We're really not noisy neighbors, but....

judi_eOctober 19, 2005

This is a loooooong post, but I'm desperate for some ideas. Anyone with the patience to read the whole thing has my most sincere appreciation.

OK, my husband and I have a rather frustrating situation. My husband owns an electronic drum set. When he first got it about 6 months ago he would play it through the stereo quite loud, but never at unreasonable times. A couple months ago we got a new neighbor who made his presence known by yelling profanities at my husband through the window of the room that the drum set is in. Don't get me wrong, we are pretty foul mouthed, but this guy didn't even try to be nice about it. He came and knocked on our door about a week later and "discussed" it with my husband, and the basic gist was that the new neighbor didn't ever want to hear my husband playing his drums or he was going to complain, maybe even calling the police.

So, from that point on my husband has played using headphones instead of the stereo. So the only thing heard is drum sticks hitting rubber pads.

The neighbor complained to the apartment manager, who told us that as long as we used the headphones or kept the volume down it shouldn't be a problem. So my husband continued to play, never with the stereo on, only with the headphones.

He called the police. The first time they showed up after my husband had stopped playing so they didn't hear it and only gave us a warning. The second time he called them the officers rolled their eyes and said we were fine, go ahead and keep playing the drums, "Rock on", and "if I were you I'd take up the bagpipes." The very next day he came pounding on our door, yelling and screaming, making threats, so WE called the police. We told them everything that had been going on, and it all became about the drums instead of about the threats. They told us that if he keeps complaining eventually they are going to get tired of coming out and will write us a ticket. They suggested we figure out what he drives so that my husband can play only when the neighbor isn't home. Turns out he doesn't drive, he takes cabs, and probably the bus.

The apartment manager offered him another apartment within the complex. He declined, and said he was looking for an apartment elsewhere. It sounded as though he was going to go ahead and break his lease just to get away from the evil drummer. So my husband kept playing, always with the headphones, and everything seemed fine for about a month. No more visits from the police, no more threats from the neighbor, we were just waiting for him to find another apartment.

Then this past Sunday came, and the police showed up again. This time they gave us the distinct impression that it didn't matter that other officers had said it was OK, or that the manager said it was OK, and that they would not use their own discretion in deciding whether or not to write us a ticket. They said that if he pushed the issue they WOULD write us a ticket. So it seems the neighbor has all of the power.

Understand that our phone ringing, our cats fighting, our vaccuum cleaner, our washing machine, all of those things are louder than the drum set. He apparently has no problem with any of those things. But now we are in a position where if my husband keeps playing we risk getting a MISDEMEANOR citation, and if he stops playing the drums then the neighbor has no reason to keep looking for another apartment. We've offered to move to another apartment in the complex, but there won't be any 2 bedroom apartments available until the neighbors lease is up anyway, which isn't until next AUGUST!

Does anyone have any ideas? Our local laws have no provisions for time of day when it comes to noise, only if it bothers someone of "reasonable sensibilities" then it's considered loud noise and is punishable by a misdemeanor. Of course we don't think this guy's sensibilities are reasonable, but that's a whole other discussion. I would consider sitting down and talking to him if he didn't scare the daylights out of me. Considering he has made quite strong threats I'm pretty sure he wouldn't take to well to a calm sit-down conversation and compromise on the issue.

We've lived in apartments for 8 years together and NEVER ONCE had a noise complaint against us until this guy moved in next door, including the 4-5 months that my husband had the drums before he moved in. Is there anything we can do, short of packing up the drums until he moves out? This guy is being completely unreasonable, but if we continue with the drums then we'd have to fight it in court and we could lose. Any ideas are welcome.

Thanks for reading.


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How much would the ticket be?
If it wasn't too much, I'd say to hell with him and keep on rockin.
Go to court with all the documented police visits and let the judge decide.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2005 at 5:37PM
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I'm just curious but....if all those other things in your apartment are louder than your husband playing his drums, how does this guy know when your husband is playing? I mean, is the area they are in near a connecting point in the other guy's apartment where he tries to sleep/relax? While this guy definately seems to be acting out of control, I'm trying to understand what it is that's sending him over the edge with the drums. I know in our apartment our upstairs neighbor is EXTREMELY loud and we can hear entire conversations of her's through the ceiling and yet her dishwasher running is barely a hum in our kitchen if you're listening for it. And there's a certain pair of shoes that when she wears them around her house...it sounds like hammers pounding on our ceiling. So maybe it's a positioning issue. Unfortunately, I think it comes down to the other guy's quiet enjoyment ranking above your entertainment. So see if you, your husband, and the manager can't sit down with this guy and come to some sort of reasonable agreement.

Also, sometimes after enough irritation, all you need is a trigger to set you off....like if he sees that your husband is playing the drums through the window, he makes the connection to having heard the noise before the headphones and automatically gets irked. Does that make sense?

    Bookmark   October 19, 2005 at 6:55PM
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I'm not sure how much it would actually be. All I've been able to find is that misdemeanors are punishable by up to $500 and 90 days in jail. I'm sure they wouldn't throw the maximum at someone for a noise complaint, especially since he has no criminal record or anything like that.

That's a good question, I'll have my husband find out. He'll be at court as a witness right near city hall next week and plans to go to the records department and get copies of all of the reports, I'll have him ask someone then. Thanks!

    Bookmark   October 19, 2005 at 6:57PM
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There is our main bedroom between the room with the drums and the neighbors living room. And then his bedroom would be on the other side of his living room. I think you might be right about him just being pissed because of the first couple times. I do remember that the day he came over and threatened my husband (which was the day after the police had been over and said it was fine and we should consider taking up the bagpipes), my husband told him "The cops told you it was OK, the manager told you it was OK, get over it" and he responded "No they didn't, they said you have to keep it down." Well, just how much more down can we keep it? He's using the headphones for Pete's sake!

I'm going to talk to the manager tomorrow and find out what he said to her second offer to move him.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2005 at 7:20PM
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Well.... the sound of beating drums can be really maddening -- even "drum sticks hitting rubber pads." It is a different sort of noise than a TV or a stereo; it's repetitive and insistent. I am not saying that this neighbor is right in his actions, but I think you need to understand what it's like to listen to that kind of noise. I'm sorry to say that it would drive me absolutely INSANE and I would be the one complaining to apartment management.

