Being the noisy neighbor

litlmnmsApril 11, 2005

Hi! I wanted to see what you all thought of my situation. My husband and I have two boys, ages 3.5 yrs and 16 months. We moved into a second floor apartment in December. We plan on moving into a home in Spring 2006. So apartment living is only temporary for us... BUT we have a very unhappy downstairs neighbor. She complained at least once to the property management company and we recieved the notice saying "Please refrain from running and jumping on the floors."

Since then, I have done everything in my power to keep the boys busy and OUT of the apartment durring the day, but of course this does not eliminate the noise that they create. They are children and children (especially TWO under the age of four) are just plain noisy. They LIVE on the floor.

The lady below plays very loud surround sound movies til late at night (not too late, but til midnight at best) that shakes and rattles my floor to the point of waking up my children at night. (we also have a fan in their room to drown out noise btw) My almost 4 yr old has woken up scared to death a few times. NOW she has started banging the walls or ceiling when my boys start to run around the apartment.

Of course I feel for her as we have a neighbor upstairs that is heavy footed and often wakes the boys at 5am, but do you hear me complaining and banging HIS floor? No, because in an apartment noise is EXPECTED. It's just something you have to deal with! - Also, at least my boys are sleeping from about 8:30pm til at least 6am every night/morning. So there is no noise at odd hours.

So finally my question... What should I do? If anything? Should I speak with the woman? Should I just go on living life like normal? Should I tie my children to a chair all day to make her happy ...or should we have a dance party up here everytime she bangs her ceiling? LOL J/K!

I just want to see what you all say because I am at my wits end. TIA!

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I just wanted to add that apartment availability is BAD where we live (east coast of FL). What apartments were not damaged by hurricanes are filled with ppl from others, and with ppl who's houses are still being repaired or rebuilt. We were LUCKY to find an aparmtent at all... so obviously choosing a garden level apartment wasn't an option. (c:

    Bookmark   April 11, 2005 at 4:21PM
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In my post to Jaretwoman I mention the significance of 'thumping' to downstairs neighbors (it's positively thunderous!)
However, your downstairs neighbor is being unreasonable, probably because she has a substance abuse problem that keeps her up all night (movies) and wants to sleep all day lol!

It is soooo difficult to have to keep kids out of the house all day (okay, it is actually easier than having them in the house in many ways); but monitering their every thump is not something I have ever been challenged with, and I am thankful for that.

I would simply 'do your downstairs neighbor one better' by filing a similar complaint. It wouldn't hurt to place a microphone to the floor to chronicle the noise (how does one verify time? with a videocamera, maybe??...)

It is also significant that you can't locate the perfect apartment (basement??) in your market... would be nice for all mentioned if we could ....? !!!!

    Bookmark   April 12, 2005 at 1:10AM
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Noise is always an issue in apartments. I've recently become the "upstairs neighbor" and I find myself tip-toeing around. I've become much more conscious of dropping a shoe to the floor or how loud the cat toys are.

I do know, from years of living below other people, that sounds can be magnified in the lower apartment. One lady I lived below had two tiny little cats. The thumping noise they made when they jumped off a piece of furniture was very loud! I never understood why it was so loud in my place, when in her place you could barely hear it.

You could file a counter-complaint. If my son were being frightened awake in the middle of the night, I would want to. But right now, it might just look as though you are trying to retaliate because she filed a complaint against you.

However, the woman downstairs got to management first. So now you have to do a little bridge-building. There are a few things you can do. Keep the kids' shoes off in the apartment, if you don't do this already. Even if the apartment is carpeted, you can put down area rugs in the places with the highest traffic. If you have hard surface floors, wood, vinyl, tile, you really should put something down, as footsteps do make more noise on these surfaces. You could, as a last resort, offer to change apartments with her. Then she would have to deal with the upstairs guy.

You then need to let the management know what you are doing--taking the kids out as much as possible, trying to limit running in the apartment, putting down area rugs, no shoes, etc. Make it clear that you are working on the problem. You want to seem like a concerned tenant who is really trying to get along. If apartments are as scarce as you say, landlords might not want to bother too much with someone that they percieve as a "problem" tenant. (I'm not saying that you are a problem, only that because of the complaints the landlord might see you as one.) They might just go for a quick eviction, rather than try to work things out.

Then, in a few weeks, you can file the complaint against her. It won't seem so much like retaliation.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2005 at 5:07PM
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MAN this situation sounds sooo familiar. I too was a victim of the 'second-floor blues'. With VERY loud neighbors below and above me. I MOVED!!! If apartments weren't an option I wouldn't live in one. My upstairs neighbor didn't have an excuse, she had no children. She was worse than any toddler. I could be sympathetic towards neighbors with children, especially when you can't hear them at odd hours while everyone should be sleeping.

Next time she makes noises of her own, file a complaint. You shouldn't have to put up with her.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2005 at 2:43PM
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Apartment living sucks (unfortunately) I've lived in San Francisco for 7 years and the noise still bugs me. I think your downstairs neighbor is being unreasonable but I know how annoying it can be for her at the same time. My upstairs neighbor is reletively quiet but then there are times late at night when sounds like she's trying to punch a hole in my ceiling w/ a bowling ball! I just bought a vacuum and I feel bad using it--it sounds like I'm power sanding the floor. However, I can't see your neighbor having a real case against you unless your children are making noise during "sleeping" hours. I suggest trying to work things out w/ her--I think a large percentage of the anger that people feel about neighbor noise comes from the feeling that they are being taken advantage of (weather they really are or not) not so much the actual noise (I've witnessed babies sleeping through loud noise, maybe it's because they don't feel threatened.) Just some thoughts, good luck.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2005 at 4:22PM
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If I were you I'd look upon it as a temporary thing, and concentrate on just making sure it doesn't blow up into an out of all proportion drama before you move out. You've got less than a year to go, so your basic goal is to keep it from turning into a real problem for you as regards to being evicted or having the neighbour go absolutely crazy at you before then.

Your best defense against eviction is to keep a diary of her complaints, your action to solve the complaints, hours that your children are asleep or out of the house therefore not a problem, instances of her unreasonableness and her own noisemaking. Take real action to minimise the problems, and document it. For example, if you can say "Since July 3rd 2005 we ceased wearing shoes in the house except when we had visitors... and those times we had visitors were the afternoons of---- and the mornings of ---- etc" then her complaints will start looking like the workings of an unreasonably intolerant mind rather than a person who is genuinely being pushed too far. Also document the purchase of rugs to minimise noise. Consider whether you should complain about her noisemaking. Also, if she is banging the ceiling it could be causing damage... especially if it is a popcorn ceiling. Does she own the place or rent from a landlord, if she rents, is it the same landlord as you... find out because it changes the situation.

