What can I do if landlord or Mgt ignore me

buzzhdJanuary 13, 2005

I've been living in the rental apt for more than 3 years. Last November a new tenant (a couple and 22-month kid) moved in. I am living on the 1st floor and they are above me. Ok, you guess it, noises ever since. The kid is running, stomping, playing toys and dropping toys on the uncarpeted wood floor. I complained to them, but they were not friendly. I called the mgt office and wrote letters a month ago, but didn't get any response from them. I even threatned to stop paying the rent. All is in vain. I don't know what to do next. I still have at least 9 months on the lease. Everyday I hate to go back home early and hate to stay home during the weekend. The noises drive me nuts. As far as I know the tenant should put rugs or carpeting on the floor in all apartment building in NYC with at least 80% coverage.

Is it legal to stop/withhold the rent? What will happen if I don't pay the rent? Can I break the lease? Can I sue the landlord/mgt office and/or the neighbor upstairs for not complying the lease to put down carpets and for not enforcing the law?

I read some posts involving the noises complaints. I can feel I am not alone.

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Landlords are generally advised not to interfere in matters between tenants. I tell my tenants there are laws against excessive noise, and if they have a problem with a neighboring tenant, they can call law enforcement.

If the lease does specify that rugs or carpet are to be put down and management has not complied, you have a valid complaint. That's the law in DC as well. The neighbor has the responsibility to put down the carpets or rugs. Call the police.

I think if you withhold the rent, you can expect an eviction and a damaged credit report. The judge will find for your LL in such a scenario.

I do feel your pain, but as a LL I don't intrude on neighbor spats. How do I know if a tenant doesn't have some other agenda and is just using the noise story as a cover issue.

This is a legal problem, not a management one.

(I'm guessing I will hear from a lot of tenants here as to what a bad landlord I am, but my tenants are happy and treated fairly, so I am happy too.)

    Bookmark   January 13, 2005 at 4:42PM
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I did call the police when the tenant upstairs made excessive disturbing noises for nearly 5 hours: four kids were chasing each other, jumping, playing toys and dropping toys on the floor etc. Police came and listed to the noises themselves and then went upstairs. When policy came back and told me they just moved in and would put the carpets very soon. However more than two months passed, they did nothing but making noises and noises. Moreover right after the police was gone, the tenant upstairs deliberately made even louder noise by banging the floor both in living room and bedroom simultaneously. Is it the criminal act?

In order to prove my case, I even recorded almost all the excessive noises by using video camera to show the date and time and the ceiling I was taping at.

As a landlord, I think it's their responsibility to enforce such law spelled out in the Lease. As a tenant they are required to put the rugs and carpet on the floor especially there is a underaged kid living in the aprt and required not to make noises and disturb their neighbors.

If we have problems like that you think we should not go to landlord or management and instead file a law suit against tenant? I am hard to understand your saying it's a legal problem, not management one. Please enlighten me.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2005 at 5:08PM
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You called the police once. Understandably, all the neighbor got was a warning. If the noise persists, document it and call the police again. You have to establish a pattern and show they are ignoring the police warnings. It may take additional calls. They'll eventually be issued a citation, and your neighbor will learn a lesson.

Yes, you could file suit against the tenant. I am sure the jury would love to see the video of the ceiling. But I think this would be a costly move and you might not prevail.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2005 at 6:48PM
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I don't think we need jury here if I am going to file a law suit in small claim court.

I just don't understand why the landlord/management could turn their deaf ears to my phone calls and letters. I did even visit their office, but was told building manager would get back to me.

I am just asking for the legality of withholding the rent under such circumstances where I could do nothing to prorect my legal interests under the current Lease.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2005 at 7:34PM
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i rented in Ny state and it think its different than where spewey is. If the lease requires carpeting, the landlord needs to enforce the lease.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2005 at 7:51AM
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In DC and MD (very close to the DC line), apartments are required to have carpet on at least 80% to 90% of the floor in each room.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2005 at 5:13PM
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Has the landlord seen the video evidence?

