[UPDATED] I am being harassed by another tenant

Archived From: Finance
  • Text Only
Voting History
I moved into a new apartment in April. Immediately, I began receiving visits from our building security that there were noise complaints from the apartment below.

I was baffled and over the next several months, management and I determined and agreed that the noise complaints were unsubstantiated. In fact, management informed me that the tenant below me - an elderly woman - had a history of complaining about my apartment and the woman was convinced I was same tenant who had been living in the apartment for several years (of course, I was not).

Neighbors on her floor have repeatedly tried to explain to her there is no noise and to please leave me alone, but it appears she may suffering from dementia related to old age.

It appears now that since management is no longer willing to bother me on her behalf that she is

- calling the police
- banging on her ceiling (my floor) for hours at a time

Last week the police came and they also agreed there was no noise. Tonight the police came again - at midnight - and agreed there was no noise. They said they have to come every time the woman makes a complaint. The police indicated that the woman showed them some court papers but they did not know if it was against me or the landlord.

What is my next step? Can I go to housing court and get a "restraining order" or some sort of order that would stop the police from having to investigate these complaints?

On Monday, I am going to seek guidance on this from the housing department. Tomorrow I am going to drop by my local precinct and see if I can file some kind of complaint.

What other suggestions does anyone have? This is becoming an extremely stressful situation.

I was involved in a similar situation... the Court actually allowed the owners to evict the old lady. judge didn't want to do it, but she was totally uncooperative so he FEEENISHED HER.

tell her to turn her hearing aid down, maybe thats why everything is loud.

Next time she starts banging on the ceiling call the cops yourself.

There isn't anything you can do to stop the police from responding. Once that 911 call is placed NYPD is obligated to respond even if it is unfounded. If you go to the local precinct they may make out a harassment report for you. However, since it is only a violation she wouldn't be arrested. Because it is a noise complaint (which is subjective) it would be very hard for the police to determine that she is falsifying a report (which would be a misdemeanor charge and therefore punishable by arrest).


<< If you go to the local precinct they may make out a harassment report for you. However, since it is only a violation she wouldn't be arrested. >>

Right. I did file a harassment report today. I realize it is only a piece of paper but I felt the documentation may help if this ends up in one court or another.

Let me ask you, though. There must be some procedure to stop someone from having the police come repeatedly for an unsubstantiated complaint. If not, what is to stop someone using the police as an instrument of harassment? Am I to understand someone could simply have the police bother someone dozens of times without any repercusion against them? I am sincerely asking.

What if I got a "restraining order?" How does one go about doing such a thing?

I am stretching here,

Could you have the courts identify the lady as being unable to care for her self and have her sent to a home?
I would also think the police department would be able to tell you where to file some sort of a complaint against the lady.

Could you sue her in small claims court for harrasement?

The small claims thing might work. If she has any family, they would step forward for the court hearing. Maybe.

Is there any way the landlord can help you get in touch with members of her family? Maybe there is a more amicable solution. I want you to have your peace at home but I wouldn't want this crazy old lady out on the streets either.

Why don't you buy her a cake?

what you need to do (and this is risky) is stop paying rent to the landlord as you are not receiving "quiet enjoyment" of the property you are paying rent for. You should not be subjected to midnight visits from the police. Speak with the housing officials about this, it sounds that this problem has become severe enough to warrant such action....You should inform your landlord that you will begin to immediately pay rent once this problem has been fixed and your quiet enjoyment is restored.

I hope you have documents from the landlord showing she complained for years, because initially it will turn into you vs. them before it turns into them vs. her

Old ladies are easy to deal with; just bring her some baked goods or flowers to show how nice you are and explain to she must have mistaken you for the old tenant. It would be nice if you can have the manager mediate a meeting between the two of you; but don't bother if you know you'd look intimidating to an old lady...

This is how I came to good terms with some biatch two houses down the street who kept complaining about my drainage water (over which I have no control) discoloring her ivory-white driveway...

Small investments could bring you years of peace. Buy those stale cakes/ bread from a supermarket at late hours if you wanna save money; she's probably too old to tell the difference anyway. From what you've described, her family (if any) probably couldn't stand her themselves and made her live alone.

If she refuses to take your gifts, eat/ use them yourself, then pursue other legal options.

Forgive me, I'm not trying to downplay the seriousness of this problem.

But I just finished watching "The Practice" a few minutes ago. This seems that it would be a semi-amusing episode for "The Practice".

Maybe you could sell your idea to the show and see how the court case turns out on TV before you proceed any further. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0>

trying to be nice to the biatch will never, ever work. I know, I had the exact same experience. I ended up moving. Loggia, my prayers are with you... I know how difficult this situation can be, and wish you the best!

Boy this sounds a lot like my current neighbor. She is an elderly lady who is on medication to control her moods and is a recovering alcholic as well.