If it hasn't gone beyond this point, perhaps you can find out definitely when he is NOT home -- e.g., if he doesn't get home until x hour, perhaps your husband could play until that time.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2005 at 12:29PM
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Could it be that the sound is actually being transmitted through the floor and he hears the slight thumping? Have you thought about putting the drum pad on a piece of foam rubber to absorb any sound that may be resonating into the table and then to the floor? Just a thought.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2005 at 12:39PM
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If only it were that simple. The guy refuses to tell us what times he is or isn't home, instead informing my husband that "I work two jobs and I'm a professional wrestler." He doesn't drive, so it's not like we can look for his car. He has no interest in working something out on this, he made that perfectly clear the first time he came over to talk, and even more clear when he threatened my husband. This guy is not interested in compromise, he's only interested in us bowing to his demands.

It's also important to point out that these are ranch style apartments, there is nobody above or below us, and we are an end unit, so we have a neighbor behind us (sweet old lady who doesn't care, her son used to play the drums) and this guy next door. He shares the short wall with our apartment, I believe his living room and kitchen are on the other side of the wall from our bedroom, bathroom, and utility room. We have fairly thick, well insultated walls between our apartments, because it's modular construction....so there are two 4" insulated walls sandwiched together between his living room and our bedroom....the drums are in the next room, the only room in our apartment that doesn't share any walls with our neighbors, puting another set of two 4" insulated walls between them and the neighbor. The fact that the police couldn't hear the drums outside, even though the windows aren't that well insulated, tells me that the neighbor probably isn't hearing much, if he's hearing anything at all.

And I know EXACTLY what it's like to listen to that kind of noise, I listen to it every time my husband plays the drums, and I guarantee I'm hearing it hundreds of times louder than the neighbor is. He only usually plays for 30-45 minutes, NEVER after 8pm anymore, and it isn't even loud enough to disturb his dog. Nobody complained for 4-5 months while my husband played it through the stereo, quite loud. This guy comes along and wants us ticketed, jailed or evicted within weeks of his moving in, after we have a 3 1/2 year record at this complex as very good tenants.

I'm curious....you say you would complain to the manager. What would you do after the manager and the police had told you it was OK, that it wasn't too loud, that as long as he played with the headphone on it wasn't a problem? Cuz this guy doesn't care that the manager and police have told him that...it was AFTER both the manager and police told him that that he threated my husband.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2005 at 12:54PM
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Can you run the vacuum cleaner and the TV in the living room when he drums?

Or try it with the stereo on at the same time as the drums--but at a medium level, not loud. Then the rhythms of the drumbeats will blend in w/ something else, and perhaps not be as noticeable as drumbeats by themselves. That is, if he drums along WITH the music.

Maybe you could lay in some evidence to defend yourself on the "reasonable sensibilities" front--ask the management folks if they'd be willing to be an independent documenter of the noise for you. With advance notice, they can go in his apartment and listen to what it sounds like when DH is drumming.

Then, you'll *know* how loud it sounds to someone who isn't a jerk; if they say, "well, actually it's much louder and more annoying that I thought," you'll know. And if they say, "it's not that bad at all, I could barely hear it," then you can have them document that they made this observation on your behalf.

I think I might also call the precinct's public-affairs officer, and ask him about the cops' assertion that the only thing the neighbor has to do it complain long enough, and the cops will prosecute you just to shut him up. That's not good policing. Ask him to explain this to you, and to help you figure out how to deal w/ this corruption of the criminal-justice system.

Also, start documenting when and how long your DH plays; I know the town ordinances don't list dates, but if it DOES get to a judge, the fact that he plays for 15 mins. at a time, and never after 9pm, is gonna stand in your favor.

(did you tell management that he had threatened you?)

And maybe management can find out when he's usually not home; your DH can use the drums then, and see how much damage that does to his playing & enjoyment.

You might also ask management to put something in writing--maybe they won't want to, but if they have asked you to change, and you have done so, and they approve, then you'll have documentation on your side that shows you tried; it might not stop them writing a ticket, but it might help you appeal the ticket.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 20, 2005 at 12:59PM
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Well, the manager has already listened to it from his apartment, with the speakers on at what we thought was a pretty reasonable volume. She said she could still hear it, but just barely, so if we could turn it down another notch or two, or play with the headphones on it should be fine.

I hadn't thought about documenting when hubby plays. That's probably a good idea. I have copies of posts like the one I left here, only more detailed, documenting everything that's happened, so I have the dates of everything that's gone on, but hadn't thought of keeping track of when hubby plays when the neighbor isn't complaining.

I'm going to try to find something we can set the drum set on that might deaden the vibrations going into the floor, hopefully that plus moving the set further away from that guy's apartment will be enough to stop all of this.

As for complaining about the cops....next week hubby plans to get copies of the reports that have been filed each time they had to come out, and we'll see what the reports say. We especially want the names of the officers who said it was fine. I think it's incredibly significant that the first officers who actually heard it said it was fine.

And, yes, we've kept the manager updated on everything. She really just wants everyone to be happy and get along, and is willing to do anything she can to reach that goal. She offered to talk to the police, but I'm not sure it will help. She has offered to move him, would offer to move us if she had another 2 bedroom apartment available....she's really trying hard to resolve this. In fact, Monday she said she would offer him another apartment again, I need to call her today and see how that went.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2005 at 1:47PM
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While I agree this guy sounds like a nutter...the reality is, you're making noise that he can hear. If he couldn't hear it, he wouldn't be complaining (else how would he know when to complain?) If you were living next to me, and I could hear you, I'd be complaining too. There are reasonable types of noise that have to be expected when living in an apt -- walking above, loud voices through the walls maybe, dishwasher or vacuum running. These are things that you can't reasonably ask someone to stop doing (walking, talking, cleaning, daily living). In my opinion, playing the drums doesn't fall under that category -- no matter how quiet you think you are, your neighbor can still hear or feel the drumming. He has a reasonable expectation to not have to hear "entertainment" (i.e. non-daily living) noises coming from your place, especially when it's a noise that is as repetitive and annoying as drumming.

Drums, IMO, are one of those things that only belong in a house, along with surround sound, loud stereos, and people who like to scream at each other at the top of their lungs at 2 in the morning. You need to find a way to completely remove the noise so that he can't hear it, or recognize that if your husband wants to play the drums, he'll need to find some other place to do it. I can sympathize with you, in that it's not fair that you shouldn't be able to live exactly as you want when living in an apartment -- it sucks, but other people are sharing your walls, and IF they can hear you and don't like it, the burden is on you to resolve it. My opinion, at any rate.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2005 at 2:54PM
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I disagree somewhat....We live in a society with other people, and I believe that, at reasonable hours (like 3 in the afternoon) we are going to hear things from our neighbors, whether we live in apartments or in a house, unless we live on several acres of land. It's just what happens when you live in a populated area. I don't believe that it's reasonable to expect to never hear anything other than footsteps and vaccuum cleaners in the middle of the day. And I don't believe that entertainment should have to be given up, within reason, just because we are in too much debt to afford our own house.

