Very unsettling upstairs neighbor

willamaeDecember 11, 2008

My husband and I just moved out of a complex. We found an old victorian home that has been converted into a two flat. We live on the first floor. The "Gentlemen" above us (and I use the term Gentlemen lightly) lives more towards the front of the house. He clearly must pay less rent than us, due to the fact our apartment is larger, we have access to the yard and garage.

Everything has been great except for the upstairs neighbor. When talking to my landlord, I told her that my husband and I would like to introduce ourselves to him. Her exact response "Don't bother. He is very weird". Great..Good to know.

He plays his music loud all the time. My landlord has called him about it, but it still continues. He refuses to put any missed notices from UPS on our door (the two front doors get confused by them). I have missed 2 christmas deliveries because of this.

Most recently he has been watching very violent and disturbing porn. How do I know this? Well, he has it turned up so loud you can basically hear the plot and dialogue. I don't want to go into detail. I think you can all use your imaginations. He has done this a couple of times now. Each time I'm alone in the house. I'm sure he knows it. It makes me physically ill. Very unsettling.

I want to "nip this in the bud". Sadly my landlord is in europe through the holidays. Any suggestions?

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OH MY GOD.I have the exact same problem! Freaky.Only difference is I have kids who can also hear this.And when THEY hear it they sadly say,"MOM! Mr. so-and-so is at it again!!!" I mean WTF it's so loud it's like he wants the whole building to know what he's doing in there~sicko.

I'm so shocked no one else has complained about it because it is really so loud we can hear in our apartment and in the hallway it's even louder.
The last time he did it I got so mad I march right over to his door and banged on it really loud,then ducked into my apartment quickly.Must have startled him cuz he turned it down!

I wish I had better advice.Since your landlord is gone maybe your husband could speak to him or leave him a note telling him that it's disturbing and if it's not turned down you will be complaining as soon as your landlord returns!!!

We are putting in a written complaint about ours.And I will keep banging on his door when I hear it in my apartment!

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 4:47PM
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I'm offering a couple freebie landlord tools I use that enable you to do some checking on the guy. If he is a criminally convicted creep it's to your benefit to know about it. (Not that it can get him evicted, because even convicted criminals have a right to housing, but it's still good for you to know.)

Check registered sex offender lists. There is a national list here. If you want to get specific to your State, google it, as an example "Texas sex offender registry" (without the quotes). State registries are typically kept quite current and can include maps/photos and list type of conviction.

Also, most counties have online court dockets now. It's free and a matter of public record. I use this regularly as a screening tool. If you have a person's full first and last name, you can usually find anything they've been convicted of or are currently charged with in your local court system (from a speeding ticket to domestic violence to eviction). As an example, google "Perry County Ohio online court docket" or just google your county and state, then when you hit your county's web site look around for a court section.

As far as him blaring the porn, that would fall under violation of a lease clause that entitles you to quiet enjoyment of your home. Check your lease or local landlord-tenant laws in your State for more on that.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 7:34PM
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Thank you iloveexercise. good to know I'm not the only one dealing a perv. of a neighbor.

moonshadow: I did to a sex offender list. I don't have his last name (frankly I'm scared to walk near his stoop to read the mailbox) So I kinda did a half hazard search. I'm sure I'll find something on him. As harsh and judgmental as it may sound, its just how my gut reaction is at the moment

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 10:22PM
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I did go to a sex offender list. The one you provided a link to. Sorry for the typo error

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 10:24PM
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You could try a reverse phone directory. Since you share a house, put your address in and see if it pulls up his name/phone # listing. Here's one.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2008 at 4:43AM
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Well, I did find out his last name thanks to the reverse moonshadow. Nothing came up for him. No charges. I guess I just have a certain feeling about him due to the "movie" he was watching.

I also missed another package because of him, this time FedEx. I know it isn't your neighbors job to look out for you or stick the UPS/FedEx notices on your door. But you would think with just the three of us here (me, my husband, him) he could just try to be polite and stick the notice on our door. Hell ANYTHIING

    Bookmark   December 12, 2008 at 10:18AM
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Moonshadow, that advice is not relevant. A person who is an annoyance is mostly likely not a sex offender, just unconcerned about others. Knowing whether or not this person has committed a sexually related crime in the past will not address any of the problems this couple is experiencing. What if the guy's a recentl;y releasing mental patient; you won't find that on any public list! You can try the police for the noise violation, but it's very hard to get a response when the person just turns it down when they see the cops. You could try to talk to the person, but if you really think he's unglued this may backfire.
I would say keep on top of the landlord until he's good and tired of you and actually does something about the guy. It's not fair to you because you're paying rent there too!

