Downstairs neighbor accuses me of noise

LInyBobDecember 6, 2010

I live upstairs as I know how bad it can be to live downstairs. I am NOT noisy - I am gone to work 12-14 hours a day and often go away on weekends. I am a divorced guy and my kids (11 & 13 y/o boys) visit 2x a week for 2 hrs each of those nights and every other weekend for overnights.

I do not throw parties or have friends over, do not watch my TV or play my stereo. I do not flush the toilet any more than absolutely necessary and shower at the gym. I use headphones when I am on the PC. I do not allow the kids to have friends over. I do not use the dishwasher ever. At night, if I wake up, I try to force myself to not to get up to use the bathroom for fear of making noises on the floor.

I have lived downstairs and can understand how bad it is, but really - you do know where your apartment is located when you rent it.

Last Sunday at 3:30pm, my kids were visiting and playing in the living room. They were shooting foam Nerf darts and running around retrieving them. At one point they did get rambunctious with each other and started wrestling. I told them to stop it and to be quiet. They did. A minute or two later the lady downstairs rang my door bell and yelled at me. She told me that the noise was intolerable. She said the building was poorly built and she could hear everything. She said she was entitled to enjoy her apartment in peace and quiet and was going to report me to the office and have me evicted.

I was scared and took the kids home immediately - 4 hours early - to Mom. They were upset and cried. I told them I'd have to move far away and until then, they could not visit anymore. They don't want Dad to move far away and did not want to leave as we were going to have made their favorite dinner (lasagna) together that night. I wound up having a frozen pizza. They are still very upset.

I don't know what to do. I can't be any more quiet. I try to be a good neighbor. But I do miss watching TV and walking normally in my place. This was at 3:30pm on a Sunday. Not at 11:00pm or after midnight.

When I first moved in, at one point, she cornered my movers and told them that "if he has a PC, do not put let him it in the bedroom as it will keep me up at night and it will upset me..." Incredible.

I will talk to the management - this is really getting ridiculous. What do you think? What should I do? There are next to no other places around here and the alternative is to move far away from the kids.

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Yes, talk with the management. This may not be the first time she has tried to pull this stuff.

I have lived in badly built apartments with floors or walls that transmitted lots of noise and it was always a balancing act to try to be considerate and quiet, but live normally. There always seem to be a few tenants who imagine that their rights are more important than any one else's, and expect you to do everything they want.

I very much doubt that that cranky neighbor has any power to get you evicted, but she clearly did a good job of intimidating you; try not to be.

The bigger issue is what is going to happen over the long term. People like this are often unhappy, and can be quite ingenious at being jerks on a continuing basis. So, while you are in no immediate danger of being kicked out, you may want to think about moving when the lease runs out.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 4:41AM
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You are going above & beyond what I would consider reasonable in an apartment setting. Tell her to pound sand. She is the problem, not you. If she wants absolute peace & quiet 24/7 she should live in a house in the middle of nowhere.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 2:09PM
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This afternoon, I had to go to the store to get some food. I left my boys alone. One is a teen, the other 11. They were quiet while I was gone.

(They are quite experienced at being left alone and both my ex-wife and myself do leave them alone sometimes. But that is our decision. We have checked with the school, the kids' doctors and the lawyers and what we are doing is fine.

My older son called me and told me that the downstairs lady and the office manager were ringing the doorbell. I told him not to answer. He assured me that both he and his brother had been behaving and were quiet.

A few hours after my return, I went out to the car and the lady next door (a friend of the downstairs lady) came up to me and out of the blue asked me "What kind of person leaves their kids alone for hours?" She told me she was afraid that if there was a fire her apartment would be endangered. I asked her why there would be a fire. She said if my kids were left alone they might start a fire.

I ignored her and proceeded to my apartment. She told me "and don't think I don't know the laws about this.." (actually the law in NYS says there is no age - it is up to a parent to make the decision.)

I don't think leaving a 13 and 11 y/o alone for a short time is any of her business. Doesn't this busybody-ness constitute interference with my "quiet enjoyment"?

    Bookmark   December 19, 2010 at 4:07PM
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Regarding all these post on people making noise upstairs, I really need to post this.
I bought a 2 bedroom condominium 8 years ago and the neighbor below me started complaining about noise I was making the 2nd day I moved in. He and his live in girlfriend complained that I made noise walking and moving furniture. The first few weeks I was really nice and put up with their crap. I was quiet after 9pm and I never play loud music and it was just me living here at the time. I went out of my way and did things I did not have to do such as not wash clothes, dishwater etc. I did this and put up with their complaints until this guy came up to my door after week 8 and began to complain because at 9:10 when i was readjusting my headboard the headboard feel and make a loud thump. (one noise and he runs upstairs) He also earlier told me it was his girlfriend that my noises bothered. When he came to my door after the headboard thumped I looked at my watch realizing it was not even 10pm and asked him if he realized it was not even 10. he then threatened to cause bodily harm to me and have other people do things to me etc. I told him to get off my porch or id call the police and to make a long story short, I had to get a restraining order on him. His girlfriend made him go to court to try to have the order not be placed and the Judge told him and his girlfriend they live in an apartment building (condo is the same thing) and he needs to complain to the builders not me. The judge granted my order and said he needs to expect to hear these noises of walking etc. So if you move in a bottom unit expect to hear people walking, washing machine going, dishwasher flowing, people getting out of bed in the morning and vacuuming etc etc. IF you don't like it then go rent or buy a house or live in an upper unit. I still live here and the freak below still tries once in a while to harass me but he has never come to my door and if he ever does it again my attorney is waiting so i can bring a suit against him. If yo move in a bottom unit you need to expect noises. Unless its later than 10pm you don't have much recourse.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 10:36PM
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