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Old 04-13-2009, 07:12 PM
Location: LawnGuyLind, NY / Sarasota, FL
1,573 posts, read 2,275,124 times
Reputation: 1074


The people above me, who moved in about 6 mos ago, are awake at 5:00 AM, and they spend at least 2 hours every morning doing who knows what in the bedroom right over my head (NO - not THAT. They are walking around, banging & moving furniture, wheeling things around). It wakes me every morning many hours earlier than I plan to. I am sleep deprived. The problem is that the floors & ceilings here are thinner than paper. It is a large "luxury" complex, and the apartment management won't do anything about it. The lease requires all floors to be carpeted, and they have no carpet. The upstairs tenants told me they don't think they should be forced to spend money to carpet when they are "only renting." The LL said they can't force them to carpet, even though the lease requires it. If they'd carpet, it would muffle the sound & help a lot.
I have also requested that we go to a community mediation program, but they refused that as well.
Now that I;ve complained, however, not only won't they stop this behavior, but they are complaining about me. This past saturday, at 10:30 PM, wife & I laughed at a movie we were watching. The laugh lasted no more than 5 seconds, and they immediately started jumping up & down & screaming at us to shut up. They go to sleep around 10:00.

So since they won't stop waking me, and LL won't help, I have to take the situation into my own hands. Unfortunately, being under them they have the upper hand. They can bang & pounce & whatever. All I can think of that I can do is to play TV or music loud. I don't like playing games like that though. I also can't stand a loud TV. Other than moving though, I'm not sure what I can do. Of course I'll be moving, but my lease doesn't expire for a few months ( and it would also take me a couple of months to find a proper place - Ive been looking since FEb to no avail - not a lot of rental units around here)
Any tried & successful suggestions?
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Old 04-13-2009, 08:42 PM
173 posts, read 429,672 times
Reputation: 148
All I know to tell you is to buy those foam ear plugs and go to sleep. I used to use them all of the time when I worked third shift and slept during the day hours. Good luck!
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Old 04-13-2009, 09:03 PM
Location: Seaford, Delaware
3,456 posts, read 16,268,485 times
Reputation: 2584
Buy them carpet. Offer to pay for the carpet for thier bedroom. Get the agreement in writing and buy a very thick cheap carpet piece that will fit the room. You do not have pay for wall to wall, just a large remnant that will fit the room. maybe 2 remnants together if it's a big room.
If they agree, write it out and when signed, send a copy to the LL.
It may be worth the cost of the carpet.
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Old 04-14-2009, 07:21 AM
Location: MN
761 posts, read 2,903,441 times
Reputation: 438
They are required by the lease but don't have carpet? Why doesn't it have carpet to begin with? Are they just on the plywood floors, or does it have wood floors? I am confused.
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Old 04-14-2009, 08:06 AM
730 posts, read 2,502,829 times
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I have been here before. It's very annoying when people disregard the carpet lease. In NY you are required to carpet 80% of the living area and hardly anyone ever does.

Sadly, my advice would be the same as the previous poster. Those foam ear plugs work great. They block out backround noise but you still wake up with your alarm clock.

Good luck.
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Old 04-14-2009, 08:22 AM
850 posts, read 4,067,553 times
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Since their noise is common living noise, there's not much you can do. It's part of the deal of living in multifamily housing-you're going to hear your neighbors. I know you say it sounds like they're moving furniture, but they're most likely not. I can't tell you how many times I've heard that as a property manager, but it's just the way noise travels sometimes. I know it's inconvenient to you that they wake up at 5 am, but that's their life and if they need to wake up that early, then they are allowed to. As long as they're not violating noise ordinances with music, television, etc., they're within the law and their rights. As far as the carpeting, don't assume it's in their lease just because it's in yours. Sometimes people have different leases. Also, sometimes there are odd clauses in leases like that, yet they're not applicable with the law and aren't enforced. That's likely one of them. It wouldn't be realistic to expect a renter to install carpeting in an apartment that they don't own.

As far as your "retaliation" to them with the music and television, I'd be careful if I were you. Now you're the one that's actually breaking the law, so when it comes down to it, you're the one that could be evicted.