As far as keeping her from getting too stressed, one card up your sleeve is that you will be leaving. Don't tell her about this too early because if she's doing what she does just because she finds the fact you have children in your apartment annoying in and of itself even if she never heard a peep from them, then she may crank up the complaints in order to get her pound of flesh before you are out of there. But don't leave it too late if you think she's likely to feel less upset because of the fact. Just time it as carefully as possible for both your benefits. Don't tell her at all if there is still any possibility your exit date may be delayed.

You probably want to get some sort of idea of her schedule and what she does at each time of day. If all she does is stay home all day then it isn't surprising if she's taking little problems and blowing them out of all proportion, that sort of mindset often creeps in insidiously when someone stays home alone too long. If she's got a problem with you she might have had a problem with previous tennants. Try to work out where she is coming from, so you've got a better idea as to how she will react. Talk to the neighbours... don't complain about her but make darn sure you find out if she has a history of obsessing over the usual inconveniences of apartment living.

And don't let it stress you too much. Someone has to be the calm, tolerant and self controlled one, I guess here it might need to be you.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2005 at 7:17AM
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Everyone needs to be considerate of others. Is she playing the music loud to get back at you? Thats apartment life for you. There is always going to be something that bothers someone else.

I used to walk out on my balcony and look to the left of me to the neighbors balcony only to find that they thought it would be fun to "camp out" naked in their sleeping bag... ...but the sleeping bag came off.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2005 at 8:00PM
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I would check the by-laws of your apartment complex. Do they have a time that they ask the renters to make things quieter for the neighbors? At one place I lived, they asked that we keep the noise level down after 10:00 pm. If this is the case where you live, you could definitely complain about her keeping things loud until midnight.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2005 at 11:30PM
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I've just moved into an apartment and I'm having a hard time ajusting to the noise from the family above us who has a 3 or 4 yo hyper child.

I have children (15 and 10 yo) I will not allow my kids to be noisy,slam doors in the hallways or in our apartment. I'm always worried my TV is too loud.

I have not said anything to anyone. I understand it's not easy to be living in a apartment with a young child.

But it's kinda not fair either that I'm bitting my tongue.I want to get along and mind my own business. I don't want any backlash I might get from complaining either.

I understand I have to deal with noise but when is it too much noise, I really don't know? I've never lived in an apartment before.

Is it to much to have a child run, jump and bang most of the day and into the night ( 11:00pm-1:00am )

Is it to much when a child is allowed to play basketball and sometimes the parents join in?

Is it too much when a child has a bike and rides it all hours of the day and night while the dog is chasing him and barking? or in and out the sliding glass doors, out onto the balcony making awful loud noise. Yelling down at us "Hey wanta play" over and over no matter what we say, when we're outside sitting below on our patio. Till we can't stand it any more and go inside?

Is it too much when a child jumps up and down on the beds and off onto the floor at 12:00 at night and not once or twice but for 30 mins at a time ? Funny thing is at first my husband and I thought it was the parents having

Is it too much when the people above you vacumm their rugs at 10:30pm ? or their dog barking and howls for over 30 mins. every time they leave the apartment?

I love the place we live and the others are so great in the building. It's a quiet peaceful place for the most part.

Normal kid noise is one thing, kids will be kids. But is what I'm dealing with that? Normal kid noise I must expect from apartment living?

    Bookmark   July 10, 2005 at 2:09PM
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(sorry in advance for being long winded, I swear I'm trying to be helpful!)

Hi Panda!
OF COURSE you deserve some peace. After 9 PM in most states, people are required to keep the noise level down, no matter what the lease says. Do make a point to talk to them, even try the nice approach, something like, "Hi, I know what having little ones is like, I've been there, can you please try to find ways to keep the kid(s) quiet after 9 pm for me? Thanks!" If that doesn't work, talk to the landlord, then the police. You have the right to silence! And they have the right to remain silent. At that age, there is no reason why the parents can't teach their kids to go to bed. If they're going to live in an apartment, they need to teach the kids about respect for those living around them. That doesn't mean tip-toeing, but it DOES mean that they don't need to stomp, slam, etc.

Before I signed the lease to our apartment downstairs, when it was just my newborn (who had just spent 2 months in the nicu) and my DH and I, I told the landlord that I had a baby and that he would make noise, and that he'd probably get louder as he got older... and that I'd do what I could, but babies will be babies. She has a child 2 years older than mine, so she understood, said the building was well insulated for sound. That turned out not to be the case; our upstairs neighbors were LOUD.

Fast forward about 2 months: We took one of the upstairs apartments as soon as it came available- I got pregnant the first night we moved into the downstairs apartment! lol! I re-iterated to her that I have a baby, will have another, babies make sound, etc. No problem- out of 5 apartments, three had babies. We all understood. ;)

When new people move in, we make a point to meet them, and what I tell them is this: I have two babies- ages 2 and 1- and as much as I try to keep them quiet, they do make noise. TELL ME if there is a problem and I'll see what I can do. Fortunately, NO one in this whole building can really hear them, unless the other residents are outside, and they don't care. COMMUNICATION is the key, and it's always good to know your neighbors!

I make a point not to let my kids make a lot of noise- if they want to bang a rattle on the hardwood floor, I put a pad between the rattle and the floor, no noise. I don't let my 2 year old slam doors, and one of the first words he responded to was 'gentle,' which also works for 'quiet.'

I'm not thrilled with my landlord, but on this note, she's wonderful, and she's put really great people in our building.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2005 at 10:34PM
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Well personally I sympathize with your neighbor slightly more. Only because I have a neighbor living above me, that makes so much noise at all hours of the day I cant get a moments peace. She has no excuse, being that of children or pets. She's a heavy walker, loves to move around furniture, bang on the floor, drop heavy objects on the floor and has very loud sex at 3 am every night. I don't think this woman works, because she home all day and all night. She walks across the floor so much, it makes you start to wonder what she's doing, because all the units in the building are very small. I have written two nice letters, slipped them under her door. She obviously ignored them. Then I called the building manager. He's acting like I'm making the whole thing up. Says he called her, asked her about the letters, and she denied ever receiving them, and told him, all she's doing is kicking her shoes off and placing her keys on the table. I called the police, they knocked on her door, while hearing all the noise coming from her apt, and she refused to come to the door. Then I knocked on her door, she again refused to come to the door. I'm at my wit's end. I'm losing sleep and my nerves are fried. The police are apparently useless in the matter, but if I were to go up stairs and kick her butt, then they would feel compelled to get involved. So I'm stuck with no options, no sleep and no peace other than hitting the ceiling with a broomstick. I do commend you for making an effort to be quiet, and yes noise in an apartment building is to be excepted but when it disrupts peoples lives it becomes a problem. But the only solution I could offer you that would make things a lot easier for both parties, is for you to speak to your landlord about moving to a ground level apartment. I am obviously meant to be on the top floor. You may not want to live on the ground floor, but since you have kids, it may be your only choice. Too many complaints, and its grounds for an eviction.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2006 at 12:18PM
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OMG!! This is EXACTLY what we are going through right this moment. I am curious... I know that it has been a while since you have been in that apartment, how has it been going? I have a three year old that gets up at 6a because when he had to go through chemo that is when we got him up. He is used to it. Our downstairs neighbors, since we have moved in, constantly had partys and such and their music had been LOUD at night. Every day we went down there and asked them nicely to turn their music down, and when they think we are noisy (my son and husband maybe wrestling) they would come up here and start yelling. My husband started yelling back, and one of their guests came up and almost started a fight!! Whew!! Anyways, I know that we have a three year old and we are the upstairs neighbors (by choice, but we have NEVER had a problem in the past two years with downstairs neighbors before) and we are just waiting until our lease is over in July to get a house. Recently we have received a notice from the complex regarding them, and recently we decided to play dirty and tattle on them as well. Is it possible to coexist with neighbors like that? Is there a way that we can break our lease short of paying out the nose for it?

