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nicole29's avatar

How should I handle the noise issues coming from the guys that live below us?

Asked by nicole29 (751 points ) February 1st, 2013

I live in a building with six, two-bedroom apartments. It’s near a college campus. We’ve lived in this building for two years, now, and have only had problems with the behaviors coming from one apartment.

Three guys live down there, and they are incredibly inconsiderate. They have parties all the time. I completely understand/expect people to have parties, but these are excessive. There is screaming, pounding, and the bass is turned up so loud that everything in our apartment shakes. It’s unbearable and goes on until 2am some nights.

We’ve left them many notes, talked to them in person once, and attempted to talk to them a few other times. We’re both small girls, and they are stereotypical jock-looking guys. There was one time when we even called the police for a noise complaint, but they never showed up. Approaching them at their apartment, in a group of their friends, while drinking is really not a safe situation and not something we care to do anymore.. especially since they know where we live.

Not only this – they prop the front door open, so all of their friends can come in and out freely. This isn’t a very good neighborhood, especially at night – and it’s not uncommon for people to be robbed or areas to be vandalized. (My visiting boyfriend had his entire windshield smashed in just last night while he was parked on the street out front) Everyone having free access to our building is definitely not something we like or feel comfortable with.

I spoke with the landlord a few weeks ago, in person, and addressed this issue. She said that she’d speak to them. Clearly that did not work.

We’ve emailed the landlord, but are doubtful that they will/can do anything. What can we do now? This is out of hand.

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22 Answers

Judi's avatar

Tell the Landlord that it’s you or them. Does she want to keep the residents that take care of the property and pay their rent on time or does she want to evict the party animals that run good residents off and tear the place up. As a landlord, I would want them out as much as you do.
Document everything and turn it over to the landlord. Especially safety issues. If something happens and the landlord knew or should have known that a hazard existed and did nothing about it they will be liable. Your documentation of reporting everything to the landlord will be your evidence in case she sues you for breaking your lease.
Most states have rules that imply that you have a right to private enjoyment of your rented premises. If the neighbor is keeping you from quietly enjoying your home and the landlord is unwilling to do anything about it you would have a case if you broke your lease as long as everything is meticulously documented with dates, times, and what you did to try and get the situation corrected. keep a journal.

augustlan's avatar

If talking to the landlord didn’t help, I’d start calling the police every time they get too loud too late, and shutting the building door every time they leave it open. Your landlord really should have already dealt with this issue.

Shippy's avatar

Not sure how it works in the states. But is there a building administrator? If so put it in writing with dates and times. Normally buildings do have rules As to noise times, and entry etc., Find out where the rules are housed. Then write to them.

Other than that, do what @augustlan and @Judi suggested.

It is your home, a place where you need to rest and be able to feel safe. What they are doing is law breaking.

nofurbelowsbatgirl's avatar

I suggest start calling the cops all the time and your Landlord. You could always do what I do and bang and outdo their music with your own. Sometimes if you can’t get help you’ve got to beat them at their own game…well at least that’s how I feel, but I’m bi polar, not everything I suggest is the best or most popular way of doing things :/

cmomoCPA's avatar

Start a notebook journaling every incident date and time. Send copies to your landlord via vertified mail along with a note. You’ll need this as evidence in case you need to go to renters court to break your lease for noise violations. Let your landlord handle them. You deal with the landlord.

Lookup the local noise statuette, there is usually a curfue for noise, review your lease for clauses citing disturbances, parties, apartment occupation regulations. Cite all of these things in your journal along with the number of people the noise the issues you are having.

Start to build a legal case for your landlord. Or against your landlord. Always send your rent checks via money order and in certified mail.

What state are you in? Google renters rights in your state.

When I lived in NC it was anything goes, but in NJ and NY there are laws that supercede any lease you may sign. I know I’ve been locked out of my apartments for landlords trying to evict without starting the eviction process, but you go to renters court get an injunction and call the police. They go to your landlords residence and drag them out at 2AM and make them unlock your residence.

cmomoCPA's avatar

I wouldn’t create another problem, “beat them at their own game”, it might make you open for eviction or the guys could alwasy turn around and say they were just doing it to get back at you.

nofurbelowsbatgirl's avatar

I agree^^^

And so I do not suggest it either! Being bipolar I often do and say things differently than the “normal” thinking population :/ My reaction is always dependant upon my mood i hate that

marinelife's avatar

Go on written record with a com-plaint to the landlord. Tell the landlord that either they handle it or you want to be released from your rental agreement. Say in the letter that you are entitled by law to a safe and noise-free environment, Mention the leaving the street door unlocked.

Then insist that they respond.

If necessary, move.

Jillysback's avatar

Just went through same situation. We kept a record of everything. Eventually we moved, but were let out of our lease. We found out after that, the neighbors were finally evicted!

