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Spurious noise complaints & threats from neighbor Roomate

Discussion in 'Living in, Use of the Premises' started by jr4182018, Apr 18, 2019.

  1. jr4182018

    jr4182018 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
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    Howdy folks.

    I'm faced with an unfortunate situation. On two occasions now, my neighbor in the apartment below has stormed upstairs and pounded on my door, threatening to call the police if I do not stop making, and I quote, "that noise". Unfortunately he has been very non-specific when I asked him what noise he was referring to, and his physically confrontational nature has made me want to avoid him as much as possible. He speaks as though I am supposed to know exactly what he is talking about; I asked him "What noise?" three times during the conversation and he completely disregarded me each time.

    Between these two confrontations, he filed a complaint with our landlord's representatives, who were unfortunately just as non-specific as he was, probably because he didn't give them any details either. I've requested further mediation from these representatives, but I'm doubtful of the results.

    Primary concern: In the event he does call the police, and deputies show up at my apartment, what would be the best way to handle the situation?

    Secondary concern: What if he never calls the police and just keeps threatening me? Do I have any legitimate recourse or must I allow myself to be terrorized?

    Tertiary concern / possible paranoia: Part of me believes that when he says "call the police" he's actually talking about swatting me, or making some other kind of criminally exaggerated report. What could I even do to preempt, prepare for, or even simply respond to such a situation?

    Ultimately I feel like I am boxed into a situation where I have to prove a negative... Any advice is greatly appreciated. Below is some additional context, please consider anything that appears relevant.

    Evidence:
    • I do not have any evidence of the two aggressive/confrontational/threatening interactions
    • I am capable of setting up a decibel meter but unsure if it will be of any use
    • I intend to record future confrontations (VA is a one-party state) but again, unsure if useful
    • I have e-mail correspondence with the landlord explaining most of what is explained here
    Community:
    • I've only lived here for two months
    • No other neighbors have complained to me
    • I do not feel comfortable approaching anyone for testimony
    • I often hear loud noises, at random intervals, from elsewhere in the unit
    • On a scale of 1 (ghetto) to 5 (white picket fence suburban) I would rate this place a 3
    • I am extremely avoidant of my neighbors; I have never even so much as made eye contact
    • My apartment door had signs of forced entry from before I even moved in
    Obligations:
    • My job requires me to be awake overnight (remote IT stuff, network/software ops)
    • More than 96% of my time between 8PM and 6AM is spent in front of a computer screen
    • I always wear headphones, and during the few calls I take, I speak at a very low volume
    • Ironically many of my clients are law enforcement but I have not disclosed that to anyone
    Happy to provide additional information upon request. Many thanks for your time.
     
  2. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    What time of day did these two visits occur?

    What were you doing in the interval just before the visits? Your answer to that might provide a hint to what "that noise" is.

    I suggest you create a paper trail. Put everything in writing, on paper (no texting, no email) and send it with tracking and delivery confirmation (not certified because people duck certified as bad news).

    Politely. Ask them "what noise." Otherwise try to avoid answering questions if they cannot be specific.


    Google Virginia restraining order for the former and see if you qualify. As for the latter, I don't know how you can prevent something like that. You'll have to sue him afterwards if that happens.

    That may be the problem. If the floors are thin and not insulated, even the slightest noise could disturb people sleeping on the floor below. See if your LL will allow you to move to a first floor apartment.
     
    justblue likes this.
  3. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Had someone done that to me, I'd have called "911" and reported that an unknown person is pounding at my door and screaming about noise.

    Had you done that, there would be no monkey on your back screaming that you were making noise.

    If the person does it again, IMMEDIATELY call "911", keep your door locked, don't make contact with deranged maniacs pounding on your door.

    Simply stay safely locked in your home, and allow the police to do their job, maintain the peace, restore order.
     

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