    Bookmark   January 31, 2006 at 10:04AM
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Well unfortunately, I received a notice of disturbance this morning from the the apt. mgr.The letter states they have received "several noise disturbance" complaints from my downstairs neighbor. I have a 3 year old boy who is very active and he does run around alot.I have told him to stop at times because I felt he was being too rambunctious at times. But the people who complained threw a party, had their windows open, door open, people standing outside talking, etc;and I didn't say a thing. I know in apartment living there's going to be some kind of noise and I can tolerate it to a point because I respect that about others. But the letter I received states that if they receive ONE MORE complaint I have to leave. The neighbor never tried to talk to me first, I didn't get a warning, nothing. I wish I would have known the noise was a problem then I could have calmed my little down before it got to this point where i'm walking on egg shells. Any suggestions/comments?

    Bookmark   January 31, 2006 at 3:56PM
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I moved into an apartment four months ago and have extremely noisy upstairs neighbors. They have a little boy and they permit him to jump off of the furniture, bounce a basketball on the floor, and throw a tennis ball at the walls. They stomp from 3pm until 11pm during the week and all day on the weekends. My light fixtures rattle and things have fallen off of my shelves as a result of the vibrations.

I am a student, but said nothing about their disturbance until I had finals. On Monday of that week, I left them a very polite note explaining that I understand they have a child; however I am a student and would really like it if they could keep the stomping to a minimum for that week so I could study for my finals. They responded by getting much worse. I was very frustrated by Wednesday so I banged on the ceiling with my broom handle during one of their particularly noisy and lengthy affairs. They stomped in response and I banged again. They stomped, I banged, they stomped, I banged. After two or three minutes of this, they suddenly became very quiet. Fifteen minutes later, the police showed up at my door. They called the police on me! The police told me that the man from upstairs was "ready to come down to my apartment and deal with me himself". I explained to the police what was going on and they went upstairs to talk with them, but it did not help.

Now, they are running a day-care out of their apartment on Saturdays and Sundays. I am a straight-A college student and would like to stay that way. I do not have the money to go someplace else to study on the weekends.

So, as harsh as this may sound, I have to agree with "infinity454".

I would also like to add that I do not play music and seldom watch television. I have also never had any guests. I do not slam the doors or anything else and make no noise other than running the water for dishes and showers. I do not run the water after 9pm. I do run a vacuum on occasion, but do so between the hours of 3 and 5pm (in case anyone around me takes an afternoon nap or works nights).

I do not expect my upstairs neighbors to be silent, but I do expect some consideration.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2006 at 9:47PM
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I would like to add one additional line of thought and it goes out to people with children. (Some of you are considerate and I don't mean to offend any of you.)

You can say that I don't have kids so I don't understand, however, YOUR CHILDREN ARE NOT MY PROBLEM. You read the lease, including the policies on noise and disturbing others, and then you sign it knowing that you have no intention of honoring those policies.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2006 at 9:29PM
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A comment for "mt78": You say the people who complained about you threw a party. I agree that it was wrong of them to disturb you. However, they threw one party (maybe more, I don't know your situation) that disturbed you, yet they have to live with your toddler's disturbance everyday.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2006 at 3:21AM
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I live on the ground floor and my upstairs neighbors are very loud. But you know what? It doesn't bother me. I think they have a right to run to answer the phone if it rings and if their toddler wants to jump off the firniture onto the floor over and over again, so be it. I don't like the lack of privacy but I can't complain because I have inexpensive living and it is an APARTMENT! If you don't want stomping or loud music then buy or rent a house. The only time I have called the landlord was when a guy threw a cigarette off his balcony and started a fire.

People become angry when their expectations are not met. If you live in an apartment you need to expect the noise of other people living their lives.


    Bookmark   February 18, 2006 at 4:48PM
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only b/c you live in a cheap apartment and have low expectations, it does not mean others have no right to enjoy a peaceful home.

If you lived on the top of me, and made the noises exceed 45 decibels,(our local noise code), I would take you to the Housing Court and have you punished.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2006 at 2:22AM
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I'd bake you a pie and say welcome to the neighborhood


    Bookmark   February 19, 2006 at 1:06PM
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Good God the hostility on this post!! lol. Noise seems to be a hot topic doesn't it.
I agree with windypoint and kinda side with the fact that the downstairs lady may be a bit on the bored or vindictive side. She might just hate kids.
But I also agree the kids will be kids but the parents have a responsiblity to control bad behavior, including being too loud and jumping around too much.
I live in a townhouse, neighbors on both sides and behind and to make it nicer I work 7pm to 7 am.
The one side just moved in, she's quiet and her bedroom is opposite side. But the other two have kids and the one up against my bedroom babysits during the week. And she doesn't control them. So I've her asked to try to keep them quiet until at least 2ish, that way I can get some sleep; don't need much anyways. She has and I haven't complained.
When I had some friends over for poker(side apartment was vacant) we did get a little loud(not drunk, just excited) and she asked us nicely to quiet down and we did.
But the kids behind us, constantly run up and down the stairs, bounce a basketball inside & against the wall. Plus yell and fight(heard stuff breaking often). Yet the parents could care less.
Communication between neighbors works well most of the time, sometimes the people involved are just hard headed or mean spirited so it's like talking to a brick wall.
Try talking to them, but if doesn't work call the manager or cops and keep track like posted before about her noises and your efforts to keep your's down. Good luck.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2006 at 12:47AM
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first of all, at least you are concerned! good for you!
next, it doesn't really matter if you have little boys or girls.
none zero zilch.
if you think the gender of your child matters in their creating noise for your neighbors,it says you've already created a double standard, and you are the creator of the noise.

