Upstairs neighbors ... Driving my NUTS!!!!

myfampgMarch 14, 2011

I know I know-- I've been reading all of the posts on neighbors -- I'm ranting really.

We have been here 2 years and we signed a new lease to stay one more year. We live in an apartment but they call it 'luxurious town home living'. Gag. We have 1600 sq ft a garage, 4 bedrooms (3 and an office), 2 baths, lots and lots of cabinets in the kitchen. I actually really love it... Marble flooring and an awesome park right outside our back door .. And some awful upstairs noises. Not awful people just their noises. We have two small kids who don't seem effected by any of the noise and my husband actually has Hearing loss and the noises don't bother him either.. Just ME.

The first neighbors were awful and were asked to leave. They had too many people living in the place. 2 single moms and 5 small children which is against the rules. Each tennant has to have their own room... So 5 people MAX if the adults are married. Second neighbors were actually awesome. They were very conscious about noise and they were on our schedule so when our kids went to bed, their kids were in bed. They only got loud when they were moving out because they didn't care anymore. They ended up breaking their lease because their next door neighbors were too loud. We don't have this problem because on one side we have a single man that travels a lot and is never home and the other side is a single guy that never uses the rooms next to us. VERY happy with both sides.

The new neighbors moved in last week upstairs. Oh my... The man is a doctor and works in the ER long hours and gets home at 11pm. That is when he starts his house work. I know he is working all evening and needs to be able to do his housework too. But until 2am? My kids have not slept in a week and neither have we. We are miserable. Even my husband says that he can hear some things but not keeping him from sleeping.

Well that isn't all -- the wife works normal work hours and gets up at 530am to get ready for work. So basically we are up until 2 am because he is busy being loud and then we are forced to get up an hour early because she is up getting ready for work. This is a new place (5 years) and I'm reading the newer the building the worse they are made ... So no wonder I can hear everything. I have had to resort to running our dishwasher, dryer, washer, and the tvs in order to not hear their noises. I'm talking about stomping, dropping things on the floor. When they wash clothes that doesn't bother me because I actually like the sound of water (weird yes).

Anyway. I went and talked to them. They acted like they didn't know what I was talking about because they aren't doing anything? Argh!

So we have decided to move but we can't get out of our lease without paying a reletting fee and being responsible for paying until they lease it out to someone else. We just can't come up with the money fast enough. I've complained so much about the noise, shouldn't that be enough?

How do we get out of our lease?? Or live with this crazy schedule they keep... For another year?? And what sucks is FINALLY someone moved in that has a daughter the same exact age as my daughter and she is really excited about playing with her. BUT I'm already so annoyed and sleep deprived -- nobody is playing until mommy gets some damn sleep!! After a long stressful day at work -- I want to come home and relax... Well I'm relaxing for a while until bed time..... And then my nerves are shot again!

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camlan

Have you addressed the noise issue with the management? If by housework, you mean that your upstairs neighbor is coming home at 11 pm and starting to vacuum, I think you have cause for a noise complaint. Especially if all the units have marble floors.

Is there anything in your lease about noise or quiet hours or needing to have area rugs down to lessen the noise? Bring this to the attention of the neighbors and the management.

I can't blame the management for not working with you on breaking your lease when all you have done to remedy the situation is to talk to the neighbors one time.

So here's what I'd do. First, I'd start documenting the noise. Every day. Every time. Jot it down in a notebook or on your computer. "11 am Saturday. Vacuuming. Can't hear TV set on volume 80." "Midnight. Thursday. Woken up by neighbor's footsteps as he returned home. Kept awake by vacuuming and dishwasher."

Second, I'd go back to the neighbors. Of course they don't realize they are making so much noise. Tell them that you and your kids are being woken up by the noise--be specific as to time and type of noise--and ask them nicely to deal with this. It doesn't matter to you what they do--put down area rugs, change their housekeeping schedule--but between the hours of, say, 9 pm and 7 am, you would appreciate their efforts to reduce the noise traveling into your unit. Document this and all conversations with them and their responses. They have little choice as to their working hours, but they can try to reduce the noise. And they can certainly limit housework to more standard hours, like during the day when most people are awake.

Third, go to management. Show them your log of at least one week's noise disturbances. Ask them what they are going to do. Ask them what else you can do. Be proactive. Continue to give management weekly updates on the noise situation. They need to know that it is a constant, ongoing problem. If you complain once and never again, they are going to think the problem is solved.

Fourth. If nothing else works, could they move you to a different unit, preferably one on the top floor?

Fifth. If that fails, you have the option to break the lease. Yes, you will have to pay the rent until the unit is re-rented. You signed a contract. You have to honor the contract. Breaking the lease is a last resort. You have to try all your other options first.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 8:58AM
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forhgtv

My last resort in a place where I couldn't get out for a while was adding earplugs and using a white noise generator. I was still annoyed, but at least I could sleep.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 3:08PM
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PearGeorge

Ever thought of recording the noise? Might help in your dealings with management...

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 12:05PM
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jbjohnson

Why would one have to continue paying the rent? Yes, a lease is signed and binding; however, if the landlord does not maintain an environment that permits quiet enjoyment of the rental property, then the lease will have been breached, thereby releasing one from any responsibility to pay the rent once moved out. The landlord should maintain the property in a state that permits quiet enjoyment of the rental property under normal use of the surrounding apartments. Walking noises from the apartment above should not be heard below. If normal walking noises can be heard, then the apartment is not suitable for permitting the renter's right to quiet enjoyment. If the neighbors are excessively noisy, then the landlord is responsible for handling the issue, or else the lease is breached.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2013 at 5:44PM
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dreamgarden

There are a lot of good comments here. Camlan had some excellent suggestions. Documenting is always good. The law likes it and it makes landlords nervous.

Is there anyone you know (family member?) that could let you stay the night at their place even one night a week so you can get some relief?

You have been there two years already. The landlord should let move you to another unit. He doesn't seem to have any problem finding tenants, maybe he could move your family next to a elderly couple who go to bed at 9 and like kids.

If he won't do that then just keep calling and nagging, or start putting your rent into escrow so he knows you mean business.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2013 at 8:44PM
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sushipup1

I hope that the OP resolved the problem about 18 months ago.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2013 at 9:15PM
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