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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Secret Agents in Stupid-Land

Well, I've lived in this apartment for 18 months (my husband has been here with me for 14 months)... and, apparently, we've NEVER had anyone live in the apartment above us... UNTIL 30 days ago... This is where this nightmare begins.

We were out of town for doctor appointments, when these upstairs neighbors moved in. Then, the ice and snow storms came and we weren't able to get back here for another week. So, by the time we got back to our cozy little apartment, our new neighbors had been living above us for 2 weeks. We immediately noticed the noise, but brushed it off for a few days (no need to get crazy if it's just temporary).

The noises didn't stop. They persisted, and even worsened. Actually, it wasn't just the noise that bothered us. Whatever they're doing up there literally shakes our walls (and, subsequently, the things hanging on our walls)... even on the inner-most walls that shouldn't shake at all. The apartment we live in is brand new - we're the first ones to ever live in it. So, it's not that the building is old and rickety.

After being back in town for only 3 or 4 days, we had BOTH had enough! Let me pause right here for a moment. I have migraines, so it's obvious that the noises would bother me. But, my husband is the most laid-back and patient person in the world, so I knew it was really bad when it was ticking him off too. We've spent a lot of time coming up with theories as to what the noises could be. Honestly, if we could figure out a logical explanation for the noises that we could wrap our minds around, we would both be alright... but, no such luck. Part of it is just loud walking, but there are loud dropping / thumping sounds... and they have a little kid... and the noises are all through the apartment, all the time. But, I digress...

So, after being back in own for only 3 or 4 days, we submitted an Excessive Noise Complaint to the apartment office. I'd never done this before. They said they'd put it in their file; and they'd try to resolve the situation, if they received any further complaints (and to let them know if it worsened). So, we're trying to figure out the best way to re-contact the office to deal with the continuing problem.

I've become a DETECTIVE (i.e., Secret Agent) in this because, let's face it, I'm home all day (and so are they). I wanted to find out more about these people that are wreaking havoc on my/our peace and quiet. We noticed 2 vehicles that hadn't been in the parking lot before... a new Escalade and a new Malibu... from New York... each with a "baby on board" sticker on it. New cars. New York. Baby/kid. Home all day.

The other day, it became eerily quiet and then I heard noises going down the stairs, so I ran to the window to see if I could see who lives above us. I realized that I was stalking my neighbors, but I didn't care. There was a mom and 3 little kids, obviously not all her's. It appeared that she had gone outside to sit down and blow bubbles (pretending that she'd had these kids outside during the day before), just in time for their mommies to come and pick them up. Sure enough, 2 cars pulled up, and the kids dispersed. She returned upstairs with her kid, and the noise started again. Nanny/day care. If you nanny children, and it's a beautiful day outside, and there's a playground that's in the apartment complex, there's NO reason to keep them inside. Your apartment is NOT a freaking playground. Now I'm starting to understand the noises. (At least) 3 little kids running amuck, jumping and throwing things... oh my goodness!

Somehow the disabled / unemployed couple (us) that stays home all day got the upstairs neighbors that stay home and nanny toddlers (them) all day at home. I'm so upset with all of this. We had our apartment lease out, which there is a clause about Quiet Enjoyment and Peaceful Possession (and not encroaching on other Tenant's...). I've checked ADA to see if there's any protection there, but there's no protection in private residential apartment complexes.

I love our apartment home, but I'm about ready to throw in the towel because of these fools. I'm going to see if the apartment office can / will do anything (not sure what they can really do). But, I'm also not sure if they want to lose a loyal tenant for some jokers that just moved here and ran us out after living here for less than a month.

I'm sorry for the long rant. It's just been building up over time and it's absolutely ridiculous.

8 comments:

  1. In my entire life, even through college, I lived in an apartment for a total for 2.5 months. A mean drunk lived above me and made those 2.5 months a living hell. I vowed I'd never live in one again. I don't know how people do it. It's sad and unfair that neighbors can make you SO miserable, isn't it???

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  2. He and I have both lived in different apartments for years (probably about 5 years). And, we've never had this kind of problem in other apartments before. We both really like apartment living a lot.

    I actually lived next to a convict for a few years... never knew he was there until the police came and kicked down his door. But, at least he was quiet living there. lol.

    We're used to the normal living noises of other neighbors below and next to us, but the people above us are excessively loud.

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  3. I was having all kind of thoughts during the first part reading it thinking - Flamenco dancers school above you, Teaching CPR non-stop, pogo jumping champions, but several children explains it all. I wonder if the apartment complex knows there are that many children there??

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  4. Ugh! That totally stinks!

    I live in a townhouse type apartment...where you open my front door from the outside, and walk up my stairs to my living room. No one above me...thank goodness! Don't know if I could handle banging above me!

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  5. Oh that's awful!!! Is there any way to investigate and find out if it's a legal, registered child-care arrangement. Up here, child-care workers (all of them, even the ones who just care for a few children in their homes) have to have proper police background checks and a license to run a day care. With any luck, maybe this bunch isn't licensed and could be shut down.

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  6. That's a horrible situation . . . have you checked to see what the policy is on running a day care out of your apartment? If you're lucky, she's violating some clause in the lease by doing that. You might also want to check to see what the laws are regarding day care licensing in your area. If she's keeping enough kids to qualify, and she doesn't have a license, you might be able to get her shut down.

    If that isn't an option, you could request to be moved to another apartment (with the complex providing movers.) They might be willing to do that to prevent losing you as a tenant if you tell them that you can't tolerate the noise and shaking because of your health, and they're leaving you no option except to move out.

    I really hope you can work something out tho. I fully understand what it's like to live under someone who causes you that much stress. I lived in an apartment for two years after I left my ex, and about 3 months before I moved a couple moved into the apartment above me. Several times a week, they'd fight, and he'd beat the hell out of her. I called the cops several times, but she always said everything was fine, and they never saw anything they could arrest him for. I started house-hunting about 3 weeks after they moved in because the screaming was causing flashbacks and keeping me awake all night.

    Good luck . . .

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  7. I totally feel your pain.Especially as a fellow apartment deweler with chronic migraines and bad neighbors. We've had a string of horrible neighbors right below our apartment over the past 2 1/2 years. Same kind of thing, walls shaking, inexplicable banging, loud walking (that's right we could feel the walking from the apartment below us-that's how heavily they walked), screaming at all hours of the night, chain smoking that comes up through the pipes and up the stairs and under the door. That doesn't even begin to cover the outdoor horrors here and the havoc my car has endured. We can't wait to leave!

    If you can't get rid of them because of their excessive noise maybe you can get rid of them for operating a business out of their apartment. Most complexes don't allow you to do that sort of thing on their property.

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  8. Check out if there is a business licence or permit for this "business." Also there might be some sort of zoning prohibition about a business in a residential neighborhood. Also, see if there are laws about day care and being bonded for 3 or more children. There could be avenues to get them evicted based on their employment. Also if they are collecting unemployment and/or disability and running a business.........well, you get the idea.......

    Hope this helps!!

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