Gotta love this gal

lcw1947January 8, 2008

My neighbor lady is extremely hard to get along with. About two months ago, the old fella that I share a foyer with died. So recently the workers have been ripping up carpets, doing floors, painting, etc. Well, they used one of my trash cans and set it out for pickup. The snow melted where it was and caused it to tip over (we also had high winds that night). So when I came home and saw it, I set it up and put stuff back in it. Message lite blinking on phone machine. Neighbor that I share a bed room wall with, was telling me that my trash was tipped over. That I really should pick it up. Okay.. Next morning, I returned her call and thanked her for calling.

A few days later, again, she calls, said, she was in her foyer and over heard me talking with my mother (who shares the entry with her) She heard me say her boy friends name, and then she heard me say her name. That if I had any questions and needed to know anything about her, I should ask her not my mother. Well, I said, I met Fred leaving her apartment and said hi. Told my mother that I did, she is 85 very hard of hearing, she said, what? I said that I met Carolyns friend Fred on the walk way. I told her that I didn't have any questions, that her life wasn't of that great interest to me.

Lets back up. The phone rings in the middle of the night, like 2am.. It's this lady. She can hear my mothers toilet, leaking and it was up to me to go over there to fix it. Midnight phone calls are scary to start with. Knee jerk reaction was, why is it up to me, I'm not the handy man. She said, well your her daughter and I can't sleep listening to it. I hung up. Yeah, you got it, now I can't sleep. So after a while, I put on a coat, hat, boots take my key and trudge over there. Let myself in, go in and rattle the handle till it stops. This has been an on going problem for three years.

Then I bang on her door like a fireman. Must have almost given her a heart attack, she comes to the door and I said, it's fixed you happy now? Next time call management, not me. Well, your her daughter it's up to you to fix it, I can't sleep with it going. So, I say, that makes it right for you to interrup my sleep, so now two people can't sleep? Well, you her daughter you have to take care of things for her. Nope,, I don't. I pay my rent too. Then the clincher, I said, so would that make it right for me to call your son in the wee hours of the morning, wake him up to complain that you woke me up? He's your son?

What a nut! Every time she calls it is to complain about something. She complained about the man that lived in this apartment before me. He had oxygen, breathing equipment and weigh in at 500 pounds. She hated him complained all the time. Well he had finally gone to a nursing home, lost 300 pounds and died yesterday. Ouch... now she's got this long face and sad. she loves doom. and she was broken hearted that he died, yeah right. and even more broken hearted that I already knew it.

The old fella that I shared the foyer with hated her. Well he used to ride to church with my Mom. One day he didn't go. So this lady calls his brother and gives them h*ll for it. The last words he said to me, was she's a b*tch. She is not a nice person.

She is a lonely bitter lady and is a real thorn in anyones side. I'm nice to her, mostly and thank her for telling me stuff. Never ask her anything, cause it gets her mad that anyone could be so mean to ask her things. (shaking my head) she is tiresome aggrivating and miserable. Terribly unlikeable. But by golly she loves my cat.


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Wow! That has got to be quite an annoying neighbor to deal with! I would start making it clear to her that late night phone calls complaining to YOU are no longer going to be tolerated. Whenever she calls you late at night, refer her to call management if she has a problem, I'm assuming your management has provided a 24 hour hotline. Explain to them that she apparently thinks you're a maintenance woman, and is the one responsible for everything. They'll see that this is an ongoing issue with this woman, and hopefully will send her a letter or talk to her about it. If that fails, get your number changed. If you don't want to take it that far, call your phone company and put a block on your phone from receiving calls from her number. She may get resentful with you, but it doesn't sound like losing her as a "friend" would be that big of a loss.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 12:50AM
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Well, it happened again as of yesterday. In the morning, not too early, she is a late sleeper. Linda, your mothers toilet is going on and off on and off. I said, listen, hon, I'm not dressed, I have company and I am NOT going to get dressed and go over to fix it. Why don't you just walk into your foyer and knock on her door and tell her yourself? Oh, is she home? I said, where else would she be at this time of day. I said I'm sure she has her hearing aids in by now. So give it a try.

I did have company,my cousin had stopped in on her way to work. I rarely have company and she no doubt over heard us talking. the walls are thin. I have referred her to management. Yes they do have a hot line. I've called the hot line for another person, with toilet leaking and running over. It wasn't plugged by the way, the top was leaking. They called me and gave me hell for not calling the hot line about it. so I did. Nothing, three days later, after the holiday weekend, I call them again, poor man is frantic (next door) water all into his bedroom. what a mess.... I said, to them, I called the hot line, you didn't do any thing about it. she said it was a holiday, and not 'urgent' we only want you to call the hot line so we have a record of it. ouch...