Go from there.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2006 at 12:05PM
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yeah, what's this about tolerating savage behavior? maybe if the consensus was that inconsideration of others is wrong this would be a better world.
and nobody has a right to make noise in their apartment since the law everywhere pretty much states something regarding quiet enjoyment. thus you only get away with making noise as a privilege and nicety of your neighbors.

i say kick all noise makers out.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2006 at 2:38AM
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You're wrong. Most city codes have time limits, where if it's between say 7 am and 10pm you can make all the noise you want and nobody can do a damn thing about it. Some city codes have volume limits, where it's only a problem if it's above a certain decibel level. The city I live in doesn't have any time or volume limits, but there is a clause that basically means that my neighbors do NOT have the right to call the police on me just because they can press their ear against the wall and hear the TV. More specifically my city's code prohibits "loud noise," which is defined as "Any sound which, due to its volume, duration or character, annoys, disturbs, injures or endangers the comfort, health, peace and safety of reasonable persons of ordinary sensibilities."

REASONABLE persons of ORDINARY sensibilities. NOT UNreasonable persons of ordinary sensibilities, NOT persons of extraordinarily sensitive sensibilities.

So you can now get down off of your pedestal.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 7:44AM
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Actually, "judi_e", the law in every state provides the right for everyone to "peacefully enjoy their home" and it is a tenant right granted by many leases (including mine).

So...when the child living in the apartment above me plays basketball (in the apt) for hours, I have the right to complain. When the same child jumps off of the couch over and over again until he hurts himself and begins wailing, I have the right to complain.

My parents owned the house I grew up in (thus, there were no downstairs neighbors), but my siblings and I were NEVER allowed to play basketball inside, or jump off of the furniture. We were not hit or abused in any way, and yet, we could be controlled.

If your children don't respect you enough to behave when you tell them to, please don't make that my problem. If you are not a courteous person, please don't make that my problem.

For the record: I have never complained (to management or police) about a noisy neighbor. However, I am in a situation now where politely asking for consideration only creates more disturbance. If my upstairs neighbors continue to make me suffer their noisy child, I will complain to management. I will complain over and over again until the disturbance is minimized.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2006 at 4:38PM
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Well, I just searched the Michigan state law and there is nothing in there that I can find about people making noise. There's all kinds of stuff about vehicle noise and aircraft noise, as well as lots of prohibitions of making noise in meetings. But there is nothing about a person making noise in their own home. Noise ordinances, at least here in Michigan, are a city issue, not a state issue.

Understand that my post was in response to neoadorable's statement that "nobody has a right to make noise in their apartment." If that were the case we would all have to tip-toe around in our socks, speak only in whispers, only listen to the TV or stereo through headphones, and pad or cabinet doors. We DO have the right to make normal everyday living noise in our own homes. If our walls are thin enough then our neighbors may hear it.

I agree that there is a certain amount of respect that should be shown to your neighbors, and that apparently your upstairs neighbor has no concern for your comfort. If the laws in your state and/or city support you, then good for you. But I wouldn't hold your breath on that one.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2006 at 12:21PM
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Look again.

Plus, my lease provides me this right. I signed it, and so did the people who live above me.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2006 at 1:50AM
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I'm thrilled for you, but you are missing my point.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2006 at 7:37AM
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There are two sides to these stories....however, i live downstairs with my husband and a small dog. Upstairs is a guy, his girlfriend and the baby. I never hear the baby or the boyfriend, but his girlfriend is loud, obnoxious and out and out ignorant. She would be hanging pictures at 2 am, banging away....blaring music, and she stomps like a truckdriver. I told the landlord and things were ok until this week...she is screaming at the boyfriend- all the same stuff - LOUD. People should be more aware they have to co-exist with others and not be so ignorant. So if it continues we will call the landlord ( again) . We tried to address it with the tenants and that didnt work.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2006 at 12:26AM
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You may find it informative to learn what the *legal* concept of "quiet enjoyment" means.

Hint: it's not what you think.

Here is a link that might be useful: American Bar Association - Quiet Enjoyment

    Bookmark   March 7, 2006 at 8:04PM
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That's fascinating, I had no idea that's what "quiet enjoyment" meant. Wow, so nobody's "quiet enjoyment" right is being violated by people's noise from another apartment. Very interesting.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2006 at 12:52PM
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Thats interesting indeed, so an apartment is just a cheap place for noisemaking obnoxious losers to make noise 24/7?

    Bookmark   July 22, 2007 at 11:38PM
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I grew up living in student family housing, and we had this one neighbour for a year or so-I don't remember his real name, but he picked up the handle "butthole Joe" from my teenage siblings- who would always complain about our noise when we would go up and down the stairs.
One thing I have learned about living in apartments (I now am an upstairs neighbour) is that you have the right to peace and quiet, yes, but you also have the right to lead your life.
To me, playing music loud enough to get absorbed in it is part of a quality life. I don't do this everyday, I don't do it in the middle of the night, but on a saturday evening I can drink some red wine, put on Rufus Wainwright and just relax. And when my neighbours have people over or play their music, I just deal with it because I want to be extended the same courtesy.
If we afford each other the space to be human (quiet and loud) we can get along much better.
I am sick and tired of uptight people thinking that they are Jesus because they don't do anything in their apartment except walk around with sponges taped to their feet.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2007 at 2:17AM
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Thats interesting indeed, so an apartment is just a cheap place for noisemaking obnoxious losers to make noise 24/7?

No, that's not what it means.

It means that the phrase "quiet enjoyment" isn't the tool to wage this war. The lease's clauses about noise, etc., are.

So you should scrutinize the lease to see what noise considerations are in there, and see if you can get something that protects you.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2007 at 12:39PM
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Gemuse - I have to disagree with something you said, about playing music loud enough to get into it (which I agree with on principle). If everyone in the bldg did that (at the same time or otherwise), you'd all end up in the funny farm, if not a cell, because essentially you're subjecting everyone (unless your walls are very thick) to your taste in music... which to me is no better than some doofus sitting outside my place with his boombox car stereo blasting (and they always have the bass cranked so everything vibrates) to the whole street. If it's so important to you to have it on loud, maybe you ought to look for a house, or a rental with no neighbours. I don't want to hear your stuff when I can't get away from it.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2007 at 6:19AM
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lucy-I hear you. But, I know and get along with my neighbours, I don't rattle the windows, friday and saturday nights are generally regarded as a safe time to play loud music.

I am just shocked at how many people here on this forum (not just this thread) seem to complain to the landlord at the drop of a hat. Of course it is easier to "live and let live" in theory, but it is important to try.

