DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: Last year my neighbors were sometimes having sex loud enough to be heard in my apartment. It was an on and off thing, and I figured I could play a TV or lullaby music loud enough to drown out the sound so my child and I could rest. At that time I called the office and sent an email because even with the music I played we couldn’t get any rest.
The office never responded, and now the loud sex has become an every night thing. I don’t want us to have to wear earplugs to get some rest when I pay a lot of money for rent. I shouldn’t have to sleep on my couch to avoid the noises. I think they know we can hear them and do it on purpose. I’ve started having nightmares of rape I never have before.
I called the apartment’s courtesy officer, who is also a local policeman, to tell him what’s been going on. He didn’t want to be involved and told me to call the police, so I did. The officer said if the neighbors don’t answer the door, he can’t even give them a warning. He told me it’s a civil situation, so I should tell the management office.
I feel violated. Neither the management office, nor the courtesy officer seem to care. The officer left it at telling me he was certain the loud neighbors were told we could hear them.
There have been other problems in the past with these neighbors, who right after they moved in told the office that my dishwasher, which I never use, was leaking into their apartment.
Because of these situations, and other times when the management has been less than helpful, I am frustrated living here. But due to having no car or job, I ended up renewing my lease. It makes me more frustrated when I am already displeased with where I live and not getting the amenities that I pay for, and then can’t get any rest at the end of the day.
I do not know these neighbors and have never spoken to them before, and don’t feel comfortable asking them to quiet down their sex life. It has really pissed me off because I have been told they know about the problem and continue to do it. I had wanted to go and speak to them myself, but I thought in this day and age I wouldn’t because I don’t need them lying and saying I’m harassing them. And I also feel because I have asked previously to end my lease, that the management office isn’t taking me seriously and also doesn’t care.
Am I asking too much to get some of the services I thought I was paying for? --- I WANT TO MOVE, BUT CAN’T
DEAR WANT TO MOVE, BUT CAN’T: So long as you’re paying your rent on time and abiding by all the terms of your lease, I think you’re right to expect some help from the management office when you need it.
I also agree that directly approaching the noisy neighbors yourself might not be the wisest thing to do, especially since you’ve been told by the courtesy officer that they were already informed about your complaint.
Since you’re not getting any satisfaction from the on-site management, it might help if you reach out to your local or state government to see if they have tenant rights or other mediation services available to review and resolve issues like yours.
Depending on where you live, another potential resource is the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) at www.hud.gov/topics/rental_assistance/tenantrights. This site has state-by-state links that take you to some of the different agencies set-up to assist renters facing a variety of difficulties.