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Need advise re: noise above!

Posted by frustrated2 (My Page) on
Sun, Dec 4, 05 at 10:09

I have read a few messages on this board and most people are concerned about bothering their neighbors. This actually gives me hope.
I have a couple living above me who make noise non-stop. I live in a basement apt so I do not have a balcony. Their guests stand infront of my window and call up to get their attention. I have been yelled at for looking out of my window. The front door is 3 feet away. Their response "don't want to bother them by using buzzer."
This is an older couple who have their grandkids 4 days/nights a week. Imagine two kids 5/6 yrs old chasing two dogs around til after 11pm. Occasional noise is fine. During the day is expected. At night is not fair. I have a child in grade 9 who gets woken up and it is affecting her school work. I have asked nicely and been told where to go.
I have filed complaints. I send them via email so I have proof. I commented that they are nice people and probably don't realise how loud they are. The property manager will do nothing. He stated that I am unreasonable. I was threatened 3 weeks ago that if I filed any more complaints he would make up a bunch of things and evict me.
I can't move. I am a single parent, must live on ground floor for medical reasons and we close to my child's school.
I don't know what I want, but I know I am not being unreasonable. I believe that I should stand up for what is right. Does anyone out there agree? I am afraid of a fight, but this is not right. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Need advise re: noise above!

Looking out the window when someone is yelling is normal. That the guests responded with "don't want to bother them by using buzzer." says you did more than just look out the window. You said something.

It also sounds liked you complained a lot already and only made people mad, including the property manager who says you are being unreasonable.

It sounds like you lost this battle.

The #1 rule of apartment life (speaking from 24 years experience living in apartments) is pick the top priority things and ignore the rest.

RE: Need advise re: noise above!

I guess someone has to be here to understand. When someone has their legs up against your window hits it and startles you is not proper.
When my child is woken up at night I know it is not proper.
I wasted my time looking for advice.

RE: Need advise re: noise above!

Been there done it. I can tell stories that will make your hair curl.

Again, The #1 rule of apartment life (speaking from 24 years experience living in apartments) is pick the top priority things and ignore the rest.

My guess is you should have asked for advice before the property manager said you are being unreasonable.

RE: Need advise re: noise above!

actually I have asked for advice. I have followed the rules. Been told about tenant protection act. states "tenant is not to interfere with reasonable enjoyment of unit" A friend who is a landlord told me I have a right to that. Property manager agreed. Said they would deal with it. We get woken up in the morning by them standing beside bedroom windows, which are ground level, with their dogs.
As I've said someone would have to be here to understand. When you are watching tv and someone is standing at your window yelling up to another person. This is the equivilant of my standing on their balcony.
Hard to believe, but I get sworn at for looking out my window and I don't have to say a word.
Some people do have common decency and are respectful of others. Some do not. This is why we have laws.
Some things are not worth fighting for, but being able to watch (hear) your tv, sleep, look out your window are worth fighting for.
You've stated your opinion and that is your choice.

RE: Need advise re: noise above!

I understand what you must be going through. I am in a similar situation myself and I feel for your problem. If you have done all you can to handle the situation, you may want to consider finding something else. I know that it isn't what you want, but it doesn't seem like you are going to live in peace where you are and it doesn't look like you can change the situation since you have tried already. How long to you have left on your lease? It's a difficult situation to break a lease, but sometimes when you hate where you live, it's better to get out than be miserable.
Just my opinion.

RE: Need advise re: noise above!

I sent you a reply to your e-mail, but I want to say it here.

You need to move.

You are in the right--you are totally reasonable.

But you will need to move. The solutions available to you don't work. Start documenting in writing all the problems you're having with noise. Write letters, mail them (registered or return receipt, if you can).

Tell them what happened each time. What the noise was, what the response you get is. Get a friend to look them over to take the emotion out, the lecture out, the snottiness you surely feel out.

At the end of each letter say something like, "The law states XYZ rights to quiet enjoyment. This is clearly not being supplied, and you are in danger of failing to live up to your contract agreement with me. If you do not take steps to remedy this, I will consider the lease vacated."

and start looking.

I live in NYC, and I can tell you what I've learned when I moved here.

Standing up for what is right can cost more than it's worth. In time, energy, etc.

When people are unreasonable, you do not continue to deal with them. You change subway cars. You cross the street. You get away from them however you can.

Being right isn't enough by itself. You can only make people do what you want if you're the one with the power. You don't have any power in this situation.

That rankles, I'm sure--but you will serve your own interests better if you do not divert your energies into trying to salvage and unsalvageable situation.

Spend your energy on something you CAN affect--start looking, and lay in the necessary documentation to allow you to declare the landlord has broken the lease, so you CAN move when you find someplace.

Also, it's not that we don't understand. It's not that we're not sympathetic.

It's just that we wish you well, and we know you won't win this battle. You've tried, clearly--you are up against people who will not cooperate, and you have no power.

The best thing for you is to get away from this.

I ride the subway--I know.

RE: Need advise re: noise above!

I understand about people talking right outside your windows. I used to live in an apartment that was part of a large house that got converted to apartments. My apartment was on the first floor--right next to the front door.

Cell phone reception is bad in my area. People would sit out on the front steps to talk on their cell phones. In the summer, with my windows open, I could hear every word. The house had huge front, side and back yards, so they could have moved a bit further away from the house. There were 4-5 people who did this, and they were out there for hours every evening.

At first, I tried to go somewhere else in the apartment so that I wouldn't be evesdropping. Which meant I had to go to either the kitchen or my bedroom. But my computer, TV and comfy reading chair were all in the living room. I got fed up with having to vacate my own living room for hours every evening and weekend.

So I decided to tell the young women that I could hear their converstations. Because they were discussing family matters, boyfriends and their sex lives (in graphic detail), I thought they might want to know that they could be overheard.

Next thing I know, the landlord called me up and stated that the young women were complaining that I was spying on them. It took me several days to convince him that notifying someone who was voluntarily sitting 2 feet from my open window that I could hear her intimate conversations was not spying, but just being a polite neighbor.

The landlord requested that I keep the windows closed so that I couldn't hear the conversations. I told him I would be glad to, if he would provide an air conditioner and pay the increase in my electric bill, which he declined to do. Eventually, he put a bench in the side yard for them to use.

I agree that you should probably try to move. Depending on how much time is left on your lease, you need to pick the worst problem and try to get just that fixed.

For the worst problem, document what happens. For example, 4 mornings a week, people and/or dogs made contact with your window. When you looked up at the noise, you were yelled at. If you have a camera, I would take a picture of the people (or at least their feet and the dogs). This will help to show what the problem is. People don't realize that being so close to your apartment is an invasion of your space. You need to be able to prove to the landlord that it is.

Then go to the landlord with a plan. For the above example, could the neighbors be asked to stay 2 feet (or 3 feet or whatever) from your windows.

The idea is to be fair and logical. Neighbor X is causing this problem. Here is a simple, fair solution that will solve the problem, that shouldn't be any burden to Neighbor X.

If the landlord thinks you are being unreasonable, you will have to do quite a bit of work to convince him that you aren't. Keep calm, be reasonable, show lots of documentation.

Tally Sue has made some very good points. Please read her post carefully.

RE: Need advise re: noise above!

check to see if your city or county has housing inspectors for rental permits. Get in touch with the head housing inspector. In my town she calls landlords if they leave the garbage containers on the street for over 24 hours. The inspector will contct the landlord and believe me landlords ignore tenants but do whatever housing wants. If it does go to court the inpsector will most likely come along and is very persuasive with most judges. Remeber we all have a lot of civil servants, we just need to make them serve more often.

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