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On Going Nuisance from downstair neighbor

Oak Park, IL |

Downstair neighbors moved out and rent the apartment to a man. He stays in 24 hours, has 4 dogs stay with him 4 days of a week. The owner installed a new ceiling fan for the renter, and the fan sounds like a washing machine. It runs day and night. We can't sleep well. No way to communicate with both renter and apartment owners. They call us names, and slammed the door on our faces. The management company does nothing, and keeps lying to us that they are dealing with it. We have spoke to all the different departments from the town hall in the past 8 months. It is still going on everyday in our life. What can we do about it? Who we should sue? What can me claim for the damages our mental health, and have our peace back?

SORRY! We are actually the owner of the condo where we are in now. We can't move/sell the condo due to the price is under the water. We are frustrated and feeling depressed everyday when we are going home in the afternoon. The guy turns on and off the noisy fan in the middle of the night (3 am) in the morning almost everyday. We have reported to the police department a few times for the dogs barking, his abusive language, and the loud and vibrating fan. Also, keep all the emails between the management company and the owners.

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

Most tenant's rights are protected and enforced by written documents. If your lease is in writing, look for sections providing for "conditions". The problem should be memorialized in a letter to both renter and apartment owners that sets out the problem and what you want to have done about it.

If there is not a violation of the village ordinance then there's not much local officials can do about it.

The concept in the law is the right of "quiet enjoyment" Legal action may be tricky and difficult but if the problem has gone on so long, the only avenue may be to take it to court for damage (the effect of the loss of sleep) or injunction against the downstairs neighbor.

The information provided here should not be construed to be formal legal advice. The provision of this general advice does not create a lawyer-client relationship. Persons with legal questions are encouraged to seek independent counsel for advice regarding their individual legal issues.

Deborah Louise Mahoney

Deborah Louise Mahoney

Posted

If you own your condo, your are in a condo association. The Bylaws of the Association should help with this matter. Also, the owner of the downstairs condo unit is responsible for his/her tenants. The directors of the association should be contacted about this and the management company must follow the directions of the directors. Does the association allow tenants and dogs? You should check this. This is not a landlord/tenant issue. You have actions available to you against the condo unit owner, the association and the management company.

Barry Cahn Boykin

Barry Cahn Boykin

Posted

I agree with Ms. Mahoney's advice--I missed the ownership issue on my first reading! Her answer is the best answer...

Posted

Unfortunately, Oak Park does not appear to have a "landlord-tenant" ordinance that defines what might be a breach of landlord obligations or what a tenant's rights might be.

Under general landlord-tenant law, your lease is the primary document that would define what your rights are. Unfortunately most leases only tell you as a tenant what you can and can not do, and do not particularize the landlord obligations.

However, if things changed as you say, during the term of your lease, and have made things so bad that it has made your apartment "virtually" uninhabitable and the landlord refuses to address the situation in a reasonable fashion, you MAY have the right to declare a "constructive eviction" and move out but I caution you not to taken any steps in that direction (a) if you prefer staying and (b) before consulting with an attorney who can guide you through the process if after a full consultation and full review of your lease that is your only available option. A fair amount of documentation would have to be assembled to prove your case.

If you prefer staying, yes you would have to sue, but the question is, what are your damages? The right to enjoy your apartment in relative peace and quiet is usually an implied lease term, but quantifying it in dollars is what may be be difficult (you say it has affected your health and medical bills are quantifiable but that means you would have to be out of pocket for those fees and any medications associated with dealing with the situation) and in the end is it only dollars you seek, or the peace and quiet you deserve?

Sometimes the threat of losing a tenant is more potent.

Asker

Posted

i am the condo owner, and the one who are making the noises is renter. Will that be a different answer?

Stephen Samuel Messutta

Stephen Samuel Messutta

Posted

Owners are always ultimately responsible for their tenant's actions although the board under the Forcible Entry & Detainer Act has the right to directly evict a tenant for declaration, by-law and rule violations, as well as violations of any local ordinances including noise ordinances..... Stephen S. Messutta Attorney at Law @: Messuttalaw@aol.com "When you build a new house, make a parapet for your roof, so that you do not bring bloodguilt on your household if anyone should fall off." Benton v.. City of S. Louis, 248 Mo. 98, 154 S.W. 474 (1913) and Sakellaridis v. Polar Air Cargo, 104 F.Supp.2nd 160 (2000), citing Deuteronomy 22:8.

Deborah Louise Mahoney

Deborah Louise Mahoney

Posted

As a condo owner, landlord/tenant laws do not apply. The Bylaws of the Association govern. Under the bylaws, a renter can be evicted for failure to follow condo rules.The directors are responsible for problems like this and they control the management company. Do the Bylaws allow renters and dogs? Ultimately, the owner of the rented condo is responsible for his or her tenant. I would pursue the condo owner.

Asker

Posted

What can we sue the owner for? The noise fan, the renter has 4 dogs, the abusive language? That renter even swung the baseball bat when we tried to talk to him last weekend. Can we also sue the association/management company? We have been working so hard to keep the payments up, and no extra money to pay for the lawsuits. Can we have a case for them to pay for everything, and in additional compensations? Thank you.

Deborah Louise Mahoney

Deborah Louise Mahoney

Posted

The owner is liable for actions of his tenant. Start by contacting an attorney to assist you. Also, contact the owner and relay what has been happening. The association has to enforce the bylaws against everyone.

Posted

You need to stay on it with your local police department. Most have some sort of mediation program between neighbors. If they do not then you must ask that they be ticketed for an ordinance violation. If they get enough violations they will eventually get the message. Bring witnesses with you to court. You may want to contact a local attorney to handle this.

IF YOU FOUND THIS ANSWER HELPFUL PLEASE MARK IT SO. This information is provided by PEGGY M. RADDATZ, Attorney At Law as a pro bono service. YOU SHOULD CONSULT WITH AN ATTORNEY IN PERSON who has specific expertise in the area of law you are asking about.

Asker

Posted

Do you know any lawyers in Oak Park area that we can contact with? Thanks.

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