Aggressive Tenant Issue

6 Replies

Hello All,

For personal reasons, I am posting as anonymously.

I currently live in an apartment complex with an extremely aggressive individual. Almost daily he is cussing and screaming aggressively at the top of his lungs, I can hear him punching walls and throwing stuff in the apartment. I have personally called the police twice on him, but it doesn't seem to be doing anything and my landlord's response is "My lawyer and I can't do anything about him", even after sending videos of him going absolutely insane. He typically contains himself to his apartment, but he has a window that faces a handful of other doors/court yard, so I myself have been threatened through the window and I see other tenants running to their doors when we can hear him screaming from our parking area. I'm not sure what to do in this situation, I don't want to leave because my rent is so damn low for my area, but I also don't want to be murdered because of the guy living next door. 

Is there any solution to this if my landlord is unwilling to take any action? He is clearly damaging the apartment and instilling fear in all the other tenants in the building. Other tenants are starting to get aggravated with this and are starting to open their doors and yell at him as well, so this is just a situation waiting to explode.

I'm sorry you are going through this. I would speak to the local precinct. Try to find out what is needed for him to be held for observation at a mental health facility. What is he screaming? Could it be considered a threat to himself or others? Good luck.

I assume that you're living in a rent controlled area, since you mention that your rent is so low? There could be several things at work:

1) As landlords we really have out  hands tied. We're not allowed to tell tenants what to do. It sucks, but that's the reality. As long as the tenant is in a lease, he has the use of the apartment and there's not much we could do about the holes in the wall. There has to be a more serious issue, before a landlord can file for eviction. If he pays his rent on time and there's no serious criminal activity that we can prove, we can't do anything. 

So, with that in mind, maybe there's something you can do to help the landlord? Keep calling the police, so that there's a trail. 2 police reports won't do it. But if there's a pattern and if all the other neighbors also call continuously, then you can get a call sheet after a month or so and see an unusually high number of police calls. 

There're huge differences in each state in regards to laws and since we don't know where you are, nobody can be very specific. 

You have the right to a peaceful enjoyment of your home. So, if the landlord wants to get this person out (it could also be that they're happy if this guy runs off the tenants, if your rent is so below market and you're in rent controlled area) all of the neighbors could get together and file a nuisance lawsuit against the guy, maybe supported by the landlord. 

Also, do some google searches about this person. See, if there have been previous evictions and if so, what were the reasons. It may have happened before and he has a history. Check in court, if there ever have been any restraining orders against him. Any history of violence. It can all help to establish wellfounded fear of him. 

I would call 911 and tell them that you are concerned that the neighbor is having a mental health crisis the next time you hear screaming from the apartment. Do not complain about the noise when you call 911 because it will only be handled as a noise complaint. Only complain about how you are concerned that the neighbor is either hurting himself or someone else in the apartment. Do this each time the screaming is really loud. This will at least get him in the hospital and give you a break.

If the tenant is a threat/danger to others, the Landlord should be able to get rid of him. I would notify the Landlord - in writing - that you do not feel safe and it is interfering with your right to quiet enjoyment. Try to get some other tenants to sign on. Let the Landlord know that if he does not act within XX days you will terminate your lease and move out.

Have a Plan B ready of moving out (get up to speed by researching the other apartments in the area) in case this neighbor continues with his bizarre ways. If the landlord or police can't stop him for some reason, then maybe it's time to move.