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Problems With Other Tenants

I live in a basement apartment of a house which is supposed to be totally non-smoking. My upstairs neighbors smoke pot constantly and I smell cigarette odors from them. Our stuff smells! My landlord doesn't care, obviously because I have complained often about this. Any ideas on who to contact about this?

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I am desperate to remedy this situation and have honestly thought about just leaving (breaking my lease that I am in the last month of). This has gone on for the past 5.5 months already and I'm really fed up. They also control the only thermostat in the house and regularly freeze us. To the point of wanting to take a drive in my car to warm up. We constantly wear sweaters/sweats and use blankets to keep warm, but it doesn't seem to be enough. We are constantly sick with colds. Thanks for any feedback.

By Cindy from Medicine Hat, AB CANADA

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February 8, 20100 found this helpful

Get a small electric heater or 2 to stay warm. Call the police to report the smoking. It works. Do not leave because of them, good luck.

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February 9, 20100 found this helpful

Try an air filter machine to filter out smoke. They do work.

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February 13, 20100 found this helpful

Contact your local Fair Housing Agency about the heating and smoking problems. If your apt is an illegal one which it sounds like since you do not have a heat control for your own apt then you may be entitled to all of your rent back and pain and suffering with the cold temperatures and the smoking issues. Document and video tape everything. Get a thermometer that is big enough to show the temp when it is very cold, like the round ones people use outdoors they are big and easy to read and videotape.

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February 13, 20100 found this helpful

I think you have a tenant/landlord dispute. Please put any communication with your landlord in writing and mail it with a return receipt request. Your Landlord must respond to you within 10 business days.

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February 13, 20100 found this helpful

Look up your government landlord-tenant rules. You might have grounds to break your lease. And isn't pot smoking a crime in Canada?

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February 13, 20100 found this helpful

Renting is not fun. Especially when you live around people with issues such as these. I know. I've been there (am there, now;0). I saw, someone mention documenting things. That's the first rule of thumb. That way, your word actually holds water once you present them (landlord, police, health department, etc.) with the proof. There will be no denying it then.

I don't know how well you actually know your neighbors, but from what I've gone through with different people. I would not go to the police unless you have exhausted every, other resource. It's easy for those on the outside-looking-in to tell you to involve the law, but, if- like me- you know how nasty and vindictive people doing these things can be, it is not worth involving the police. Often-times, they are so nasty and can become so enraged, that they could actually do you/or your family real harm, and I'm sure that's NOT what you want.

If you're aware of the person/people who rent the apartment and you have spoken to them before (about anything), it may just pay for you to get them when they're alone, and talk to them one-on-one. If, for whatever reason, you cannot or do not want to speak with them personally, I would probably just visit my local health dept. and talk to someone there about the smoking and what, if anything, you can do to fix the problem.

If they tell you, there's nothing you can do, then I would probably just buy my time until a month from now when you will be moving and, hopefully, in a new place without these issues, and, a much more understanding landlord;) In the end, I really don't think bringing the law into the situation will help as much as it could hurt.

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February 16, 20100 found this helpful

Hi. Having worked in the apartment industry, I am wondering why you claim this is a non-smoking apartment. Was that just "word of mouth" or is it written that way in your lease? If, as one of the others wrote, your apartment is not legal, then that is a concern, of course. But if it is, then you should have your own control for heat...absolutely. That is a Fair Housing violation! Check the wording on your lease agreement. Contact your local housing authority and ask for guidance.

Also, as stated by another poster, document all of your grievances, the times you contacted the neighbors and/or landlords or other things you have done. I like the idea or taking pics of a thermometer in your apartment to show how cold it is. Couldn't hurt. You don't state where you live, but the right to running water and heat is certainly a basic necessity for renting an apartment and your slumlord/landlord should know this. If you want to stay here, then fight it. If not, then bail on the apartment and be twice as leery next time. Contacting the police is most likely NOT a good idea. I know smoking pot is not legal, but this is more a landlord issue, not a neighbor issue. Good luck! Keep us posted!

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0 found this helpful
May 25, 2011

I live in a small, normally quiet 2 story apartment complex. Because of a childhood disability, my 8 year old daughter and I live on the bottom floor. I knew living on the bottom floor, we would hear some normal noise like people walking, pets, etc. But, we've had new people move in and they have made our lives miserable!

The apartment is "supposed" to be rented to a father and his son. I've seen at least one other woman, and 2-3 children up there as well. The kids (maybe ages 2-5) run through the complex alone all the time. They come to my back door, knocking on it, and pressing their faces against my screen door. They tend to think they can play music whenever they want. Just the other night, (1:45 am to be exact), I was awakened to someone playing music so loud I could hear it word for word! It also woke my 8 year old.

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The noises upstairs get stranger and stranger. Lots of loud thumping, noises that sound like things are being thrown, loud thuds, etc. They also smoke and throw their nasty cigarette butts in my yard! I'm a person who keeps to themselves and does not want to "start" anything with my neighbors. I almost went up there the night of the music, but thought better, figuring nothing would happen.

I contacted my landlady who is wonderful! She's upset about this situation and is writing them up. I'm hoping this will lead to them being kicked out. But, what can I do to keep my sanity until they do move? I'm not able to move as I get housing assistance and I just renewed my contract for another year!

