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new apt- problems with the downstairs neighbors

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
i just moved into a new apartment and am having problems with the neighbors downstairs.

the building is somewhat old (1970s) so there are definitely problems with creaky floorboards, but my unit has brand new carpeting.

i knew i was in for a possible neighbor-from-hell-type scenario when i got a noise complaint my move-in day. they constantly banged on the ceiling as i was moving in around from noon to 6, and actually came up at around 6pm to complain that i was being too loud. i told them, "sorry, you're going to have to deal for today; i'm only moving in once."

since then i haven't really had any face-to-face interactions with them. however they are constantly banging the ceiling for things that are ridiculous such as walking in the bedroom/cooking at night (past 10pm) or when the dog rolls on the carpet to scratch his back, etc... sometimes it seems, for no reason at all. one saturday night we had the cops called on us for being too noisy when i had a few people over for drinks. clearly, i don't think we were; we were just relaxing and having talking.

another time there was an accidental spill on the carpet and we had to vacuum some stuff up around 8pm. the vacuum was literally on for 10 secs and then banging on the ceiling and the lady came out on her patio and started shouting profanities, such as "turn that fucking shit off you dumbass!" lol. i told her, "shut the fuck up and go back inside, you're disturbing the neighbors."

anyway, i havent contact management and i dont think she has yet either. its a middle-age couple that lives downstairs, probably in their mid-50s and theyve probably been here for quite awhile. they seem pretty trashy from by brief encounters with them, and so i just pretty much want to avoid much confrontation with them. im not really going to change my lifestyle just for them (i'm more of a night person). i live within the rules of the lease agreement.

yet i have a pretty combustible personality so i would like some advice from those of you who have dealt with this before.

luckily my lease is only 3 mos, month-to-month after that, so if it totally goes down the shitter, i can move. it's just my girlfriend and i really like the area and don't want the hassle of moving again.

thanks.
post #2 of 25
Shame the new carpet was laid the didn't do a thorough job of fixing any of the major creaks in floors with proper bracing to the wood base.

If talking to the tenet does nothing, and you haven't suggested earplugs past 10 PM (or w/e) for the neighbor below, you're sort of stuck for the moment.

You could make a mental map of which area of the floor squeak the most and plan how to move around the apt. to avoid the creak zones may help. But, it's shitty to rent a place and have to deal with inconvenience everyday when you're tired and lumbering around in the morning, OR drunk in the apt.

Honestly, if you want want to fix the situation first try to come to a solution with your TenetFromHell, OR then talk to your landlord about how the building's upper floor structure is causing the issue. The landlord may not feel/want to pay for any help to better brace the your upper floor. Take each step you take in stride based on how your previous attempt went.

Also, doing shit to aggravate the neighbor below could make living in your place even shittier while you're stuck in the lease.
post #3 of 25
Instead of you having to get your floor fixed...convince the neighbor that they need to get their ceiling fixed.

This way they can be mad at the management company and move out when it doesn't get fixed.
post #4 of 25
Also, *you* should file official reports about the banging on the ceiling.

That is just the behavior of a real POS...same with calling the cops or yelling from the balcony. If they won't come up and talk to you and instead just become annoying jackasses, call your management company and say that they bang on the ceiling while you are just walking around and stuff. Its probably not good for the ceiling and it is an intentional disturbing act (unlike your walking around)
post #5 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by otc View Post

Also, *you* should file official reports about the banging on the ceiling.

That is just the behavior of a real POS...same with calling the cops or yelling from the balcony. If they won't come up and talk to you and instead just become annoying jackasses, call your management company and say that they bang on the ceiling while you are just walking around and stuff. Its probably not good for the ceiling and it is an intentional disturbing act (unlike your walking around)

You should do this, but don't be shocked if the management does nada.
post #6 of 25
I had a friend who had a situation much like yours.

I would be over to visit, sitting on the sofa just having a quiet conversation and the people below would bang on their ceiling and yell that we were being loud. Even told the police it sounded as though he had a pool table in the living room! Would even bang on the ceiling when there was no noise or movement at all.

The lady came upstairs one day and said her husband would be angry if we kept making noise. I told her to go get a divorce

They ended up being kicked out of the building

My advice: Don't pay any attention to them. Every time they bang on the ceiling call and email your management office to report them. Don't change a thing
post #7 of 25
i had a situation like that before. the apartment had 4 fours, i lived on the second, right above an older woman on the basement level. the day band hero came out i bought it for the ps3 and set it up at home. my favorite instrument was the drumset and played it for a couple hours (mind you it's not a real drum set) but from the small noise the a) foot pedal and b) drum stick hitting the drum set made must have been enough noise to piss her off. the next day we had a letter from the land lord saying there was a noise complaint from below and any further complaints would be dealt with more severely. needless to say, i wasn't aloud to use band hero anymore. my advice, when moving ALWAYS look for a room on the bottom floor.
post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by erdawe View Post


You could make a mental map of which area of the floor squeak the most and plan how to move around the apt. to avoid the creak zones may help. But, it's shitty to rent a place and have to deal with inconvenience everyday when you're tired and lumbering around in the morning, OR drunk in the apt.

