Residential Property Management/owners rights to peace and quiet
QUESTION: I own a condo on the ground (walk-in) level. I am in my 60's and I am disabled former hospice nurse and can only leave my home with assistance.
My question: The condo owners above me (in their 20's) are very loud and are very HEAVY walkers. I have spoken to them many times in the past 5 years to ask them to try to keep it down and they try for about a day. They have no children but a lot of times they have a 2 year old and a 4 years old they baby-sit and let them run wild. They now have a puppy that they run and play ball with especially in the late evening. I am at my wits end. They have no respect for the elderly and it all about them. She, by the way, is an apartment manager at a facility in our town and should understand about noisy neighbors. Is there any help for me? Our condo board and manager is a joke. He has a big mouth and tells everyone's business. I am tired of not having any peace in my home and I have become very depressed which does not help with the autoimmune disorders I have. I am not sleeping well and I am in terrible pain.
FYI- the previous owners (3) were very quiet and there never was a problem in the 5 years they lived there. Also the current owners have installed hardwood floors which has made things worse. I try to be a good neighbor and not complain until I am at the end of my rope. I am getting sicker from the stress and I live on a fixed income and can't move. Their condo has been up for sale for 3 years but they are priced too high for our market.
Thank you so much for any help you can give me.
ANSWER: Unfortunately, as the saying goes, you can't pick your neighbors. And in a condo or apartment setting where common walls and floors are shared, that of course can mean undesirable noise transmission. Even in single family homes, you never know when the neighbor will end up with a large barking dog.
Of course, there are noise ordinances in most cities, but from what you described, that wouldn't appear to apply in some of those scenarios. I wish I had some good advice for you, but other than moving (which I understand would be difficult for you), I don't know of a way to force your neighbors to be quieter on their feet. Let's just hope they eventually sell their condo -- although even at that, there are no assurances that the buyer would be any better.
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QUESTION: Thanks for responding Mike. Are there any ordinances/laws that give the right to "peaceful enjoyment" for any living situation. I think that I heard that phrase used recently maybe on a court tv show. I am grasping at straws I know. Whatever happened to general kindness and compassion? I am trying to not let this affect me as stress makes my illness worse.
I am sure these questions are redundant so I am sorry to bother you anymore. Again thanks for your help.
Yes, peaceful enjoyment is a right. However, to enforce that against someone else (keeping in mind I'm not an attorney) you must show that they are doing unreasonable things to compromise your right to the quiet enjoyment of your home. So, if they were playing loud heavy metal music at 3am, that would certainly qualify. But just walking and kids playing on hardwood floors...that would be a tough one to enforce. Maybe you could politely invite them down while someone walks upstairs so that they can hear the noise for themselves? Perhaps that might be an eye opener. Good luck.