Inconsiderate Neighbors

crila1September 11, 2006

If it's too good to be true, it usually is.

I just moved to my own apartment, because I wanted to live alone. I'm 36 and I'm done with the roommate thing. I found a beautiful apartment to rent in NJ, right along the river, so I have a beautiful skyline view of the city. It's in a really nice condo building. This apartment is my beginner's dream apartment. The price was not that expensive to rent, which was a surprise for the area.

Now for the problem. My neighbors upstairs are owners of their condo. They're loud, rude and inconsiderate. They walk really loudly and party to the last possible legal minute. The apartments aren't even huge...what's with all the walking? Back and forth, back and forth constantly.

They are a young married couple. They have absolutely no rugs on their floor either. This is a pre-WW2 building, so the ceilings aren't thick or anything. All day long, the wife walks across the floor in her high heels, and I can hear the TV blasting all day and night. WHO WEARS HIGH HEELS TO WALK AROUND AT HOME???? THe husband walks so heavy, I think he's going to fall thru the floor.

Last night, they had 10 of their friends over, and they were blasting music and salsa dancing until exactly 10:00 on the button. I can't even relax or enjoy my new home and it's starting to depress me...and I've only been here a week.

I finally said something to them yesterday...twice. They were rude and nasty, and refused to compromise. I was so nice to them about it, and very reasonable the whole time. They said they've been there 3 years, they owned, and they weren't changing, that I was just going to have to deal with it. Another problem, they're on the condo board...and they're best friends with the President on the condo board.

I also found out from a couple of the other renters, that there were lots of complaints about them...and people in my apartment don't last long, because they can't take it. What am I going to do? I just moved...took time off from work and spent so much money. I'm broke at this point, and can't afford to move again. The landlord who owns the apartment lives in Greece...and the go between lady who rented to me, was well aware of this, and never warned me.

PLEASE HELP ME!!!!!!!!!! What can I do? I'm just a renter and they own the condo.

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well, probably the thing you can do is to not last long. And to try to go through all the hoops necessary to break your lease legally.

Bcs if you can document that your landlord is not keeping up w/ his obligation to provide you "quiet enjoyment" (this is often the phrase in use), then you can often break the lease without penalty.

You'll also need to check into your state or town's laws on this matter to see if they provide protection in the case that this clause is not in the lease, or a methodology for how this process must work (you can't just withhold rent usu.; you have to notify sometimes in a certain manner; etc.)

Check to see if there's a "quiet enjoyment" clause, and then write registered letters, etc., to your landlord and his agent, and maybe a copy to the condo board. The heck w/ whether you tick them off, etc. You'll be out of there soon anyway.

And start looking around--the timing is going to the hardest part, probably.

Best of luck, and my sympathies. I'm tolerant of a party now and then, but every night gets really old, really fast.

(you could also ask some other non-renter if there's a condo clause requiring apartments to have rugs; then your landlord can at least demand that they have them)

The only way to pressure the condo board, really, is for your landlord to do it. He has no motivation to do so.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2006 at 1:03PM
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First off, you won't be able to do anything 'about' the bad neighbors, per se. They own their unit, and they're on the board, so that's that. Maybe they resent the fact that your landlord is renting--lots of condo people feel it lowers their property value--so they're trying to take it out on the tenants and cause a lot of turnover.

What I'd do is send a registerred letter to the go-between, and another to the landlord (if you don't know his address, send it addressed to him 'c/o' the go-between's address. I'm pretty sure this means that she can't open the letter, but must forward it (unless she's got a power of attorney, but in that case the owner is deemed to have received notice thru her)). In this letter, describe the noise problem and demand that the landlord install acoustic tiles on your ceiling to muffle the noise. Be sure to refer to the 'quiet enjoyment' laws of your locality and any similar language in your lease. State that if you haven't heard back from them w/ a date that they will do this, and they haven't done it, w/in 30 days, that you'll consider them to have given permission to install the tiles yourself and deduct the cost from your rent.

Having everything documented this way will cover your butt in case they decide to try to act against you because of witholding the money for the job. I don't really see why anyone would bother going to court or anything over a measly 300 bucks or whatever it would cost to staple-gun a bunch of tiles to the ceiling. They might try to withhold some or all of your security deposit, but this letter also would give you ammo to fight that.

When I say 'acoustic tiles' I have in mind 12inch-square tiles made of a sort of carboardy stuff. Not the big tiles they use w/ drop ceilings, but it's a similar idea. They don't need the framework that the drop ceilings use. We had them on our bedroom ceiling in our old apt; more for heat retention than noise, I think, but they do act as insulation against both.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2006 at 1:11PM
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