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I own my apt but people above me rent and they make abnormal and ridiculous noise? Can I take legal action against them?

Fresh Meadows, NY |

Representative of the building is aware of this issue and advised them to comply with the building's regulations to have their barren floors carpeted which they refuse to. I myself spoke to them adult to an adult which went nowhere

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Attorney answers 5


Continue your efforts with the building rep, and any HOA you may have. Additionally, since your efforts to deal with them yourself have failed, get a local lawyer to send them a legal letter--that might get their attention. If that does not work, you could call the non-emergency number of your local police department when they make the noise and see if they can do anything. You do not say what it is they are doing. If the police do not deem it a violation, then not much else you can do besides the legal letter. If the police deem what they're doing some kind of violation, then call them every time. Also, you can sue them in small claims court for Nuisance and Interference with the Right to Quiet Enjoyment--but a reasonable person standard is used--the Judge would have to be convinced a reasonable person would be so bothered by what they are doing, and what they're doing is so unreasonable (remember you have to prove your case) that a reasonable person would in effect be deprived of the enjoyment of their living space. People's sensitivities are not taken into account.

We do not have an attorney-client relationship. I am not your lawyer. The statements I have made do not constitute legal advice. Any statements I have made are based upon the very limited facts you have presented, and under the premise that you will consult with a local attorney. This is not an attempt to solicit business. This disclaimer is in addition to any disclaimers that this website has made. I am only licensed in California.


While I agree with Ms. Sargeant's response, if it was me, I would also try to involve their landlord, the actual owner of that unit. It most likely is a breach of their lease to disturb their neighbors and if, after putting him on notice and allowing enough time for his compliance, the landlord still does not alleviate the problem, I would think about including him in the lawsuit. No landlord in their right mind is going to want to keep tenant's around who drag him into a lawsuit. Besides, to the extent you get a Judgment for damages, collecting from tenants may or may not be likely but you know the landlord has assets you can collect from. Go talk to a local landlord-tenant attorney.

Nothing contained herein should be considered as legal advice for any specific situation and nothing herein is intended to create a lawyer-client relationship. Every case is very "fact-specific" and persons wishing legal advice on a specific matter should contact me or another attorney for an appointment to review their particular circumstances and to create a lawyer-client relationship. Gregory L. Abbott, Attorney at Law, 6635 North Baltimore, Suite 254, Portland, Oregon 97203. Tel: 503-283-4568; Fax: 503-283-4586; Email: Specializing in Consumer and Small Business Law.


Dear Fresh Meadows Owner:

It may make a difference whether you own your home in a condominium or own your home within a cooperative.

A New York cooperative is subject to the ordinary rules affecting landlord and tenant. Cooperative apartments are leased to persons who are shareholders in the cooperative apartment corporation. And so, the tolerance by the cooperative manager to your suffering and the inaction of the cooperative Board of Directors sets up a claim that the cooperative corporation breached the proprietary lease and is in breach of the statutory warranty of habitability.

Unit owners in a condominium do not have a landlord and tenant relationship with the Board of Managers of the Condominium and do not have residential leases. The apartments are considered parcels of real property and ownership is evidenced by a deed. The problem is with the unit owner's failure to comply with the rules and regulations. Your cause of action in a condominium is against the owner of the offending unit. Your legal strategy may be based upon a claim of nuisance as opposed to breach of lease and breach of the warranty of habitability.

Consult with a local attorney.

Good luck.

The answer provided to you is in the nature of general information. The general proposition being that you should try to avoid a bad outcome if you can.


Since you obtained such varied responses, some from those not practicing in NY, I thought I would chime in to offer additional guidance. Mr. Smollens' answer is the best and most accurate. Moreover, the small claims court in NY can only award damages - it cannot order or restrain actions.

I may be guessing or not licensed in your state. No atty/client relationship exists.


It is the landlord with whom you are in privity of contract, and it is he who owes you the covenant of quiet enjoyment of your premises under your lease. This is but one covenant in consideration of which you pay rent. Complain directly to the landlord, and repeatedly; it is he who must take whatever measures are necessary to make the other tenant cease disturbing you, including if it means threat of eviction. Donald Harwood

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