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Tina
Tina, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 31669
Experience:  JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
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My 86 year old mother is being harassed by her downstairs neighbor.

Customer Question

My 86 year old mother is being harassed by her downstairs neighbor. Initially she (the neighbor) was directly contacting my mom & now she is going to management with niggling complaints that we believe are being used to have my mom evicted. Complains include daily household noises that occur within normal waking hours (water running, guests walking across the apartment, bathroom noises including closing cabinets and closet doors). The woman has a reputation for harassing other tenants of the community (there are approximately 100 apartments in a 55 and over, low income complex). One person filed a police complaint for harassment against her already. Management refuses to acknowledge that this person is a problem in the community and is also impinging my mother's right to quiet enjoyment. Is there anything we can do to get this woman to let my mom live in peace?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Tina replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX my goal is to provide you with excellent service today. I am sorry to hear of your mother's difficult situation. Before I can give you an accurate answer to your question, please provide the following additional information:

Are you prepared to take legal action if it becomes necessary to stop the neighbor's conduct? Do you know why the neighbor is engaging in such conduct--what is her motivation?

I look forward to assisting you as soon as I have received this information. Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Tina,


 


Thank you for your quick response. Yes, we are willing to take legal action against this woman if necessary. We honestly just think she has an ax to grind, and because my mom has told her that because of her irratic behavior she has no interest in dealing with her directly, this woman has made it her mission to make my mom miserable. My mom has health issues and is a stroke risk. These instances upset her terribly and I am deeply concerned for her. Thanks.


 

Expert:  Tina replied 1 year ago.
I see. Thank you for clarifying the situation for me, Nancy. It does sound as though your concerns are justified.

Since it appears you have attempted to rectify the situation with the individual and management to no avail and because of the risk to your mother's health if this conduct continues, I would typically retain a local attorney to represent her at this point to communicate a demand to the neighbor that she cease such conduct or risk legal action being taken against her.

If the demand is not successful in promptly stopping the conduct, then an ex parte petition for an anti-harassment order can be filed with the local court on your mother's behalf. Once an order is obtained, the neighbor would typically be prevented from continuing to harass your mother. If she did, she could be arrested as violating the court's order. The threat of such an order coming from an attorney may be enough to motivate the neighbor to stop acting unreasonably.

Here is a link to the applicable code providing for an anti-harassment order:

http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=10.14.080

It would not likely be worth pursuing a complaint for damages under these circumstances, but I would certainly take steps to compel the neighbor to cease such conduct, including an anti-harassment order if necessary.

I hope this helps clarify the situation for you. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need so I will be compensated for my time from the deposit you posted with this website. If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Thank you!

Tina

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you Tina. There is another issue related to this, and that is behavior of the management towards my mom. There was an issue with water in her apartment (her fault admittedly) that she needed assistance with and management laughed at her when she got upset because they refused to give her any assistance in cleaning it up. Three maintenance personell were standing there when she was begging for help and she was refused. A neighbor came to her rescue and helped mop up the water with towels, which were then placed on her deck (on her chairs, not a railing which would have been in violation of the lease). The woman downstairs complained (of course). Now, weeks later my mom received a 10 day notice to comply with the lease (regarding the wet towels being on the deck). The towels were removed a day or two after they were placed there to dry. I want to say that was two to three weeks ago. Can management send a notice of compliance when the situtation is already resolved?

Expert:  Tina replied 1 year ago.
Hello again, Nancy. You are very welcome.

I am not aware of any court which would permit the owner to evict your mother for having the towels on her deck under these circumstances and a notice of compliance does appear to be out of line since the towels were removed long ago. You may wish to have the attorney communicate with management as well as the neighbor so they are made aware their attempt to intimidate or harass your mother was not successful.

No 86 year old person should be subjected to such conduct and I am sorry there are people in the world who would resort to this.
Tina, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 31669
Experience: JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
Tina and 12 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Tina replied 1 year ago.

Thank you very much for your positive rating of my service. It has been my pleasure to assist you and I hope you will ask for me should a future legal need arise.

If you receive a Customer Satisfaction Survey from JustAnswer, please consider scoring me a 9 or 10. It benefits my ability to assist you and other customers, and would be tremendously appreciated.

Thanks again and all the best to you and your mother.

Tina

Note: Please feel free to request me if you have future legal questions by typing your new question in the question box on my profile page. Here is a link to that page, which you can bookmark or add to your favorites: http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-tina/. I look forward to hearing from you again.

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