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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 110463
Experience:  Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
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I have some very noisy neighbors in the floor above me who

Customer Question

I have some very noisy neighbors in the floor above me who are always talking loudly and yelling and playing loud music. I emailed management repeatedly, and one time they talked to the neighbors but it still continued. Over time, I would keep calling their courtesy officer (who is a police officer who lives on their complex) when my neighbors were loud. Most of the time he wouldn't show up. When he did show up he told me to record my neighbors and email them to the management. I did not have the time to waste and felt it was very unreasonable for him to ask for that. I had been complaining verbally, and over email, but management told me to follow his instructions. Recently one night, my neighbors were being very loud and a passerby told them to be quiet. They threw something at the passerby and both started making violent threats toward one another. This woke me up and I called the police. The police spoke to them and I told the police that these people had been making noise for quite some time. The police spoke to them regarding my complaint. I also talked about how the people above me had been throwing cigarette buts, and that some of them landed in my balcony, below. I emailed management about this incident and told them I am terminating my lease immediately because I don't feel safe anymore. Management claimed they hadn't heard from me in a while, so they thought the issue had stopped and they are making me responsible for the remaining term of my lease, which I don't want to pay. Do I have grounds not to pay them?
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Unfortunately, your complaint is against the neighbor, not really the landlord since you did not follow their instructions and if you do not pay the rent you would not have legal basis to withhold it and could be evicted. What you need to consider is following the management's instructions, because in order to make a legal case you have to have the evidence and the recordings would have given you proof. In court your word is not good enough, so it is not a waste of your time to record them in your apartment because that is your evidence against them and that is what management was trying to previously tell you.
So, make the recordings, then you can file suit against the landlord and the tenant for nuisance and for breach of your warranty of habitability and peaceable use and enjoyment of your premise that your lease guarantees.
So, you do have grounds to sue if you follow management instructions and present them the proof and then management takes no action, but you do not have the right to withhold rent as FL does not approve of such self help.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Thanks for your response.
I felt that if I had made numerous attempts to contact their courtesy officer, they should have an obligation to come out and talk to my neighbors about it. In the last email I sent them, I mentioned cigarette buts that the above neighbors have been throwing and how some are in my balcony. However, they have not taken any action on that. Could I use that as grounds, saying that it constitutes a fire hazard?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
While you felt that contacting the courtesy officer was enough, you also stated you failed to follow their instructions. They were not telling you to record the neighbors to blow you off, so it really was not a waste of your time as you think. They were telling you to do that so they would have evidence against the neighbors. Evidence is what is legally necessary.
The cigarette butts are all part of the same nuisance complaint, take pictures that prove they are coming from your neighbors, because that evidence would be needed in court for your suit. Your suit would be against both the neighbor and the management company, I am just saying you cannot withhold rent, you have to take them both to court.