However, I've been doing research today, trying to figure out how to cheaply build a drum riser that would isolate the vibrations from the floor. I really don't think he's hearing it through the walls, it must be coming through the floor. Unfortunately acoustic matierials are expensive, so I'm hoping we can come up with a solution that won't cost us thousands of dollars.

As for whether or not he's actually hearing it, my husband always has the shades open on the window in the room he plays in. There's a ledge under the window that he has a box fan on, and if he closes the blinds they get sucked up next to the fan and he gets no breeze. It's the warmest room in the house, summer or winter (which I REALLY can't figure out), so he really has to have that fan, especially when he's playing. The neighbor has a dog, so has to take the dog out for walks occassionally. We have thought, ever since he stopped running the sound through the stereo, that he may not be hearing it at all, and may just see him playing when he takes the dog out. There have been plenty of times my husband has played that he hasn't complained....and we're pretty sure he's been home at least some of those times. But, we could be wrong.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2005 at 4:08PM
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See, I think I have to disagree with you about the time thing. America is a 24/7 country and unfortunately, that means there are those of us who have to work in the afternoons and through the night. I've tried to explain this to our neighbor because maybe to you 2 in the afternoon is a perfectly reasonable time to have the stereo turned up or whatever your doing but to my husband and I, that may be bedtime after a 16 hour shift. You just never know. And it's not like either of our schedules are static either. But at the same time, just because I'm not trying to sleep doesn't mean that I'm not trying to study or just relax quietly and her shrieking upstairs and cranking up the stereo is really just not acceptable because it's something that interupts my day. It's good of you to try to find a way to still do what you like without bothering your neighbor though...mine just does what she likes regardless.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2005 at 6:25PM
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Well, if this guy had told us that he worked nights maybe we would have been more understanding. Instead he refused to tell us anything that might help us compromise on the situation. But as far as we can tell he doesn't work nights. I hear him go out to walk his dog after we lay down to go to sleep almost every night, so he's home when we go to bed. And many days I see him come home between 5 and 6pm. I really doubt that he works nights.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2005 at 7:20AM
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Did the manager listen to it from HIS apartment?

I do agree w/this point:

You seem to be making noise he can hear. Bcs he does complain about it accurately, in terms of timing.

It's possible that the times DH plays that he doesn't complain, he's not home. Or, he's got something going on that covers up the noise. Or that distracts him.

Tracking when DH plays, etc., might give you info about how often it's a problem, whether certain times of day are safe, etc.

It would be really interesting to check out that "it's because he sees it" theory--Can you buy or borrow an A/C unit to put in that bedroom for a while?

Or, is it possible the noise travels outside?

And actually, I disagree that an apartment dweller should hear no trace of someone else's entertainment. I don't consider entertainment to be any LESS necessary than vacuuming.

What I do believe is that your *entertainment* shouldn't interfere with my *necessities* (i.e., I should be able to sleep through the noise; your stereo shouldn't be so loud that I can't think or talk on the phone), and it shouldn't detract too much from my entertainment (I should be able to hear my TV when yours is on).

If your DH's drumming were incessant, the same rhythm over and over, then even though it's low enough that it's only a shadow of noise, the incessantness might really be enough to make me feel I had the right to ask you to modify it.

I'm glad your apartment manager is willing to put forth some effort on this--that's sort of unusual.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 21, 2005 at 1:36PM
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Another opinion here...My DH and I are landlords, renting out a small cottage on our property. The cottage sits approximaely 100 feet from our house and we are currently renting it to a young couple, and the husband plays drums. We spoke of this prior to their moving in, since we didn't want anything left to "interpretation". We specified that he can play his drums (they are set up in an adjoinging workshop next to the cottage) up until 8:00 PM during the week only (M-F). There are some caveats, though. If we are having company, are home after working unusual hours (DH) or not feeling well, we will let him know that drum playing is not appropriate at that time. What we'll do is either call them to let them know, or leave a note on their door. The weekends are another story. DH and I are homebodies and are usually at home during the weekends, so we ask that he does not play the drums unless the OK is given by us. If we're planning on going out, go away for the weekend, etc., we will let him know the hours we won't be there...and he can drum to his hearts' content. So far it has worked well for all parties. The thing you have to remember is that when you rent (and sometimes even when you own), you are limited as to what you can and cannot do. I understand that it's upsetting to you and your DH, but when you live amongst other people (who also pay rent)..."perception is reality".

    Bookmark   October 21, 2005 at 1:44PM
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Yes, she listened from the neighbors apartment. She had hubby play with the stereo on at what we thought was a reasonable volume, and she went next door to listen. When she came back she said she could just barely hear it and if we could turn it down a notch or two, or play with the headphones instead, it should be just fine.

And I don't think the noise travels outside, but I haven't gone out to listen. I just know that the first time the police showed up while he was playing I had the TV on in the living room (at a very reasonable volume, I'm not into watching sitcoms at deafening volume), and the living room window was open, and they said they couldn't hear the drums outside over the TV.

As for him not hearing it, but reporting it when he sees it, that theory will be tested when we move the set to the living room. Out there hubby won't have to have a fan sitting up by the window, so the shades can be down and if he can't hear it the neighbor should have no clue. But I want the manager to go listen from the guy's apartment and let us know if it can be heard over there. And I want her to ask him what he thinks about it, because I'm tired of everyone of authority telling us it's OK and then him calling the police anyway. If he says it's OK, I'm inclined to get something in writing from the manager to that effect to show to the police if he calls them again.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2005 at 1:49PM
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I understand that there are restrictions when you live in populated areas, that's why hubby got an electronic set instead of an acoustic set of drums. He wanted real drums, and I said NO WAY! But we never imagined that the electronic drums, run through the headphones, would cause so much trouble. If your renters had electronic drums you would never even know it 100 feet away.

And we would LOVE to have an arrangement like you do with your renters, but this guy is not interested in compromise, he's only interested in not hearing it. One of the first questions my husband asked him was "Is there a time of day that you usually aren't home that it wouldn't bother you?" That's when he had to tell my husband that he doesn't have a set schedule because he works two jobs and is a professional wrestler! My husband then tried for a week to talk to him, but he either wasn't ever home or wasn't answering the door. From the fact that the dog didn't go nuts when hubby knocked on his door I assume he was home and just not answering. We WANTED to work out a compromise, the neighbor didn't.

