Help with landlord and noise

winter_jasmineOctober 10, 2006

I am renting a house right now in NC and for the past few days the landlord has had members of her family, up to five at a time plus a couple of their young kids, outside of my house making a lot of noise working on the yard and such. I have been looking for any state laws on this but I haven't been able to find any clear laws on it. Is there anything I can do aside from move, which I am now planning on.

They come around noon and don't leave until 7 or 8pm. They have been making a ton of noise cutting down all the bushes, trimming trees, pressure washing the house and at one point were banging on something (I'm not sure what they were doing but it was a metal on metal sound.) for over an hour, so hard the floors were vibrating.

When they washed the house they washed the backdoor and water flooded the floor, which I slipped and fell on because I didn't know it was wet. The locks aren't wroking right on the door now and they used our water that we pay for to do it. They took several hours to wash the house, it is not THAT big or dirty. That on top of them yelling to one another, kids running around right outside my windows yelling and making my dog, that is outside, bark non-stop. They also move things outside and don't put them back.

Not only can I not deal with the noise, my 19month old daughter doesn't like it either. It scares her and keeps her from getting any naps. They never asked us if we would do this stuff, which we would have so that my daughter and I could be somewhere else while it was getting done. We had an agreement with the landlord that we would be told the day before anyone came out here to do any work and we were never given any notice. And of course she is now out of town and when I ask them to leave they just say "It'll only be another ten minutes." and they still don't leave for an hour or more.

Sorry this was so long, thanks for any help.

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Let me get this straight. You're looking up laws and planning to move because your landlord is maintaining the structure and premises???

Please read this. Maybe you'll see things from a more realistic perspective.

Trees need trimmed. Trees next to structures/wires with overgrowth, dead limbs, excessive weight, etc. are a danger. Dead limbs fall down. And they don't need a wind to give them a shove, either. A dead limb at a straight drop from a high height can puncture a roof. (And you know you'd be complaining if a limb fell on your child or dog, no?) From a liability/damage perspective, it's prudent to keep trees pruned/topped so they are not top heavy or have weak/dead limbs. This is ideal tree pruning season. And chainsaws/reciprocating saws make noise. And even maintenance is no guarantee when it comes to Mother Nature. We just had a wicked storm blow a large (maintained) tree right on top one of the rentals. A large limb smashed through the picture window where tenant was sitting and ended up laying on their sofa, shooting chunks of glass through the room (fire dept had to cut it out). It happened in the blink of an eye. Thank heavens, no one was hurt. Tree specialsts estimated the weight at several tons. Fire dept said another 10' the other direction, and it would have been disastrous (collapsed building, live wires down and injuries). Just for kicks, let's pretend I didn't maintain that tree. Throw in an extra 1/2 ton of unmaintained dead limb weight and imagine the damage/injury potential. If someone's hurt, now whom do you suppose is going to get sued?

Municipalities have codes, especially for shrubs/bushes near driveways and public sidewalks so drivers' vision is not blocked. Nor can the place be allowed to turn into an overgrown jungle. I maintain landscaping (shrubs, etc.) at properties because most tenants won't, or don't know how (yes, there is a proper method, depending on species and age) and I can't risk someone inexperienced getting hurt from a gas or electric saw.

We also wash the siding, once a year. Why? Because if we don't all that crud from traffic/weather/birds starts to set in fast and stain the siding and caulking/trim around windows. Those are big $$ items. Not only is it an eyesore, the longer it sits, the harder it is to remove. Ever see siding with a northern exposure that wasn't cleaned? If conditions are right, it can and will grow green mold on it.

As far as using your water, where would you have them hook up the pressure washer? Bring a tanker truck with them? (Then you'd be complaining about all the equipment in the driveway?) My tenants pay their own water and I hook up the hose for pressure washer to the outside spigot. It takes about 3 hours, start to finish, to do a small 2-3 bedroom house (presoak it first, scrub some areas, then pressure wash). You probably use more water on laundry day. I will not permit a tenant to take a pressure washer to the siding, risk having them do it from an improper angle and too high pressure and blast siding off the house (yes, that can happen). Not one tenant ever has complained about water use. All are appreciative that the house they live in looks good. None of them look like run down properties. However, if one did complain, I'd probably kick in $10 toward their water bill just to shut them up. And that's generous ($10 is roughly 15%, or 4 1/2 days worth of their average monthly water usage.) Three hours water usage out of 720 hours in a month doesn't amount to squat.