Ironically, in my experience it is usually the weirdest, most disruptive neighbours who call the landlord all the time to complain (like kwkw's neighbours calling the cops on her for banging the ceiling).

ps. banging the ceiling with a broom, although satisfying, is never a very good idea, as it just makes people angry and adversarial. Also, if you need to ask a neighbour to be quiet, do it in person. Leaving a note, however polite, is a very bad way to go, in my experience.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2007 at 11:36PM
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I live in a one story apartment and i just have to that i think that you should talk to your neighbor.The bathroom between mine and my neighbor lady is paper thin so i have to be careful when im in my bathroom.LOL.Anyway its a fact of life deal with it as best you can.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2007 at 8:48PM
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.The bathroom between mine and my neighbor lady is paper thin so i have to be careful when im in my bathroom.

See, here's where I would disagree w/ you. The walls are paperthin, and it's the BATHROOM (not the bedroom or living room)--people are in there fleetingly.

Iwould say you shouldn't be SCREAMING in the bathroom, or playing your music at setting 8, but I also think you should NOT have to "be careful" when you're in the bathroom. If you happen to make a noise during the activities you're doing there (and some bodiliy functions commonly done in bathrooms can be accompanied by some noises), then your neighbor lady should just shrug and move on w/ her life

    Bookmark   August 20, 2007 at 3:06PM
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HI All,

I found this thread after googling "how to handle noisy neighbors" because I'm at my wit's end!!!

I have THE WORST, most inconsiderate, and disprespectful neighbor. She lives next door, on the second (top) floor of a great older (yes, non-insulated) apartment building with hardwood floors. The way the apartments are positioned (they are an odd shape) we share more than just one common wall; they are sort of interlocked.

Ok, now here's the problem...she is evil and so are her spawn. Yes, I know that sounds harsh, but it's true. I tried to be polite and caring initially but she has taken my kindness for weakness and continues to be horrible. She lives in a 2 bdrm apartment with 3 children, 2 boys (3 and 6), her daughter (18), and herself. This is far too many people for the size of their apartment, but the problem is that she's a SCREAMER!! Therefore, she has raised her children to be screamers! They SCREECH at the top of their lungs while she ignores them, and they stay up all hours of the night (seriously, 'til about 11pm-12am...LITTLE KIDS!!!). If the daughter is watching them she simply puts her ipod earbuds in and stays in the back bedroom, leaving the rest of the building to listen to their shrieks thru the opened screen door. And let's not even mention the amount of noise from them running and jumping off of furniture.

The police have been called for noise violations on multiple occasions, and other neighbors have come up and complained to her directly as well. She acts really sweet and overwhelmed (as if she hadn't been yelling at them for 20 min straight) and the noise stops for the rest of the day, but then it builds back up to obnoxious levels soon enough. She claims to not be able to control them but when the cops come she keeps them quiet for a bit, she also screams "I'm sorry Everyone" at the top of her lungs at midnight. She just has NO respect for any of us, plus she hates her downstairs neighbors so she feels little remorse for the level of noise.

I have read many of the posts of the parents living in apartments and, trust me, I feel for you. Me and my sister where raised in apartments by a single mother and I respect that, but we were NEVER allowed to carry on the way these children do. Worse off, management have received COUNTLESS complaints about the behavior but since children are involved they are scared to proceed with anything other than warnings. I've spoken with the property manager and he feels his hands are tied because she has been in that apartment since BEFORE they even owned it (yeah, what...?) and the entire area is rent-controlled so there is no real incentive for her to move. It's painful to hear these children day to day. I don't think there is any real abuse (like physical) going on but she screams at them and leaves them to throw fits for hours. I feel like I'm out of options. I love my apartment, it's huge, rent controlled, and in a great area, but this woman is driving me mad! Any suggestions?


P.S. I was thinking about videotaping the screaming sessions and burning them to dvd since there is no manager on site, I thought maybe this would sort of prove that it's not just a few random screeches here and there.
Is that too much?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 1:45AM
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I like stellas attitude... smilesss
i am tho, considerate of others below me
but when they just nik pik at every thing they can see and do and hear.. is something else
this downstairs neighbor has bullied the wholecomplex!
no problems till she moved in
she is a toughie.. no smiles, no hellos
just grumpy at 65
i really make the effort to keep noise down and watch what and how i do up stairs.. but when someone is just watching and taking great delight to see people with lease violations that is another topic.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 1:16PM
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This seemed to be the appropriate place for me to post. First, I am a very quiet person (and I'm not just saying that). I live in a townhouse adjacent to my neighbor who generally we have a very good relationship. I do favors for him and vice versa.

A while back, he told me, that although we live in separate townhouses, that I often play my TV too loud. On occasion, I may be upstairs, and the sound of commercials double, and I usually run down the stairs to lower it.

This was the first step. I used to have my speakers (no surround sound) on a hook on the wall, mainly for the decor and gave me more room. When he brought this subject up, he suggested that I take the speakers off the wall, against his wall, I finally agreed, although, when he told me my TV was too loud, I went into his house to see what 'loud' was to him. I couldn't believe it. Sure, there was a faint sound of voices, but nothing to complain about, so I wasn't so sure it was my problem in the first place. I had my ears checked. Perfect. I also compromised by getting 2 speaker stands and putting them on the side of the TV, which meant less room for me, not-so-nice decor and the acoustics got worse, but it was not that bad. He felt that I should pay for the speaker stands ($80) for the pair. I felt we should split the cost or him pay for the whole thing because I felt it was his problem, not mine.

I also tried being as considerate as I could. I like the guy despite the fact that he likes nothing but the color white and is very rigid in his ways. He just got his Ph.D. in Engineering.

Recently, I started hearing 3 little knocks against my wall again which means - could you turn you TV down? I usually did, but resentment grew because then i could often hear his TV over mine. I also might add that he is 10 years younger, and he is courteous enough to tell me when he is going to have a party, talk about NOISE well into the night. I put up with it because it's not often - maybe 4X/year.

So, it has come up again and again, I do NOT think my TV is too loud, and he said he had been putting it off for awhile. The only time it IS to loud is when the TV catched me off guard and the commercials double in frequency. So this is what I suggested.

1) I continue to be as courteous as I always have been and if it's too loud, knock 3 times on the wall (gently) and I would turn it down IF I felt it was too loud and I did not have to strain.

2) Try and get 2 other people (mediators) that neither of us don't know very well, and go into each house when he complains my TV is too loud and get opinions! I did it once as I said, and he has it made for living in SF.

3) I went to house of Music over the weekend, and told him that if we STILL did not come to an agreement, that I would be willing to wear speakers with cords (the rep said noise from the community often causes interference and suggested them, and even willing to SPLIT the cost of the least expensive model we could fine and wear them. He would not hear a peep.

