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Unreasonable Neighors

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Unreasonable Neighors

Postby Jef121 » Sat Oct 26, 2002 6:07 pm

I need help, please!!! I live underneath unreasonable, insane neighbors. They have 2 kids who's room is right above mine and they scream and bang all hours of the day and night. I complained to my landlord who also lives in the building but they don't do anything. They talk to them and it's good for a week or 2 but then it's back to being crazy. I get 3-4 hours a sleep a night and it's affecting my job. On weekends they are noisy all day and I can't even think. I don't want to move because I have a great deal, but I don't think I have any other choice. Is there anything I can do legally? Please help me. Thanks
Jef121
 
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Location: New York City

Re: Unreasonable Neighors

Postby jronysko » Thu Nov 07, 2002 11:40 am

I've been dealing with a similar situation. Here are a few things you can consider:

1) does your lease require carpeting? and if so, is the apartment above you adequately carpeted? this may greatly reduce the noise.

2) your lease probably has a 'right to quiet enjoyment' clause somewhere in it. in your complaints to you landlord, cite that this is being violated and maybe (s)he will take you more seriously.

3) generally speaking, 'quiet hours' are from 10pm to 7am. if noise is being created between those hours, you can call the police

4) outside of those hours, you could consider calling the mayor's quality of life hotline. it is essentially the police, but they may be able to intervene and lend some gravity to your complaint if it is unreasonable.

5) i've read the EPA will dispatch people to measure sound levels and determine if they are unreasonable. if so, monetary fines are levied. i haven't fully explored this one so you may want to call and find out.

6) sue the landlord for breach of contract in small claims court. especially if you have a history of complaining with inaction, and you can prove the noise is unreasonable and/or happens during quiet hours. your lease is a legal contract and the landlord is obligated to enforce it. sue for the max 3,000 and use the money to move and find another apartment. there is also a 'warranty of habitability' that is implicit in all rented properties. this may apply as well. check out www.housingnyc.com for more info.

hope some of this helps.
jronysko
 
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Re: Unreasonable Neighors

Postby Phil Cohen » Fri Nov 08, 2002 5:31 pm

Afraid you have few options, particularly if this is a non-stabilized apt. I've been through an identical situation and, believe me, you can count on little if any help from either the cops or the LL.
Your only hope is to get a lawyer and withhold rent and/or sue for violation fo the warranty of habitability. You cannot do this in Small Claims (see below). But that is very very very chancy. You need to precede same with letters to the LL and neighbor, you need to document stuff, etc. A royal pain and little chance of winning.

Also I disagree agree with most, if not all, of the "information" and advice in the previous post. I particularly disagree about taking this to Small Claims. What are the damages? How do you calculate that? You would just lose and that would only make matters worse.
Keep in mind that I am a tenant. Not a lawyer!!!!!
Phil Cohen
 
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Re: Unreasonable Neighors

Postby Phil Cohen » Sun Nov 10, 2002 1:04 pm

Well, theoretically this guy can turn this into a warranty of habitability issue. It does happen from time to time. But it is a very hard thing to do.
Keep in mind that I am a tenant. Not a lawyer!!!!!
Phil Cohen
 
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Re: Unreasonable Neighors

Postby Phil Cohen » Sun Nov 10, 2002 1:13 pm

just to complete the thought....
I don't want to discourage this tenant from pursuing his remedies. By all means he should complain to the upstairs tenant and LL. He may indeed have grounds to withhold rent--it should certainly be explored with a lawyer. But he should be realistic and understand that moving out may be the only practical remedy, particularly if he is not rent stabilized.
Keep in mind that I am a tenant. Not a lawyer!!!!!
Phil Cohen
 
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Re: Unreasonable Neighors

Postby Jef121 » Thu Nov 21, 2002 11:15 pm

Thanks for your help. So far I complained again and now I think they're starting to do things on purpose. I do not have a lease so I can't do anything in that regard. I have started to look for a new apartment because this is starting to affect my job, I'm tired all the time from lack of sleep. They are stomping when they walk and it seems they yell more than usual now. I've talked to people who called cops in similar situations and it was useless. They are section 8 tenants and I've filed a complaint against them there. Hopefully, they'll at least investigate and make things a little uncomfortable for them. Thanks again for your help.
Jef121
 
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Joined: Sat Oct 26, 2002 1:01 am
Location: New York City

Re: Unreasonable Neighors

Postby Phil Cohen » Fri Nov 22, 2002 2:24 pm

One alternative you might want to explore with a lawyer is whether you can make a case that their constant noise, resulting loss of sleep, etc., was in effect what the law calls an "eviction." Might be worth spending a few bucks on a consultation with a tenant lawyer. (Assuming you want to go through the hassle.)
Keep in mind that I am a tenant. Not a lawyer!!!!!
Phil Cohen
 
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Re: Unreasonable Neighors

Postby Jef121 » Mon Nov 25, 2002 12:34 am

I don't know if I wanna go through that hassle, but I have a friend who's a lawyer and I'll look into it. Thanks. One last question....I don't have a lease on my apartment so does that mean I don't have to give any notice to when I'm going to leave? She cannot penalize me by keeping my security deposit if I only give her one week notice, correct?

Thanks again.
Jef121
 
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Location: New York City

Re: Unreasonable Neighors

Postby needadvise » Tue Nov 26, 2002 3:16 am

what if you build a room within a room?
Like put up some sound-proofing board up on the ceiling.
My friend installed one of those board from HomeDepot on the wall that devides his room and roommate's room ( their apartment was rail-road type and there was window in between the rooms) and it worked great.
You lose a couple of inches of your space, but according to my friend, it worth it.

Also, the same friend lives above his landlady and everytime he drops something on the floor she complains. So he put the same board on the floor, and the landlady complains less now.

Maybe you can install one of those board in the neighbor's apartment, and do it all your cost. (the board is about 4 ft by 8 ft and doesn't cost much)

Of course, all that suggestion if you have an awsome deal with your apartment and do not want to leave.
needadvise
 
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Re: Unreasonable Neighors

Postby lynne » Sun Dec 08, 2002 10:57 pm

i'm in a similar situation and have threatened not to pay my rent until the building management has resolved the situation to our satisfaction, as they have not done a single thing for 3 months - this is a luxury building that has a 80% carpeting rule that the apt above has not abided by.
we have been reasonable, but no action has been taken.
now i am not going to pay rent until they at least get carpet.
can i do this? will they throw me out if i don't pay rent because they haven't addressed and resolved my concerns??
please let me know!!!!
lynne
 
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