    Bookmark   December 12, 2008 at 10:33AM
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I'm about ready to cry. It is 10:42am and it has started. I've been working from home due to office repairs. But here, 10:42 and "Peter Frampton Live" is playing full blast. I can't think! I have no clue how I'm able to type at the moment. I stopped doing actual work, because I don't want to mess up my work emails.

I did call my landlord last night and got her voicemail. I left her a message explaining what has been happening. I REFUSE to talk to him in person. As childish as that may sound, I stand by it. Something in my gut, tells me not to talk to him. (AND YES, I'm aware I could be thinking that way because of what my landlord told me. But over the years I've learned to trust my first instinct.)

This guy KNOWS I'm home. This morning my husband forgot something and I ran out to the car. Coming back in, I looked up to one of his windows and saw him staring at me.

The thing I find ironic is the police station is right across from me. Maybe I should run over there and file a complaint?

    Bookmark   December 12, 2008 at 11:52AM
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zapatista, please read posts to the point of comprehension. The OP does not describe her neighbor as "an annoyance", she's fearful. Big difference.

I never inferred that the neighbor is a sex offender. Not sure how you concluded that from my post. I offered what I did based on the OP's statement that she is feeling 'very unsettled to the point of making her physically ill'. If someone is behaving in a manner that is causing such an anxious emotional reaction, and LL themselves say he's a 'weirdo', there is no harm in checking to see if there is some type of documented behavior pattern on neighbor's part that might offer insight into the type of person she's sharing a house with. And of course the public does not have access to mental health patient's records. What I offered are links to information that is a matter of public record, readily available and depending on what, if anything, is found can be quite revealing as far as an individual's nature. If she finds a conviction that displays a behavioral pattern that reinforces the reaction she's experiencing (anything from sex offender to indecent exposure to domestic assault, etc.), she knows to be alert and aware. If she finds nothing of that sort, it might put her mind at ease a little bit. Just because you're not in her position doesn't mean it's irrelevant to her. Perhaps if you shared a house with him (or anyone whom you felt was creepy to the point you felt extremely ill at ease) then it might be relevant to you as well. Meantime, I responded to the OP's needs, not yours, with suggestions the she can utilize or disregard at her discretion.

If you will reread my first and then final paragraph in my post of Thurs Dec 11, you will see what some of the more realistic scenarios are as to what can and cannot be construed as a violation with regard to a lease, which is what it all boils down to. Your advice to pester the landlord till they tire of the OP is irrelevant and could backfire. LLs can't boot one person out just because another complains incessantly. There's got to be tangible evidence of a lease violation, which is why I mentioned the typical "right to quiet enjoyment" clause, which up to this point seems most applicable in her scenario.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2008 at 12:14PM
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I don't understand why you HAVEN'T called the police yet - it's standard practice to do so if someone in an apt. is disturbing the peace at night (or even in the daytime depending on the circumstances). You don't have to go to the station, just call them (but do leave out the porn thing - maybe you don't realize just how many people watch this crud and the cops may not take you as seriously re the noise if you come across like a little old lady re the porn).

    Bookmark   December 12, 2008 at 6:47PM
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Lucy: I was simply trying to be sorta "humorous" when I said I'd walk over to the police station. I know I can phone it in.

My Landlord called me and said she had talked to my neighbor. He apologize and said he would keep it down. My landlord also said she arranged a meeting between the two of them to talk about some other "issues". Maybe he'll move?? That would be a great early Christmas present

    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 9:31PM
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Hi again - I didn't mean to sound condescending (if I did), but you never know with people - who's a relatively recent immigrant unfamiliar with things we take for granted, or who has just never had to deal with police before. Anyhow, sounds like you're getting it addressed, and hope it all works out for you.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 7:18AM
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That is great your landlord talked to him.If it continues,maybe you could slip a pair of headphones in front of his door as a gift(and a really big hint!)