This is where I got mad. He E-mailed me (he's away thank goodness, so I don't have to worry about my TV being too loud). He wrote that he agreed with the first 2 ideas, but he wasn't so sure about the speakers!? Now that really would be an imposition on me, so I haven't figured out yet what his objections would be - wireless vs. wire OR he thinks I should pay $200 and not split the costs which would really piss me off. I have already made so many compromises for him. Granted, he is nice, and has done many favors for me and I'd like to continue to get along, but this is beginning to bother me.

I could not to ANYTHING and make is life miserable? but I'm not that kind of person. I am on disability, so TV, at night is one of my pleasures as I don't currently have a boyfriend. He just got his Ph.D. and a new girlfriend. He also has parents (I lost mine) that pay for his expenses. I don't get it. Meanwhile, I have other priorities on my mind and I can't worry about this too much. What should I do? Thank you.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2007 at 8:52PM
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So I guess this is where i make my complaint. I have the same situation as some of the parents in this thread. We bought a condo conversion last feberuary. have 2 kids 2 and 5 years old. they are good kids, but sometimes has been a little rambucious in wanting to play chase with one another. of course, i would discourage that regardless of time of day (only outside allowed). we have done everything we can to keep the noise down, but our neighbor below us has continuously harrass us with every noise my kids made. We had asked for some understanding since when we bought the place (before him may I add), my youngest was only 4 mo. old. well as they grow they learn many mobile functions and one was trying to walk. guess what, she would fall on her bottom often, well that was a displeaser to our neighbor below. mon thru fri i have my kids up and out of the house by 6:30am (i get them ready in 30min :)-they're up at 6am). they gone to school/daycare until 4:30/5pm. they're typically home by 530pm and in bed no later then 8:30pm. his complaint is the 2-3 hours that they're home (awake). on weekends, they are up at 7am, i try to get them out of the house by 10am to apease the neighbors, but wasn't enough. my question is what now. we have done all we could and now he his making up lies to the HOA Board of directors by saying we are noisy all day everyday, when asked to give time and dates he couldn't. i have sign in sheet at the daycare where i drop the kids off, showing that they are gone all day. we have never violated the noise ordinance (which is b4 7am or aft 10pm). where to do i turn to get some guidance?

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 12:49AM
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Stop being so defensive! Your kids have every right to have a normal life there (and you're obviously being so careful), but stop trying to please a crank - you can't and it's his problem at this point, not yours. You don't have to 'prove' anything, just stay reasonable. Either kids are allowed in the bldg or not, and if they are, and they're not dealing dope :-), causing big problems in the halls, or playing music at 4 a.m., then he'll just have to deal with things. Do you have carpetting, BTW?

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 5:07AM
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It sounds to me like you're doing everything you possibly can to address the problem, though I also would want to know if you have rugs with *thick* pads. This is the number one thing you can do to prevent footfall noise.

Your neighbor might be interested to know there are some solutions for soundproofing ceilings with some sort of board and an insulating product called green glue. I don't know how well they work, and obviously this would cost some money. (you should *not* offer to help pay) There was an interesting thread about it on apartmenttherapy dot com . To find it I would just type "green glue soundproofing floors" (don't type the quotes) into the google search box. Doing the search this way will limit the hits you get back to anything that's on the apartment therapy website as opposed to the entire internet.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 8:55AM
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It depends on your board.

Ours would look at your daycare sign-in sheets, and his lack of documentation, and your presence in the building before him.

And they'd listen to your calmly presented explanation of how you try to take your kids out of the house because you want to be considerate, and stop them from running as soon as you can, and how the neighbor pounded on the ceiling when your 1-year-old fell down while learning to walk. And they'd listen to whatever his complaint was, and why.

And they'd tell him to shut up and leave you alone, and they'd tell you to alert them the next time he complains.

I know this, because this is exactly what happened to me, when my downstairs neighbor got mad bcs my 2-y-o was trotting between rooms to show her dad her new clothes.

but, my board is small, and (though annoying at times) quite reasonable.

I wonder if the fact that your kids are seldom home actually makes your neighbor's reaction worse--he's not used to noise up there, so any noise they do make sounds SO loud to him.

This was part of our situation. We hadn't vacuumed in literally months--never home. So when I did go to vacuum on a Saturday evening at 7pm, he was banging on the ceiling for 15 minutes.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 11:12AM
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Posted by lucy (My Page) on Wed, Nov 14, 07 at 5:07
"Stop being so defensive! Your kids have every right to have a normal life there (and you're obviously being so careful), .......

thanks lucy for your comments. i wasn't trying to come off defensive, but rather illuted by this situation and how far it has gotten. Just a week ago I received a letter from the HOA indicating we are violating the "excessive noise violation" with a $50.00 fine, a complaint made by my neighbor to the HOA services. Of course we disputed the violation. The dispute brought us to a hearing with the president of the board of directors. Present at the meeting was my family and our neighbor below. we basically went in circles during the meeting. He says that how we live is not normal living and it's blocking his ability to have any enjoyment in his home. of course the 2 days where they're not gone all day was his major complaint (saturday and sunday). the president was trying to be as diplomatic as possible, especially when the neighbor had the nerve to tell us "we should have bought the ground floor unit knowing we have kids" and that him and his fiance do not feel bad for us. We left the meeting with nothing resolved but him basically making demands that we could not make any kind of noise to disburb him. Our president did not make a final decision on the case in regards to whether we were violating any "excessive noise" violation, but indicated that the board wasn't going to charge us. I'm considering going to a lawyer to speak about the situation and see if they may have any advice for us. i've heard horror stories from people and neighbors sueing one another because of noise. i am not going to be caught off guard if it comes to that. I know what you're going through "tally sue nyc". i get that banging too. i was adviced to record what ever I can in case this goes further than the board of directors. i'm even considering video tapping how our week look like. i don't know, maybe I'm going over board, but this guy is not letting up. he just seems so bitter and angry.....what do ya all think?

    Bookmark   November 17, 2007 at 12:17AM
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So at least I know Im not the only one dealing with this. I have a woman downstairs who is Crazy or on Drugs. Yes Im assuming but having been around that kind of thing from time to time in the past (you grow up near Flint, MI) I get a feeling.

Coupled with the fact that she has a two year old who even now is running track and field (10:34pm) through her house and screaming with an occasional Thump (besides the thumping of her feet on the floor) on the wall and even more so on occasion I have to listen to her scream and yell at her child who screams right along with her instead of getting quite.

I do not think she has ANY parenting skills whatsoever. I started out nice, I asked her politely then I complained to her a little more not nicely when the very next night at 12:30 a.m. I had to hear the ever growing "Thump, thump, thump, thump, thump!" "EEEEEEeeeee!!!" Thump, thump, thump, thump, thump!" "Clang!" "Eeeeeeee!"

