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Psycho Drunk Lady Upstairs & Continued Harassment Quiet Enjoyment

Discussion in 'Living in, Use of the Premises' started by heidi, Feb 20, 2004.

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  1. heidi

    heidi Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hi Everyone! I'm new to this board and am hoping that someone, anyone, can help me with some advice on this situation.

    I have a very ignorant tenant living upstairs from me. My lease is up June 30, 2004, but I cannot bear this harassment any longer.

    This tenant upstairs, Patty, consumes a lot of alcohol and is constantly drunk. She constantly harasses me via letters, ignorant looks, sicking her dog on me while I'm getting my 3 year old daughter out of the car, etc. She plays her radio very loud after 11pm and often wakes my daughter up. She stomps on my ceiling with every noise that comes out of my place. She is very confrontational.

    She controls the thermostat and turns it up or down at her whims, thus violating the mandatory heat level of 68 degrees F, as governed by Illinois law. If she's hot, she'll turn it down to 50 and it will be freezing cold in my apartment in the morning. This usually occurs after a long night of her drinking. I have a child and this lack of heat is not acceptable.

    I have repeatedly notified our landlord of the problems not only I am having but the attic tenants as well are having these same problems. I've contacted the LL in the form of verbal phone calls (about 6 of them now), and 4 certified return receipt letters.

    The last straw for me happened yesterday. My boyfriend has rented a house in which I am planning to move into with him. I stopped by my house after not being there for about 5 days to pick up more of my stuff to bring over to his house. I was in my daughter's bedroom picking up toys while my car was heating up outside and I suddenly hear my name being called FROM INSIDE MY HOUSE! :eek: So I go to the kitchen and guess who's standing in my foyer? Crazy drunk Patty (the tenant upstairs). She is actually two steps inside my apartment without knocking or having permission! She begins demanding that I take my garbage can to the curb and that she had to take my can to the curb last Thursday (which I haven't been there in 2-1/2 weeks). I explained to her that there is no garbage in my can and that there was no garbage in my can last week either as I have not been home. I told her to talk to the attic tenants as it may have been her trash.

    She was extremely rude and confrontational with me, and did I mention she trespassed into my home without permission?!?! I asked her not to be ignorant towards me and she practically accosted me yelling about the garbage. I asked her to leave my house and told her that if she has a problem with me to talk to the landlord (which I've repeatedly told her before) so she stomps up my stairs and slams my outer door and takes off in her car.

    I was extremely angry at the fact that this woman had the *nerve* to walk into my house like that and start accosting, demanding, and being very ignorant towards me without just cause. This woman has violated my rights under the implied covenant of quiet enjoyment in this apartment I immediately called the landlord to tell her what had happened and told the landlord that I cannot continue to live like this---that I wanted a mutual agreement to terminate the lease. She tried to smooth things out **yet again**, but I told her there is no more smoothing---I am in fear of my safety and well-being as well as my daughter's, not to mention getting extremely tired and stressed out after having to deal with this psycho.

    What legal action, if any, can I take against the woman upstairs for last night's fiasco? Can I file a police report for assault and trespass?

    Can I now legally break my lease with no repurcussions from the landlord, as it is the landlord's duty to take care of problems like these before they escallate into worse issues. Is this violation of the implid covenant of quiet enjoyment enough to break my lease citing breach of contract on the landlord's part?

    I am at my wit's end. Someone PLEASE help me with this!!! Thank you guys/gals in advance! :D
  2. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    To begin, I'm sorry to hear about the problems but I hope you aren't making them sound worse to find a way to move out. If they are as serious as you say (especially the heat issue if it is persistent) then perhaps you might have a legal way out...

    I would think that if you are fearful of your safety and property you should file a police report -- if this is as serious as you say. I don't doubt it but stop, during a calm moment, and speak to your boyfriend for perspective. But to be honest with you, if she just stepped in the door into your foyer it doesn't sound like a 'trespass' in the conventional sense and is more likely to be thought of by the police as a disagreement between neighbors that is best off left between them. It will also leave your credability in doubt in the event of further complaints.

    That said, playing the radio loud after 11pm is a significant issue. If it is that loud and your request to her has gone unheeded, than there is no problem with calling the police.

    Regarding your landlord, unless you have sent him notification of the problems you are telling me about, e.g. the heat issue which can be serious, then you'd do best by writing the landlord a letter, certified return receipt, of his failure to cure his 'material breach' of the lease in allowing all of these serious problems to persist (he is required to provide heat) and thus forcing you to move. You might wish to state that he breached his covenant to provide heat and that the apartment is under 60 degrees in the freezing cold winter (I assume you aren't in Florida) and thus you cannot live in your apartment with your child. Accordingly, you are forced to move out and will move out permanently.

    You will always run the risk of the landlord trying to take you to court for lost rent unless it appears that the landlord breached his requirements under the lease. If you create a paper trail of your problems and if they are serious, then it is possible that you can minimize this risk significantly. That said, if this is just a hopeful way to move out earlier and into your boyfriend's place and that the situation isn't as bad as you are making it, then don't expect the landlord to roll over and perhaps the actions might not constitute a 'material breach' of the lease.

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