I can't take anymore/what do I do?

sleeplessnmiserableDecember 5, 2009

After losing my Job in FL and moving back with my father and his very unkind girlfriend..I was miserable for many reasons. I finally was able to get an apt here that was nice and affordable. The only one that is this nice in my price range.

I even got a nice corner apt. Should be heaven right?


Not only do I have a stomper above me, but the icing on the cake? I found out from the landlady that she has RESTLESS LEG SYNDROME.

Ladies and gentlemen, we all know how bad a stomper is, now imagine a stomper that is constantly on the move because of her condition? She does not work; I hear her all hours of the day when I am home trying to relax on the weekend and ALL HOURS off and on of the freakin night when I am trying to sleep because she gets up every couple of hours and walks around, STOMPSTOMPSTOMP!!! Sometimes when she is particularly restless she will go at it off an on for 3 hours straight. So there is 3 hours of sleep rape, + the 2 more it takes me to fall back asleep. Oh look an hour later time to get up for work!

I sympathize that she has a condition but if she can;t learn to walk quietly she should NOT be on a freakin upper floor.

I am lucky if I get 5 hours of sleep anymore. I am always too tired to do anytikng. My social has taken a plunge. Today I was going to string lights on my tree but am too trashed to do so. I can;t even take a freakin nap in the middle of the day to make up for the sleep deprivation because lou and behold here will come the stomping!

I have tried EVERYTHING and I just dn't know what to do anymore. I am going out of my mind.

Huge and very loud fan turned up on the highest setting AND wearing earplugs with it. Yet her stompikng STILL manages to penetrate!

I tried music through headphones but I can;t sleep to music. Wish I could.

I have talked to the manager and as the story usually goes, she did talk to her, twice, but the problem still continues. Worse yet I feel like I am the bad guy because I am the new tenant who is already complaining.

The lady who lived here before me was very very old and lived here for 15 years. No doubt her hearing was probably very bad and this is why the stomping didn;t bother her.

I did ask the manager if I could switch apts next time a top floor one comes available but she says they only do tat under very special circumstances because it's a "hassle"

Is she kiddikng me??? What hassle? Some extra paper work for them? I am the one who will have to pack uip my crap and move once again, which believe me I love this apt and don;t want to do either but I am seriously suffering here.

So anyone know what I could do? :(

Are there any earplugs that DO block footfall sounds?? Maybe the ones I have are not that strong. Idk. I just know I really can't take much more of this !

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Well, it's a hassle because they have all the cleaning and repair work and painting that they do for a new tenant, but no actual new tenant. Then they have to do all the same work on your unit before they rent it. So it *is* a bit of a hassle and monetary loss for the landlord.

But keep in mind that losing a tenant is also a loss for the landlord. The manager has, in a way, told you what you need to do in order to get switched to a new apartment. You have to complain often enough, and strongly enough, that it will become less of a hassle to move you to a new unit than it will be to force you to stay where you are.

So document every single time that you are interrupted by the walking--every time you have to turn up the TV volume, every time you are awaken. Show up in person at the management office weekly to turn in your report. Call the management office when the noise is especially loud. Ask for a clearer definition of "very special circumstances." Do they include not getting any sleep?

I also suspect that the person living over you is using the RLS as an excuse--I have RLS and some of my friends do, and none of us walks around for three hours in the night. Mostly, we sleep through it. If indeed her RLS is that bad, she should be seeking medical help for it, although you really can't suggest that. But you could suggest, through the manager, that she try some soft, padded slippers, or adding some area rugs to her floors.

Sorry, can't help you on the ear plugs. But you might try a white noise machine instead of the fan. The white noise machine will give you a choice of sounds, and there might be one that will mask the stomping better than the fan does.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2009 at 8:53AM
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Also, you could make the request, through the manager, that when the upstairs lady needs to walk around at night, that she not walk in the bedroom. I mean, she'll have to walk through the bedroom to get to the living room, but that once she's out of the bedroom, she should do her pacing or whatever in the living room/kitchen and not over your bedroom. That might help a bit, depending on how sound carries in your building.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2009 at 11:04AM
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Restless legs syndrome is a sleep disorder where the sleeper's legs develop a creepy crawly sensation. It does NOT mean the person gets up and walks around all night. Not even close.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2009 at 10:59AM
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Thank you both so much for your answers.

Nothing has changed sadly. She was away for two blissful weeks of silence....I was hoping she would stay through the holidays so I could at least enjoy them with my family and not be falling asleep at the dinner table like I was on Thanksgiving.

She returned home in a way only she could--an hour after i went to sleep was woken up from STOMPSTOMPSTOMPBOOOM BOOOOM BANGGGGGGGGGGG (apparently she likes to return from vacations at night too. SIGH). Basically I laid thtere for 3 hours , my heart pounding. Trying to fall back to sleep only to be woken again.

I am 27 years old and I am afraid if this keeps up I will be on my way to early heart disease from the constant stress, being startled from sleep, sleep deprivation and the anxiety and depression that is coming with it.

Will it be safe to pestering them about it again?

I am just worried they will be annoyed from me and want ME to move.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2009 at 1:22AM
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Tell the manager the circumstances ARE very special - if you can't sleep, you'll lose your job. If you lose your job, you can't pay rent. If you can't pay rent, they'll lose a good tenant and the next one could be a lot worse (or make a bigger fuss about the noise). The problem really may be just that the bldg. is badly constructed, letting everything be amplified to where a carpet upstairs probably wouldn't even help, so fight to change units if you can.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2009 at 6:36AM
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It does sound horrid, and I empathize about lack of sleep (if I don't get enough, I'm worthless).