So I left this message since I tried to call her and this time she didn't answer, "...I really don't mind if you're child wants to make noise during the day but at night it's just not acceptable. I have tried to call you about it in the past. I am calling you again. I hope I can call you and you can take care of it because I don't want to have to call someone else who will."

Sure mean and nasty maybe implying I would call authorities but The sound of her kid running through the house and some of the other crazy stunts she pulled not even related to that has made me very irritable with her. I gave her my number when I first moved in and I regret it. She has called me and I think to get back at me for my message I left called me at 1:45 a.m. and rang my phone off the hook until I thought to myself there might be some sort of emergency. I finally answered.

Me: Hello?
Her: Hello?
Me: Hello?
Her: Hello?
Me: Hello? (wondering if she actually could here me or was going to tell me why she called at some point.)
Her: I can hear you.
Me: Whats up?

Her: I can hear the dryer buzzer going off!
Me: Yea, Im sleeping right now.
Her: Well so are we trying to sleep.
Me: ...
Her: Well they're not my clothes so I shouldn't have to take care of them.
Me: Well why didn't the dryer turn off?
Her: I dunno.

So thinking that there was something weird going on with the dryer and that the buzzer was stuck blaring or something I went downstairs to the basement (Flat - shes on the bottom Im on top, shared basement with washer/dryer) to check it out.

The dryer was almost on off and the buzzer was not going off.

I shut the dryer off and ran back up stairs and before I even got to the top of the steps my phone was ringing again - it was her. I hit ignore then it started ringing again so I shut the phone off.

In the morning I went down to get my clothes and there was a sticky note on the door to the basement. I read only part of it since it took up the whole first side and had an arrow pointing for me to turn it over. It started out, "After that little display last night...."

I didn't even bother to read the rest and just left it right on the door where she put it hopeing that she would get the hint that Im not interested in her intrusions into my life.

I called the landlord twice about her so far and he is at a loss of what to do it seems.

I dont want to call the cops or whatever because I dont really like the whole police state concept in the first place, but I dont know what else to do. I have even considered calling Protective services which says alot of how bad the intrusion is because I am not that type of person to even want authorities involved in my life let alone call them on someone else, however its getting more and more appealing to call them.

Perhaps you guys with children should really consider that there are other people outside your world and your apartment. If someone bangs on the floor then TRUST me its not for fun. You are intruding into their peace and quiet with your loud children. This stuff builds. Its not just once - this kind of thing happens over and over again and If the person is taking time out of their day to take you to a meeting and appear at said meeting perhaps it should indicate to you that your child is indeed making too much noise.

This is a constant thing. You guys doing revenge complaining with that whole, "Well he's banging on the floor." or "Well he threw a party once!" thats Passive Agressive BS and you know it. You just want to feel justified and have a reason to find wrong in someone who finds wrong with you. You would have never complained about the party, and you sure as heck wouldnt have heard the banging on the floor of a disgruntled neighbor if you had policed your own business in the first place. Instead of looking at how you can find fault in someone else, why not try fixing your own problems and I bet you would be surprised how magically the other persons problems would disappear.

IOW - If my neighbor lady threw a party once in a while I wouldnt care because It would be once in a while. When a kid runs through the house screaming EVERY DAY that is EVERY DAY. When it happens EVERY NIGHT - Thats even worse.

1 Like    Bookmark   December 2, 2007 at 11:11PM
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lets face it, if you are living in an apartment and have kids SOMETHING IS WRONG. Kids need a house with a yard. If you are living in an apartment YOU ARE FAILING AS A PARENT. Period. It is no surprise that you have poor parenting skills and allow your offspring to run wild.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 3:22AM
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Hello all,

I want to weigh in on this whole debate about "who's Right to peaceful living conditions are worth more". My wife and I live in a fully furnished first floor apartment below a 20-something Guy, his 20-something girlfriend, and his 3 year old child also living in a furnished apartment. The building is older, but the units are in GREAT shape overall, and the rent isn't too bad considering either! My wife and I moved in about 4-5 weeks before the upstairs tenants and had lived in peace before they came to move in. Over the past 8+ months there has been an ever evolving increase in noise from the child as he grows and becomes more active as kids do.We are in year 2 of our lease after having resigned it due to having been so busy planning and preparing for our wedding (by ourselves for a 300+ person wedding list of guests) which took place in May of this year. It is now mid-October, and we re-signed in June. I should also note that my wife was diagnosed over 10 years ago with General Anxiety Disorder which can cause Panic Attacks, Raised Blood Pressure, Insomnia, Seizures, and other physical problems in some people. My wife only has been affected by some of the less severe symptoms, but we also don't wish to push our luck in the matter.

In the early stages, my wife and I were very friendly with the new neighbors, having written them a kindly worded letter about the noise. We included our phone numbers and and invited all 3 of them over for pizza in our apartment to get to know each other. This friendly cooperation worked well for a while, but the noise began to become louder and more frequent. We proceeded, via text messages, by asking them on infrequent occasions to quiet down when things didn't burn out on their own in a tolerable amount of time. Again, this worked for a short while, but things progressed again over time.

This is when we began involving our Landlord. She did make a few "Courtesy Calls" on our behalf, again effective for a brief amount of time but again the efforts dwindled in effectiveness over time. Several months ago, our Landlord purchased area rugs for the 2nd floor to be put down. The intention was to lower the noise in high traffic area's as well as to provide a baffled play surface for the child. Again it worked for a short time, but evolved into little more than a "soft Landing" for the kid to jump or run and dive onto. The use of the carpeted area has also become less frequent as the wood floors seem to be "fair Game" again as well.

Let me overview the noise itself for clarity before I move on. There is regular running from one room to another. Toys are constantly thrown, dropped, dragged, and otherwise in contact with the wood floors. There is frequent "playful Yelling" from the child. The parents often toss shoes and other things onto the landing in the middle of the front stairs which is directly above my bedroom. They also allow the child to play with toys on the stairs and run up and down them to collect the toys. The parents are not innocent either. They often like to have guests over until late at night, slam doors and windows, and slam the washer/dryer doors.

Now let me address those who will say "This is reasonable and normal day to day noise caused by living." To that I say.... Yep.... you're RIGHT.... ish. I agree, kids will play, noise will be heard from walking, televisions, use of the stairs, and use of the furnishings and appliances. That is all fine and well. It is also not the grounds for our complaint. So anyone who is going to dispute me on those grounds should move on as I won't give refute of that type a seconds worth of my time. Now for the real consequences and guidelines of real life here.


Our Landlord has since stopped helping to resolve this issue saying "She is frustrated with them and does not know what to do." At that point my wife and I had already been documenting excessive noise for some case, and contacted an attorney for advice. This is what we have been instructed to do.