My neighbor hasnt turned his up since I banged on the door,but we'll see.Seems like he always stops for a while and then starts back up again.
I agree calling the cops is hard.Here,it takes the cops two freaking hours to show up.By then I'm sure he's worn himself out...

    Bookmark   December 16, 2008 at 5:38AM
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Re: the packages.

You need to label the front doors better.

And why is the package service not putting the "missed" notice on the door? They ring his bell, he's not you, do they just hand it to him? They shouldn't.

Also, the delivery routes are often the same person; you might call a local office and ask to speak to a manager or dispatcher, and see if they can help you from their end.

And yes, I think you could run over to the police station and ask to speak w/ the public-affairs officer, and ask for some advice.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2008 at 2:31PM
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Our "front door" (its on the side of the house with a small patio IS clearly labeled and easy to see.

His front door however just has his mailbox with a faded name and his number.

UPS is putting "missed" notices on his door. He however is not putting them on our door. Nor is he directing the UPS man to the correct door. The only way I see the missed labels is because I had to "sneak" up to his front door to grab a package (that was for me) off his front stoop.

They knock..BANG very hard on his door (I don't think he has a doorbell) and he does not answer. I believe he does not answer for three reasons. 1. He has his music/porn (yes it has started again) up so loud he can't hear them. 2. He has gone deaf 3. He is just inconsiderate (if he WAS considerate, he would walk the couple of feet to stick the missed notice on OUR door).

I called UPS and got transfered to soo many people, frankly I just gave up.

I have displayed a GIANT poster sized sign in the office window (which is next to his front door) for UPS.

Now excuse me, I have to call my Landlord AGAIN. The violent porn has started at a very alarming volume.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2008 at 3:13PM
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I'd also like to add, in an earlier post I stated I'm sorta scared to even go near his stoop. This of course is a fear I had to over come due to the fact my package was left on his stoop.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2008 at 3:25PM
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I'm sorry,but what a creep! I think it is obvious he is trying to intimadate you cuz he knows you are alone as you said.
The fact that he playing the porn again that loud AFTER your landlord talked to him is a deliberate slap in the face.
I think you should start recording it (the sound somehow) and try playing THAT for your landlord.
Also,this is not probably the best advice (and I'm not saying you should do this),but if it were ME,my husband would more then likely march on over and INTIMIDATE HIM and tell him to keep it the F**** down.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2008 at 6:53PM
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iloveexercise: haha my husband is not really the intimidating type. I've only heard him yell once. It was to get the attention of Mo Rocca for an autograph. Although it would be rather impressive if he did go up there.

My landlord is now out of the country for the holidays. If the noise starts today, I will be calling the police. I'm not sure if we have a recording device (we just moved here, so I have no idea where anything is at the moment)

    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 11:20AM
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Well,a video camera recording of you telling the camera,"Look,it is such and such time on a ______ evening and Mr._____ is playing his disturbing pornographic material this loud." Would be excellent proof to your landlord.Once they saw and heard it,they themselves would probably be disturbed by it.
Shame your husband isnt intimadating,but you'd be surprised how angry a husband will get when he feels his wife/family is threatened in anyway.Mine is very tall with a deep voice and an eyebrow ring who often doesnt shave in the winter or get a haircut,so he can seem pretty scary,LOL.
In reality,he is the nicest,sweetest guy I have ever met,but his looks intimadate for him,LOL.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 9:19PM
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My landlord called me today. She informed me she would be placing another call to him today. It is his last "warning" from her. She said the next time it happens (which I'm sure it will) she is evicting him. Drastic on her part? Maybe. BUT if it gets him to turn it down, whatever.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 9:25PM
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Hey,you are lucky your land lady is being so sympathetic about this! Maybe a landlord (guy) would have blown you off...
Hope this resolves your problem.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2008 at 5:01AM
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Hi willamae,
Glad to hear that your landlady is being proactive. You mention it seems drastic. Eviction is a bit involved, and based on info you've supplied, it would be my guess that she has had to contact him about issues before you ever moved in. He may well have been such a nuisance to prior occupants he drove them out. Or his past behavior (LL stating to you he's a weirdo) may be catching up to him and this is the last straw for LL (or what she needs) to get him out. No decent landlord wants to lose good tenants over problem tenants. Best wishes!

    Bookmark   December 19, 2008 at 10:09AM
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