Next time you call the Police, you could ask them to go and speak to the landlord too. That way they'll have to do something about it.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2005 at 6:50PM
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I think that it's going to be kind of hard to get the new tenants to limit their child's play time. Kids are just like that and if it's a toddler I doubt that the parents will have an easy time training it not to drop things.

On the other hand I know how annoying it can be to have to listen to all that banging and clanging. I used to live above an 8 yr old plus two teenagers and their parents. It was very annoying.

Maybe carpeting would be the best solution. The landlord should not be ignoring you and I think that you should tell him to either put down carpeting or you'll move out. Save a copy of all the letters.

Hope things work out for you!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2005 at 11:22PM
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The parents can set limits about where in the apartment the kids can play, and the types of play that are and are not allowed inside the apartment, eg running games should be restricted to outdoors. If they make the kids take their shoes off inside too, that would help too.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2005 at 2:00AM
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"Is it legal to stop/withhold the rent?"

ABSOLUTELY NOT! Check with the state and city "Landlord tenant" laws to see exactly what your remedies are.

Just keep calling the cops, and if there really is an ordinance about installing rugs - make them comply.

I'm not sure what suing in small claims would do for you - you have no damages.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2005 at 5:42PM
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thanks all for responding to my posts.

So if I couldn't withhold/stop rent and tenant keeps ignoring me I could then do nothing about it, unless I keep calling cops. But the thing is the kid is not always running, playing and droping things. Perhaps, when the cops come they won't hear anyting.

Speaking about the damage, I did some research on the Internet and found one website called www.nolo.com have all sorts of valuable info. Just search noise and rent. It tells me that you can request a $20 or $100 per day for the damages about the disturbing and annoying noises.

I just I will have to check with landlord again, if they do nothing I will have to move out. But what the deposit since I have another 9 months on the lease?

    Bookmark   January 17, 2005 at 10:44AM
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The deposit is the least of your worries. Most states have laws that if you break the lease, you are liable for all the rent for the remainder of your lease. In your case that would mean you'd still owe 9 months' rent.

Sometimes the law is that they can only charge you for the rent until they rent to another person - which could still take weeks or months. Don't make any rash decisions - you have a lot more than the deposit at stake.

You should really research the landlord/tenant laws that are specific to YOUR state and city and not rely on generalities.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2005 at 3:47PM
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Buzz HD I know how you feel. I've been having problems with my neighbors for 3 years and just recently it has gotten worse. They deliberately stomp and I called the police for the first time at 5am this morning. After the po-pos left, they were steaming mad, stomping harder than ever. I'm trying to get a top floor apartment in my complex and I won't take no for an answer.

It's usually illegal to withold the rent for neighbor noises, only when there is a structual problem with the apartment (plumbing, heat, etc.) Check your state regulations on dealing with landlords.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2005 at 9:32AM
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thanks, Str8dyme.
Yeah, top floor is my best choice. In fact I did find one and now is in contract. Everything is ready to go and hopefully I have it closed in mid-April. I will be more considerate if I move to the top floor as I have been the victim for the past 5 months when upstairs neighbor never stops to make all sort of noises, kid running with and without shoes, jumping, dropping toys/things and even more those guys just bought a massage machine that was once on for a whole night causing big vibration and loud humming sound.
The guy in management office is really jerk, I have to call him jerk because he really has an attitude problem. "You will lose your deposit if you move out before the end of lease. You still have to pay April rent, if not we will come after you". "No difference at all if putting on the rugs or carpeting...? I am so mad and just wondering how come management can take up such an attitidue. A lady supervisor came up to me and said "I can't kill them if they don't put down the carpet...". If lease says carpet is needed at least 80%, the tenant should comply with or the management should at least do something to enforce the lease.
Anyway moving out is my ultimate choice because I can't put up with that kind of noise. I have decided to move out and pay the last month rent (prorated if I move out before the end of month) and then file a law suit in small claim court for returning of my deposit and moving expenses, and present my case to the judge as I have documented everthing including all correspondences to the manangement office (certified letter), logs and tape recording of all noises etc.

Does anybody know if I could win the case for the do-nothing landlord/management in breach of "warranty of habitability"?