I know it stinks and I don't mean to sound harsh, but it's really not out of the ordinary to hear these kinds of things. If you're that sensitive to noise, then your best bet is to find a single family home to rent. Good luck.
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Old 04-14-2009, 08:54 AM
Location: South Carolina
12,576 posts, read 16,892,239 times
Reputation: 21030
I would say complain to management but since you have already done that forget that what about the allienable right to live peacefully ? if you cant have that take the landlord to court and sue him since he wont do what is right and then have him pay for your moving exspenses as well . After you are done with him then maybe from now on he will make sure that there is carpet in that apt . You have the right to live peacefully and obviously they are making that impossible . I have been through this so many times with other people .we used to have a neighbor that would leave the windows open at night just to see who she could annoy with her sexual sounds escaping her bedroom window . well when the rest of the cul de sac complained to the landlord he had her out of there quicker than you know what . cause we all told him we would bring a class action lawsuit against him for violating our rights to live peacefully . It works believe me . good luck to you .
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Old 04-14-2009, 10:09 AM
Location: LawnGuyLind, NY / Sarasota, FL
1,573 posts, read 2,275,124 times
Reputation: 1074
Thanks for the comments/advice.
As for the Buying Them Carpet - might not be a horrible idea, but I am going to be here only a few more months. So not worth it for that.
Tried earplugs - in addition to being annoying, they don't block the sound that well. And when I wear them I hear a rushing type sound in my ear that is disturbing.
As far as the Lease - Yes, it DOES contain the carpet clause. even if it didn't, as someone posted, I belive they'd be required by law to carpet anyway.
Suit against LL - filing fees & legal fees would most likely NOT be recoverable even if I win. In NY, that will eat up several thousand $'s. And the courts are so slow that nothing would be resolved for several years. This is NOT NYC, s there are no specialized housing courts here.
I also thought of withholding rent. But if I do that, I expect the LL would immediately report to credit bureau, and there goes my almost 800 credit rating! And I AM looking to buy property, so there goes a mortgage approval.
The floors are nice hardwood floors (that some people say are too nice to cover), not plywood. Problem is that the management Co. subdivided what once was a nice building, almost doubling the # of apartments (about 20 yrs ago) with thick concrete walls, and many of the apartments now have paper thin walls & ceilings. Several mos ago there was a leak from the upstairs apartment & they had to open up my ceiling to fix it. I got to see what was in there - NOTHING! Not one drop of sound insulation. No barriers at all. I would think that fire in my apartment would spread above immediately. And they advertise this place as "LUXURY" and charge 3G/mo for a 1 bedroom!!!!!

So there's the problem: LEGALLY, I certainly have a clear case that they must carpet, which will help considerably with the sounds. But getting them to do it in a reasonable time frame & at reasonable cost, without the LL being willing to do anything, does not seem to be likely.

I guess I'll just have to bang on the ceiling a few times at 1 AM to give them a taste of their own medicine. Play TV loud. Both of which I really do NOT want to do. It's just not in my nature to retaliate (I'm a Lover, not a Fighter! Hmmm - THAT'S THE ANSWER! LOTS & LOTS OF SEXUAL SCREAMING!!!! It may not work, but it would be fun trying!!! ) IF they say something to me, I'll again point out how carpeting would help great in muffling the noise from below. I also would not want to disturb the neighbor below me - quiet as a mouse. And she has told me how nice it is to have me above her since I am so quiet, which I am.
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Old 04-14-2009, 10:46 AM
850 posts, read 4,067,553 times
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Phonelady-you're right and wrong. Yes, renters have the right to peaceful enjoyment of their home. But the way that is breached determines if you have a valid complaint or not. In your case, yes, the woman making excessive noises is certainly acting inappropriate and should be dealt with. In this case, the neighbors are simply living their normal lives, it just so happens it's earlier in the am than the OP would like to be awake. These are two entirely different circumstances.

OP, actually, legally, you don't have a case against them about the carpet. I researched the landlord/tenant laws and the PP was wrong about their being a law that 80% of the floor space must be covered. It's apparently a common lease provision, but NOT a legal requirement. So if the landlord chooses not to enforce it for them, that's between them. Now you are entitled to peaceful enjoyment of your home, but to stand up in court, those kinds of breaches typically have to be inappropriate, illegal and backed up with third party documentation like police reports. In this case, even though the time is a bit earlier than you'd like, there's nothing inappropriate or illegal about their activities.

As far as withholding rent, you can't do that either. In NY, you can only withhold rent due to unsafe living conditions to get repairs taken care of immediately. Otherwise, not only can they report you to the credit bureaus, but they would probably evict you. And trust me, you don't want that on your record!

Again, please don't try to get back at them by making more noise. It's childish and inappropriate and if it involves purposeful actions such as television, banging and music, you could also be evicted. Plus, as you said, you may inconvenience your other neighbors. Like you said, you're a lover, not a fighter, so just sit tight for the next few months and deal with it. Hopefully it'll be over before you know it!
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Old 04-14-2009, 02:07 PM
1,788 posts, read 4,082,313 times
Reputation: 1230
Originally Posted by Coachgns View Post
I guess I'll just have to bang on the ceiling a few times at 1 AM to give them a taste of their own medicine. Play TV loud. Both of which I really do NOT want to do. .
Right, because escalating the problem with juvenile passive-aggressive behavior always solves the issue!
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