What to do about another tenant harassing me and my landlordwho does nothing to stop it?

The lady downstairs curses at me, parks her car in the street blocking me in the shared driveway, parks in the street blocking me from getting into the driveway, curses at me as she listens to my conversations when I am outside on my patio, and now resorts to turning my hot water tank off. Bangs on the walls as I walk up or down my stairs. I have pictures and have documented these things.

Asked on November 11, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

In every residential lease, there is a "covenant of quiet enjoyment". This means that a tenant cannot be disturbed in the use and enjoyment of their premises. If your landlord permits such continued interference, you may be able to sue them for money damages, withhold rent until the disturbance is eliminated, and/or break your lease. 

However, before you attempt any of these remedies, you must be certain of your specific legal rights. What you should do now is sit down and talk to an attorney that specializes in landlord/tenant cases. If money is an issue, contact a tenant's rights advocacy organization or, if income eligible, Legal Aid. Additionally, you can check to see if there is law school near you; they typically run free/low cost clinics handles these type cases.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.