This all started when I moved in.
I work the late shift but am considerate by keeping the noise down to a minimum. I had a friend of mine over and we were watching a movie and were laughing at the movie but not being loud at all. Well the police showed up and told us we needed to keep it down. When I asked who was complaining they wouldn't say. I said it's her isn't it and they just nodded.
As they days went by she would blast her radio as loud as possible when she knew damn well I was sleeping. I went to her door to confront her but she wouldn't answer the door. She just laughed and said too bad and then proceeded to swear at me. I went back to my apartment and had to pound on the wall as hard as I could continuously before she finally would turn it down. I was relieved until I heard her start yelling more swear words at me.
I talked to the landlord who said they would talk to her and then proceeded to tell me about her problems and that she has no family to speak of.

I ended up making peace with her one day when I saw her in the hall. We talked for a while and she appologized & I said I would try to keep it down as well. Christmas came and she had gave me a christmas card so I went out and bought her a small poinsettia plant. Suffice it to say everything worked out. The smallest gesture on your part may go a long way especially if you haven't talked to her yet.

Document every single date and time when there is an incident involving your downstairs neighbour and/or the police.

I am assuming you have carpeting in your unit. If it's bare hardwood floors, it's reasonable to request the landlord provide carpeting and perhaps a layer of sound-absorbing floor material.

She may end up having to relocate to someplace where her hyper-sensitivity to noise won't be as problematic.

SeattleNative said:

<< I am assuming you have carpeting in your unit. If it's bare hardwood floors, it's reasonable to request the landlord provide carpeting and perhaps a layer of sound-absorbing floor material. >>

I agree. IMO you really need to do what you can to transfer this from your problem to the landlord's problem. Obviously they were aware of this issue long before you moved in and didn't bother to resolve it or even inform you before you moved in. They need to take ownership of the problem and resolve it NOW! <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-mad.gif"border=0>

Obviously they were aware of this issue long before you moved in and didn't bother to resolve it or even inform you before you moved in.

I hadn't thought of that...

Sorry I took a while to get back to ya. To answer your question about police procedure:

When a noise complaint is called in through 911, the complainant is either directed to contact the local precinct or the job is dispatched to the officers on patrol. If the call is received at the precinct, the precinct will have an officer respond to the job. If the precinct personnel recognizes that this is a chronic unsubstantiated call, they won't even dispatch the job sometimes. If the call is dispatched via 911 then the responding officer will respond (unless of course that officer happens to know it's a chronic unsubstantiated call). Your neighbor may have called the police dozens of times already and the officers may have just not responded knowing that it's a chronic unfounded call (you wouldn't know it since they didn't pay you a visit during those calls). You have to understand that the police can't disregard all noise complaint calls. Imagine if she called the police and said "the people upstairs are making a racket. Sounds like their killing each other". If the police disregarded that call because it was chronic and then something really did happen, NYPD (and the city) would be held liable.

Hopefully, the new 311 system will fix some of these problems. As for your restraining order, you'd have a tough time obtaining one in this case. Even if you did get one, it would be very difficult to enforce.


before someone asks what is 311, here is the explanation


loggia just wants us to justify him going down and punching this old lady in the face. have you no shame, sir?

this is might be a good laugh for some.

i once knew a guy who hated his neighbor so much that he use to sneak up to the their apartment and put a lighter to the door knob for a few minutes. then he would ring the doorbell and go back to his unit quietly. sure enough, the door knob on the inside heated up as well and his neighbor burned his hand slightly when checking who was at the door.

vaseline might also work.

so would injecting crazy glue in the lock to lock someone out until the locksmith gets there and is paid a few bucks to replace the lock.

the above stories were done by professionals in a closed setting. we do not recommend you try this yourself. results may vary. he-he...

Crazytree said:

<< loggia just wants us to justify him going down and punching this old lady in the face. have you no shame, sir? >>

I hope there was some sarcasm in this reply...


I am hoping that the harassment complaint I filed with the police is why I have not been bothered in the last week. Or it could just be a coincidence.

Sorry to tell you Loggia but it is most likely a coincidence. This harassment report you made out more than likely will be "closed out to patrol" meaning there will not be any further investigations into the matter. However, if there appears to be a number of complaints from different sources than they may take more of an interest in it. Lodging the complaint was a good idea though to document the situation.


might try it

Wanna try beating up an old lady?

Listen, I had exactly the same problem with the tenant living below me. He made all sorts of complaints to the management, so the first thing you should do is state IN WRITING what has happened to you, how you have been disturbed by the other tenant, and why her accusations are untrue. Send that to the management of your building. Otherwise, they have the lady's complaints on file but nothing from you. If you can, get records that no noise disturbance was found when the police/management investigated. This part is to cover yourself.

The second part is to deal with the disturbance that the other tenant is causing you. You are paying to live in this place and have the right to do so without unreasonable disturbances. And this lady's calling the police on you in the middle of the night and banging on the floor will absolutely qualify as unreasonable disturbances. File complaints of your own with your apartment management to this effect. It's their job to remedy the situation by either shutting her up or kicking her out. When this happened to me, after my management saw the evidence, they took my side and told the guy below me to shut up or move out. They said that he knew he moved into a unit that had another unit above it, and if reasonable sounds like walking across the floor are too much for him, then he needed to move out. Hopefully yours will say the same thing.