    Bookmark   March 30, 2005 at 10:30AM
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check www.tenant.net
you can search on there for laws, court cases, etc. or check the archives of their forums. unfortunately, noise is a big issue in nyc--particularly from inconsiderate neighbors. there is no specific law regarding carpeting but most leases do have some requirement for carpeting.

legally, it IS a landlords responsibility to deal with the problem tho many of them choose not to. contracts (leases) are between the tenant and the landlord not the tenant and the tenant. your recourse is with your landlord.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2005 at 11:49AM
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Personally I hate the way LL will just stand back and let you be stressed out while someone they approved to live there is causing distress, It's called taking responsibilities for your choices and as the spewey douche bag pointed out they would rather sit back and "Feel sorry for you" and do nothing.
You sound just like a landlord all right... useless

However my issue is quite different... When I moved into my building after some hardcore stress from transglobe I gave them a second chance, It is becoming a nightmare.

To start I would like to go over what happened in the first place I lived in, First we were lied to about the facilities being updated "Soon" by transglobe so we were stupid and over looked it, Next I have this guy befriend me only to find out he is a wannabe career criminal and the guy sets up to break into my place while I am gone and my girlfriend is out to pick me up, He was aware of all these facts and only had about 7 mins to do it in. So my gf leaves to get me and the lock on our door is jammed, We get home and notice nothing at first, Later on we notice $200 missing(rainy day money) Hell my gf told me he was gonna break in when she picked me up. So right away we of course call the police(POS organization they are were no help)
They treated us like we were the criminals.
And then we started getting infestations of omg many different insects from roaches to water mites, The grounds not being kept up and suddenly we are getting blamed for not cleaning up after our dog(I no longer have my loving dog due to this) and we were just to find out the super was not(WTF eh?). And then of course the problem comes up our super does not speak english(How did she get the job?)
The we lose our hot water and water pressure for 2 weeks at which point we decided to move, We contact transglobe and they charge us $250 so we could have 1 day to move. I knew the super at the point he was dating my sister so I was like ok lets set up plans to paint before we move in(I dont like white walls) and we had it all set up then we go into paint and we find out they have another super and she tells us we can't paint and we dont even have the place for sure(Which we did hence the $250 dallor charge which BTW I would like to point out I got told I paid $50 more then I was supposed to and did not get the money back), After an almost argument about the issue with this new super we finally work out that we can do it seven days later, And so we get everything together for that day and show up paint and all and guess what? Once again we are told we can not paint in the apartment because their is no proof that we are going to be living there.(something we had already dealt with previously with her lazy ass)BTW this was a week before we were to move in and now they are telling us they have no knowledge even though we paid the money, So three days prior to moving in we finally get to paint.
The move in went smooth thankfully to all who helped.
So we are now moved into this second transglobe location and figures something goes wrong, Our fridge is not working and the $200 worth of food went to waste, We saved what we could in a cooler, Any idea how long it took them to get us a new fridge? Another two weeks and of course transglobe cared enough not to replace the money we had lost, Instead they ignored it.

Is this the end?

So we are paying extra for parking(which we have not been able to park in since winter hit since it got covered in snow and they lied saying they were going to call snow removal), Included in our rent is access to a hottub(Has not worked since we moved in), Sauna(mens side does not work), Work out room which is only about 15% working and neighbors who disgust me in many ways from not picking up after their pets to cooking rotten fish(never smelt anything so rancid). We even had damage to our car and someone steal an ornament off your apartment door.

Now at this point any one would be angered because contacting them to fix it is a long ignored process.

So thats it right?

No sir our nightmare from our previous place has followed us here, Once again in winter we have no hot water, this is my 5th day and all they are doing is waiting for a part.
This is my peev off in this one... Do they not do atleast yearly inspections on this boiler that could if goes wrong kill many people? and why would they not have extra parts just for this very moment?

So come down to the part this is all about... I have contacted transglobe several times about this and have got no responce on these issues, not even so much as a return email saying they are looking into it. Why? Because they are not.

Now I want to sue, I am stressed out because they bring you in with this "We are here for you" BS, and then drop the ball.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 3:03PM
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