Is there anything I can do about a very noisey upstairs neighbor?

They moved in about 2 months ago and it seems like I have not been able to sleep since she moved in with her son. She is a single mother with a 5 year old and does not control him when they are inside. We hear thumping and loud crashes starting at 6 am and going strong until the late hours of the night, We have complained to our office several times and we always get the same answer “we will talk to her.” It isn’t doing anything. We are losing sleep and it is causing us physical pain and has even driven me from my own home.

Asked on December 3, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Utah

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

A loud and disruptive neighbor might provide grounds for what is known as "constructive eviction". This would be based on the ground that you can no longer stay in your unit and are effectively being forced out. Although to make such a claim requires a high threshold of proof. Typically, it takes something significant and repeated to provide grounds to terminate a lease this ground. And a noisy child may or may not qualify.

There are however other options that you can pursue. The fact is that every residential lease contains an "implied warranty of quiet enjoyment".  This means that as a tenant you have are guaranteed to be able to use and enjoy your premises in a reasonable manner. In a case such as this, you could claim a breach of that covenant and either terminate your lease or withhold rent until the breach has been rectified.

You need to be aware that there are various procedures that must be followed in pursuing of these remedies. If you fail to do so it could lead to a whole other set of problems for you. At his point, it's probably time to consult with an attorney who specializes in landlord-tenant cases. You may also want to speak with a tenant's rights advocacy group.


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.