By Jaci from MO

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May 25, 20110 found this helpful

I have had neighbors like that, only the music they played didn't seem to have words, it was just "thump-thump-thump." After 10:30PM I call the cops. When there gets to be too much of sounding like they are throwing stuff, or maybe fighting, or dropping heavy things on the floor(my ceiling) I call the cops and say it sounds like somebody is fighting up there. Our tenant handbook says that all tenants are supposed to enjoy peace and quiet for 24-7, but I am nice and don't complain until after hours or it gets really bad. lol

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May 25, 20110 found this helpful

While patience is running thin trying to be tolerant of the new tenants, you complained to the right party who is following policy procedure for such a complaint on noise, children left unattended and being a disturbance to you and your daughter who has been wakened in sleep from all kinds of noises. It may take several write ups before you see any action taken that will cause the tenants to leave.

Call the police the next time noise level is increased and at the middle of your sleep and that will strengthen your complaint for further action against the tenant(s) and get a copy of the report and see that a copy is given to the landlord. This should verify your complaint is valid enough for someone to take positive action in the near future instead of waiting months from now to see results.

We were on vacation one time and the room next to ours in

the hotel became very noisy; angry words were heard clearly and for quite awhile. Just when we thought the venting ended and we could return to sleep, it started up again. I got up and went to the hotel manager's desk and set forth my complaint. In a matter of minutes, an attendant was heard knocking on their door and stating the complaint and that the loud noise had to stop. Quickly, the night became silent again.

When you pay for a place expecting it to be comfortable and peaceful, then that's what you should get. You are not the instigator of the problem the other tenant is and you shouldn't feel badly for doing something to make it stop. I sure didn't.

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May 25, 20110 found this helpful

In 2008 my husband and I sold our 3-bedroom home and then moved into a 2-bedroom apartment. It's a 2 story complex and we live on the bottom floor with attached garage. Since our income is higher we are paying the market value rent rate. The 2nd story apartments are rented out to tenants who have a lower monthly income or who are living on social services. The first tenants that lived upstairs from us was a woman and her boyfriend. They kept to themselves were respectful and we too were in turn respectful of their privacy. They moved out, then a single woman moved into the apartment for one year. My husband and I had absolutely no problems with our neighbors that lived above us. All tenants have to sign a one year lease, and are asked to abide by rules and regulations printed in the lease. Then as soon as my upstairs neighbor moved out, another woman moved in with her 17 yr. old daughter, 13 yr. old son, 11 yr. old daughter and her 2-yr. old son. There was a total of 5 people in the upstairs apartment. The woman made my life a living hell.

She was always preoccupied and never paid attention to her 2-yr. old son, and allowed him to run back and forth all day long from 7:00 AM until 11:00 PM every day. The quiet hours are from 8:00 AM - 10:00 PM. Then on nice bright days, she would take her 2-yr. outside, put him in a stroller and push him around. It was too hard for her to let him run around outside because she had to watch him. The mother and her teenage daughter sounded like a herd of elephants walking across the floor, from one room to another, thump-thump-thump just like the previous poster described. The mother dropped heavy objects on the kitchen floor which was directly above our kitchen and I almost jumped out of my skin many times. They didn't close cabinet doors quietly, they slammed them shut. You could tell when they left the apartment and then arrived home. They constantly slammed the door whenever they came or went. I tried to reason with her and was very nice about it. I reported it to management numerous times that her and her family were driving me crazy.

Last July my neighbor told me that the woman across the street was moving out of her first floor apartment. As soon as I heard about it, I went to the manager and told her that we wanted to move across the street. We are now away from the insane asylum, and another older man and his wife are now living downstairs from her. I believe management really got on her case and told her to shape up or she could be evicted. It's a shame when tenants don't respect the right and privacy of other tenants.

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May 26, 20110 found this helpful

Call the Police...

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May 26, 20110 found this helpful

You've done the right thing by contacting your landlady and I agree with all the previous posters' suggestions. Another suggestion: are there any other neighbors (besides the jerks, of course) that you can talk to about this, see if they agree with you about the jerks and will agree to also contact the landlady? Maybe they already have, but if not, couldn't hurt to ask them to; the more who complain, maybe things will happen faster. Good luck; my heart goes out to you; I've been in the same situation many times (when I still had to get up early in the morning to go to work, lived next door to a non-working guy who only slept between 7 am and 1 pm and was horribly noisy the rest of the time. Landlord finally evicted him, after I got some other neighbors to also complain, and found wall-to-wall [literally!] bags of garbage in every room. Plus he took off owing back rent; what a lazy, worthless jerk; a rich kid born to rich parents who were too old when he was born, so he was spoiled rotten; landlord went after those parents, you'd better believe!)

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May 27, 20110 found this helpful

When we first got married (40 years ago) we lived in a little duplex. I come from a very loving family and I had no experience at all with family violence. We never did get to know our neighbors because the guy was always beating his wife. She would scream, "Don't hit me, Dammit." He would yell back, "Don't call me Dammit", and hit her again. And their little boy (about 2 yrs old) would cry and scream from fright, I suppose. They moved away after a short while. We were so glad because I was a nervous wreck and scared when hubby wasn't home. Actually, I was scared even when he was home. We had started to look for something else when they moved. We never did even know their names...we just always called them "Dammit and his wife" and sterred clear of them. I was young then; now I wouldn't put up with that C**p. I'd call the cops so fast it would make his head spin.

Margaret from Denton, Texas

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May 27, 20110 found this helpful

Out of desperation I would probably talk to them. They may just be real ignorant and not realize they are disrurbing you. Ask them to not play music so late or if they must then to play it low. Good luck.

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May 27, 20110 found this helpful

I am the caretaker of the apartment complex that my son and I live in. This behavior is unacceptable!! Call the police!! It may seem extreme, but is necessary to have documentation for the landlady to take any action! Best wishes to you! If you are uneasy, you may remind them that you wish to be anonymous, but it's usually how these cases are handled.

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