That metal-on-metal sound you heard I'm guessing probably involved gutters or flashing, pounding could have been minor roof/shingle repair (driving roofing nails in does generate lots of noise inside the structure, but that's just the way it is.) If gutters aren't cleaned (and this is a critical time of year), leaves and debris will clog them fast. That readily leads to leaks back into the roof, water can seep into rafters/attic insulation, down between walls (where you can't see it but you get to breathe mold spores eventually). During heavy rains water won't go out the downspouts, it simply spills over the gutters in a wall of water, possibly at your front/back door. If the ground is saturated enough, water will seep into the basement, eventually damage the structure and certainly get your personal belongings wet. And if that wall of water hits the ground and freezes, you could easily have a sheet of ice on your porch/sidewalk. So then when you step outside and hit the ice you fall flat on your rear.

It saves a lot over the long haul for a landlord to do jobs DIY if possible. If your landlord recruited younger/stronger family members to help, more power to them. Two goof-ups: lack of notice (perhaps family/workers recruited were instructed to give 24 hrs. since your landlord is out of town, and it was an oversight on their part.) And they should have been more careful about the back door area, definately. (I always make sure doors and windows are sealed tight pre-pressure wash, and check after I'm done.)

Realistically, on the whole, the only thing your landlord is guilty of is trying to maintain their property and structure, which does benefit you. So pick your battle carefully and weigh everything: a couple days of noise ~ or~ leaky roofs, overflowing gutters, mucked up mildewed siding, mold, seepage, personal property damage, dangerous conditions, etc.

The day one of my tenants pays the property taxes, insurance premiums, HVAC repairs, painters, plumbers, electricians, etc. etc. etc. is the day they get to dictate when/how upkeep and repairs are done. I have a life and schedule to work around too, as does any professional or volunteer help I have. If you know they're doing work, and they'll be there for awhile, pack up your child and dog and take them to grandma's for a nap or the park for a walk if it bothers you so badly. And just a tip: if I EVER had a tenant request that I or any workers exit the premises when doing maintenance/repairs (not gonna happen), they wouldn't have to worry about searching for a way out. Tenant just sealed their fate and non-renewed their lease (I just wouldn't let them know it right then).

This thread grates on my last nerve. Good grief, be grateful you've got a landlord willing to not let the place rot to pieces around you and look like an eyesore, you'd really have something to complain about then, wouldn't you?

    Bookmark   October 12, 2006 at 11:17AM
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HELP! I have landlord and noise problem also in NC. I rent a part of a house from an elderly man who has recently moved in a crazy woman with him. She brought her 3 dogs with her who bark at will, run at large, and are very agressive towards me and my visitors. She also blocks my ability to egress and engress the property I pay rent on by parking her vehicle as close as she can to my front door, and putting her hounds out by the basement door so I cannot get there to do my laundry. This woman slams doors, cabinets, and STOMPS not Walks across the floors causing my pics to fall off the walls and generally disturb my world. She does not pay rent, she is not a tenant. I have been one for 4.5 years. I have discussed this problem with the landlord, who doesn't want to hear my complaints. He takes my money every month for rent, it seems that I should have some rights, but I cannot find anything about this problem in the statutes. If there are any attorneys reading this forum, who would like to take a crack at a contengency basis lawsuit, it would be well worth your time to contact me. This old man is LOADED. I have suffered damages as a result of this, and I cannot afford to move at this time.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2006 at 9:09PM
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"This old man is LOADED"

What does this say about ones self.

Tenants do have rights..... not nearly as many as landlords. If the building is 4 units or less and the landlord lives there the LL has even more rights.

Sounds as if he has a new girlfriend. I highly doubt he's going to kick her out.

Sounds like your best option is just to move. I know its not fair and costs money BUT that appears to be your easiest solution. If you have already "suffered damages" best move out asap.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2006 at 10:26PM
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nfllifer: It might say about "oneself" that "oneself" wants to point out to the readers that there are assets to be gained by taking a lawsuit. What were YOU implying it said about "oneself"?

Less rights if the LL lives in 4 units or less? Is this NC law? Please refer me to the statute. This is one entire house. He lives on one side, I live in the other. He converted part of this house years ago.

BTW, why the condesending remarks, nfllifer? I hope that you never "suffer damages" as a result of a landlord having a gold digging, stomping, inconsiderate, overweight ladyfriend moving in.

I am going back to bed now. I was sound asleep and the STOMP MONSTER's 3 hounds woke me up barking at MIDNIGHT, then she started her ritual of slamming doors and stomping around.

P.S. I am moving very soon. Found a place today.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2006 at 12:14AM
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