Well, the semi fixed his, didn't fix the second leak around the base of his toilet, and he died. No, I'm sure that wasn't why he died. but, sighs.. They are terrible to actually fix stuff.

That lady next door can't call them any more cause she has complained to them so much they told her not to call again. You know I really feel sorry for her. She is so lonesome. Her son and family live next door to this complex, and she only goes there for holidays, her grand sons are semi adults now, and don't come to visit any more. One is in college and got many things to do when he is home...

So anyways, thanks for listening to me grump about her.


    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 7:52AM
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Have you tried fixing your mothers toilet to end the trouble forever?

If wiggling the handle stops it, it could only be one of two simple things.

Take the lid off the tank and check the length of the chain between the lever and the flapper. If only needs to be long enough for the flapper to seat properly over the hole. If it is longer the flapper might be getting hung up on it. Shortening it takes seconds and is free.

Most likely it needs a new flapper, they cost around $5.00 and take a minute at most to replace.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 10:39AM
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Yes, what gammyt said. I have a female tenant that's afraid of most everything in the house, so I get a lot of calls. (Which is OK, I'd rather know than not know, because not knowing generally always leads to bigger problems down the road ;) But that was the fix with her toilet, a simple adjustment to the chain. Another one at a different house just needed a new set of part of the tank innards and cost under $10. Any hardware store (Ace, big box stores) has the parts. Didn't need DH for either one of those repairs ;)

    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 12:59PM
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No, change your phone number and tell your mom not to give her your new one under any circumstances! What a miserable, nutcase. Or better yet ask her to switch apartments with your mom then she'd be able to stop the toilet from running and would never be able to hear you again!

Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 2, 2008 at 10:20PM
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I want to thank you all for your advice. Maintaince has been to my mothers many times working on her toilet. For the most part it works as it should. However, I suggested to her that she wait until it stops flushing before she climbs into bed or goes away, the same as I do. Cause you never know what can or will go wrong.

Things have settled down with that lady. She has a man friend that visits a few times a week and she seems very content. I'm actually happy for her. After all this time, I have a new neighbor moving in next door to me. that leaves one vacant apartment. The skuttlebutt is that is also rented, but so far no sightings. It's over a week now since we had heard that.

Maybe I'm a complainer because now, I've got a complaint against the housing authority that runs this place. We are Senior/Disabled and subsudized housing. i.e. HUD... I really like living in town. So many conviences and every thing so close by. It's terrific. I've lived in the country all my life until this place.

Well my complaint is the new lady next door. The housing authority has scared her so bad with all the can't do's that she is beside herself. To start with they are charging her an extra hundred dollars a month because she has a cat. Also they told her she cannot hang anything on the walls. If she does when/if she moves, she has to spackle fix/repair any/all that she made. Let me tell you, I rented from them before. Did all that and still they kept my deposit. I only gave them 29 days notice instead of the 30 that the lease requires.

She is 87 years old and I want to tell her that do what you want there, when you leave it will be feet first so what do you car what they think. But that's mean, so I don't. I know when I rented this one, they warned me that they would check up on me blah blah blah. I did however tell the lady, trust me they won't check up on you, they don't even want to come when it's legitament. Although they did one time.. I was supposed to be gone for a week which they knew but the flight was cancelled, alas, that was in another post...

Wow, did I ever go on an on..

    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 7:01AM
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Well my complaint is the new lady next door. The housing authority has scared her so bad with all the can't do's that she is beside herself. To start with they are charging her an extra hundred dollars a month because she has a cat. Also they told her she cannot hang anything on the walls. If she does when/if she moves, she has to spackle fix/repair any/all that she made.

As a landlord it really bugs me to hear that some tenants aren't allowed to hang things on their walls. No one likes to patch a zillion holes, or several large gaping ones, but when it's done right it's an easy fix, not hurting anyone and who wants to live with bare walls?

Wanted to suggest Ook hangers. Easy to find at stores like Linens N Things. You can see a photo here. Click to enlarge it and you'll see the 'nails' that hold the hangers are very thin in diameter. They barely leave much of a hole at all. A tiny spot of spackle and some paint dabbed on with a small artist's or craft brush would hide it in a flash. I use Ook in my home and often suggest them to tenants. They will hold very heavy items. I have a really heavy mirror that's being held by two of the larger Ook hangers, but again the nail holes are quite small. Perhaps your new elderly neighbor could look into those? You're right, at her age she should be enjoying her home and not fretting over things like this. ;)

    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 11:13AM
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I had told her to go do what ever she wants to do and not to worry abou it. Each apartment here has stuff on the walls. One of the handy men told me one time that one tenant moved from a different complex and she had a huge mirror which they had actually glued to the wall. He said what a mess it tore the paper off the sheet rock removing it. I can understand their hesitation to have the walls ruined. My apartment actually, the last tenant and ruined it so bad they had to replace the sub floors ever. So I am aware that some folks are terribly destructive.

