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CalAttorney2, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing HOAs, homeowners, businesses and others in real estate matters.
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I own a unit. The last tenants wanted to sell their unit in

Customer Question

Hi, I own a unit. The last tenants wanted to sell their unit in a hurry. They stated the place by painting and putting in the cheapest (from what I can tell) carpeting ever. All floor changes are to go through the board. Previous tenant did not.
Now I can hear every step new tenant makes. it goes from mild to very loud and disturbing. There are times when it sound like it is coming through my ceiling.
Apparently (which I made first complaint I believe in October 2015) just now (if I understood the office manager correctly) was just done. As I was at the HOA (Home Owners Association) meeting. The office Manager (Leticia--who works for Timberlake-the HOA) said, "I wish you would have come to me first, as we just checked it (the carpet) and it seems fine."
It couldn't possibly be fine, because it is EXCESSIVE NOISE above my head whenever tenant is moving in apartment. All of the other apartments that I have been in (lower apartments) do not have this issue. They may have some noise, but it would go under usual and customary noise. Garbage disposal, and occasional footsteps.
The noise I have is whenever tenant is moving and it is excessive and loud. It is very disturbing to me. I moved here in part because I am considered permanently disable, I need rest. I have had to seek outside help from a physician so I can tolerate being in my apartment. There are times I could swear said tenant is building a house up there. I do not want to interfere with my neighbor, however, the excessive noise (whatever it is has destroyed my apartment and economically and home like environment. There are times it sounds like people are building things up there. Of course I do not know what is going on, just that it is EXCESSIVE AND UPSETTING.
In our CODE book, there is a clause that states, no tenant should be making loud, excessive noise as to disturb the other tenants.
I will be going to the board again (meetings are last Wed of the month) I am going crazy, this board is worthless. they do nothing, except make excuses. Mean time my apartment is ruin because of noise and their lack of doing nothing. They said I wrote it was because they changed the carpet out. I was giving the tenant benefit of doubt. Perhaps it is just the tenant who loud. No matter what it is my apartment is ruin because of excessive noise.
Can you help me?
Thank you
Susan Thoresen (###) ###-####or leave message, I will get back to you. Thank you again for your time.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

Dear Customer,

I am sorry to learn about this situation.

Noise disputes with upstairs neighbors are often difficult to deal with as quantifying how noisy someone is being can be somewhat difficult (as this is usually "subjective" - meaning how loud is it to the listener). However, there are devices to measure the quality of flooring and sound deafening devices (such as a "tapping device" (placed in the upstairs unit) and a microphone that measures decibels (placed in the downstairs unit) to determine the sound "objectively" - meaning a specific or scientific measurement as to how loud the sound is.

If the upstairs unit is not properly insulated (it sounds as if they went cheap on the flooring, which is likely the cause of the excessive noise), the HOA has an obligation to enforce the governing documents and require the upstairs owner to install properly insulated or dampened flooring.

You can sue the HOA to require them to enforce this. You can retain an attorney to represent you in this action (in most cases, you are entitled to recover your attorney's fees upon a successful resolution).

Short of filing a lawsuit, you can try to mediate the dispute with them - contact your local bar association and request referrals to mediators, a third party neutral can often help you reach a mutually agreeable resolution. Use the bar association's referrals to contact a mediator or two, the mediator will then contact the other party to set up a mediation session, and you can go from there - hopefully resulting in a formal or written settlement agreement, and save yourself the time and expense of litigation.