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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 33398
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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I live in a senior apartment building, and I am having

Customer Question

I live in a senior apartment building, and I am having sleepless nights due to an extra noisy neighbor. Not only is he noisy during the day, but he increases his level of activity during the nights with a vengeance. I have written 3 letters of complaint to management, and they say they have talked with him and also sent him letters about the matter. This has been going on for more than a couple of months and nothing has changed. I am tired of writing letters and I am tired of losing sleep. The management here seems to be ineffectual. What more can be done by me or by the management that will rectify this situation? I can't afford to move right now, so I'm stuck with this situation.
JA: What state is the property located in? And has anyone consulted a local attorney about this?
Customer: I live in Baltimore, MD. No one has consulted anyone about this.
JA: What are the terms of the lease? Any issues related to maintenance or upkeep?
Customer: I will sign a new lease in March. The only issues I have with maintenance are that there are only 2 maintenance, men to cover 2 buildings, which means it may take a couple of weeks to get repairs made, unless it's an emergency, and that my window blinds are so cheap that the wind breaks off the slats. I have had to tape them together to try to have some semblance of privacy, and the management tole me that they would not replace them. In my last apartment, I had the same blinds for 12 years and never had a problem like this.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Thank you, ***** ***** can't think of anything right now. I don't want to talk over the phone--if I could just get a quick answer about the noisy neighbor, that would be enough for me right now.
JA: OK. To minimize me, please click the down arrow at the top right corner of this box.
Customer: How do I set up the appointment Pearl?
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 7 months ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Hello Dwayne. So what do I do?
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 7 months ago.

You can sue the neighbor for "nuisance" and have the court issue an injunction and/or monetary damages (although an injunction is more likely). The problem is that you can't do that in small claims court and so you would need a lawyer to assist you. The lawsuit can be brought against both the neighbor and the apartment unit and you can also sue for your attorney's fees but most attorneys will require payment up front.

The steps to an injunction are:

1) An Application for TRO (Temporary Restraining Order) is filed along with supporting evidence such as affidavits. Usually the Application for Injunction is made at the same time. The TRO is a temporary measure and is not absolutely required before you get an injunction.
2) An Ex Parte (without the other side present) Hearing is conducted and the judge either issues the TRO or denies it. If the TRO is issued the judge orders a bond set in a sufficient amount to compensate the other side for any damages accumulated while the TRO is in place if the applicant fails to prove their right to an injunction.
3) A hearing on the TRO is set.
4) The TRO and notice of Hearing is served on the defendant.
5) The defendant should immediately begin following the judge's orders.
6) The TRO hearing is held and each side has an opportunity to present evidence and question witnesses.
7) The judge makes the decision on whether to convert the TRO to a Temporary Injunction or not.
8) If the TRO is converted to a Temporary Injunction then the judge sets a new bond to be in place.
9) Discovery is conducted by both sides.
10) A request for hearing date is made on the matter of converting the Temporary Injunction into a Permanent Injunction.
11) The hearing/trial is held on the Permanent Injunction and the judge issues a ruling.

These are what are known as extraordinary remedies and the procedural rules for these as well as the case law are EXTREMELY specific and difficult. If ANY mistakes are made the judge has no choice but to deny the relief and will not likely reconsider it in the future.

Just as an example, getting injunctive relief, both temporary and permanent, requires that evidence be offered of:
1) An immediate need,
2) Which, if not granted, will result in irreparable harm,
3) With no adequate remedy at law, and
4) (on temporary order) The person requesting the injunction is likely to succeed at a full trial on the merits.

If evidence is not offered to meet these four requirements, in a manner that the judge knows this is what the evidence shows, then the petition will be denied.

There are more requirements than this depending on the exact facts of the case but it is very, very easy to mess up one of these and end up having to pay damages to the other side just because your paperwork wasn't done properly.

You can also move and then sue the apartment unit for any costs of moving under a theory known as "constructive eviction" since they have refused to take any steps to correct the problem. You could do this cause of action yourself in small claims court or you could use a lawyer and file in one of the higher courts. Again, your attorney's fees are recoverable.

You can also try calling the police but normally they will tell you "it's a civil matter".

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