Q&A: What to Do About the Noise? What to Do About the Noise?

Q I have a neighbor whose door is just across from mine and whenever she enters her apartment, she closes her door with a very loud bang. Sometimes, I am asleep and I wake up and can’t go back to sleep. This has been going on for years and years. I talked to her about it, begged, pleaded and shouted, unfortunately, to no avail. Once in a while she will remember to be quiet, and no sound will emanate, but 90 percent of the time I am bothered by the banging of her closet and door especially at night. What can I do short of writing to the board? This is a condo building and both of us are renters. Do I have any recourse?

—Sleep-Deprived

A “‘Short of writing to the board,’ this renter’s options arise under landlord tenant law,” says attorney R. Bruce Freeman, of counsel, with the Glen Rock, New Jersey-based law firm of Buckalew Frizell & Crevina, LLP. “The writer could assert a claim against her landlord that her right to quiet enjoyment under her lease is being violated, seeking either cancellation of the lease or action by the landlord as a remedy. The writer might also have a claim against her neighbor for nuisance, although it is doubtful that merely slamming doors would rise to that level.

“If contacted, the board’s involvement would be limited. This is primarily a private dispute between owners (or renters) with little connection to traditional bases of board jurisdiction, such as impact upon common elements or upon interests of the community as a whole.

“Nevertheless, under New Jersey law, the board has an obligation to provide an alternative dispute resolution procedure (ADR) for ‘housing related disputes,’ even if these are merely ‘between owners,’ and do not involve the association directly. This would appear to be a housing related dispute so the requirement to provide ADR would be triggered at the request of the landlord/owner. If the writer contacts her landlord/owner and a complaint is made to the association, the association must provide the two owners or tenants with a forum to air their grievances, and possibly to mediate an agreement to be more considerate of each other. However, ADR is a non-binding procedure.

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Comments

  • Hello all. My problem is with the renter's upstairs in my condo complex. They don't seem to understand that the bass from their stereo resonates through out my condo. They aren't the type of people that you can have a talk to considering the guy and gal argue ALL THE TIME. And cussing all day. the police even were called due to the fighting . I was wondering if the HOA of the property could write them a letter stating that they cannot blast their stereo til 4 Am?! This place was quiet til they moved in. We bought this place and I don't feel that I should hear this all day and night. Especially at night. They do not work so that is what they do all day and night .