This is one of the best written questions I have yet to encounter on Avvo. Are you sure you're not an English teacher?
Here's the short answer: most residential leases include a liquidated damages clause in which you can pay a pre-determined sum of money (usually a large percentage of one month's rent..) and vacate the apartment with the knowledge and approval of the landlord. You almost always lose your security deposit as well. And, if this isn't bad enough, you might just have a derogatory note placed on your landlord-tenant bureau record. As for getting the kids to stop making noise, well that's like trying to stop the moon from circling the earth - it just isn't going to happen as a practical matter.
In the end, the decision is really up to you - how badly do you want to have a peaceful night's rest?
I hope this helps!
Dear Reader: Is there anything less pleasant than being in one's own home and being subjected to noise not of one's own making? I think not. I recall being in a similar situation years ago. I lived in an apartment I adored, except that the apartment directly overhead had hardwood floors. The upstairs tenant had an active social life apparently entertaining tap-dancing elephants. Getting no helpful response from management, we moved.
I agree with Mr. Kennedy's answer. The only thing I would have recommended you handle differently would be to have documented every time you contacted the management about the noise. That would have allowed you to demonstrate (if necessary) to a court the efforts you went to to bring this issue to the attention of the management.
In WA landlord tenant law there is a formal reliance on written notice.
Also - be cautious when taking legal advice from a police officer. Kirkland likely does have noise ordinances that *could* be enforced. But is it worth it? Probably not.
Breaking a lease is not impossible, although depending on how your lease is worded will determine penalties to which you could be subjected, theoretically. In WA, the penalty that tends to be enforced is one month's rent. If your landlord submits your account to a collections agency, you will definitely want to talk to counsel at that point, as you may want to dispute the charges, especially if your landlord decides you owe the balance of the lease or some other preposterous amount.
This is another place where all that documentation regarding the basis for your move comes in handy. The alternatve is to write to your property manager, give a no fault 20 day notice that you are terminating the tenancy (on or before the 10th of the month to be effective the last day of the month) and write a separate letter explaining that you simply cannot tolerate the noise. See if you and your landlord can reach an agreement without involving the Courts. Especially for one as articulate as you are! Hope this helps. Elizabeth Powell