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Old 07-24-2018, 10:45 PM
118 posts, read 160,673 times
Reputation: 81


Hello All,

Background: I recently moved into a two-story condo which consist of four units on the ground floor and two above. I'm in the middle, so I have a neighbor above and one on either side. My family owns the apt and were previously renting it out sans issues. The last tenant moved out and I moved in. However, about last December, I came to the apt as the A/C company came to do maintenance and I chatted with the tenant for a bit and she mentioned that she could hear the next door apt's TV, the living rooms of both apartments face each other through a common wall. I asked if she wanted us to say something to try to amend the situation but she declined.

The wall construction is pretty good overall: you can't hear conversations, or dogs barking, and no noise except for the occasional 'flaking' sound of a drawer slamming shut, i.e. daily living noises. However, TV noises, particularly lower frequency noises pass through the walls like a hot knife through butter.

My next door neighbor on other side (not the living room side) rang my doorbell like a month ago to apologize for the barking dogs, and I mentioned that I couldn't hear them and had him come in to see that they weren't audible at all. We got to talking and for work, he needs to be up early and my office shares the wall to his bedroom so we both agreed to work together as to not have music and / or TV noise bother the other. A great experience overall.

Issue: My neighbor on the living room side however is a problem. I can hear his TV which is normally on from 8pm-ish until about 11pm on weekdays and sometimes until midnight or 1am on weekends. I've only seen him a few times outside with his dogs (which I can't hear inside my apt, and they definitely bark) and he's been cordial. If I understood correctly, he rents and has done so for like 20 years. The apt on the back side is a bit dilapidated: it has mold growing in the concrete of the screened-in area as well as plants and the screens are partially broken, even though the HOA sent several mailed memos regarding having the screens fixed and a deadline to do so.

His TV is audible sometimes from around the hallway, which is at least 40 feet away and around a corridor. Sometimes it's audible in my kitchen over my refrigerator and it's located in a separate room, i.e. it's not an open plan kitchen. It's always audible in my living room and all the way to the kitchen nook about 25 feet away. I was dreading going over there because something didn't strike me as 'right' with him.

I saw that his lights were on and rang his doorbell at around 8:20pm. He yelled that he would be right there. A minute and I do mean a whole 60 seconds later. He answered clothed, but his shirt was off, he only cracked the door a tiny amount half trying to keep his dogs in and only peeping with a bit more than his eye visible.

It was quite difficult to have a frank conversation like that and I didn't get more than a few words out when he snapped 'well, get on with it', so I stated that either his TV was too loud or that his speakers were projecting against the wall and he stated his TV was a foot away from the wall and that he had no speakers (I guess he hears the TV via telepathy?). He got automatically defensive. I asked if the TV was flat and he flung open the door and said see there it is: and there it was a big screen flat TV with it's speakers facing the common wall because every flat screen TV has the speakers 180 degrees away from the screen.

I stated that I had a flat screen TV and I also had a sound bar so the sound didn't bother my neighbors (having lived in NYC with paper thin walls) but it did nothing, he started going on about the number of years he'd been there and how no one has said anything (he didn't have that TV 19 or even 5 years ago and because no one said anything before isn't proof of anything), and I stated that our previous tenant had mentioned something to us but she didn't want to bother anyone. He then basically started moving towards me in a pretty aggressive manner, so I moved back (I never made it past the threshold of his front door).

Instead of trying to talk about this he just stated "I can't do anything about it" and slammed the door in my face. He was impossible to speak with and an utter ass.

I frankly can't be in 1/2 of my apartment when his TV is on... how do I nip this in the bud? Because I'm furious that I can't live in apartment that I own because of someone that rents. I did find this, which clearly states PBC's noise code (see page 4) which is clearly being broken: http://discover.pbcgov.org/pzb/zonin...f#search=noise

Last edited by imageWIS; 07-24-2018 at 10:55 PM..
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