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Old 02-23-2015, 12:25 PM
 
6 posts, read 36,830 times
Reputation: 12

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Hi,

I recently moved into a large apartment complex in the San Diego area. When someone walks in our apartment, things shake (e.g., can see computer monitor visibly shake, and hear rattling of pans). This even happens when my 120 lb wife walks. Even more annoying and peculiar is the floor shakes when our neighbors below us walk in their apartment. This is frequent and unsettling and feels like small earthquakes. Any thoughts on what is causing this and what we can do? We've lived above others in past apartments and have never experienced this.

Notes:
- Apartment is not that old (built around 2000), is in a nice area, is not cheap ($2100 for 2 bd/2ba), and is managed by large apartment company
- Our floor has new carpeting
- The issue is more noticeable in certain areas of the apt versus others
- The noise insulation does not appear good here -- we frequently hear the neighbors below us (talking, music/tv), as well as people in the hallway and walking the stairs.
- We reported to management, and they said there is nothing they can do about something related to building construction, and noise is common with apartment living. They claim they have not received any other reports of this from my unit or any other unit.

If nothing can be done about this, at the very least I feel like we should get a rent reduction, since this is an unusual problem and reduces our ability to enjoy our apartment. Thoughts?

Thanks!
Tyler
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Old 02-23-2015, 12:36 PM
 
Location: NYC
2,874 posts, read 4,952,600 times
Reputation: 2730
wow sounds like really bad construction. I doubt you will get a rent reduction though....
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Old 02-23-2015, 01:05 PM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,669 posts, read 65,454,319 times
Reputation: 26623
Quote:
Originally Posted by TylerSD View Post
If nothing can be done about this, at the very least I feel like we should get a rent reduction, since this is an unusual problem and reduces our ability to enjoy our apartment. Thoughts?

Thanks!
Tyler
Unfortunately your feelings are immaterial and I doubt very much that your LL will agree to a rent reduction although of course you can always ask.
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Old 02-23-2015, 01:23 PM
 
912 posts, read 4,929,372 times
Reputation: 2043
Its not like they showed you the place, then rushed back in after you left to remove construction materials prior to you moving in and singing a lease.

You saw it. You signed for it. You leased it.

Don't renew and be more thorough checking your next rental.

Good luck!
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Old 02-23-2015, 02:58 PM
 
Location: Minnesota
1,484 posts, read 3,704,647 times
Reputation: 2426
ummm Call in the city/county building code .. Tell ya why.. that kinda movement when you walk is not normal .. it sounds like a structural issue and maybe some shoddy construction..
NO dont move out .. but do complain and get the building inspectors to looking ..
::shrugs:; if your wrong then your wrong but on the odd chance that its not up to code or there is a issue then it needs fixed ..
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Old 02-23-2015, 10:18 PM
 
6 posts, read 36,830 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlitosBala View Post
Its not like they showed you the place, then rushed back in after you left to remove construction materials prior to you moving in and singing a lease.

You saw it. You signed for it. You leased it.

Don't renew and be more thorough checking your next rental.
How exactly could this situation have been avoided? What are the chances that the 5 minutes we're checking out the unit we would experience this?

The only way to ensure would be to spend a day/night/week here, which is not currently an option.

It's frustrating to have to gamble with our housing situation and lose.

Why shouldn't the landlord be held accountable? (in this particular case, a large corporation probably already making a hefty profit given the high rents in SoCal)
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Old 02-24-2015, 05:35 AM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,669 posts, read 65,454,319 times
Reputation: 26623
Quote:
Originally Posted by TylerSD View Post
How exactly could this situation have been avoided? What are the chances that the 5 minutes we're checking out the unit we would experience this?
If you're only spending five minutes walking around a prospective rental then obviously that's nowhere near sufficient time. Before signing a lease you see the place a couple of times at different times of the day to get a better perspective of building and neighborhood noise.
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Old 02-24-2015, 05:40 AM
 
Location: U.S. (East Coast)
1,225 posts, read 1,249,614 times
Reputation: 2648
Quote:
Originally Posted by Faworki1947 View Post
ummm Call in the city/county building code .. Tell ya why.. that kinda movement when you walk is not normal .. it sounds like a structural issue and maybe some shoddy construction..
NO dont move out .. but do complain and get the building inspectors to looking ..
::shrugs:; if your wrong then your wrong but on the odd chance that its not up to code or there is a issue then it needs fixed ..
What Faw said. * If your landlord says they can do nothing, contact the city to get an inspector to come out. They won't charge you anything and at least you'll have peace of mind knowing you aren't going to fall through the floor. He/She may even be able to give you some tips on how to stabilize the floor or put in an order to renovate it with your landlord... contact them.
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Old 02-24-2015, 09:15 PM
 
27,823 posts, read 58,883,417 times
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Building Code is only minimum standard... I've seen plenty of construction built to save a dollar with structural components pushed to the limit...

A very good friend from Germany was looking to rent and was aghast at many of the apartments she viewed... she finally found a commercial high rise with concrete construction... just like in Germany and has been very happy... a person could be doing jumping jacks upstairs and you would never know it... quiet like a tomb...

Having hardwood and metal blinds does not help either... sound suppression is greatly enhanced with soft building materials like wall to wall carpet over heavy pad and floor to ceiling drapes...

I took over a 4 plex built in 1960 and the deflection of the upstairs floors was very noticeable... ended up gluing and screwing down new plywood subfloors for both upstairs units... did the trick...

I believe it is unrealistic in a tight rental market to expect a Landlord is going to modify the property with a ready supply of those willing to take your place.

The beauty of renting is you don't have a long term commitment... in fact, you may have a buy out provision or State Laws that mitigate loss pending a replacement tenant.

I would not take it too hard... we all make mistakes and this one can be easily remedied...
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Old 02-24-2015, 09:54 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,816 posts, read 28,655,054 times
Reputation: 38270
OP, I'm sorry. I know how frustrating it is to move into a place, and incur all of those costs, put up shelves, decorate, organize, and realize you need to move again. Been there.

Legally, the landlord won't have to accommodate you, I'm afraid. In CA, the landlord is required to make the place habitable, but what you're describing is not included. Habitablity would include working plumbing, windows with locks, heat, that kind of thing.

As Ultrarunner said, the place is probably legal, and that's about it.

In CA, you can legally break your lease, though. What you would do is give 30 days notice that you are going to move out and break your lease. Then the LL has to try and find a new tenant as soon as possible with a reasonable effort. You will need to pay rent until they find another tenant to start paying.

Here is a legal website about breaking your lease in CA:

Breaking a Lease and Leaving Early | Nolo.com

I agree with you, that it would be pretty difficult to learn how a place will be after you move in - during your walk-through with the manager. Managers don't normally allow you to go hang out in the apartment at any time of the day and night. I was an apt manager myself. I've let people come in a few times while they are deciding, but never late at night, and never for longer than maybe 30 minutes. So, there's really no way you could know in advance. The best way to check out a place is to go and talk to tenants as they are coming and going from the building and ask them how noisy it is, how is maintenance, etc.

I did this when I came to check my current apt out. I interviewed with the manager, then hung around outside and asked a couple tenants as they were coming and going to/from the building how they liked living here, and management and maintenance, etc. They gave the place good reviews.

When I hung around in the apt measuring for about an hour, it was silent. When I moved in over Thanksgiving weekend it was silent. And then the guy upstairs came home from Thanksgiving vacation LOL! I'm used to his clunking around, but as you say, it's still a gamble, even when you do your best to find out all you can.

I hope you love your next place. Good luck.
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