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  1. #1
    greypilgrim is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Lexington, Virginia
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    We are the "noisy" neighbor

    What is the name of your state? Virginia

    Our problem is one I have not found too much information about. What is a tenant's rights as the "accused" in a noisy neighbor dispute?

    Let me try to briefly detail what is a long story, to add some context to my question. The woman who lives in the townhouse adjoining ours is about sixty years old and lives alone on Social Security. We have lived beside her since about August of 2003, and over that time period we have had a decent relationship. She had no car for awhile, and we ferried her to the grocery store. I shoveled her walk when it would snow.

    But within the past month, she has all of a sudden begun complaining about the "noise" we make. Ordinarly, this would call to mind raucous parties at 2 AM, or loud spousal arguments late at night, or the TV being too loud. No. Not in our case. Our neighbor is complaining to the landlord about "thumping" from our three year old son. She has also complained that she can hear our cat going up and down the stairs. She complained once that we were playing too much with our son and his "piercing" laughter was coming through the walls and giving her migraines. She also complained that it was the smell of our laundry detergent causing her migraines, so as a way of getting along, we switched to a more expensive scent-free detergent. The three noise complaints so far--the most recent this past Sunday--have all come at the same time, around six-thirty in the evening.

    We have talked to our landlady, but she seems to be siding with the neighbor. When we talked to the landlady after the most recent complaint, she said she "would hate to see us go" but she could not think of any way to solve this problem. On the invitation of our neighbor, the landlady has even come over to the neighbor's house to listen for the noise we make. The landlady did not tell us about her spying; we were told by another neighbor. When we asked the landlady about it, we also asked whether she had heard anything. She said she had not heard anything.

    These complaints by our neighbor are approaching the point of being harassing. There is no volume control we can turn down to solve this problem. My family and I are now on egg shells because of this, and we spend our weekends constantly nagging each other to be quiet. If my three-year-old forgets and hops down the steps, we cringe, expecting another phone call from the landlady. I've asked friends for advice, but they have none. Now I feel I need a lawyer's advice. What should we do?
  2. #2
    BL
    BL is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    In the good old US of A
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    Are the stairs carpeted ? If not talk to your landlord about carpet . That might solve the problem of the Hopping , thumping .

    As far as playing and screeching you could try to play lightly ( but not on eggshells ) . It's against the Law to discriminate based on children , and children do make noise .Regarding you every day lifestyle you have tried to remedy the , laundry smell , etc . as a courteousy to your neighbor .

    Quite frankly , I doubt no matter what you do will satisfy your neighbor . She will most likely find something to complain about .

    If you are on a month to month tenancy , the Landlord could give you 30 days notice .

    If you are on a Lease , I don't see any grounds for eviction based on your post .
  3. #3
    greypilgrim is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Lexington, Virginia
    Posts
    3
    We are on an annual lease. What I am concerned about is that when our lease expires in June, the landlady will not offer to renew it. I don't want to move! But I don't want to live with this kind of problem hanging over our heads.

    This summer, we are going to pay for carpet for the stairs out of our own pocket; we already told the landlady we would do that. But as you say, I don't think anything is going to satisfy our neighbor. Before she started calling the landlady, she would complain directly to us. Once she complained about a time when we weren't even home, and the second time it turned out it was children playing outside who were screaming.

    We just can't get our landlady to see our side of this affair!
  4. #4
    BL
    BL is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    In the good old US of A
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    It's very possible the Landlord might decide not to renew your lease. That is her right . But If He/She gives the reason as your child . That is discrimination and is against the Law . The Landlord however don't have to give a reason , just proper notice as per your lease . In that case there is nothing you can do .

    By your Post , it sounds like the elderly Lady has lived there quite sometime and the Landlord is happy with her as a tenant , and yes even if the Landlord states she'd hate to see you , move a choice might have to be made .

    The Question for the Landlord , is whoever she rents to , will the neighbor still complain ? Most likely ....

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