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Advice on dealing with loud belligerent townhouse neighbor


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46 replies to this topic

#1 of 47 OFFLINE   Philip Hamm

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Posted July 03 2003 - 02:01 AM

I've lived in my end unit townhouse for 5 years and I really love it. Some HTF members have been there to visit and can speak on it. I have recently recarpeted the entire house and bought a nice $1000 fridge when the 10 year old original ied. My wife and I intend to live in this townhouse for at least another 5 years.

Last month the neighbors from hell moved in. The second night they were there, somebody was doing some home improvement task, banging away until about 11:30PM. I went over and asked them to stop, and the neighbor complied and apologized.

Ever since then, every night they bang. It's like their kids are running around the house like crazy every night. The banging usually starts at about 10:30PM and goes until 12:30 or later. Earlier this week we called the police to ask them what can be done. The police can't do anything except come over and talk. If they were playing a stereo or something they could make them stop, but since it's just banging through the walls there's nothing they can do.

I have twice gone over there to ask them to be quiet, and the last time, the lady who lives there got extremely belligerent with me. She basically told me that if I don't like it, buy a single family house, and her kids would bang away as much as they want. She even threatened to call the police on me and sue me. (for what, harrassment? Coming over 3 times to ask her to be quiet is harrassment?) She even came over later to yell at my wife.

I just called the HOA and am going to register a complaint, so the HOA will go over and tell them that I'm complaining. My wife and I have seen our quality of life diminish greatly because of these inconsiderate people. Actaully there's an HOA rule that forbids causing a nuisance that impairs the halth or well-being of a neighbor.

I'm fairly sure that the only thing I can do is move to a house, which I am beginning to plan to do.

Last night, for the first time, I pulled out my SPL meter and pointed my video camera at it and started recording. The video tape that results will be time and date coded and it indicates that they are causing bangs up to 60 dB on a regular basis at 11PM-12AM. 60dB is what normal talking registers at across a room. I live near an airport, a plane went overhead and only registered 52dB. I will continue to gather this evidence for the next few weeks.

I already plan on talking to some lawyer friends.

Any other suggestions?
Philip Hamm
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#2 of 47 OFFLINE   Todd Hochard

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Posted July 03 2003 - 02:17 AM

Just kill them. They'll never learn to be neighborly, and will never contribute anything useful to the betterment of mankind.Posted Image
Honestly, it seems like you are on the right track. Are they renters or owners (please please renters)? Whatever you do, don't back down. Always be polite, always be cordial, but do NOT live with it. Their right to do whatever the hell they want on their property ends when it blatantly interferes with yours. I don't know if that's the law or not, but if you're living next to me, it is.Posted Image
Maybe on that same tape, have the camera running when they come over to yell at you again. And, keep the HOA on them.

I'd bet Ryan W. has something to say here.Posted Image

Todd
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#3 of 47 OFFLINE   DaveMcS

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Posted July 03 2003 - 03:29 AM

SVS ULTRA

That's the only thing that will work in this situation.
I'm sure that would get their attention!!

A Little U-571 at 2 am should do nicely

#4 of 47 OFFLINE   MikeAlletto

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Posted July 03 2003 - 03:57 AM

Quote:
She basically told me that if I don't like it, buy a single family house, and her kids would bang away as much as they want.

Unfortunately some of that is true. This is something that is only solvable by one party moving out. This is exactly the reason I moved out of an apartment and would never consider living in a condo or townhouse or another apartment.

Quote:
Actaully there's an HOA rule that forbids causing a nuisance that impairs the halth or well-being of a neighbor.

Unfortunately that is so open to interpretation that its useless. You would have to prove that your health or well-being is being impaired which would be next to impossible.
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#5 of 47 OFFLINE   Karl_Luph

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Posted July 03 2003 - 04:13 AM

NEVER underestimate the power of the sub.......

#6 of 47 OFFLINE   Mark Barnhill

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Posted July 03 2003 - 04:23 AM

The truth is sadly, sometimes you have to fight fire with fire.
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#7 of 47 OFFLINE   Aaron Reynolds

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Posted July 03 2003 - 04:22 AM

The only problem with revenge is that it makes it harder to get other people on your side, especially if you annoy people other than the loud neighbors with your gut-rumbling sub action.

But if you do plan to shake their walls, make sure to invite a bunch of HTFers over to enjoy it. I recommend Apocalypse Now.

#8 of 47 OFFLINE   Philip_G

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Posted July 03 2003 - 04:29 AM

I'm with Aaron, be a respectful neighbor and work through the HOA first, revenge will only make it more difficult for you in the future.

#9 of 47 OFFLINE   Philip Hamm

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Posted July 03 2003 - 04:39 AM

I'm not going to stoop to their level, I'm a good neighbor and will continue to be.