As I said earlier, there are a lot of things that go on in our apartment that MUST make more noise than the drums...the washing machine being the biggest example. And it's not as if he only complains if hubby's been playing for a while, he starts yelling or calls the police within minutes of hubby starting. I could totally understand if he had to put up with the repetitive drumming for hours on end, but we're talking about 20-60 minutes....and 60 minutes is really pushing it, he RARELY plays even as long as 45 minutes.

Would YOU like to come live next door to us? LOL You sound like a great neighbor!

    Bookmark   October 21, 2005 at 2:08PM
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Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy, as Dr. Phil would say? You're in for the long haul with battling with this guy. Yes, there are other things that make a lot of noise -- such as vacuuming or a washing machine. But the point is, those are expected sounds in daily communal living. Drums are NOT. If he were banging on the walls because you were vacuuming at 3 PM on a Saturday, it would be a different story and he would certainly be considered unreasonable. He's obviously hearing SOMETHING since he starts complaining as soon as your husband begins playing.

So you can continue to battle with him, or you can try to find alternative solutions -- such as a different venue for your husband to play. We can't do everything we want when we live with others, that's just the cold hard fact.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2005 at 4:53PM
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Judy -
I had a downstairs neighbor who complained about the noise I made getting up in the morning ... even after I changed shifts and wasn't even there in the mornings at the time she said I was bothering her.

You say: "Our local laws have no provisions for time of day when it comes to noise, only if it bothers someone of "reasonable sensibilities" then it's considered loud noise and is punishable by a misdemeanor." The defense is clear for this. Have several friends listen to the drums and sign an affadavit that the noise is not loud enough to bother someone who isn't looking for a reason to complain.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2005 at 11:36AM
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I would prefer to be happy, hubby wants to be both happy and right. We've moved the set and hopefully that will make everything better.


If it were anything other than a drum set I would say that there is no court in the country that would uphold a citation for noise....but this guy is pushy, it IS an apartment, and they ARE drums. We'll see what happens today. Hubby is planning on playing later today, and Sundays seem to be this guy's favorite day to complain, so we'll just have to wait and see. I'm nervous just thinking about it. Hopefully if he does hear it he'll not come over here making threats again. I'd prefer to wait until tomorrow, when we can talk to the manager and get her over here to listen from the neighbors apartment, and maybe I can convince hubby to wait until then. We'll see.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2005 at 9:44AM
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I have to agree with rivkadr, mrsmarv, and lasershow. Regardless of whether we live in a society with other people or not, drums belong in a house, not an apartment complex. Unless of course, ALL parties agree.

We lived beneath a 6'4, trumpet player who would come home from gigs at 4am and walk around on the hardwood floors above us without taking off his combat boots. He played his trumpet during the day and that DIDN'T bother us. It was the clomping on the floors in the wee hours that did. We told him this and asked him nicely, to at least please remove the shoes at that hour. We even offered to buy a rug to help muffle the noise in that room. He refused. Said he liked hardwood floors. He also told us if we didn't like it that WE should move to a house. We had lived in our apt more than 10 years (without complaint) before he arrived. Two other neighbors complained about the trumpet playing and the landlord asked him to leave. Thank goodness. I hope he moved to a house.

I think its a shame that apartment owner's don't make apartments more soundproof so that tenants can enjoy ALL of the same kind of activities that home owners enjoy. It would sure help lower the vacancy rates, as these kinds of problems seem to be a factor in evictions.

But then again, most apartment owner's don't live in their apartments, they live in houses.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2005 at 11:50AM
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I agree with you if it's a real drum set. I would NEVER have allowed my husband to get a real drum set while we are living in an apartment, no way no how! And if we were above other apartments I probably wouldn't have allowed even the electronic set. But this set is far less disruptive than the washing machine even, and it's NEVER played at an unreasonable hour (we both have day jobs, so if the hour is unreasonable, we are alseep).

Anyway, we've moved it and so far no complaints, but I'm not getting my hopes up that we've heard the end of it. After all there was a month between the latest complaint and the last one before that. He has said he is looking for an apartment elsewhere, he's turned down an offer for another apartment in our complex twice, so hopefully he'll be moving soon.

A couple weekends ago my husband thanked me for being so understanding about his desire to keep playing. I told him that if this guy can still hear the drums, even though we have moved them, and wants to keep complaining about it then my husband is going to have to be understanding about MY feelings on the matter and pack the set up until the neighbor moves or we get a house (and unless we hit the lottery real soon the neighbor will move before we get a house). If that means, in my husband's opinion, that we are "letting him win" so be it, let him be pissed off at me, I don't care. I refuse to feel so intimidated and frightened of my next door neighbor so that my husband can be entertained.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2005 at 11:04AM
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If I were your landlord or the manager, and I heard you say you were intimidated and frightened of him, he'd be there until his lease ran out and not a day longer.

In fact, I'd be thinking that anyway, just because I would have no patience w/ someone who would refuse any of my offers of a new apartment.

I'll keep my fingers crossed that he moves soon.

(and be sure to create some other background noise at the same time as the drumming--NPR in the living room, or something.)

    Bookmark   October 31, 2005 at 11:15AM
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His lease isn't up until next August. He had JUST moved in when he started complaining, like probably just DAYS before. So legally we could be stuck with him until August. There wouldn't be an apartment available for us to move into until at least then, and the neighbor is refusing to move within the complex. Unless he moves to another complex we are stuck with him until August, cuz we aren't moving out of this complex until we move into a house. The manager already said she wouldn't send him a renewal notice, just an end of lease notice, when his lease was up, but we are hoping to be rid of him LONG before then. I mean he's only been here two months of his one year lease, I don't think I can take another 10 months of living next door to this guy.

Do you think there is any polite way to get him to take some WD-40 to the hinges on his front door? LOL, his door squeeks something awful, and he often comes home and takes the dog for a walk, or maybe he's just taking the dog out for one last walk before bed, just after we've layed down for bed, right about that point where I'm almost completely asleep, so that creek wakes me right back up. It just needs a couple quick shots of WD-40, but I just can't figure out how to suggest it without the guy blowing up...after all we are the evil people who refuse to throw the drums in the dumpster! If it had ever been an issue with past neighbors I would have suggested it to them and it wouldn't be a problem now, but none of the past tenants regularly opened their door just after we had gone to bed.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2005 at 1:08PM
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Why not ask the landlord to just go do it? She knows the tense relationship there and say it's not a big deal or anything but you wonder if they could just do that super quick. Just have them tell the guy that the repair guy was walking by and heard is door or something and thought he'd go ahead and fix that right up for him.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2005 at 6:51PM
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That's a great idea, I think I will do that! Thanks!