TrinathSM's avatar

Lets try to talk in a peace full manner again and ask them to control the noise and explain the situation which you are facing and then say to leave the apartment if they do again in prosperous manner

gorillapaws's avatar

Of course all of the above answers are good, but if you wanted to get them back, you could always blast children’s music, or something much more annoying on repeat at 8am the morning AFTER a late night party while you and your roommates step out and grab some breakfast somewhere.

nicole29's avatar

I found it funny yesterday morning that there were piles of newspapers strewn about in the stairway, likely from their friends the night before (as there are usually papers outside in the box near the mailboxes). Later in the day, I noticed that someone had gathered all of the papers and thrown them at their specific apartment door. Later they were back in the hallway. And even later, again, they were thrown at that apartment’s door. Needless to say, other people in my building are also mad at them.

nicole29's avatar

Thank you for all of your responses.

We’ve emailed the landlord with a detailed list of the problems we’ve encountered so far. I know the landlord, and she knows us (and seemingly likes us) from all of the times she’s given tours of our apartment and commented to the potential tenants how nice we keep it.

As far as breaking the lease, we are no in a position to move somewhere else. The lease ends in August, and since we are students without cars, we really can’t move from this area, and it would be difficult to find a place that is available this time of year. Also, I am living with this company (in a different building) again next year. Therefore, this problem needs to be solved without us moving.

I have friends that live in the apartment across from them, and he approached me while we were out last night to say how awful their party was on Friday, and how out of control it’s gotten. To top it all off – yesterday, the entire building smelled like weed – definitely coming from their apartment. I’m hoping that the landlord just handles this.

nofurbelowsbatgirl's avatar

Ok. So now you mentioned weed…well thats a different story to the cops than a noisy party. Next time the party gets noisy I suggest you call cops. I did have neighbors like this one time also and the cops did not respond very fast to my call either.

But I noticed if you use key words dont do it everytime you call if you are calling often but words like “guns” or “drugs”, “gang related” the cops will get there faster and break it up and maybe in the meantime maybe they will find something illegal, because it doesnt sound like these people care too much about being law abiding citizens.

In my case in the apartment above me the guy had the music blaring and I could hear screaming and thumping and smashing and it sounded like someone was being murdered so I called 911 and specifically said there is so much noise it “sounds like” and heres the key word “a murder is taking place!” And actually in this case the guy was actually in some drug induced state and was beating his girlfriend almost to death. When I made that call which was my 2nd call on this apartment the first call the police never came, the 2nd they were there in 15 minutes.

After that he was banned from the apartment but he would climb the balconies to get up to the girl you do not even know how many times the k9 unit was at that building after my second call because of that guy. I moved out of there.

Now I live in a place that is very quiet and only a few times have had the girl next to me blare her music really early or really late, so I I think I have a have a better stereo lo and have basically put it the loudest it will go for one song so the walls vibrate so she knows the walls are paper thin and she hasnt played her music loud since and neither have I.

jca's avatar

@nicole29: IF the landlord does not do anything, you can write a letter to the mayor and cc the police, or write to the local landlord/tenant relations board, and always cc everyone else so that everyone involved can be on the same page. That can help, also, with getting results because the landlord will see that the issues are not just staying “in house.”

nicole29's avatar

The landlord emailed me back this morning and said that the manager will notify them, and that we will remain anonymous. That’s all I can ask for at this point. Now we wait and see.

jca's avatar

@nicole29: Please post an update as to how things turn out. Good Luck!

JCA
The Update Lady

nicole29's avatar

@jca Could not have asked for a faster/more appropriate response.

The landlord gave all of the tenants a cover-letter apologizing for the behavior that’s been going on in unit 2, and asking for any additional information of issues that have occurred. They also included the letter that was sent directly to the tenants (and their co-signers/parents).

The letter sent to the tenants addressed all of the concerns that we (and apparently others) have had, since some of those listed were not things we addressed. It stated that there were complaints from multiple apartments, and that they are not to confront/address any tenants about this. It finally said that if one more complaint is received, they will be taken to the magistrate and likely evicted.

I was pleasantly surprised and impressed with how well written their letter was, and how well the situation was addressed. Now we just wait to see if they’ve listened, and enjoy the peace.

jca's avatar

@nicole29: Excellent news! Please continue to update if anything new should arise. Thanks.

cmomoCPA's avatar

Yeah, there are several difinitive “causes” for starting the eviction process. Whereby, the state recinds the tenant rights to maintain residence; drugs, violence, and other “unlawful” behaviors fall under this. Stick with the documentating, a “nicely written letter”, sounds like your landlord has their attorney involve, just keep documenting, it shouldn’t be much longer now.

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