrate on anything. While up during the night I got online and emailed management. Silly of me to expect a response. In the seven years, I’ve lived in this apartment, I don’t think I’ve ever had a response to my emails. Going to the leasing office in person when this sort of thing happened before was no help.

One of my friends is a lawyer who specializes in real estate law. I contacted her to ask if it’s true that management could do nothing about the noise, which sometimes includes doing laundry at midnight, which I can also hear. My friend explained that it’s not indifference on the part of management. This is “normal noise,” unlike throwing loud parties, that management can do nothing about. Perhaps the tenants work swing shift and do their laundry when they get home. Absurd! There are twenty-four hours in a day, people have days off. NObody needs to do their laundry at midnight. What’s normal about running a bathroom fan for five or six hours at a time in the middle of the night? I’ve worked second shift and never did laundry when I got home because I have neighbors and don’t want to disturb them. I guess I’m just weird.

I didn’t call courtesy patrol last night because there’s several inches of snow on the grounds, which at three a.m. was no doubt frozen. I didn’t want to call someone out in such conditions. Tonight, if the fan roars on, I’m not going to be as considerate.

I wish I could afford to move to a house.

Can any of my readers think of an explanation for why someone would run a fan at all hours of the day and night, especially when temperatures outside are in the twenties? (-3 to -6c)

Weird, seemingly unrelated images show up when I search stock photo sites. One of the tags for this photo was “depression.” It came up when I searched for apartments. Maybe it’s not so unrelated after all. I’m not a guy, but this photo perfectly depicts how I feel when I hear that relentless fan.

All images from Pixabay.

10 thoughts on “Rental Hell”

  1. It is terrible for you to have to live under such conditions. So glad things were better last night, Hopefully, they will continue to improve.


  2. One option you might consider is drowning out all of the noise with noise of your own.

    When I write in the quiet of my house, I can hear my heartbeat in my right ear. It’s barely there, except I can hear it and soon can hear nothing else. My solution has been to play brown noise on my computer to keep my ears occupied with that so they don’t hear my heartbeat. It’s become my background normal. It’s really worked for me. Maybe you could tune in to static or play brown noise on your phone as well.

    And maybe your neighbor’s bathroom fan is how they generate a background noise to help them cope with apartment living as well.

    Anyway, it’s a suggestion for approaching your problem for a different direction.

    Good luck!


    1. Thanks for the suggestion and the good wishes, Paul.

      Hearing your own heart can be an annoying sound. I’ve heard mine while wearing earplugs in bed at night. They seem to seal in the sound, so I wouldn’t put them in until I woke later in the night. The BR door is closed and I have a space heater purring. I sometimes play classical music to soothe and entertain myself, as well as block out annoying sounds. However, the problem with the neighbor’s fan is that having it on for hours could cause a fire. I emailed management about it, but so far they’ve ignored it.. The fan went on at the end of “quiet hours” at 8 a.m. and I expect I’ll be hearing the fan for the next fourteen hours until the next “quiet hours.”

      Happy New Year!


    1. This is the USA, Niall. I’m too chicken to do that. We have too many nuts around here. There’s no knowing who they are or what might trigger someone. Nobody who runs their fan for eight hours in the middle of the night is a normal person. Management may not have replied to my email, but apparently, they did take action. I only had to listen to the fan from 7p.m. to 10:10 p.m.

      Liked by 1 person

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