My mother has Restless Leg Syndrome (they make medication for it) and she does not stomp or thud around the house at night (or day). It's just as is sounds, her legs are restless during sleep and might involuntarily kick, jerk or twitch.

I was thinking about the LL's perspective, tho. If I had a tenant that was disturbing others, but said tenant told me they had a medical condition that led to frequent need for nocturnal walks, I'd probably find myself in a pickle. Even if I knew the condition, and that symptoms or remedies didn't mesh, I'd still be in a pickle. I know this is a stretch, but say LL keeps after stomping tenant. Stomping tenant could well produce a doctor's letter that says 'my patient needs to walk at night for relief'. That's just something a LL really doesn't want to push, because pushing it hard enough might find them slapped with a discrimination suit or something.

But obviously you can't continue to live like this. I'd suggest something along the lines of larke's suggestion. Be sure to let LL know you understand that she might be dealing with a tenant's medical condition, and you respect that. (That will help keep LL from being put on the defensive. A defensive LL is an uncooperative LL.) Then let her know that you are developing health conditions of your own, find that you can't perform your job as expected, find yourself nodding off at inappropriate times, your heart races at night when stomping starts, etc.

(Yes, the hassle part of changing units would be as camlan mentioned in 1st paragraph, 12/5 post.)

Despite LLs predicament, and upstairs tenant's stomping, you are still entitled to peaceful enjoyment. Hopefully you can get it with some good old-fashioned open communication and a little psychology thrown in when talking with LL.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2009 at 8:43AM
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I have a neighbour very much like your "stomping tenant". Try to negotiate a commitment from your landlord to offer you the next available upstairs unit. Tell him you can arrange with the help of some friends to be ready to move upstairs on short notice in half a day. Tell him you can keep your present unit ship shape so that it "shows" well to other prospective tenants and can be available for occupancy by a new tenant on the same day you move upstairs. I would agree to such a thing if you spoke to me and I am a landlord. You are entitled to quiet enjoyment just as much as the stomper is entitled to her health issues. She cannot keep you up all night with her problems. She needs to be on the ground floor of the building, not over someone's head. Good luck.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2010 at 11:06AM
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My FIL has restless leg and he can't get comfortable. This rarely causes midnight pacing though.

I recommend the suggestions above including trying to make a deal that the pacer stay out of the bedroom while up and about at night. Also, remember that the pacer is getting just as little sleep as you (for whatever reason) and so tread lightly on the issue to avoid hurt feelings, no pun intended.

Lastly, I recommend some white noise like a fan in your bedroom. I grew up in the country with no city noises and so when I moved to an apartment in the city I could hear every car that passed and siren that blared. The fan was the only thing that helped me.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2010 at 10:40AM
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    Bookmark   January 6, 2010 at 4:45PM
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Why dont you just talk to your neighbor? Tell her the noises and times of the noises that bother you. To start you have to go half way.

Talk to your neighbor, tell her the walking bothers you. Tell her which room you sleep in, that you go to bed at 9pm and get up for work at 7am (adjust hours of course), can she please not walk over your bed during those hours?
If she is a nice old lady she wont walk over your head during those hours and will try to walk quieter at all hours.

In my 14 years as a 2nd floor tenant. If my downstairs neighbors didn't tell me what noise was bothering them I couldn't change it.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2010 at 9:37PM
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Is the person above you aware of the problem? As said before, they may have no clue that they are bothering you and may have no idea how the sound carries if they are on the top floor.

I lived on the first floor of a building and then a few years later moved to a top floor unit. If I had not lived in the lower unit previously, I would have had no idea how noisy the hardwood floors were for people below.

I can understand the landlord's point of view, but you still have a right to be able to sleep and live normally. Record it. Take your phone and see if it picks it up. Then when talking to the LL, say "This is what I am hearing and this is what is keeping me up and affecting my ability at work because I have not had a solid night of sleep since *insert date here*" Be sure to say that you have tried earplugs, white noise, etc but that the noise level is too high from the stomping. Either the landlord should give you the option to move when another unit comes open or they should address this with the person above. Medical condition or not of the person above, they do have to respect your lease and the term quiet enjoyment within reason. Rugs or pacing outside the bedroom area at night are simple and reasonable compromises.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2010 at 11:57AM
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They should be willing to move you. I recently moved into an apartment where I had some noise issues from the first day I moved in including the stompy footfall from the upstairs neighbors and their pets. The apartment Managers are willing to move me to an upper unit as soon as one becomes available. Its really about how bad do you want to get out.

If you really cant take it anymore and its affecting your health like it was affecting mine. Then you need to make this very clear to your landlord and you have to be persistant about it. I would be on the phone or in his/her office as often as i have to. I have missed days of work because of not getting enough sleep and have showed up at my landlords office sleep deprived asking them : What are they gonna do? Finally they agreed to move me.

It was either that or make a phone call to my attorney. Trust me though my father used to say 'The skeaky wheel gets the oil" So if you become like a thorn in their side, they will get sick enough of hearing from you.

However, always remember you have rights as a renter too. You are paying them for a service they aren't giving you anything for free. While apartment living won't be completely noise free it at least has to be tolerable otherwise there is no point in paying rent to live there. Also each person's noise level tolerance is different. What might not bother me might be hell to you or someone else.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2010 at 8:24PM
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Sorry that should have been "The Squeaky wheel gets the oil" lol..

    Bookmark   March 26, 2010 at 8:44PM
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