This includes a "Noise Log or Diary" which should include the Date, Time, Location, Duration, and description of each event in reasonable detail. You should also record any conversations, text messages, or other communications between yourself, the noisy party or parties, your Landlord or Property Management, as well as the Police. All of these documents may be needed if you seek further legal action or protection should you (A) receive an eviction notice or (B) choose to attempt breaking your lease to leave. You should continue keeping records throughout the whole process until an agreement has been reached, the problem has been resolved, or legal actions become necessary.

It also may be necessary to call the police if the noise is exceptionally aggressive, your personal property or apartment has been damaged in any way (IE: A cracked Ceiling or picture which has fallen off the wall due to the actions from the other tenants), you have been retaliated against because of a complaint, or have been threatened in any way. Be sure to Note any responding officers Name and Badge Number and get a copy of the complaint form or at least get the complaint number for the report if it can not be provided at that time.

Keeping the person or company with whom you signed a legal contract with is important. If your complaints are legitimate, they have an obligation to uphold the terms of your lease which may mean penalising the "Noisy Neighbors" as it is often a clear violation of the lease agreement they have likely signed as well.

Although sometimes notes slid under a door, a letter left in the mailbox, or even a letter sent via normal mail are effective ways to deal with a loud neighbor without a face to face confrontation, a Certified Letter is best. The reason is because it can be traced. Make sure you send a Restricted Certified letter which guarantees that ONLY a named Person or Persons can receive the letter and MUST Sign to accept the letter. This obviously doesn't mean they will open, read, or otherwise acknowledge the letter and it's contents, but it proves you have made every reasonable effort to inform them. In my case, I was instructed to Send a letter to the Landlord AND the Upstairs Tenants. The Upstairs Neighbors because they could be taken to claims court for damages and it helps to prove they have been made aware of the situation in a formal way, and the landlord because they may be in breach of contract for not upholding the terms and conditions of the lease

A note about what to include in your letter(s):
- Make sure you ARE Professional and are NOT Confrontational.
- State the problem at hand NOT using Opinions or Personal Statement but with FACTS as well as a short but concise description of your complaints.
- Make sure to state that "Although reasonable efforts have been made to resolve the problem(which your documentation MUST legitimately support), no resolution has been made." Also State: "If the problem is not resolved, the Local Authorities will be contacted and legal actions may be taken against them due to the ongoing nuisance."
- Lastly it may be good to include your postal address or an email address which the other party or parties may contact you at if they wish to negotiate a remedy without involving the authorities. You may leave a telephone or cell phone number, but it is recommended that you either Record the Call (you must inform the person being recorded you are doing so at the very onset of the call) or state only text messages will be accepted.

You must be patient, as hard as it may be at this point. Time must be given to process and deliver the certified letter as well as to receive the receipt of delivery to you. You also must give the other Party or Parties reasonable time to stop doing whatever it is they are doing and or do make any necessary physical changes needed to accommodate that. Physical changes may mean moving a shoe rack, purchasing and installing carpeting, or rearranging bedrooms . Although it varies from area to area, 30 days seems to be the rule of thumb on this matter. Some area's are as short as 10 days from the receipt of the Certified letter of complaint.

At some point when you have exhausted all of your time, effort, and energy you have to decide where to go from here. You should talk to your Landlord or Management Company and see if they will let you out of your lease and find out for sure what, if any, penalties they will actually impose on you for doing so. You probably have provisions in your lease stating this, but sometimes sympathy may be given if the situation warrants it and you have a reasonable person to deal with.

On the other hand, you may have to take the proverbial hammer in hand and stand up for your rights. This may mean giving notice and terminating the lease yourself. If you do this, be sure your are prepared to defend yourself if the Landlord or Management decides to take you to court. You could also go to a District Court and file a Criminal Complaint against the Loud Neighbors or a Civil Suit against them as well as the Landlord for damages or breach of contract. This is something you really need to speak to an attorney about. Don't shoot yourself in the foot by being unprepared or misinformed. Keep in mind the court system is often slow and almost always expensive even if you decide to represent yourself. It may be less expensive to pay the early termination fee's to break your lease and wash your hands of everything once and for all.

Lastly I want to briefly describe your rights as they have been described to me"

"Quiet Enjoyment" VS "Peaceful Possession"
My understanding is that Quiet Enjoyment refers to the noise and comfort reasonably entitled to any person or persons living in a paid for unit. Peaceful Possession refers more to the provisions for and against access by your landlord/Management or any others recruited by them. An example would be: "A water line bursting" would not warrant notice of entry as it is deemed an "emergency" whereas an Unannounced visit to "inspect the condition of your refrigerator" is not an emergency and in most cases requires at least 24 hours notice being given.

"Noise Ordinances"
Every town and City will have some regulations in regards to how much, what kind, and what time certain noises are OK and when they are not OK. Generally these prohibit loud music or shouting, and state that the noise levels should decrease during certain hours. Check with your Code Office for specific details in your area.

"Noise Pollution"
Is any noise that is deemed unlawful by local ordinances OR harmful to Human Well-Being. For example an Air Horn being blasted outside your bedroom window next to your head could damage your hearing or send you into shock. This is harmful to your health and well-being.

This is the grounds on which I have the best shot for results in my situation. It is well documented that reasonable efforts have been made to resolve an ongoing problem on my part without results. It is also so documented that it is an ongoing problem which has been, at times, a direct retaliation to a complaint. This falls under the legal term "Nuisance." Also in my case, I can prove that my wife has been put through a hardship in regards to her G.A.D., and that my sleep and stress levels have been negatively affected as well. Both of these things are grounds for "Pain and Suffering" claims in a Civil Lawsuit as they are related to the Nuisance.

"Breach of Contract"
Your lease is a legally binding contract for both the Landlord/Management Company and the Tenants that Sign them. If either party does not abide by the terms in that signed contract, they may be in breach of contract. This may mean a tenant removes the owners property, such as anyobject, furnishing, or appliance which is included in your apartment at the time the lease is signed. A refrigerator or stove would be a good example of this. It may also apply if a Landlord or Property Manager fails to make necessary repairs or to enforce the rules and conditions of the lease. This could include such things as replacing a broken water heater or making reasonable attempts to resolve noise disputes between tenants which are outlined in the lease.

All in all, My wife and I are very easy people to get along with and consider ourselves generally aware and respectful to those around us. That is, until our good nature has been insulted. Now we are standing up for our rights and will seek whatever remedy works out best for us. So far we have sent the Certified Letters and are waiting on the results and return receipts from them. We have also filled out the civil suit forms and criminal complaint forms so they are ready to hand to the District Courts if no resolution is found in the next month or so.

I will close with this comment:

"Yes it is true that kids will be kids, but parents.... you must still be parents so someone else doesn't have to take on that role in your place."

1 Like    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 1:06PM
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