The usual noisy neighbor

kykrieSeptember 17, 2006

Hi Everyone,

Please be kind as this is my first post.

I have lived in my apartment in San Francisco for a year now. Within past year, i have continuous noise problem with the neighbor downstairs. Since the very beginning when i moved in, They like to turn on loud music at three AM to 6 AM twice a week, sometimes it continues from 1 AM to 6 AM. I have tried knocking on their door to inform them that they were too loud, She kept it down but only lasted two weeks. They were singing, smoked something which smells like burnt hair and made me dizzy, and playing bass at three AM. I was fed up and finally wrote a letter of complaint to the manager along with recordings of the noise. He told me he was going to begin the eviction process, but i told him i dont want them to be evicted as long as if they can keep it down, and for about three weeks after there was peace.

However last week, at twelve AM, they suddenly put their music in full blast, my whole apartment was shaking. I thumped on the floor once (my usual way to inform them to turn it down a bit) but they turned it up even louder accompanied by banging on their ceiling / my floor. I finally called the manager, in which he hurriedly came knocking on their door. They fully ignored him, didnt stopped the music and kept on banging on my floor. Afterward the manager came to my apartment and he told me he saw the real tenant went outside and he figured the one who created all the noise and thumping was her guests. But even the real tenant didnt try to contact him at all afterward and he told me he was unhappy with them, but could not do anything aside from giving them notes.

It's kind of a bit hard to believe the real tenant wasnt involved in the banging, because for three days straight, they kept on banging repeatedly on my floor all day and all night at random times. I walked to the kitchen to wash the dishes, they thumped under my foot, i turned on the TV, they thumped, at 4 AM they thumped, i went to the toilet and they thumped. I phoned the manager again to complain, he told me he was going to start the eviction process. I was waiting patiently since i heard furniture was moved downstairs and i thought they have been evicted, and i was witholding from calling the police at their worst of nuisance.

However on the fourth day, they were still thumping my floor (I read somewhere that it only took three days to evict tenant who created nuisance to other tenant) and even yelled something at me in the bathroom with her giggling friends. I phoned the manager and left a message in his answering machine and asked when they would be moving out. He didnt answer, but i met him the next day when taking my package. He told me it would be months and months to start an eviction process, I could have move out first before that and he cannot choose side in neighbor's argument, and he could not evict someone because he's afraid they wont be able to find any place to live afterward. I was dissapointed, he was the one who offered to evict them and he witnessed it himself how the neighbor was creating all of the nuisance in complete disregard to my rights of 'quiet enjoyment'. He told me all he can do is to give them noise complaint letter, which they have continuosly ignored. He keeps going on and on telling me, how he was busy managing the large apartment complex and told me there is another neighbor's dispute and a drug dealer in the apartment. (there is also a registered pedophile too, whom i found when googling my apartment's address, and this apt is full with kids) Apparently all the furniture moving sound that i heard from downstairs, was to specifically placed their bass right underneath my bed.

I concluded that he just didnt have the balls to kick them out. I returned to my apartment, and soon the thumping and the music started right away. I started to jump around like crazy, running around, stomping like an elephant and turning my TV loud, and practicing flying kick all over the place. I dropped heavy stuff at four AM, pretending to hammer something to the floor. Sorry if it sounds incredibly childish, but after a year of loosing sleeps over MAdonna's "Sorry" repeated 50 times at night, believe me, you too could loose it. Obviously this neighbor didnt understand human language and can't read since they keep on ignoring the noise complaint letter from the manager, so i figured the only way to get through to them is with their kind of language. If you can't beat them, join them. The next day the thumping from downstairs was kind of stop (replaced with loud TV noise which they turn the volume up and down, up and down repeatedly for an hour every nine to ten PM). Surprisingly whenever i called someone and talked on the phone, the noise would stopped for a while, and sometimes i pretended to yell "Time to call the cops!" they would suddenly lowered the noise.

Anyway i have decided i dont want to keep on living like that, and now preparing to move out, my friend has recommended some other place and my question is: since right now is the middle of the September, if I have to follow the 30 days moving notice rule, the fastest i can move out is at the end of October. But is it possible to push my case through the manager and move out at the end of September based on the nuisance above? Do i have a strong ground for it? The manager or as i would like to call him the "the Rent collector" obviously didnt want to 'manage' anything, he keeps on avoiding me now, and rather spend his time for two hours folding cardboxes in the garbage place than resolving this problem. If possible, i dont want to spend another month's rent for October living with the absurd neighbor.

Plus today for the first time, i found out there was a quite large hole underneath the ripped carpet surrounding the heater's pipe (it was already there when i moved in). It could be the cause of why i can hear conversations from the downstair neighbor and smell their smoking even though i closed every windows. Apparently the wood underneath the carpet was incredibly old, dusty and cracking, there has been a lot of small bugs appearing everywhere no matter how frequent i vacuum the carpet. I actually liked it here no matter what, but it doesnt feel like home anymore due to this ignorant neighbor.

Anyhow i hoped to get some advice and thanks for your help in advance.

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You should have started calling the cops on them a long time ago instead of banging on the floor - that never works, always leads to the sort of escalation you describe. If you simply want to move away from them (which is usually the easiest solution), you certainly have grounds to ask to be let out of your lease if there is a quiet enjoyment clause in it, but if your landlord fights it you'll probably want to get a lawyer. It may be easier to just wait it out, depending on the attitude of the landlord.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2006 at 11:14AM
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You can ask, but I wouldn't count on anything. He would only have 2 weeks to re-rent it.

Good luck with your next place. Ask your new landlord if they have references, or if you can meet/ talk to the neighbors.

I also wouldn't mention the carpet problem. Landlord probably doesn't know about it and might charge you for it.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2006 at 11:30PM
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