Disruptive and Harassing Neighbor

maybelSeptember 15, 2006

Hey all, found this forum in a search for possible solutions to a rude and unreasonable neighbor. From what I gather from the landlord, she has been nasty to previous tenants and drove a few of them to move out too.

The majority of the harassment started (July) when we became acquainted with another tenant whom she seems to despise ("Tenant A") and also when we politely asked her + family to stop double parking in the driveway in back of our car (her unit does not come with a parking space).

She makes vile and obscene comments about my family members and I, as well as all sorts of ridiculous accusations. She seems to love standing outside her front door (which is right next to ours) and yak on about all the people who "wronged" her and curse them to suffer horrid fates. She doesn't specify names but provide enough details so you usually know who she's talking about.

The apt complex has been in a general mess lately too though we can't tell or prove who is/are the culprits. We're responsible for the general sweeping, cleaning and taking out the trash maintenance of the complex. To name a few... In early August, urine was splashed all over my front door. During the third week of August, something was smeared onto everyone's closet doors (each unit has a small closet storage space in the laundry room): not sure what it was, but it sure smelled foul. Earlier this week, there were shredded sanitary napkins and used toilet tissues scattered on the stairway. "Tenant A" also found motor oil poured over his car. Our car has also suffered scratches and dings when parked in the secured parking garage. Plants have suffered as have our doormat.

I've filed a police report, but with the shortage of cops in the area, that's pretty much all it is.

I know the landlord doesn't like her either as she has a history of causing trouble (though I'm sure it was not documented as the tenants here tend to shy away from things dealing with law and police) and she has gotten into verbal arguments with the manager. However, they don't really know what to do either. The current tenants in the complex seems to be afraid of her and one of the units is good friends with her.

I've been hearing mixed advice on the legalty of making audio recordings. We're deciding on the cost-effectiveness of installing a video surveillance system right now, but that will probably take some time. Short of moving out (which would involve a fair amount of difficulty with the housing shortage in my area), what are some things I can do?

Any thoughts/comments/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

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talley_sue_nyc

From what I gather from the landlord, she has been nasty to previous tenants and drove a few of them to move out too.

I know the landlord doesn't like her either as she has a history of causing trouble (though I'm sure it was not documented as the tenants here tend to shy away from things dealing with law and police) and she has gotten into verbal arguments with the manager. However, they don't really know what to do either.

Maybe you could suggest to the landlord that he/she simply refuse to renew this woman's lease? It's not like they couldn't get someone to take her place, if the market's so tight in your area.

I can't figure out why they haven't done this already, unless there's some legal reason why they can't (I don't know what that would be; this is usually one of the "outs" that landlords leave themselves so they don't have to bother w/ evictions in situations like this, but maybe they weren't smart, or maybe the municipality has some overriding statute. Look at YOUR lease, or the lease of someone who has been there as long as she has been, and see if there's anything in the lease that would prevent it; then call City Hall and ask about any such local restrictions.).

They don't have to *evict* her or document anything; just notify her that they won't be renewing her lease. (depending on the lease)

It won't be fast, bcs they'd have to wait until the term of the lease was up. But maybe you all could put up with it until she was out.

So, if you're on any sort of speaking terms w/ the landlord (you say "we are responsible" for upkeep--your family, or all tenants?), ask them. Maybe it just hasn't occurred to them; sometimes people get so tensed up from deaing w/ things that alternate routes don't occur to them.

And perhaps if several other tenants sort of mentioned, when paying their rent, that this person is making the place unpleasant, and boy would it be nice not to have to move to avoid her (avoid speculation about actual vandalism; it's enough that she's a loud, obscene jerk).

    Bookmark   September 15, 2006 at 9:20AM
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maybel

talley_sue_nyc - Thanks for your suggestions! Tenants here are fairly well protected after the passing of an ordinance requiring landlords to prove just and fair eviction, I know it includes lease renewals in there too but I'm not sure to what extent. Elderly and disabled also have protected status too. I'll bring it up to landlord so he research this avenue as well!

    Bookmark   September 16, 2006 at 6:59PM
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nfllifer

I to would ask the landlord not to re-new her lease. What state do you live in?

Other option would be to have landlord increase her rent drastically.

I once had a really bad tenant they were paying $550. I was only managing the unit and the owner didn't care if they stayed or left. I gave her a 4 month notice that her rent would increase to $700. She moved out no questions asked. A lot cheaper than an eviction and I figured it would be worth my time at $700.

Good Luck!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2006 at 11:20PM
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