Noisy Neighbors: Management Useless, Can I Break My Lease?
Okay, first off I have lived in my ground-floor apartment for about 6 years now. In those six years I have had 3 upstairs neighbors and I have never once heard their television or their video games. Occasionally I would hear their music, but I would just go to another room and turn up the television until it stopped.
Four months ago, two women (I think they're sisters), in their late twenties/early thirties moved in with a six year-old boy. They are by far the loudest neighbors I have ever had. They let the boy bounce balls, which should be illegal on a non-ground floor apartment, one of them likes to exercise at 6am (even on weekends) in her bedroom, which is right above mine and I swear it sounds like they all have concrete shoes.
But I can live with all that, believe it or not. What I can't deal with is the stereo they insist on blasting almost every day. They don't do it past 11pm, so I've never called the cops as I feel they have better things to do during the day. And it's not just music, it's the television and the video games.
I let it go the first couple days they moved in because I figured they were listening to it while they were unpacking. But by the fifth day, I was fed up to say the least. I went up and knocked on their door, bringing freshly baked cookies and welcomed them to the neighborhood, then after a few introductions, asked them politely to turn the music down. They just kind of glared at me, but turned it down. That lasted about a week. They started blasting it again and over the course of the next two weeks, I would knock on their door and while they wouldn't answer it, the music would come down to an acceptable level. Then one night when they were watching Pearl Harbor, and yes I could identify the movie from my apartment, I knocked on their door and one of the women answered it and had the audacity to complain that I was bothering her. Okay, seriously?
The next thing I know they have their bass turned up and I'm watching my pictures vibrating on the walls, there have been a couple times when they've fallen off. I knocked on their door several times, but no one ever came to the door. This is when I contacted management. At first they were very understanding about it and sent them a letter reminding them that the lease clearly states you are not allowed to disturb your neighbors and about my right to quiet enjoyment.
That didn't work, so then they told me to call the office whenever it was too loud. I did, and my neighbors stopped playing their music and blasting their television during office hours. The manager then told me to keep a log and write a written complaint documenting the time and describing the noise for each incident and submit it to them. I did one better. I gave them the names of the songs and shows. My brother identified a couple of the video games they were playing too when he came to visit. Management said they would send them a certified letter giving them 21 days to be in compliance with the lease.
And that's where the help stopped.
I'm not even sure the manager sent the certified letter. My neighbors are accusing me of harassing them, despite the fact that I haven't knocked on their door or talked to them in two months, and believe me when I say that it required a lot of restraint not to. They say that they are "afraid to breathe" because they're afraid of upsetting me. If that were true, we wouldn't be having this problem.
After a long conversation with the property manager and threatening to go over her head to her regional manager (which I really hated to do, but she was totally blowing me off), she gave me the number for one of the maintenance guys who lives in the complex and told me to call him if it got too loud again. That very night it did and I called him. He said he could hear it walking down the sidewalk outside of the building which meant that it was beyond loud, his words not mine, and went up and knocked on their door. They turned it down and it stayed off for the rest of the night and he told me he would talk to the manager in the morning. I never heard anything back. I stopped by a week later and the managers said that the neighbors were accusing the maintenance guy of racism (they're hispanic and he's black) then they told me there's really nothing they can do without proof. So I borrowed my brother's iPhone and recorded the music and gave it to management. The neighbors accused me of playing the music in my apartment and recording that. The manager says that she wants to hear it for herself, but they never blast their stereo during office hours anymore. They're annoying and inconsiderate jerks, but they're not stupid.
I don't want to move, but I will if this doesn't stop. The problem is that I signed a lease literally the week before they moved in and I still have 8 months left. Do I have enough to validate breaking the lease?