    Bookmark   November 2, 2005 at 7:16AM
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You keep emphasizing your husband not having "real" drums, but "electronic" ones. What precisely are electronic drums and how do they differ from "real" drums? They still make noise, correct?

    Bookmark   November 2, 2005 at 12:45PM
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lasershow, electronic drums are basically just pads that you hit (instead of actual drum), and are virtually silent. It would be louder to hit a pencil on a table. There is obviously still a tiny bit of noise when the drumstick hits the rubber pad, but not like a real drum. Here is a pic:

    Bookmark   November 2, 2005 at 3:57PM
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Sounds like your neighbor is a mega jackass for being so unreasonable but drums really aren't cool in an apartment even if you're using headphones because the foot pedal is still going to pound on the floor. I say try to find a studio space for rent and trade the electric drums for accoustic ones then he can really crank it. Be honest isn't it a bit annoying to you when he's playing? Good luck.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2005 at 8:28PM
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jennmonkey described it well. Their like practise pads, just rubber pads, there is no "drum" or drum head.

I better not let my husband read this thread, he'll want that drum set, that's nice!


You're right, the foot pedal does make more noise than the rest, and it's a much deeper sound. I think it's more the actual beater hitting the bass pad though, than the pedal itself.

And, no, it's doesn't bother me one bit. My husband doesn't believe me either, he thinks it would be infinitely more annoying to listen to electronic drums than real ones, cuz at least with real drums you get the different drum sounds and cymbals sound like cymbals. I either watch TV or play on the computer when he's playing, unless I'm in the middle of making dinner. I guess I'm just good at tuning it out.

And here's an update:

My husband went to the police station and filed to have all the records relating to our address from the last 6 months pulled. He just picked up the reports yesterday. Interesting stuff here.

There are two calls to the police that we didn't know about, one where he said he didn't want to talk to the police, just wanted them to come out and check it out, they did, reported no problem, and never even knocked on our door. The other time he called and just a few minutes later DH stopped playing, so he called back and said never mind. Here's the best part: EVERY report says "No loud noise heard" or "I observed no loud music" or something to that effect. Well, every one except the one where we called about the threats.

Wanna here something even funnier? He's lied to the police. He told them that DH always turns it down before the cops get there. TURNS IT DOWN??? He doesn't have it turned ON in the first place!!!!!

I'm kinda bummed about one of the reports though, the one where the cops said it wasn't a problem and to take up the bagpipes cuts off before the end of the report, like in the middle of a word. That's a shame cuz it's just at the point in the report where they were going to report on what was said between the cops and the neighbor after they had told us it was fine. I want the rest of that report! I want to know what they said to him, what he said to them, I wanna know!

So that's the latest.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2005 at 7:48AM
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If you enjoy the drama that this seems to evoke, then you're in the right place. If you are insistent upon your husband playing the drums, no matter if they are "electronic" or "real", this guy is going to complain. You think it's unreasonable, he does not. If you want to live like that until he moves, then that is your choice.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2005 at 2:23PM
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Enjoy the drama? Are you kidding me? I was literally shaking with fear over this guy. However, we don't believe in letting someone intimidate us into behaving the way THEY would like just because THEY would like it. We have rights too, and we have no obligation to let this a**hole dictate how we live. This is not about enjoying the drama, believe me.

Everything was fine until this guy moved in. Nobody else was ever bothered by the drums. I'm not going to let his unreasonable sensitivities dictate how I live. If he doesn't like the noise level in the neighborhood, the noise level that existed here long before he moved in, he can go live elsewhere.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2005 at 4:11PM
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My sympathies to you and your husband. I think I just moved in above one of the same kind of nuts as you are dealing. The real issue isn't about the drums, it's about control. Your neighbor wants to feel like he can control and boss all of you around. What he needs is to get a life! But instead he likes to fight.

Have you thought about trying to find his past neighbors and see if this complaining isn't just a pattern that he has done before. If you can show that he has a pattern of this behavior, it goes far in front of a judge to prove how unreasonable he is.

I only mention this because my neighbor below harassed the previous tenant for 4 years about imaginary stomping. In fact she is the loudest neighbor I had, other than thee teenagers playing rap music at 3am, I below of. I certainly will not allow her to harass me for any period time. I've been in here for about a month and a half. From day one I guess she has been verbally complaining to the manager, and all the neighbors she could, ones I haven't even met yet.

Last Monday, she turned in a written complaint to the manager that has been put into my file. After I show good faith and go listen to this supposed stomping, she hears in her apartment with my brother moving around the bedroom upstairsI will be composing a letter to give to my manager. If her behavior continues with written complaints that are put in my file, I will file a harassment complaint with the proper agency, which I believe to be Fair Housing and/or proceed with other legal avenues. The manager's pattern is just to ignore and throw it in the renter's lap. This lap ain't going to put up with it.

I call it imaginary stomping because she wrote in the complaint that it has been happening every night at 1amÂwell most nights at that time I'm not even in my bedroom, in fact I'm in the other end of the apartment. But she insists that it happens every night at 1am. She did the exact same thing to the old tenet. If she is even hearing anything on some nights, it's probably normal walking noises that happen in cheaply built apartments. If she has an expectation of no noise than she needs to live on a farm in the middle of no where. Prior to this apartment, I have been a downstairs apartment dweller so I know about the amount of noise that you hear on a regular basis. I have never complained because it's just normal apt noises. After a while I didn't even notice because I got used to it. If you focus on something like that it's going always seem way louder than it really is. My motto is I don't complain about you and you don't complain about me and we are all happy.

On top of all this the women is a chain smoker, and the apt's ventilation system dumps all of her 2nd hand smoke in my apt. When she is outside it floods in through the windows, it is so bad. I have asthma attacks and it has been making me ill. I've already taken one course of antibiotics. My doctor has written me a letter to give to the manager, this is the first step. I wanted to try and work this out as non confrontational as possible but her complaint pattern is a clear warning that she is not a reasonable person.

