Yesterday, I received a notice from the management of my apt. building stating that they had received noise complaints about me, in the hours of 4-6 am. Now, I'm not walking around, listening to music, watching TV, or really doing anything noisy at all at those hours, if I'm even awake! At the most, I MIGHT be on the computer typing, but that's not noisy. A couple of weeks ago, I had a call in the middle of the night from the manager saying that there was a complaint about banging in my apt. I was asleep. I need to know what to do to protect myself against the escalation of these false complaints. I am afraid they may try to evict me. What can I do? Thanks!
These cases can get ugly very fast. I recently defended a woman at a criminal trial (we won) in a situation that started off as a noise complaint. I suggest you keep a log of when you go to sleep and perhaps ask Management to set up a meeting with them and the other tenant to try and get to the bottom of this. Perhaps noise is coming from a diferent apartment. If the person complaining is below you how much carpeting do you have?
The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.
You should send the building manager a letter refuting all of the charges against you in order to make a record. You should advise the manager that the noise must be originating in some other apartment. Be aware that the landlord may be using these noise complaints to start a future action against you to try to evict you.
The above constitutes general information only and should not be considered legal advice.
I agree with the other attorneys. Contact the building supervisors and property managers with a letter (sent certified mail) or an email advising them of your response to each and every complaint of noise, detailing what you were doing at the time (sleeping, typing on the computer, etc), and stating that you are NOT the source of the noise.
More importantly, re-affirm your intent to abide by all rules relating to noise in your lease, and to be a "good neighbor" and to assist in locating the source of the noise, if any noise actually exists.
If the matter escalates, you will have a record of your reasonableness that will be priceless.
If it escalates to eviction proceedings, hire a landlord/tenant attorney.
Here is a link to your rights as a tenant, below.
This does not constitute legal advice or the engagement of my services as an attorney.
I agree with the advice offered by my colleagues. In addition, you should view your neighbors as potential witnesses in a case brought by your landlord to evict you. If you have a good relationship with a neighbor or two, talk to those neighbors about the issue, telling them that you are worried about your situation. Get their sympathies on your side, and perhaps you'll learn something about where the noise is coming from. If there is friction between you and some other neighbors, try to minimize it. Without testimony from residents in the building, your landlord would have a difficult time evicting you. Build up some good will now, if you can.
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