Honestly, if you want want to fix the situation first try to come to a solution with your TenetFromHell, OR then talk to your landlord about how the building's upper floor structure is causing the issue. The landlord may not feel/want to pay for any help to better brace the your upper floor. Take each step you take in stride based on how your previous attempt went.

Also, doing shit to aggravate the neighbor below could make living in your place even shittier while you're stuck in the lease.

i am not going to live in my apartment as if im walking on eggshells as that diminishes my quiet enjoyment. i will walk where i want when i want in my own home. furthermore, i am more conscious of walking around lightly as it is. while i may sympathize if i were in their situation, i honestly believe that as tenants of a downstairs apartment, they have implicitly agreed to deal with the extra noises caused by the building. if they cant handle that, then maybe apartment living isnt for them and they should get a house or move to a top floor.

anyway, i got a letter from management today about a noise complaint (obviously the neighbor downstairs) and it said that if they continue to get complaints, i get a "3 day notice to cease or move." the rental agreement with regards to noise states that there may be an immediate termination of the lease for excessive noise. is that legal in CA? i thought you always needed 30 days.
post #9 of 25
^
The first was merely a facetious suggestion. Walk wherever you damn well please, you're paying to live there.

As for the 30 days, what about your law school education I believe you've mentioned... Couldn't you put that to use to answer the questions yourself, even if you don't practice in that area? Seems to me may be a good place to start to know what you're dealing with legally.

Lastly, have you actually manned up and talked to them face to face? They're being very passive agressive and you are too by going along with it. Break this cycle and do something proactive. Ask them directly how if were in your situation, how would go about normal daily apt. living without having to gain the supernatural ability to levitate to walk from bedroom to bathroom at 2AM? Not possible, without pissing your pants. You need to get them to realize they signed up for upstairs noise by choosing a building like that and living in the bottom suite. Suggest earplugs to them as well for when they sleep.

Compromise needs to be made from both sides, or from what you describe you'll end up booted out.
post #10 of 25
Burn that whole fucking place to the ground. After you've moved all your stuff out that is. I live on the top floor of my building and never once had a complaint. I've also done all sorts of shit at all hours of the night...the people that live under me are angels.
post #11 of 25
You should stage a murder or kidnapping, that would show them.

My neighbours are angels. I used to have to random jam sessions at my house at night. Full band, drums, amps and all.
post #12 of 25
Have you tried cutting her dog's head off and leaving it on their doorstep?
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheessus View Post


i am not going to live in my apartment as if im walking on eggshells as that diminishes my quiet enjoyment. i will walk where i want when i want in my own home. furthermore, i am more conscious of walking around lightly as it is. while i may sympathize if i were in their situation, i honestly believe that as tenants of a downstairs apartment, they have implicitly agreed to deal with the extra noises caused by the building. if they cant handle that, then maybe apartment living isnt for them and they should get a house or move to a top floor.

anyway, i got a letter from management today about a noise complaint (obviously the neighbor downstairs) and it said that if they continue to get complaints, i get a "3 day notice to cease or move." the rental agreement with regards to noise states that there may be an immediate termination of the lease for excessive noise. is that legal in CA? i thought you always needed 30 days.

I'm thinking the management has had to deal with these people below complaining unreasonably before. You could up the ante by 1. talking to the downstairs neighbours and trying to conciliate - compromise might be necessary 2. finding out from them whether they complained about the previous tenants of your apartment 3. documenting for the management all of the harassment you've experienced from day one and 2. pointing out to management that they knew the people below were difficult and that they (management) failed to disclose this to you, and that therefore they are liable for any losses (relocation costs) you incur as a result of their failure to disclose
post #14 of 25
You need to train your neighbors with positive reinforcement. When they bang on their ceiling they're probably trying to goad you. Don't respond. Go to the drug store and buy earplugs. The good ones. Made of wax. So they can be formed to fit your ear. Or get noise cancelling headphones. Then wait. Until 3am. Or so. REM sleep time. Unleash the holy hell of racket for 60 seconds. Put in earplugs. Go to bed. Repeat the following night. And again. On the fourth night do nothing. Live your life as normal. They'll start banging on the ceiling soon enough 'cuz they haven't been trained yet. When they do it's time to blitz 'em again w/ the 3-nights-of-terror gambit. In a few weeks they'll catch on.
post #15 of 25
Time to use your video camera. "Excessive noise." What does this mean? Video some clearly non-excessive noise eliciting the usual reaction and send a thumb drive of that to management. You can also wait until they call the police, because they will, and show the officers your video evidence.
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