Neighbor complaining about noise

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Latest post 04-29-2010 8:18 AM by Drew. 7 replies.
  • 03-07-2010 4:58 AM

    • IamTom
      Consumer
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    • Joined on 03-07-2010
    • NY
    • Posts 2

    Neighbor complaining about noise

    I've been reading through several posts about nosy neighbors and my situation is the opposite. My family moved into this apartment 3 mos ago. I have 2 young kids 10 mos and a 3yr old.  We just sold our condo and looking to buy a house, we are temporarily renting while we are looking. The main reason we leased this apartment was because we thought there was nobody below us. Unfortunately I found out on moving day that there are basement apartments but only 1 BR.  Half of my apartment is above a storage area and our 2 BR are over her living room and bedroom. We have hardwood floors and although we have area rugs and runners, the floor creaks dreadfully so when one walks or even tiptoes, the floor jusst keeps creaking. Our problems started February when the superintendent saw me in the parking lot and told me that the neighbor downstairs was complaining of the "unreasonable noise" of the baby crawling. I was surprised at that. But I told him that I dont think I can do anything if a baby practices "crawling on the floor" are they expecting me to carry the baby all the time? or tie her to a chair? and besides, these are normal child developments. So I said that we would try our best. He confronted me several more time with complaints like the baby is crying in the middle of the night, that my neighbor can hear my eldest daughter run to the door to greet daddy when he gets home around 7pm and shouting "daddy!daddy!" the super also told me that the children cannot play or go to the bedroom. I told him that they are in bed by 9 or 10pm. He even had the nerve to talk to my daughter and tell her she cannot run inside the house. I sometimes have to go to NY and get home around 1am, I try to tiptoe my way around the house but the freaking floor creaks. My neighbor upstairs a couple without kids also have heavy footsteps. I am a pediatric nurse and what my kids do are what normal kids do. Unreasonable noise? From what I know, unreasonable noise is more like loud music , playing instruments, vacuuming, loud partying after certain hours. Now this superintendent tells me not walk around after 9pm.Is it unreasonable for a baby to cry? or crawl? or for a toddler to walk around? what does she expect us to do? float after 9pm? duct tape the kids mouth? I am very upset to the point that it has affected me in my work. I work as a pediatric nurse and I deal with kids all the time. Everytime I see this super he always brings up that my kids are noisy. I told him what is ABNORMAL behavior for children? my kids are sleeping by 9pm. Rights to peace and quiet? what about the right of my kids for a normal, healthy environment. Besides, my neighbor upstairs have lead feet, they get home around 11pm and walk around till 3am, but I am not complaining since it is unrealistic for me to demand them not to walk around in their own house or sleep in the hallway so I wont be disturbed when they come home late. It is an apartment after all, so I try to understand. But it seems like the super is taking this woman's complaints too far, it almost feels like harassment. And that is one of the reasons we are buying a house. Sorry for the long story, but here is the question, can I get out of the lease early because this incident is making me feel uncomfortable, I try to avoid the super, he knocks on my door and he already talked to me 4 times starting Feb. Like I said I am starting to feel harassed. And this super told me that the condo have rules that 80% of the apartment should be carpeted. I told him that I am not the owner and that is not my responsibility. It should have been the responsibility of the owner. They have known about the carpet ruling why haven't they carpeted the place? HEre comes the second question, If I can't break my lease, can I require the landlord to carpet the place? Is it my responsiblity as a tenant to have the place carpeted? For all the posters who have noisy neighbor complaints I feel your pain since I also have noisy neighbors too but when I applied for the lease they knew I had young children. Can I get out of the lease early since we are starting to feel distressed in our home. We feel like we cannot move inside our own apartment. The super came to the apartment and saw my daughter, he said to her "Oh you are so cute, how old are you? 3 so you are the one making so much noise? You cannot run  inside the house ok?" I was speechless.This was like around 4pm. I am telling you that my kid is not a hooligan she even tiptoe now since I am so stressed that I have to remind her that there is a neighbor downstairs. A 3 yr old tiptoing? is that a normal child behavior? pls be gentle with your comments and it has gotten to the point that everytime I see the super I get palpitations and try to avoid talking with him. What a nice environment to raise a child.

  • 03-07-2010 6:56 AM In reply to

    Re: Neighbor complaining about noise

    The terms under which you can terminate your lease are contained in that lease.  Many, many, many leases require tenants to carpet the floor to reduce noise, so you need to read your lease for that as well.  If the lease says that you're responsible for carpet, then it's your responsibility. &...

