My downstairs neighbors won't leave me alone! Help! (long post)

aSheah67May 18, 2014

I have been living in my apartment complex for a little over a year now. We have concrete floors and the apartment is very poorly insulated. I can constantly hear cars, fire trucks and police sirens during the day and night. I can hear people talking and walking in the hallway. I can hear the person above me constantly and even the people to the sides of me sometimes (maybe even the people below me?) but it's hard to tell half the time where the noise is truly coming from. I use to live the apartment next to mine but had to move over one since I no longer wanted to pay the large some of rent for room I didn't need. I was in a year lease in that apartment but 6 months into it I switched and got into another year lease in my current apartment.

I had been living in this apartment at the time for 1 month exactly when my downstairs neighbor left me a note around 7-8 that evening. A friend had stopped by (no note yet), we talked for maybe 20 minutes before taking my dogs out and that's when I saw it. I was surprised to say the least and when I read it I became very upset. They had claimed that I was "ruining their peaceful days and nights" and that “every time we hear a noise we will call the apartment management and the police on you". I went downstairs 10-15 min later to find out exactly who I was bothering and what noise it was that was disturbing them (since they failed to specify). My friend then took my dogs while staying close by but out of sight just in case I needed him. I also didn’t want to intimidate anyone with both of us since judging by the hand writing it was most likely a female (or just a guy who writes bubbly). I knocked on the apartment that was directly below mine but no one answered so I went to the one next to theirs. A small girl answered and I asked (nicely of course) if she left the note or by chance knew who did. She said she didn’t leave the note but she was pretty eager to read it and grabbed it from me then started reading it. It was at this time a guy from the apartment I knocked on earlier popped his head out and looked over. Right about then the girl finished the note and said out loud “OMG that is so mean!” and handed the note back. We both looked over at the guy, now standing in the hall, and I walked toward him assuming it was him who left it. I talked to him a bit explaining I was a 130lb 5’3 girl living alone with two small dogs and that I was unsure what noise it was that I could possibly be making that would cause them to leave such a note. He told me that it was constant stomping all day and night (not my dogs, not my TV, not my music and not talking/yelling). Then continued to explain how his girlfriend (who wrote the note) works hard all day (don’t we all) and how he is sorry if it was left at the wrong apartment, then he took the note back. I would have kept the note if I knew this was going to be an ongoing thing.
Anyways after that I had thought we came to an understanding that nothing I was doing was the cause of their frustration. I also contacted the apartment management to let them know about the note and that I had very nicely talked to the below neighbors about the issue. I was sitting on the couch before my friend arrived and after. They were just standing in the kitchen while we chatted a bit before taking the dogs out.

So a couple months later I get home at 7:45pm from a long day at work (8am-7:30pm) and at 9pm I get a knock on my door from a police officer (they had called at 8:40pm). He then tells me that his reason for being there is a noise complaint of stomping from the downstairs neighbors. I explain to him that I had only been home for an hour and I was just sitting on the couch watching a show on Netflix. He turned out to be a pretty cool cop and we talked about Danzig and the Misfits for most of the time (was wearing a Danzig shirt). The next day I called my apartment telling them about the incident, they seemed very understanding, and they said they would talk to neighbors explaining nothing I am doing is wrong but just normal apartment living. They said more than likely whatever or whoever they are hearing is not me. I get a call back the next day telling me she had talked to them and they seemed to understand but if they call the police again to just call the apartment management to handle it.

So now just a few days ago at 10:50-11am on my day off, while I’m SLEEPING, the cops once again knock on my door (neighbors called them at 10:40am). This time there were 3 cops standing at my door saying they got a noise complaint for banging. They asked if I was alone and stood around for a little bit. I opened my door showing I was alone except for my 2 small dogs. I also told them I was sleeping though I’m sure my clothing and messy hair gave it away. Finally they left and I called my apartment once again complaining about my neighbors calling the cops on me. They said they would talk to them again and try to figure out where the noise is coming from. So far it’s been 3 days and they have not called the apartment back. At this point I’m just assuming they are ignoring them since they haven’t gotten their way with them.

Even if I was doing things at any of these times I don’t understand how that would be an issue. These are not absurdly late times especially the last time when I was sleeping. What I want to know is what am I supposed to do if this happens again? I am tired of having to get freaked the hell out at absurdly loud knocking at my door at random times and days. Clearly whatever or whoever it is that’s annoying them is not me. I have more than enough to deal with at my job, I do not need this when I come home or on my days off. So please can someone tell me what to do if this happens again? Sorry this was so insanely long and thank you if you read it all. :(

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Just a nasty little thought from someone who was once kicked out for making noise. It wasn't really a bad thing. The neighbor was screamingly insane. The noises were from the toggle switches on a tape deck.

If that were to happen to me again, knowing now what I didn't know then, I would go to a legal clinic and have them write a letter (to be delivered by certified mail) for me complaining that the constant harassment was creating a situation where the neighbors were denying me my legal right to the quiet enjoyment of the apartment I had leased. One copy directed at and addressed to the management (since I had purchased that right from them under contract), one copy to the neighbor.

Then, when the retaliation comes, go get a lawyer and make some money.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 1:45AM
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Thank you I will definitely keep that in mind if they wont work with the apartment management and I to help figure this "stomping" issue out!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 8:29PM
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The situation may be too tense at this point, but could you ask the neighbor to call you with the plan to let them come inside your unit during a "stomping episode" to prove to them that sound travels and it's not coming from your unit? Ideally one of them could come upstairs and another could wait from within the unit.
Or perhaps management could send one person to each unit and see how loud it really is (are expectations unreasonable?) and upstairs you will have a witness that normal movements are happening upstairs regardless of what they hear.

If you have any travel plans, could you use this to your advantage to establish it as a fact that they are hearing noise from another unit? It's obvious they don't believe this. Anything for them to stop calling the police, because that is clearly not solving anything and is wasting city resources... what an awful wake-up call for you.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 12:29PM
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This all hinges on the accuracy of the complainer, so why not try to recreate the stomping on purpose with the police (or manager) as witnesses in the unit below? The whole thing could be resolved with a little science. It seems that a noise coming from one's ceiling should be fairly easy to identify. If someone else on your floor is actually doing the stomping, it would be a matter of eliminating each suspect instead of the obtuse conversations that went on.

This post was edited by Jck507 on Fri, Sep 5, 14 at 3:35

    Bookmark   September 5, 2014 at 3:30AM
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