Property Grunt

Saturday, June 11, 2005

The Right to Quiet Enjoyment: I hate noisy people

At 9:10 this morning my next door neighbor began blasting their music and has not stopped. I am not in a good mood. I hate noisy neighbors with stereos. It is rude, direspectful and against the law. Yes, you heard me against the law. In New York city when you rent an apartment you are entitled to quiet enjoyment. Playing music this loud is not only uncalled for but illegal.

When I first moved into this building I was immediately assaulted by an audio barrage from an upstairs neighbor. Taking my landlord's advice I politely asked the gentleman upstairs to lower it down. His reponse was sure and for the next two years he harrassed me by not only playing his music loud but also stomping on the floors.

It was only after the super intervened that I got some quiet. Despite the fact I was never rude or disrespectful to him he considered me his arch enemy for life. He finally moved but was replaced with another obnoxious bastard. This time I took the law into my own hands and called 311. After two visits by the cops, the tenant knew his place. However the super got wind of what I did and requested that I don't do it again since police cars around the building present a bad image. Since then I have not called the cops due to noise problems. But I am conflicted since I am harassed by the behavior of this neighbor but at the same time I have an amazing super and do not like piling on the workload. However if my neighbors continue to act like this I will be forced to deal with this situation through legal means.

Currently I have another audio challenged neighbor who had a party on Saturday night which included a live trombone player and enough bass to kill Flava Flav.

Please do not get me wrong. I could care less what a person does in their own apartment. Their lifestyle is their business. But once their personal business affects my lifestyle than I get pissed. It is wrong when someone does that. To me it is tantamount with someone telling to convert to their religion.

I realize why landlords do not like to get involved with the noise issue because it is a complete exercise in futility when you are dealing with a subject that is completely subjective and leaves no real evidence of any wrong doing. Also it is just annoying dealing with a jerk off who feels it is their right to afflict tinnitus on the whole building's population.

Noise is something that landlords should not simply brush off. It is a quality of life issue that needs to be dealt with. As I have stated before a tenant is entitled to quiet enjoyment. If it is being violated it is a bad thing. That means the tenant has a right respond legally to anything that violates their rights. And in New York City, tenants have a large arsenal of laws at their disposal.

Landlords, I urge you to take advance action when meeting with potential tenants. Make them understand any type of disturbances will not be tolerated in your buildings and also make them sign noise riders where they agree to adere to the standards of quiet enjoyment.

I actually feel a great sense of pity for those who constantly need to be barraged by skull splitting bass. From my experience it means the following.

1. They are too poor to go to a club.
2. They are lonely.
3. They do lots of drugs.

But my pity only goes so far as does my paitence.

For those of you who have been unjustly given this affliction I recommend calling 311 and informing of them of your situation and they will send New York's Finest to make your neighbors understand that playing loud music is a bad thing. I STRONGLY ADVISE NOT ADMITTING CALLING 311! IT IS BEST TO STAY IN THE SHADOWS. WHEN IT COMES TO MUSIC PEOPLE GET CRAZY. Btw, Bloomberg, I love you for this. ALSO PLEASE CONTACT A LAWYER AND FIND OUT WHAT OTHER RIGHTS AND OPTIONS YOU HAVE!

I do not advise knocking on the door and using diplomacy because you have no idea who you are dealing with behind that door. Let me put it this way. When a police officer responds to a domestic call the first thing they do before they knock on that door is to iniate defensive protocols because they have no idea what is waiting behind them. You should exercise the same. That means if you are woken up at 3am in the morning by rave music and knock on your neighbor's door bear in mind your neighbors may be under the influence.

If you do decide to talk to these people please bear in mind they will either be responsive to your needs or they will retaliate with extremem prejudice. Usally it's the latter.

It is in my opinion landlords will be more aggressive in dealing with loud tenants when they realize that the police are showing up on their properties more often and could indicate to the general public that there is something wrong with the property that requires their presence. Hence, making it less desireable. Remember, for landlords its all about the Benjamins. If there is something that is a threat to their financial gains, they will move hell and high water to resolve it.

To the people of New York City who like to turn on their stereos full blast. My advice is to invest in an ipod and a good set of head phones. What you are doing is illegal and the technology exists that can prove you are violating the quiet enjoyment of others and can be considered a health risk for those who are physically sensitive to noise.

Getting the police knocking on your doors is the least of your problems. You could be dragged in court by the tenant or landlord for various reasons including driving out tenants or for medical expenses. Remember this: A LAWSUIT ALWAYS SHOWS UP ON YOUR CREDIT REPORT AND IT IS THE FIRST THING THAT A LANDLORD LOOKS FOR. IT IS ALSO GROUNDS FOR REJECTION WITH A CO-OP BOARDS AND EVEN CONDO BOARDS ARE JUMPING INTO THE ACT. WHAT COMES AROUND GOES AROUND. PISS OFF THE WRONG NEIGHBOR AND YOU COULD DRASTICALLY LIMIT YOUR HOUSING OPTIONS FOR THE FUTURE!