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Bar Noise & Cigarette Smoke

Posted by Alin KENT on April 16, 1999 at 01:01:09:

I'm trying to gather some information before acting on this...Can you help?

I live in a NYC studio apartment (*NOT* controlled or stabilized). Shortly after I renewed my lease, a restaurant opened directly below me. I spoke to the owner of the restaurant before it opened and he assured me that it would be a quite "bistro" type place. Unfortunately it has become a very popular bar and is making my life miserable.

From 11:00 am to 3:00 am music pounds through my apartment. At times it's so loud that I can sing along. As it becomes warmer, they have begun to open the bar onto the sidewalk. This is particularly disturbing because it makes it impossible for me to open my windows at any time due to odor and noise. Also, at the ground floor there is a door that connects the bar to our lobby. Apparently they have something to collect the dishes here because the sound of dishes clanking reverberates in the hallways. During open hours cigarette smoke and the smell of fried food (as well as some type of liquid) pours from under the door into the common areas of my building. It's all very overwhelming!

In speaking with the owner of the restaurant about these problems he expressed empathy but no willingness to do anything...stating something to the effect of "That's the price you pay to live in the city". My landlord, on the other hand, is pretending I don't exist by ignoring my calls of complaint.

I do *NOT* want to stay here any longer, but I can't afford to loose my deposit and risk having the negative of "walking a lease" on my credit. My question is this: Can I force my landlord to offer me similar housing in another building? And if I have to fight...does anyone have any wise advice to a new crack at all this legal stuff?

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