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Can I sue my landlord, or otherwise impose any consequences for their failure to provide me with a quiet environment?

Los Angeles, CA |

Every morning, my building's cleaning crew uses a water spigot on the outside of the building to wash down all the dog waste in the alley. When this spigot runs, it creates a very loud and irregular pipe squeal. The pipe that feeds this spigot and produces the noise runs directly above our bed. It's enough to wake us up every single morning, and it's impossible to sleep through.

We've contact management, and they offered to restrict use to after 7:30am. We tried it for a while, but it's just impossible. We complained, they came in and wrapped our pipes in a sleeve that looks just like a black pool noodle. Its about as effective as a pool noodle. The noise is still too much. We've asked them to use another spigot, they say that's not possible.

What can we do to regain our sanity?

The spigot is also used for other things. Filling up the mop buckets, washing out the trash room, and other random tasks. It's not simply used once... it's used repeatedly. Turned on, off, lower, higher, left running at a bare minimum flow, etc. Sometimes its used for seconds, other times it's used for minutes. I could go on for days about this topic. Management at this building has done such an awful job of addressing our needs, and this is only the most recent issue. We love where we live, we just want to be able to stay in peace and quiet.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Contained in your lease, whether expressly stated or not, is the Implied Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment. A breach of this covenant, by the landlord, could be considered a constructive eviction. In order to be considered a breach, there must be a substantial interference with your right to the use and enjoyment of your property. You should consult with an attorney who can go over your options.


  2. It seems to me your option is to move, perhaps even to another unit in the same building.

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  3. As a practical matter, you might ask your landlord if you can relocate you to another unit in the complex or ask the water use be restricted to a later time such as 8:00 a.m. Monday through Friday and 9:00 a.m. on the weekends. In addition, you can request additional sound proofing. You might also consider moving your bed, if another bedroom is available in your apartment.

    You should also ask the landlord to come listen to the noise.

    Alternatively, the noise may be sufficient interference with your quiet enjoyment that you can be released from the lease. You should ask the landlord politely before threatening to ask for court intervention.

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