Posted by Joe Sameh on October 02, 2000 at 23:40:50:
I am living in Queens, New York City in a rent stabilized apartment with a lease. My neighbor who lives below me has ceiling fans that are very old, vibrate and make so much noise that I can hear it not only coming from the floor but also from the walls. I have spoken to noise experts and they tell me there is no way for me to eliminate the noise with any type of insulation or noise deadening material and that it must be eliminated from the source. I have tried reasoning with my neighbor and after agreeing to turn off the fans almost 5 years ago just turns them on again and again during the warm weather May - September. My landlord simply says he can't do anything about it and has no incentive to take any action since he can charge more rent every time someone moves out.
Other than withhold the rent and setting up an escrow account for the rent and forcing him to take me to housing court, is there anything else I can do? Also, what are my legal rights in this situation whether stipulated in my lease or not?
When I was at the court years ago, I was told that I could not initiate legal action directly but would have to force him to do so by withholding rent. Is this true and would this be the most effective and least expensive method?
Unless I am advised otherwise, I will take the above action, sending the landlord a certified letter outlining the complaint and offering to replace the fans at my expense to eliminate any possible charge of my trying to break the lease which I am renewing as I write this and to make it difficult for him or my neighbor to refuse to "do something" about the situation.. He has accused me of trying to break the lease when I last complained several years ago and several lease renewals since then.
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