What are my rights as a tenant when the downstairs tenant keeps complaining about excessive noise?

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What are my rights as a tenant when the downstairs tenant keeps complaining about excessive noise?

I keep getting calls about the downstairs complaining about excessive noise. The leasing office has not verified the noises but has asked us to correct our behavior. How can they ask us to correct something that hasn’t been verified. This is the only neighbor complaining about noise. What can I do?

Asked on December 5, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You really only have two options:

1) Moderate or modify your behavior, if you think there may be something to the complaint;

2) Do nothing, and see if any legal action is taken against you--such as for disturbing the downstair's neighbor's right to "quiet enjoyment."

If the landlord serves you a notice to cease making noice, that would be potentially the first step in legal action. At that juncture, you either change your behavior or wait until an action to evict you is brought; once an action to eviction is brought, you have the chance to show in court that you are not making noise or otherwise disturbing the right to quiet enjoyment of other tenants.


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