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Noise from Upstairs Neighbor/ Believe Floor is Damaged

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Noise from Upstairs Neighbor/ Believe Floor is Damaged

Postby EndofRope » Mon Nov 25, 2013 5:32 pm

I've lived in the same apartment, which has an apartment above me for 2.5 years. Approximately a year and two months ago, we started hearing much more noise from our upstairs neighbors...they have visiting grandkids with adult visitors and it at times sounds like a playground or soccer game is going on above. We've asked them in person to keep the noise down and they recently became hostile (saying F You to my face) when we yet again went to ask that they keep the noise down. Since then I've notice also that even their regular foot traffic is very loud and every step vibrates, creaks with a "springy noise" and my door frame to my bedroom shakes (even with just them walking). They seem to constantly be walking, moving things, rolling, dragging, etc.

I began to think the floor had been damaged since the kids have been playing so hard on it. I've been in touch with my landlord over the last year, have filed a 311 complaint, and then recently asked my landlord to inspect their floor. He told me over the phone when I asked him if something had changed, that they had put new laminate wood floor boards in the apartment above last year, which conincides with the time that the increase noise started. The landlord has been rude to me, saying that he's never had a complaint before me, called me annoying to my face, and won't aknowledge that the flooring (or subflooring) may be damanged and partly at issue in addition to the loud noise that the neighbors and their guests are making.

I'm at a loss as to what else I can do. I called 311 and they told me to ask the landlord to inspect the floor which he did but he told me before he came over that nothing was wrong with the neighbor's floor, yet we can year every step and it vibrates throughout our apartment and it was NOT like this prior to the time frame mentioned above.

If anyone can give me advice on anything else I can do. I'm thinking of moving but the apartments in my area have sky rocketed in price and I will be stuck not only paying to move, but having to more than likely pay quite a bit more in rent to keep a similar situation. I've been completely stressed out, can't relax in my own home, have to constantly make plans to be out of the apartment, eat out, etc. Please help, if you can offer any advice.

Best.
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Postby Emeraldstar » Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:29 pm

Hi All
Seems to me concerns re: the wood floor condition should not be an area of focus. Sound like the apt. above needs wall to wall padding & carpet.
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Postby EndofRope » Sat Nov 30, 2013 1:39 pm

Thanks for the response. I feel that w/o addressing faulty installation and damaged sub flooring that carpet and padding might be only be a cosmetic fix with minimal results.

Has anyone requested an inspection from the city/housing dept. on the 311 site it states you have a right to an inspection.
Having said that, I did ask the landlord if padding a carpet could be put down and he said he count force the neighbors to do that.
Last edited by EndofRope on Tue Dec 03, 2013 3:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby innocent1997 » Sat Nov 30, 2013 7:55 pm

311 normally address issues related to maintenance codes. If the issues are within jurisdiction of maintenance codes, then HPD has rights to issue violation.

On other hand, some people install double ceilings to address noise issues at the expense of landlords.
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Postby Emeraldstar » Sat Nov 30, 2013 8:37 pm

Hi All
Are you in a 2 family type, private, or a multiple dwelling/apt. bld? The reason I ask is, it's common in many bld. leases to have a carpet clause. If so odds are it's in their lease as well though not always. Carpet is not law. The LL can enforce if it's there though many do not. It's a tactic to let tenants fight each other so one moves & LL reaps an increase.
Mediation may work if the tenant is amenable to agree & sign they will carpet. At the very least if they break that agreement you have paperwork to take into court for nusience.
Court is a whole different can of worms. One has to record disturbances, it should show a cronic pattern beyond sporadic, have RRR docs. notifying LL of disturbances, dates/hours, and daytime does not cut it, around after 10-11pm & later into am perks interest.
Know if it gets to either & your private, the LL may/probably won't offer a lease renewal.
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Postby innocent1997 » Sun Dec 01, 2013 10:54 am

Emerald is right.

Noise is quite difficult subject for tenants being affected especially it's only visiting grand kids for your case.

To prove nuisance, it has to show some continuing day and night disturbance, more than mere annoyance.
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Thank you

Postby EndofRope » Tue Dec 03, 2013 12:52 pm

Thanks everyone for responding. This has definitely affected my life. I no longer enjoy a peaceful environment. Reading is usually out, and now when I come home, which usually I try to extend my time out of the apt. as much as possible, I have to put headphones on with netflix or something like that to tune the noise out. Because, as I mentioned in the original post, you can hear every step and it isn't just a normal step, but with the flooring being the way it is, it makes a lot of noise that echos in our apartment.

I'm making plans to move within the next couple of months because I'm so unhappy. I hate that there are no options. I did ask the LL if they could put carpet, but our leases don't have the clause in them about having your floor 80% carpeted and he stated, he could not force them to put in carpet. At this point, I want it to be someone elses problem.

I wish I had all the documentation, but sadely, my notes on it were in my phone, and they dissappeared and I'm not sure why as I didn't delete it. I do have a letter I sent to the landlord and I could start documenting again, but at this point, I'm so exhausted, tired of it all. Which as mentioned above, is what the LL wants, so he can raise the rent to a new tenant. And, if the court is so stringent on everything, it seems like a losing battle unless you want to put a lot of time, money and effort into something that you're already completely tired of. I never imagined it would come to this, which is the mistake I made in the beginning... I should have been much more agressive in the beginning, but I was trying to be understanding of my upstairs neighbors when in fact they told me to my face that they don't care about me or anyone else in the building.

And, it's a small apartment building...probably was single dwelling or two-family at one point, but is now 6 apartments.

My last ditch effort will be to request the inspection, but I have very low expectations of anyone wanting to help, because once you mention children or guests or grandkids, you're suddently an evil person who is anti-child, which is totally untrue, but that is the judment/assuption and it is very disheartening when all you want it to enjoy your space that you pay for.
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Postby TenantNet » Tue Dec 03, 2013 1:06 pm

If tenants in the building are not stabilized, the LL can certainly add a carpet clause to the tenant's next lease, and he can enforce it if he chooses. Many regular leases have this provision, and while enforcement is not easy, and often ignored, he can do it if he wishes.

In other words, he's not telling you the truth.

OTOH, if it's six units, it should be stabilized. He can't add a carpet clause to an existing RS lease.
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Building is Rent Stabalized

Postby EndofRope » Tue Dec 03, 2013 1:37 pm

Yes, as you mentioned it is a rent stabalized building, so it sounds like he is telling the truth about the carpet.
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Postby Emeraldstar » Tue Dec 03, 2013 11:28 pm

Hi All
Rope, so sorry your at the point of a move. I've been there & at times it's the last & only card to play. Best advice I can offer is to make sure your next lease has a carpet/padding clause as well as those above you.

Let this be a lesson to RS tenants....this is one way dereg comes about when you have a LL that's passive-agressive. We get used as pawns. Also don't be the noise maker. If it's in your lease put down carpet. Amen :roll:
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