Posted by denise on January 13, 2002 at 14:15:19:
sorry--this is long...
before i moved into my current apartment (a year ago september, westchester county, ny, not rent stabilized as far as i know), i specifically told me landlord that i was looking for a quiet apartment as i was leaving a horrendous living situation (3 young party boys moved in above me and partied all night, all weekend). i asked about how quiet the building was and my landlord assured me this was a quiet apartment and he is very responsible and proactive that noisy neighbord not disturb other tenants in this building. shortly after i moved in, i was told by a neighbor how the former tenants of my apartment were always banging on the door of the upstairs tenants (a couple and their 2 kids--one a toddler) asking them to quiet down. my landlord actually came to my door to apploogize for all the noise and to tell me the upstairs tenants would be moving in a few months. basically he knew of the problem but never told me. (i would not have rented the apartment if i had know of this situation.)
i never complained about the people upstairs as i was relieved not to hear their stereo blasting or loud tv but it did get really annoying sometimes with their kid stomping around (it would sound like a bowling alley upstairs sometimes).
when they moved my landlord came by to assure me that he would rent to someone who was "quiet as a mouse" and i would not have any more noise problems. while i realize this was an unrealistic promise i never expected i would have to desl with a guy who stomps around like a rhino in boots and enjoys listening to his loud stereo and practicing his electric guitar plugged into a amp that sounds like he is playing in my apartment.
i asked the guy to lower the volume of the stereo once (you could hear it in the hallways 2 floors away) and had to knock on his door several other times because of the noise (he didnt answer). i complained to the landlord about this and he said he spoke to him and wanted to give him a month or two to get carpeting. well thumper has carpeting (area rugs) and it really doesnt help much. my landlord is now backpedaling about what he can do (maybe if other neighbors complain; maybe i should look into mediation; he really cant force the tenant to do anything).
i am constantly being awoken by this clod stomping around the bedroom in shoes at 6:30 am and am exhausted because many times i cannot get back to sleep.
my first question is: is my landlord responsible for telling me the truth about about this apartment as i did specifically ask about noisy neighbors? he also told me we have a live-in super in the building (we really dont--the guy cleans the halls and takes out the garbage but does no repairs). The landlord told me this was a secure building with a self locking door and an intercom (the intercom does not work nor does my buzzer to let people in--landlord has ignored several requests to fix problem saying it works because it did intermittently ( he has also ignored requests for other repairs like my oven door doesnt close properly, a window needs to be propped open as it wont stay up on it own). also the side door of the building is kept unlocked during the day as there are a few offices on the first floor making this building considerably less than secure.
second: what exactly are ones rights concerning noisy neighbors? is disturbing your sleep enough of a problem? if his walking sounds like someone pounding on the ceiling with a mallet, is that enough of a disturbance? do i have to listen to him practice guitar loudly even if its for 20 minutes or so because he cant use the volume control knob? dust/cement particles fall from the heat pipe in my bathroom because of the stomping and my ceiling lights rattle. did i mention i am now getting cracks in my ceiling from the heavy walking??
i know some of this is just part of apartment living but how far do my rights to the quiet enjoyment of the property extend to me?
seriously, i feel as if i live under "jurrasic park, the musical".
thanks. any advice appreciated
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