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Excessive noise from children playing

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e30m20b27

New member
What is the name of your state? New York -
My apartment shares a (thin) wall with a dysfunctional family who don't pay enough attention to their two kids. The kids often are fighting or roughhousing. The noise and vibration through the flooring is very disruptive. I believe it is excessive and I've complained to the management who have fined the family and tried to enforced co-op rules (myself and about 1/3 of the building neighbors rent, but in general the building is co-op; my next door neighbors with the kids own).

I'm just wondering--have any of you heard of a situation like this where the kids playing constitute a breach of the warranty of habitability? Usually that would be applied to rodent infestations, but in my mind if I can't enjoy my apartment due to unreasonable noise it could be an argument. It's like living next to a playroom. I've called the police and the state child protective services once when I heard one of the kids being beaten but as far as I know nothing came of it. I'm at the point where I'm considering moving out and I want to try to mitigate my losses if the landlord pushes back. I want to have an argument for breaking the lease, and I'm curious if anyone has seen a similar situation play out.
 


Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
What is the name of your state? New York -
My apartment shares a (thin) wall with a dysfunctional family who don't pay enough attention to their two kids. The kids often are fighting or roughhousing. The noise and vibration through the flooring is very disruptive. I believe it is excessive and I've complained to the management who have fined the family and tried to enforced co-op rules (myself and about 1/3 of the building neighbors rent, but in general the building is co-op; my next door neighbors with the kids own).

I'm just wondering--have any of you heard of a situation like this where the kids playing constitute a breach of the warranty of habitability? Usually that would be applied to rodent infestations, but in my mind if I can't enjoy my apartment due to unreasonable noise it could be an argument. It's like living next to a playroom. I've called the police and the state child protective services once when I heard one of the kids being beaten but as far as I know nothing came of it. I'm at the point where I'm considering moving out and I want to try to mitigate my losses if the landlord pushes back. I want to have an argument for breaking the lease, and I'm curious if anyone has seen a similar situation play out.
Move to a single-unit dwelling far away from any neighbors.
 

FarmerJ

Senior Member
Your next move , on a serious note , take a good hard look at the age of the structure , you claim the place has thin walls , then you want to find buildings where they have sound proofed between units ( your city building inspections desk can tell you things like in what year new construction multi unit had to be sound proofed between units and under what conditions other buildings had to be sound proofed between units as well and let that be your guide when viewing apartments in older buildings , AND when viewing a place bring a glass with and place on walls that are common walls with other apartments and listen, If you can too easily hear say a radio or tv then that's a hint , don't rent there.
 

quincy

Senior Member
What is the name of your state? New York -
...
I'm just wondering--have any of you heard of a situation like this where the kids playing constitute a breach of the warranty of habitability? Usually that would be applied to rodent infestations, but in my mind if I can't enjoy my apartment due to unreasonable noise it could be an argument. It's like living next to a playroom. I've called the police and the state child protective services once when I heard one of the kids being beaten but as far as I know nothing came of it. I'm at the point where I'm considering moving out and I want to try to mitigate my losses if the landlord pushes back. I want to have an argument for breaking the lease, and I'm curious if anyone has seen a similar situation play out.
As the parent of many loud and rambunctious children, I can appreciate how annoying the noise of children can be. Unfortunately for both me and you, there is no "warranty of habitability" claim that can help. :)

In New York, a warrant of habitability is the requirement that a landlord keep the rental property fit for human habitation and free from hazardous conditions. See: Park West Management Corp. v. Mitchell, 47 NY2d 316 (1979).

Where you might find some relief is with a violation of your right to "quiet enjoyment" of the rental property.

"A covenant of quiet enjoyment by a lessor is implicit in a lease." See: Edgerton v. Page, 20 NY 281 (1859).

A breach of a tenant's quiet enjoyment by the landlord is when the landlord substantially deprives the tenant of the use and enjoyment of the rental premises. It requires showing specific conduct by the landlord that has led to the specific effects suffered by the tenant.
 
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DeenaCA

Member
The right to peaceful enjoyment does not include a right to be free from the everyday noise of children. Certainly there's an element of reasonableness here, in that loud noise at 2:00 a.m. would probably violate the lease or co-op rules. But with the exception of senior housing, the sound of children running and jumping (and occasionally yelling) in the daytime and early evening is to be expected in apartment living.
The housing operators/managers could be found to be in violation of the Fair Housing Act for fining or otherwise penalizing the family due to noise from the children. For more information click here. Excerpt:
Lease violations should only be issued when noise is unreasonable, and if an adult tenant would be issued a violation if he were making a similar amount of noise.
 

quincy

Senior Member
The right to peaceful enjoyment does not include a right to be free from the everyday noise of children. Certainly there's an element of reasonableness here, in that loud noise at 2:00 a.m. would probably violate the lease or co-op rules. But with the exception of senior housing, the sound of children running and jumping (and occasionally yelling) in the daytime and early evening is to be expected in apartment living.
The housing operators/managers could be found to be in violation of the Fair Housing Act for fining or otherwise penalizing the family due to noise from the children. For more information click here. Excerpt:
Agreed. :)

Living in an apartment means living in close proximity to others who have their own rights to the use and enjoyment of the premises for the purposes for which they were leased. "Reasonable use" is key.
 

not2cleverRed

Obvious Observer
No, kids being kids in their own home isn't a habitability issue.

You called the police. The police don't think it's a problem.
You called CPS. CPS doesn't think the playing kids are being abused.
Unlike you, the family with playful kids cannot be evicted because they own their unit.

Maybe you are the problem, and should move when your lease is up.
 

Just Blue

Senior Member
No, kids being kids in their own home isn't a habitability issue.

You called the police. The police don't think it's a problem.
You called CPS. CPS doesn't think the playing kids are being abused.
Unlike you, the family with playful kids cannot be evicted because they own their unit.

Maybe you are the problem, and should move when your lease is up.
I'm gonna bet that the kid's parents have had a little talk with OP's LL. I'd bet OP won't be offered another lease.
 
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