I have a huge mirror on one wall that is hung with two picture hangers.Of course I'm kind of quiet and not rowdy so no ones going to bump into it, so no danger. When I moved out of the first apartment that I lived in here, every nail hole, I spackled, and touched it up with paint I had saved. Cleaned the carpets, windows scrubbed, walls all wiped down. Stove and fridge pulled out and cleaned behind. The place was spotless. But lacking one day notice they kept my deposit. So, I'm back again, knowing how they are and I have no inclination that when I leave to even pick up a dust bunny much less spackle clean and do the best I can. I know they don't care and by the way, their practice is to 'give the family time to move their beloved stuff". and keep the deposit. I've seen it done over and over here. And mostly people get their stuff out with in a week or two and then the apartments remain vacant for the seven months allowed by law for which they continue to receive hud for it.

I know, I'm complaining, but they are stinkers (the housing authority) and are in the business to make money. I just hate it that they have so many people here scared to ask for things done that are necessary. It's a Senior place. People should be happy and comfortable and not have to worry about toilets, faucets or hanging pictures of family on the walls. I'm sure they have a lot of headaches. I think they have 147 or 168 apartments over three counties. Some, family ones, some Senior.They are all low income housing and/or Hud. They have one handy man working eight hours a day and another that contracts from them as needed. Some how I just never thought it might cost them to treat people as people and to treat them decently. the boss down there, strikes terror in my heart to talk to her cause she begins any conversation on the defensive and yells at you. So it really makes you hesitate to call even when it's needed.

They have a line for repairs, ansering machine. With in the call, it says by calling this line, it gives them permission to enter your apartment when ever they choose with out appointment and at their convience. Old people are not so trusting especially ones that might have come here from the city. Enough already complaining.. Thank you for your input..

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 7:07AM
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Well, if you want it for future reference, here are NY state's landlord tenant laws. (I checked behind your ID and see that's the state you're in.) If you browse around that link you'll find info and contact information.

And another one, HUD in New York.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 7:54AM
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also, the Command brand of removable hooks and picture hanging hooks works REALLY well. You might suggest them to your nice new neighbor lady.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 1:43PM
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Again, thank you. I haven't been over to talk with her in a few days. I will eventually. I also don't want to be a bothersome neighbor. When she is there, she has lots of family in and out. Laughter and gayety. The last I was over she had some things hanging so guess they worked it out somehow. She isn't sleeping there until she gets some curtains. Her daughter in law lives up on the hill across the road from us. But I will certainly tell her your options when next I see her.

you know the other day, she had lots of folks in during the day. I put my book down and just sat there listening to the voices and the laughter and it sure made me smile. I was so used to the total silence of the old fella that lived there last. It just made my heart feel glad that she had so many that care so much about her. I could not know what they were saying nor did I care, it was the tonal value of the words and well, it still makes me smile... I thought I'd share that with you all.

Also thank you for the information on tenats rights, again,, I appreciate it..

    Bookmark   March 6, 2008 at 7:22AM
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I'm like you, lcw--when I hear my neighbors having a nice life, it makes me smile.

My upstairs neighbor has gotten a very different pattern to her life--much more demanding job, and her daughter moved out and grandma passed on. So she's home alone more now, not the social center for her family that she used to be.

So now I don't hear the murmurs of dining-table conversation, or the burst of laughter when someone told a joke. I sort of miss it. It was nice to think of all that enjoyment overhead, as if the good vibes would trickle down to my place.

And I worry for her a little bit, and wonder whether she's lonely, or whether she's enjoying the peace and calm.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2008 at 2:37PM
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Sue - Why not go up there one day and see how she's doing, if she'd like coffee, or just to talk?

    Bookmark   March 6, 2008 at 4:00PM
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call blocking, ask the phone company

    Bookmark   March 12, 2008 at 12:35PM
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Thank you all for the advice, but I don't want to block calls from her. She shares a foyer with my mother so if something were to happen, I'd want her to call me. She has calmed down for now and there isn't any problems. She is just a lonely old lady and sometimes I think she calls to complain, just to have someone to talk to... Because regardless, I always return her calls if I'm not there to anser it to begin with. Again, thank you. As for the hooks, she is pretty much taking the bull by the horns and doing what she needs to do with out damageing things. She is really nice. I'm really pretty lucky to have the neighbors that I have.

She asked me yesterday if I could hear her tv or her. I told her that I could hear enough to know she was home, but other then that, no. She is very quiet lady and has lots and lots of company. I think that's wonderful. She must be a terrific cook, because of the smells coming from there often. Makes my mouth water. She is quick to offer some of what ever it is and insists on taking a piece of cake or something like that, which I don't want to do..

    Bookmark   March 13, 2008 at 7:36AM
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