Monday night I came home to my apt smelling like an ashtray. She had been running her heater, so the movement of the smoke was forced into my apt even worse. I took a large amount of my asthma inhalers and started double checking my vents. I thought I had closed all the vents. But 2 weren't completely closed. I been running an air filter which helps a little, but I got thinking what am I going to do for heat if I can't open my vents this winter?

What am I supposed to do? Buy another $200 air filter, pay a fortune to the electric company, have to close all my windows even during the hot CA summers, live without heat during the winter, and have this lady filling my file full of false noise complaints. This is goes beyond reasonable.

I can't move because this is subsided housing that took me 2 years of waiting to get into. I have a disability and live on Soc. Sec which is below the poverty level.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2005 at 6:39PM
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If it comes to court we will do everything possible to talk to past neighbors. I'm pretty sure, however, that he was hearing the drums, cuz he never complained unless my husband was actually playing. He never complained about our TV (which I'm sure he can't hear, cuz it's on the other end of the apartment), never complained about our washing machine (which I would bet everyone in our building can hear or feel when it's on the spin cycle), he's only complained about the drums. So I'm sure he could hear it, but I'm also sure that he's an over-sensitive jerk. And I'm sure he lied to the police, telling them that my husband always turns it down before the police get here. But if we end up having to go to court over it you better believe I'm going to get every bit of information against him I can.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2005 at 7:40AM
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Interesting post and answers.

Our son plays drums and his Dad loves it, and I can't stand it. His dad is also a musician.

I can see both sides of this issue. Still, out of respect for the neighbor I'd try to find a compromise. We would personally be glad to work with a neighbor and have our son adjust his playing times. After all there are some like my husband that use to have to sleep during the day, or perhaps a baby is sleeping, ect. I think you have a right to play your drums, but it also seems you have an obligation to be respectful of others (sounds like you're trying to do that). Unfortunately, this person sounds like they might be unwilling to work with you.

In our area there are laws that loud stuff can only be during certain hours. Basically, if one doesn't like it...tough. We lived next to a continuously barking dog, and very noisy teens with big booming sterios in their cars they played at all hours while they worked on them in the garage a few years ago. The cops told us there was nothing we could do before the hours of 10 PM. It wasn't considered a nuisance until after that. I wonder if the police can really write a ticket if you have some sort of law like that.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2005 at 8:02PM
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Unfortunately the laws in our city have no time limits. It's a nuisance if our neighbor says it's a nuisance. However, here's an update:

The neighbor came over yesterday evening and we all had a long chat. He came over to see if it was hubby that pounded on his door Sunday night at 10:30....we were so asleep that we didn't even hear anyone pound on his door, that's right on the other side of the wall that our headboard is on. Neighbors TV was on, he thought hubby was coming over to yell at him about it. We told him that we can sometimes hear a low murmur from his TV but that's about it. He didn't answer the door, but through the peephole he could see the guy's shaddow and said it looked like it could be hubby. Then a few minutes later, after the guy had left, he came outside and saw a light turn off in our bedroom. He figured hubby had come over, pounded on the door, and when nobody answered he went back home and went to bed. What he actually saw was our TV turning off when the sleep timer ran out, LOL.

If we believe what he's telling us, and he did sound sincere, the cops and the apartment manager are doing absolutely nothing to solve the situation between us. In fact their actions, or lack of actions, have only escalated the problem. According to him every cop has told him that hubby is an a-hole, that he's nuts if he thinks it's OK to play his drums, one told him that hubby sounded like a crackhead and he would suggest that the neighbor move, that they WILL write him a ticket....one cop even told the guy "I'm going to go get my ticket book right now and right him a ticket." He then went to his car, went back to the neighbors apartment, and left. Every time they've come out they've given him their names and badge numbers and said that next time he calls he should ask for them specifically. The last time he called the cops they gave him the name and number of a detective and told him to call the detective and have him deal with it.

All but one pair of cops has told us they could, and eventually probably would, write us a ticket, but they all made it sound like it would only be if the neighbor really pushed it....all the while they're telling him that they told hubby to stop. So the next time hubby plays the neighbor gets all ticked off cuz he thinks the cops told him to stop, then we get ticked off cuz we think the cops are OK with it (especially after the one pair that said it was absolutely fine, and then with nobody actually writing a ticket we figured that was their way of saying it was OK without actually saying it.)

The day the manager came over to listen....in his apartment, to him, she said it was too loud and she was going to tell hubby to stop playing alltogether. She then came over and told us it was a bit loud and if he could turn it down a notch or play with the headphones it would be fine. Neighbor actually heard that conversation, opened his window so he could. The last time we talked to the manager she was going to offer him another apartment again....he said she threated to evict us both if the problem continued. She never said ANY such thing to us.

I even showed him the police reports where it always says "No loud noise heard." He was convinced that we always saw the cops coming and stopped playing. We told him that I saw the cops coming once and puposely didn't tell hubby so they could hear what it really sounded like. That was the night they told us it was fine.

So, it looks like it's a good thing someone banged on his door Sunday night and he came over to chat, else neither of us would ever know that the cops were telling the other something completely different. He told us he's usually not home before 6:30 during the week, but that the weekends are his only time to not have to hear anything. He especially doesn't want to be woken up by the drums on the weekend. So hubby said he wouldn't play past 7PM during the week, and if the guy could turn his porch light on when he decides to take a nap, hubby will look for that on the weekends before he plays. The guy hasn't heard the drums at all since we moved them, so I suggested that sometime this weekend when we know the guy is home but not sleeping (like if we see him walking his dog or something) hubby could go talk to him and see if he can hear the drums now that they are in a different room. If he can't hear them at all, all's well. If he can, well it might just mean hubby can't play during the weekends....which is an idea that he really doesn't like.

I also told hubby that if he EVER says he won't play again, I'll pack up the drums myself. In order to calm me down he's said more than once that he'll just stop playing so I don't have to be so stressed out about it, or so I don't have to leave the house when he plays. He ALWAYS goes back on that. No more. If the guy can still hear it, or if other neighbors complain (the neighbor says they've complained to him, thinking the noise was coming from his apartment, and he pointed out our apartment and described my husband to them, but we haven't heard anything about it....if nobody's got the balls to come to us or even the manager we aren't going to worry about it) then the drums get packed up until we have a house, no more discussion.

So, there it is. Finally a compromise from the neighbor, cuz at first he flat out refused to tell us what his schedule was like. Now at least there's some give on his part. It may all work out after all.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2005 at 1:01PM
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I'm glad you finally got to actually talk to one another!