If your management is unresponsive, then you should contact your local housing agency to see what steps you can take against your landlord. I was fortunate that in Berkeley, they have all sorts of advice lines you can call about that stuff. I don't know what is available in your city, but there should be someone you can contact.

don't beat up an old lady!!!!!!!! That's a sick thing to even say, just tie her up old lock her in a closet. Problem solved. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-shocked.gif"border=0>

LOL wait nevermind that's a bad idea also.

So far I've lived over top of 3 people. They have all been elderly women and I've never met the current one (just moved in) but the other 2 were nice as could be and would always stop me and ask if their tv volume bothered me. LOL I never once heard their tv, maybe if my stereo would've been turned down i'd have heard it. Old people are easy to make like you, simple acts go a long way. Just pop in and say hi see if they need anything or take them a lil sumfin now and again. Oh don't forget to raid they fridge when they go potty. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-mad.gif"border=0>

Would you be willing to move to another unit in the complex? I would think that the fact that the landlord knew the old woman was a problem and didn't inform you before you moved in and that he didn't take any action could be used to force the landlord to give you a different apartment (and perhaps pay part or all of the cost of moving your stuff).

GreedyBumps said:

<< Crazytree said:

<< loggia just wants us to justify him going down and punching this old lady in the face. have you no shame, sir? >>

I hope there was some sarcasm in this reply...

no need to be so uptight, old chum. it seemed all in jest. humorous as well.

some people here need to go to Blockbuster and rent some Steve Martin movies (I highly recommend The Jerk and The Man with Two Brains).

If you're too cheap to do that, do a search for "blockbuster coupons" or "free rentals".

My 2 cents... i had something similar in a neighoborhood i lived in once...

Id go and introduce myself to her.. Since shes OLD and all.. tell her you just moved in.. Understand...

tell her its what you do when you move into a new place to meet your neighbors...
Then tell her that if anything ever bugs you.. ie your making too much noise to come up and let you know.. and then you will keep it down... you can tell her that the previous placed you lived.. someone once called the cops.. and that you would have turned the volume down if you would have known... (LIE whatever )

ALSO about the 911 stuff.. i had a problem once.. got a ticket the next day from a differnt cop than the one that came out the night before.. for a noise complaint.. was talking to the cop and was like why the FUk are you giving me a ticket.. dont you think that the 2 officers that were here last night would have.. .if the noise complaint last night warrented one? he was like uh yea i guss.. but gave me the ticket anyway... (he lived the next street over.. damm neighbors)...

anyway.. went to court.. none of the 'neighbors' showed up... ticket was dismissed... but i found out that i could get print outs of the 911 calls that people made... man their was some wired stuff in there... like cars parked the wrong way on the street.. at like 12 at night... um really is this impeading the flow.. i lived in a neigborhood.. not on a main street... come one.. thats really something that needs 911 to be called... hope that thier wasnt a murder going on that could have been prevented if my neighbors werent so Flipping stupid...
any way... call the cop station, they should be able to tell you were to go to get the printouts of the 911 calls... i think there was some small charge.. but worth it when i went to court...

anyway this was longer than i wanted... will be interestnig to see what you do.. and how things work out...

I watched a show about 911 operators... one guy called up and asked if the operator could help him stop snoring. this is absolutely true.

loggia, what's the status?

I think he got arrested.

Maybe he can get a B1G1 deal on some K-Y from Drugstore.com with free shipping while he's in there.


On Monday night the crazy woman from downstairs started knocking on my door at 1:30 a.m. She said she wanted to "show me something." I declined her offer and called the police.

The police came a little later, I explained to them the situation and they went downstairs to talk to her.

I've been under the weather so I have not had a chance to speak with the pro se housing attorney about what actions to demand from the landlord.

This was the first time I met her in person and I have to say I felt somewhat bad for her - she is obviously suffering from sort of mental illness. But that does not really alter the fact that she is interfering with my "right to quiet enjoyment" of my apartment.

After I speak to the housing attorney, I will be contacting my landlord...

I wonder if she was naked ?

She looked like this.

Call the landlord now - it is their problem - maybe they will move her.

Skipping 1 Messages...
LOL, in my college years I had a similar problem. I basically told my landlord that the issue was excessive and that I would document it and if it continued I wanted my lease broken. the tenant was in longstanding at the apartment I was at so the landlord allowed me out and I moved to a better location. trust me its the best you can hope for.

Disclaimer: By providing links to other sites, FatWallet.com does not guarantee, approve or endorse the information or products available at these sites, nor does a link indicate any association with or endorsement by the linked site to FatWallet.com.

Thanks for visiting FatWallet.com. Join for free to remove this ad.

While FatWallet makes every effort to post correct information, offers are subject to change without notice.
Some exclusions may apply based upon merchant policies.
© 1999-2017