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Unusual Situation - Upstate NY

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Junior Member
What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? NY

Help! I'm having such anxiety about having to confront my landlord, but I have to because my tenant rights are being seriously violated. I just wonder what type of response I will get from the office when I call....any input would be very helpful. Here is the situation:

I've lived in this apartment for 2 years, never late on rent, apartment is spotless and I'm very quite single older woman (54). The first year I lived here I didn't spend very much time in the apartment during the day, but over the last year I'm in the apartment almost everyday all day long and have become increasingly aggravated by a noise/invasion of privacy issue....but not from another tenant....from the maintenance men who care for the properties of the LLC I rent from. You see, the maintenance men have an office/workshop in the basement directly under my apartment. They sometimes spend most of the day down there doing everything from Screaming the F word back and forth to each other, using power drills and power saws and stomping up and down the cellar stairs 50 times a day. I don't take noise well and savor peace and quiet....I also don't like confrontation....that is why I pay my rent, keep the place clean and don't make noise.
I've been putting off talking to the landlord about it, and my agitation about putting up with the noise as well as feeling self conscious that they can hear everything I'm doing (like making a personal telephone call...or....er....taking a bath, getting dressed...yes...I can hear every word they say, so I'm assuming they can hear everything I say or do).
Well I just received the paperwork to resign my lease for another year and found out the rent is being raised by $10.00 a month. Well you can imagine how upset I feel right now. Not only do I think I shouldn't have to pay an increase....they should give me a huge discount for putting up with all this noise and lack of privacy. I know the landlords are violating the lease because of the "Right to live peacefully and comfortably" clause, but I'm still nervous about the confrontation for this reason: If I complain to them about this situation and they come down hard on the maintenance men....do I really want to live in an apartment complex where the maintenance men don't like me or think I got them in trouble? I can't take this one more day.....I'm calling the landlord tomorrow. There is a very simple solution to the issue, but if the landlord will go for it and if they would respect my request that they handle the situation with maintenance men without involving my name? The solution: There are about 20 buildings in this complex. Each building has either 1, 2 or 3 bedroom apts. Move the maintenance men to a bldg underneath a tenant who works full time and is not home in the daytime. They are here from 7-4....someone who worked full time days would hardly notice them at all. So what advice an anyone give me...I'm freaking out right now....I hate confrontation! They are right outside my apt window right now F this, F that! OMG....why me?


Senior Member, Non-Attorney
Your best bet may be to move. I honestly don't think they are violating your right to quiet enjoyment by working during daytime working hours.

Gail in Georgia

Senior Member
You can certainly make this request.

This landlord does not have to honor this request....and indeed, because this involves a workshop/office, it may be more trouble to move them than move you.

Since your lease is coming to an end, why don't you ask the landlord if there is another rental unit available in the complex that is quieter for you.



Junior Member
I was not informed that the maintenance office was in the basement under my apartment before I moved in.....I have always thought that maybe they should have mentioned that to me. So you guys don't think that it is a violation of this clause in my lease? Here is the exact wording:

Quiet enjoyment and habitability: Subject to the terms of this Lease as long as Tenant is not in default Tenant may peaceable and quietly have, hold and enjoy the apartment for the term of the lease.

Disturbing Noises: You agree not to make, or permit to be made, any disturbing noises, nor shall you commit or permit any act which will unreasonably interfere with the rights, comforts or convenience of any other residents. You shall keep the volume of all noise sufficiently reduced at all times so as not to disturb other residents in the building and the complex.

Man, I thought it was a slam dunk, but now you guys got me thinking, maybe it's not. Which is going to make me even more nervous about calling them.

Thanks for your input.

Gail in Georgia

Senior Member
Legally they did not have to tell you about the maintenance office being where it is.

Your lease requirements state you are not to make disturbing noise or interfere with the rights or comforts of the other tenants. It says nothing about maintenance making noise during normal work hours.

Again, there is nothing that says you cannot mention that there is noise from this office/workshop during the normal work day and that you would like to discuss your options with management.



Senior Member
Upstate NY rents have increased 2%-5% on average per year for like the last 8 years. So you complain there is baseless. Making baseless complaints is no way to win a noise complaint argument.

You should move, your landlord is not going to be able to resolve this the way to you want, and workers working in a workshop are going to make more noise than you find acceptable even if they make every last effort to be quiet. And they can't. They aren't going to stop using power tools. They aren't going to stop speaking in conversational voices.

As to the cussing, you have a point. That's an extremely fair complaint - "I can hear your workers loudly swearing, they are cursing and blaspheming constantly. Could you please instruct your men to conduct themselves more professionally as a lady is definitely within range of hearing their vulgarities."


Senior Member
You can chose not to renew your lease and move ,but first as was said approach the LL and voice your concerns respectfully and peacefully and ask if there is a possibility of moving to another empty unit that is more quieter.


Senior Member
Or you might ask your LL to look into if adding insulation to the underside of your floors would qualify for any extra tax credit related to energy conservation issues ( beside the fact that if it was insulated it would cut sound transmission , and it does indeed sound to me as if it was a unfinished basement type area ) I say to ask them about this because 1 if you really like the unit your in then insulation between your unit and that work space could be the thing to keep you happy if it cuts sound transmission and would let them keep you as a tenant longer . Last huge question here , since it appears to me they may be using a basement type of space where is your electric panel (breaker box -fuse box) and where is the meter itself ? can you easily see a meter that says office- workshop- etc ( if meters are outside they might be marked and you should go take a look just so you can see how they are marked and the total meter count EG 6 apartments but 7 meters means one is house - LL use.

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