And, I don't think he really has the right to ask to hear NO noise on the weekends--why should he get to be the only one who relaxes on the weekend?

Does he realize your DH practices only for 1/2 hour or so? Surely he can put up w/ the presence of someone else on the planet for that short time. If your DH were practicing for 2 or 3 hours, I'd be on his side.

Your DH unwinds and gets great enjoyment from practicing the drums. And he has made great attempt to mitigate the noise, The idea that someone else in an apartment should be NO TRACE of his practice sessions is more than I think it reasonable.

Let's hope that when you guys do one of those weekend trials, he won't be able to hear it.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2005 at 1:25PM
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Tally Sue,

I'm with you, hopefully he just won't be able to hear it and that will be that. He seems to be kind of tightly wound, ya know? Like, when it's time to relax it's just time to relax, no noise, no phone, he said he even gets mad at his dog is she starts barking at someone outside. Just real irritable. I got a little glimpse of that same non-compromising attitude from the first time he came to talk to hubby, that "this is the way I want it, now you deal with it" thing, at least about the weekend. He says he often sleeps at odd times on the weekend, and that's why it get's him so worked up, cuz the drums wake him up. He must be a light sleeper! And unfortunately we can't even ask the cops to make a determination, cuz all they are going to do is tell us one thing and tell him another.

More than anything else in this whole situation THAT is what irks me the most. If they had done their job, either telling us we couldn't play the drums any more or telling him that it was acceptable and he would just have to learn to live with it, this whole stupid mess would have ended the FIRST time the cops came while hubby was playing. That was the night the cops told us it was fine. The very next day was the day WE had to call the cops cuz the neighbor was making threats. If they had done their job right the night before, instead of just telling us each what we wanted to hear, it would have been resolved and there would have been no threats, and I wouldn't have spent the last 2 months terrified of this guy.

UGH, anyway, not sure what to do about THAT situation at all. I do know that the reports lean in OUR direction, each and every one saying "no loud noise heard" or something to that effect. Thanks to this forum, and another that I've also posted the whole story on, I've got a really clear account of all of this that I can match up with each police report.

Anyway, hopefully he'll just not be able to hear the drums any more and that will be the end of it. That's what I'm keeping my fingers crossed for.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2005 at 1:55PM
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Have you considered the fact that he might be lying to you about what the police said to him? He may have just realised that he has no option but to try to get along with you, and feels like he could just blame the police for the misunderstanding instead of admitting that he has been obnoxious.
I just find it hard to believe that several different policemen on several different occasions have told each of you different stories.

But you guys seem to be coming to a resolution, so I guess you should just go along with his 'story' of the way things happened.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2005 at 2:20PM
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Believe me, Greg, we've considered that angle. It's entirely possible. At this point, however, there's not a lot we can do about it. It's not as if we were going to call him a liar to his face while he was standing in our living room, although we DID show him the actual police reports so he's seen them and knows what they say. And if we can get along and not have to get the police involved again then it's kind of a moot point. I dunno. He did sound sincere, and that's really all I have to go on at this point. If it ever came to court, at the very least, no matter what they DID tell him, their reports all say "No loud noise." The official record is that there wasn't enough noise for the cops to note it. Of course they only showed up twice while hubby was actually playing, but still.

Do you think I should talk to the apartment manager and ask her about it? He said the same thing about her, that she was telling us one thing and him a completely different story. Problem is, if she says he's lying, and he says she's lying, who can I really believe, ya know? Ahh, it's that old riddle, one always lies, the other always tells the truth. Thankfully I know how to solve that riddle if I have to, LOL.

Ya know what? We'll cross that bridge only if we have to. If we can work things out so that hubby can play on a regular basis and our neighbor stops calling the cops and trying to beat our door down, then I really don't care who's lying and who's telling the truth. So for now I'm just not going to worry about it.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2005 at 3:10PM
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After I made my last post here, the "lovely" loud guys underneath me decided to take up the drums. They are Brazilian and have their friends over almost every night for dinner and a jam session. I hear them singing, playing the drums (they sound like bongo drums), and occasionally playing the guitar. So far, it does not go on until all hours but the other night it was still going on at 11 PM and I banged on the floor. I never do that, but I was exasperated. It stopped. I don't like to do retaliatory things like that, because I think it just sets one up for a vicious circle, but it was almost like a reflex action.

My point is that if the drum playing continues, I will most certainly complain to management. Drums -- ANY kind -- do not belong in a shared dwelling as far as I'm concerned, and there is no argument on this earth that will persuade me otherwise.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2005 at 5:04PM
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I'm sorry that you are having such a hard time with your neighbors. And I'm sorry that because of such people you can't see both sides of this. But I absolutely can NOT equate my husband's electronic drum playing at 3 in the afternoon in a ranch style apartment to bongos, singing, and guitar playing at 11 o'clock at night in the apartment below you. It is not the same.

My husband has just been hired at a new job, he starts next week. It's an on-call job, so he waits at home until he gets a call to go make a delivery. This means he'll never have to play in the late afternoon/evening again, cuz he can play during the day while he's waiting for a run. Since he'll be on-call 7 days a week, his weekends won't really be any different than his week days, so it won't be quite as important to him that he get to practice on the weekends (where previously it was, cuz those were his days off, now he doesn't really have days off). This should make the situation even better, because he can always make sure he's playing when our neighbor isn't home. So, hubby gets to play, the neighbor gets to not be bothered by it, and we will no longer have to deal with the police and their tell-everyone-what-they-want-to-hear tactics.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2005 at 9:40AM
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...or better known as devil's advocate.

you previously wrote that you've been there eight years. have you considered the possibility that the owner(s)/somebody wants you out so that they can charge higher rent/have the apartment for themselves? you know they can only increase the rent upon lease renewal, but maybe the increases are restricted. and where are you located in the building? is your apartment strategically located in a spot someone else wants?

but you haven't been back here for a few weeks so, hopefully, all is well. if not, try not playing the drums at all to see if the 'neighbor' comes up with something else to complain about. i think 2-3 months would do it.

i would have a friend who's never been to visit you apply for an apartment so you can know what new people are being charged. (at the worst, you could check tax returns of the owner). and ask around about the nutcase and his relation to the owner/manager. how long was nutcase's apt empty before he moved in and is that a normal period of vacancy?

best wishes.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 5:02AM
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Before I bought my house I lived in a great apartment for seven years. All good except for one year made miserable by an obnoxious neighbor with a loud stereo.