    Please don't take this wrong way, but many parents are unaware of how much noise children, even small ones, can make.  You've said you wouldn't have taken the apartment if you knew there were people below you, so at some level I think you understand.

    Also, if you're a renter and the people below you are owners, owners will always have priority. 

  • 03-07-2010 10:56 AM In reply to

    Re: Neighbor complaining about noise

    This is not legal advice and I have no way of knowing how it will play out.

    But one option is to simply tell the superintendent politely that you will live your life normally and he can refer his issues to the owner from whom you rent. Then don't get into any more conversations with him and tell him to pound sand if he keeps bothering you.

    Your obligation is to the owner from whom you rent.

    The owner's obligation is to the HOA.

    If the HOA puts heat on the owner and the owner wants you to leave you'll have an opportunity to get the owner to release you from the lease IN WRITING and give you back your deposit.

    Otherwise, there is nothing in your situation that would allow you to break your lease without significant unpleasant consequences.

     

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • 03-08-2010 1:57 PM In reply to

    Re: Neighbor complaining about noise

    Have you ever lived below an apt with hardwood floors?  It's true the noise magnified incredibly!

    I'd ask the super to take it up with the LL.  Otherwise, you probably have no legal option to break the lease.

    You could possibly get one of the huge carpet "samples" that would cover the entire floor but not nail it down.  But it would probably need some heavy insultation, too.

  • 03-13-2010 10:29 PM In reply to

    • IamTom
      Consumer
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    • Joined on 03-07-2010
    • NY
    • Posts 2

    Re: Neighbor complaining about noise

    Thank you for all your advise. I have written a letter to my LL but not yet sent it. So far the super is leaving me alone, and to tell you the truth he was stressing me more coz everytime he sees me he coould not help himself but bring up that I should try to "keep the noise down after 9pm" I already said we are doing our best, we have area rugs all over. And to Carol757 thank you for your input, I am very aware of noises that children make having lived in an apartment with young kids above me, that is why if I had known..oh well. All I really wanted is a little bit more tolerance and patience. I just want to move right now and get the h**l out of that place. I just cant believe they would say that my kids cannot crawl or cry during normal waking hours. Again thanks for the advise and I'm gonna reread my lease and talk it over with the LL. By the way, my baby started walking already and I could say it is a little bit more quiet than when she was crawling :) my neighbor probably start complaining again when my 1yr old practices  running..oh brother!

  • 04-29-2010 7:05 AM In reply to

    • DavidLuke
      Consumer
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    • Joined on 04-29-2010
    • CA
    • Posts 1

    Re: Neighbor complaining about noise

    I have a similar problem with my neighbors. I am planning to soundproof my home. I heard of this product called quietrock. I was told that with some quiet glue and a layer of quietrock I should get enough soundproofing.

  • 04-29-2010 8:18 AM In reply to

    • Drew
      Consumer
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 03-30-2000
    • PA
    • Posts 49,323

    Re: Neighbor complaining about noise

    I'm a retired LL--and had some older building with rather limited soundproofing.

    I think it makes sense to require carpets and padding over hardwood floors--but UNLESS that is spelled out in the lease as the tenat obligation then I think its the LL;s obligation to address sound levels.

    I fail to see where routine walking on creaky wood floors is the tenant problem!!

    Its a difficult judgement call ( not a legal call) as to women in high heels, people of 150lb plus in boots, or a kid running a plastic play toy endlessly over woor floors.

    Sure reads to me like you are not a bad apple.

    This LL is going to have problems no matter who lives there as noise carries---he would be smart to get some of the higher end padding and some durable "berber" carpeting for large area rugs in hardwood areas--its suprising cheap if one shops the outlets or big box on sale--the good (not the cheap stuff) padding is waht really does the trick. 

    To some extent I suggest you suggest your "super" and the other tenant take it up with the owner!

    I don't see the problem as your problem--but as a practical matter if you see a sale of good dense padding  and some remenats you might offer to split it with  LL just to buy some peace. I've seen and bought darn good quality "remnants" as large as 12 x 14 for $50 or less---sometimes cheaper to lay two layers of good carpet than a layer of padding which is rarely on such a lowball sale.

    If a wood floor squeaks--not your problem--and not so easy to solve  either w/o actually renailing etc.

     



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