Would you live above burglars?

Kf3399July 27, 2013

I’ve lived in a building for over a year. Overall, for the price that I pay for a 2-bedroom apartment is somewhat inexpensive compared to other buildings and houses for rent in my area. The reason for that is these units went through many owners, and the scars of many coats of paint over holes, and little ticks and dings can be seen if you try, but other than that, it is good. My first year was nice and peaceful. When I first met the building manager (or landlord if you will), she said that they did not put up with any nonsense. However, I’m not quite so sure that is the case.

A couple of months ago a family moved in below me. Right away I could hear them. I get it; I live in a building and I’m going to hear noise, so I didn’t care too much at first. But then it got louder. It was a constant booming noise as if anvils were always being dropped. I found this odd, seeing is how I lived on the top floor and didn’t expect to hear much of anything.

Then I met the man below me one day. He was smoking a cigarette and trying to sell me an air compressor so he could buy diapers for his daughter who he proudly sat on his knee while blowing smoke in her face. He began brining around his friends. They hung around in packs at the entrance way. The booming sound was a result of the constant traffic he had in and out of his apartment. Shady characters would come around, then suddenly leave.

One morning I was approached by a woman from a house next door to the building. She asked me if I had seen anything strange the previous night. She went to say that her house had been broken into and they stole her TV, computers, and her vacuum cleaner. She assumed it had been someone from my building because there was a path of vacuum cleaner parts that led from her house to the entrance of my building.

I told my landlord about this, and mentioned that it most likely was the people below me. I stressed that I’m not one to point the finger, and I clearly understand that I cannot just accuse someone of stealing, but something told me it was these new tenants. She gave me a little info: she told me that the guy living under wasn’t on the lease, but his girlfriend was. This building does a credit and background check, and the landlord told me it was only her background she looked into.

A couple of weeks later I see on the news the guy below was arrested, as well as two of the other people that I saw hanging around the building for burglary. They all were charged with a Class C felony. One went to county jail, while the other two were released.

I see the other two still hanging around, awaiting trial I assume.. But I ask myself, where is this no nonsense policy? They are still loud and are bringing around undesirable people. And to top it off, they have become louder. In addition to the constant booming noises, they blast music.

I informed my landlord but nothing has occurred. I’m not really sure if she can do anything at all. Overall, I am left with the uncomfortable feeling that I have a thief living under me that brings around his other thief friend.

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WOW, my heart goes out to you and I know moving is probably not an option for you since $ is scare for most of us today. Do you have a dead bolt on your door? Can you install locks on your windows? What about a dog, my little one always lets me know if some one is outside my door or on the stairs. I'm sure others will have more suggestions for you. Do you know a good lawyer? You landlady sounds like my landlord, just pay your rent and dont bother me!! Good Luck.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 1:13PM
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My sister's next door neighbors were arrested in a drug bust--the police woke her up one night as they bashed through the front door of the neighboring apartment.

Her landlord wanted to evict them immediately, but had to wait until they went to court and were charged with a felony. Prior to that, there was no legal reason for eviction.

So check the laws about evictions in your state. It's possible the noise is enough for an eviction.

One thing about evictions--the landlord usually can't tell other tenants what is going on. And depending on your state laws, evictions can take months, 3-5 months seems fairly usual.

Then check the laws about breaking your lease. Your landlord might be more inspired to do something about these neighbors if she knew her one good tenant was planning to leave.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 3:53PM
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I lived in a terrible building for my first apartment because it was cheap. We had a ton of drug activity. What kept me safe was minding my own buisness. I made sure that I covered up my tv and electronics when moving in and out, so that nobody knew I owned nice things. Most of all, mind your own buisness. Don't tell anybody which apartment you live in or who lives with you. if anything, say that you have several people living there. Don't put on your fancy earings or expensive shoes etc until you get to your car, so nobody thinks you have money. And install whatever locks on the door. Don't forget to make complaints to the HOA and the landlord, if your complaints are filed legally then you can have control over your lease, which is a contract that says the landlord is responsible for providing a safe and clean enviroment. If they can't hold up their end, then you have the right to break the lease and leave. You could try and make annonymous police calls, but if they figure out its you, then you're painting a target on your back, and you want to remain under the radar. Save up, get a second job if you have to, do anything you can to get out of the building. Our building finally had several drug raids with dogs and guns and a new landlord who we suspect was an undercover cop himself took over, and he treated us all like criminals. Ask your landlord to put up security cameras as soon as possible, and to actively call the police. It is the landlords responsibility to keep their tennants in a safe enviroment under penalty of law. The housing authority can help.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 2:51PM
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Great advice Ella, I wonder where Kf3399 went since she hasnt been back to comment.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 5:42PM
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Better late than never! Two weeks after I posted this the pictures of the guys that lived under me were in the paper. The landlord evicted them. Still in the same place--got a new neighbor next door with a boomy-bass system though...and the saga continues

    Bookmark   December 25, 2013 at 9:46PM
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