The other six years were good because the neighbors were quiet and respected one another. And in my opinion things like drums, treadmills, and subwoofers simply do not belong in any apartment situation, period.

Rent a house if you need to have these things.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 12:41AM
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We've only been here 3 1/2 years. This is not a small complex, there are more than enough apartments...in fact they often sit empty for a couple months between tenants. There are a ton of condo complexes going up in the area, and it's causing the apartment business to suffer.

This isn't an issue of trying to get us out to get someone in that will pay more....we only pay maybe $20 a month less than someone who came in off the street, that's the discount we get for being renewing tenants.

And while we have a pretty nice location within the complex, it's not all that ideal. I've considered more than once over the years asking to move to another building.....especially when winter comes and I have to tromp through the snow. There's no sidewalk from our end of the building to the parking lot, so my options are to tromp through the snow or park at the other end of the building. Both options make bringing in the groceries a real pain! There's also the fact that our building is the second farthest from the mailboxes. Makes walking to the mailbox in the winter a real joy.

But, so far, since talking with the neighbor this last time, things have been good. Hubby has been playing during the day when the neighbor is at work, so he gets to play, the neighbor gets his quiet, and I get the stressfree lifestyle of someone who DOESN'T have violent neighbors ;-)


If we could afford to rent a house around here, we would. Unfortunately any house we could afford to rent would be an awful drive to work, and we'd be hard pressed to find a house to rent that would allow our two cats. The two cats really put us in a position of being stuck here until we find a house to buy.

We are very good neighbors. Had we even known we had a new neighbor my husband would have gone over, introduced himself, and told the guy we like our music and movies loud, and he has an electronic drum set...if it's ever too loud come let us know. He does this every time we move to a new place, and every time we get a new neighbor. We didn't get that chance before this neighbor became hostile. Had he had a chance to do that before the neighbor turned into a threat I probably would have never come to this site, because we would have been able to work it out between the three of us civilly. Thankfully we've come back around to civil conversation with the guy, and can now talk to him about it and probably won't have to deal with the cops any more.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2005 at 2:36PM
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I have to agree with Jim96. I'm sorry to say this, but if you are living in an apartment, there is no place for drums there. I would be just as angry as your neighbor because the sound is just as annoying, whether its merely the sticks or coming through the speakers. Unfortunately, if you can't afford to buy or rent a house where drums will not bother anyone, then you should give up playing them until you have a proper place to use them.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2005 at 3:04PM
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Just to clarify--electronic drum sets don't make much noise if you turn the sound off or wear headphones. There is just the tapping of the drumsticks on a plastic or rubber type pad. Even if the noise were to travel to an upper or lower apartment, it would be considerably less than a TV or stereo would make.

My brother has a set of electronic drums. If he closes the door to the room they're in, you can't hear *anything* unless you put your ear on the door. And he hits the drum pads really hard. When he was still living at home, he broke his drumsticks all the time because of the force he used on his real drum set.

That's why I'm not sure what the OP's neighbor was hearing. I can't imagine the sound carrying through several rooms. Perhaps it was being carried by pipes or something in the building. But the sound of the drumsticks hitting the pad is not loud and does not sound anything like a real drum set. I grew up with my brother's (real) drums shaking the whole house.

I agree that real drums are not apartment friendly, but the electronic drums are a good solution.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2005 at 11:22AM
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Thanks for helping to clarify. I'm not sure what he was hearing either. For a bit we figured he must just be hearing the foot pedal through the floor, but when we actuall spoke with him a few weeks ago he said he's pretty sure he was hearing the whole thing, and through the walls. I'm still not sure I believe him, too much of his story just doesn't line up. He claims that he held his phone out his door so the police dispatcher could hear it, and she thought it was awfully loud. Since he never called the cops until hubby had started using the headphones every time, I just don't believe him. I've come home when hubby is playing and you can't even hear it until you open the door. But, I don't care, we now know when he works and hubby can play during the day and everybody is happy!

    Bookmark   December 6, 2005 at 12:52PM
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I thought I would give an update. Since our chat with the neighbor in November, there haven't been any more visits from the police. We're pretty sure that he can't hear the drums anymore, because even on the weekends when we are pretty sure he is home he hasn't called the cops. There's even been one or two occassions where he and my husband have had occassion to chat about something else. Things are much more peaceful, and I'm no longer fearful every time I hear the neighbor close his door or see him outside.

The more time that goes by the less and less I believe the neighbor's story about how the cops and the apartment manager all told him that they were going to tell my husband to stop playing the drums. I'm just not buying it. It doesn't make sense that they would tell him that and then not put it in their reports. I only believed it when he first told us cuz he sounded sincere. Now I'm thinking he's just a very skilled liar.

Based on his claim that the manager had told him she was going to evict all of us if we didn't settle things, and a few posts from property owners here and on other boards that they wouldn't renew a lease with a tenant that had a lot of complaints against them, I got worried that we wouldn't be offered a renewal. I didn't want to accuse the manager of telling us one thing and the neighbor something else, and I didn't want to bring up his accusation that she was going to evict all of us. But I wanted to make sure that we were going to be offered a renewal when our lease comes up in April. I had mentioned this to my husband, and just yesterday he had something else he wanted to talk to her about. So, while he was there he asked her if there was going to be any trouble with us renewing our lease after all of the trouble with the neighbor. She laughed, said if there was anyone she wasn't offering a renewal to it would be the neighbor, and asked my husband if he'd like to sign the new lease right then. I'm seriously doubting that she said anything to the neighbor about evicting us.

So, given the evidence, or perhaps lack of evidence to substantiate the neighbor's claims, we're pretty confident that he's lying his head off. I figure that he realized that he wasn't going to be able to force hubby to quit the drums by calling the cops all the time, cuz they weren't on his side about it. He wasn't going to be able to get the manager to tell us to stop cuz she wasn't on his side either. Maybe he was even told by the cops that if he kept calling them they might write him a ticket for wasting their time after they had told him it was fine. So he tried an approach he hadn't tried before, he tried being nice. And it worked. So there's a tip for people with problem neighbors....if being nice doesn't work at first, try being an a-hole for a while. Then when you're nice again it'll be such a relief to your neighbor they'll be happy to listen.

Now, why he felt he had to lie and tell us that the cops were telling him something different than they were telling us, I don't know. I think he was counting on us not having the police reports, or maybe that they wouldn't be as detailed as they were. Oh well, I don't care. I will feel more comfortable when he's gone, but at least until then things should be much calmer.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2006 at 3:56PM
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