I'm about 99% sure that my wife and I will be moving. That new carpet and fridge should help sell the house, but there's no way I'm going to be able to afford a detached home with this kind of location. I just feel sorry for the people who buy our house. I'm sure it will sell in a week or two the way the market is.
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#10 of 47 OFFLINE   Philip_G

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Posted July 03 2003 - 05:03 AM

you're scaring me man. I just bought a townhouse (no WAY I could afford a standalone house here)
my neighbors I just saw today when over there for an inspection, they have 2 small children and a dog that barks. I hope the walls are WELL insulated Posted Image
do you know how the townhomes are constructed? it's code here that you have to have a complete wall, 3" of air, then another complete wall, I assume for fire prevention or something, but my hope is that keeps the noise out. Also, do you have any shared electrical or plumbing? they say that makes some difference too.. just for my own curiousity, sorry to hijack the thread there.

#11 of 47 OFFLINE   Malcolm R

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Posted July 03 2003 - 05:06 AM

I just feel sorry for the people who buy our house. I'm sure it will sell in a week or two the way the market is.

As long as you don't show the house while your neighbors are home.
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#12 of 47 OFFLINE   Scott_lb

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Posted July 03 2003 - 06:07 AM

It never ceases to amaze me how people tend to treat one another (in this case, Phillip, I am referring to your neighbor and not you). I have a friend with a killer home theater who continually plays his system loud at very late hours. When I am there, I always ask him if it bothers his neighbors- especially at one or two o'clock in the morning. He says that he doesn't care.
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#13 of 47 OFFLINE   Philip Hamm

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Posted July 03 2003 - 06:19 AM

Quote:
you're scaring me man. I just bought a townhouse (no WAY I could afford a standalone house here)
my neighbors I just saw today when over there for an inspection, they have 2 small children and a dog that barks. I hope the walls are WELL insulated
do you know how the townhomes are constructed? it's code here that you have to have a complete wall, 3" of air, then another complete wall, I assume for fire prevention or something, but my hope is that keeps the noise out. Also, do you have any shared electrical or plumbing? they say that makes some difference too.. just for my own curiousity, sorry to hijack the thread there.
Don't worry. Our previous neighbor had two kids, one a crying infant, and was a drummer. We had a fantastic relationship. I heard his drumming through the walls, and he practicied almost every night, but he didn't do it past 10PM. Once in a while we heard the baby crying, but it was never very annoying. I also make my fair share of noise as a bass player and home theater enthusiast, but it's never past certain hours.

Looking forward to a single family house with a big garage, but we'll be pretty housepoor for a few years.
Philip Hamm
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#14 of 47 OFFLINE   DonRoeber

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Posted July 03 2003 - 06:34 AM

Philip_G,
I also own a townhome. I've got an end unit, but the way that our units are constructed, I still have neighbors on two walls. My neighbors have never had a problem with any of my HT stuff, and I've never heard a single noise through the walls from them. The only time I ever hear anything from our neighbors is when everyone has their windows open and someones alarm clock goes off in the morning. But even then, it's just a noise you might notice if you were in complete silence.

Philip Hamm,
Sorry that I don't have much to offer, but I hope this'll work out for you. My fiancee and I bought our townhome with the idea that we'd be living in it for 5 years, until she's done grad school and we're ready to settle down and start a family. Then we're going to need a bigger house.
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#15 of 47 OFFLINE   LDfan

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Posted July 03 2003 - 07:48 AM

Hell, I'd go rent a Porn movie and crank it loud enough for them to hear all the good sound effects. Maybe that would shut them up. Posted Image

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#16 of 47 OFFLINE   Ryan Wright

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Posted July 03 2003 - 07:53 AM

asdfasdfasdf

#17 of 47 OFFLINE   StephenK

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Posted July 03 2003 - 08:07 AM

my suggestion: neighbor pie...

#18 of 47 OFFLINE   BrettB

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Posted July 03 2003 - 09:13 AM

Philip, sorry to hear about your neighbor problems. Posted Image Hope it all works out. With the current interest rates, now is a great time to buy.

Curious, how old are these kids and do you have any idea what the hell they're doing down there?

#19 of 47 OFFLINE   Philip_G

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Posted July 03 2003 - 09:30 AM

PH,
thanks Posted Image
I feel better now!
[/hijack]

#20 of 47 OFFLINE   GordonL

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Posted July 03 2003 - 09:50 AM

Philip,
The problem may be they don't realize how loud they are. Assuming you still want to be good neighbors, try having either the husband or wife over at the time the banging is going on so they can get an idea of how loud it really is. If they are reasonable people, they will stop. You could also enlist the help of the neighbor on the other side of your neighbor-from-hell. I'm sure they aren't be too happy about the noise either. OTOH, if they are doing some home improvement, maybe you just have to wait it out.

Are they renters? Maybe you can complain to their landlord.

I'd say be careful about how you handle this because you don't know how they're going to react. They might be the type to do some damage to your property.

As a last resort, I'd say set up a sound system (maybe a boombox) in a room that is next to their master bedroom. Put the speakers up against the wall and play something with heavy bass. Do this at night when they're about to go to sleep. But don't turn it up so loud that they think you're doing it on purpose - just loud enough so that they'll have a hard time sleeping. Keep doing it until they get the message. If you can pull this off without making it look like revenge they'll eventually stop... maybe... Posted Image





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