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Am I being harassed by my neighbors? Quiet Enjoyment

Discussion in 'Living in, Use of the Premises' started by Martin_Brundle, Jan 22, 2006.

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  1. Martin_Brundle

    Martin_Brundle Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Quick sanity check... am I being harassed or am I off base?

    We've been living in this apartment complex for 3 years now and we tried to have a nice relationship with our neighbors ("Good Morning", "How are you?" etc). Which seemed to work for all, except the people living underneath us. Shortly after we moved in, they kept banging on the ceiling (aparently they felt that our 2 children were too noisy). We thought that was an odd behavior of them, considering that they had/have major relationship problems and would have loud yelling matches (with all the door banging that goes with it) all the way till 3am on a regular basis. Anyway, one day she came upstairs and talked to me about our children being too noisy during the day. I told her that we'd watch the kids and try our best to stop them, but then I also hinted that we'd really like it for them to keep it down when they're yelling at each other in the middle of the night. Needless to say, that this wasn't the end of it. She still bangs on the ceiling periodically whenever our kids so much as briskly walk through the hallway, and they're still going at each other yelling, banging and screaming ever increasingly bad obscenities at each other (the latter being a real concern now, because our children are getting old enough to actually listen and register what's going on downstairs). On top of the periodic banging on the ceiling, she's come to leave little notes on our door, i.e.: "Don't throw ashes onto my patio!" (we've never done that, we don't even smoke), "Don't drop trash in front of my door!" (we've never done that). Maybe I'm just oversensitive, but I get an upset stomach everytime she leaves on of her little paranoid notes on our door (on top of that, my wife thinks the woman is derranged and might start scratching our car or worse if we do anything in regards to her). Tonight she's out done herself again by pinning up a note on our day which reads: "Christmas is over. Please take down your lights and decorations. This place looks crappy enough without your help." We have a little Santa puppet on our door knocker and 3 strings of lights on our balcony. I simply had not gotten around to take any of them down yet. On the other hand, I was not aware of any laws stating that my christmas decorations have to be taken down at a certain date, nor that my 3 strings of lights and 10 inch santa puppet on my door knocker turn our apartment complex into a horrible place to live. As I said, maybe I'm just oversensitive, but I'm sick to my stomach as I write this and I want this constant harassment to end (I'm aware of that the term "harassment" might not be accurate for what we're going through with this family, but that's how we feel in regards to their pounding whenever we so much as move around in our apartment and their periodic notes on our door). So what is it? Am I oversensitive? How should I deal with this? After 3 years, it has reached the moment in time where I'd like to at least address this (my wife has been saying that we shouldn't even dignify her constant notes with an answer, so I've never written back to them or spoken to them (apparently we aren't even on speaking terms, because they've quit talking to us about 3 years ago). Should I speak to our landlord, and if so, what should I say? Should I get a lawyer and write to building management, or them directly to inform that I feel harassed? (I have voiced concerns regarding our neighbors horrifc language to the apartment manager once before, but nothing has changed, so I'm guessing he never spoke to them, or they decided to ignore it). What are our options? And please don't hold back with your opinions... maybe we're just nuts. That's a possibility as well, I guess.
     
  2. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    Why do you need a lawyer? You might want to document what she has done and send it, certified, to your building manager and to your landlord. Make sure to keep a record of these little details and ensure there is at least a paper trail as I've mentioned. While you will, in all likelihood, have to deal with this in some fashion, you may want to soften the blow without the tone of your letter to the landlord. I would make mention of the late night fights, the hostilities (egregious ones) and clearly unwarranted complaints and try to keep good dates. I would probably not mention the specific complaints about your children, only make reference to constant unwarranted and unreasonable complaints regarding every possible item that may affect their senses. While you hope that this does not escalate, you may require the landlord's assistance in ensuring that your residence is a place that you can still live. In this manner you have an out of your lease if you need it and have also created the first complaint against your neighbor which would bolster your credibility in the event of a dispute and also provide you leverage. Best of luck.
     

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