Tenant harassment (i have an autistic toddler)

36 Replies

The neighbor above me has been stomping over my head very early in the morning 5am and after "quiet hours" late at night well after midnight. She slams doors, she "drops" things which shake my apartment ceiling. I have an autistic child who has sensory processing disorder so the loud noises scare her. For the last few months her cat has been staring into my window, also scaring my autistic child, who is 5. I have an older child(16) who has severe anxiety and depression and has a cat as her emotional support pet, so when this lady's cat comes.to our window my daughter's cat freaks out scratching my child. Now her cat has anxiety the vet has told us. Which makes it difficult to provide support for her. I have contacted the landlord on several occasions, taken pics of the cat at our window, the landlord went on to tell the tenant that I reported her so now she goes around and tells the other tenants that I'm mean and has even used explicatives. I can hear her speaking to tenants when she is outside my window. They tell her if my window is open or not. So I can't even open my window without wondering when her cat is going to come push on my screen and scare my child.

I don’t have any suggestions for your neighbor making a lot of noise. Unfortunately some people are either just loud.... or vindictive for whatever reason.

Have you considered putting either window frosting or something on the windows to prevent the cat from being a problem? Something like you’d put on bathroom windows that lets the light in but people can’t see in. And something you can remove easily when you leave.

The other alternative is talk to your landlord and see if they would allow you to move out and find somewhere better. While most landlords want to keep you for the whole lease term, if it’s really not working out, they might help you out. Then you can find somewhere a bit quieter.

Good luck!

If they are making noises at 5 am, talk to your neighbour and remind her of the quiet hours set by your landlord.  As for the cat, keep the curtains closed or put something in front of the window on the inside to block the cat from sight. 

Living in a multifamily unit means neighbours are close.  If people are talking outside your window, just quietly close the window.

If you need more space or don't want neighbours on top of you (or below you), look into renting a single family house.  You have more control over your space.

I appreciate your reply. 

The neighbor has been here longer than my family she knows the quiet hours for the building. I don't bother or cause issues for anyone else but I should have to close myself and my family off so that she can continue to make all the noise she wants? How is that making for a comfortable living situation for my kids and myself? I pay rent her just as her and should feel comfortable in my own home. Also I have privacy coverings on all my windows, but I want to open my windows when the.weather is nice and I can't do that because she wants to hold a conversations about me in front of my window and let her cat out which the landlord asked her not to do. I have lived in apartments in the past and each tenant needs to have some level of respect for the other. She doesn't own this property and shouldn't be able to do whatever she wants without respecting others. Also I'm not the only tenant who has complained about her. But thank you again for your response. 

Mike, 


Thanks for your reply. I do have privacy coverings on all the windows but when I open the windows up u can see inside. So either I never open the window or I have to listen to her gossip about me and see her cat. I have spoke to the landlord several times and she goea and tells the tenant and she becomes louder and more vindictive. Its all very stressful. I am not a loud person, I can't be with having a child with autism. 


Neighbor disputes are between neighbors, unless she is violating the lease there is not much the landlord can do. If she has noise late into the night you can report it.  If there are other lease violations you can report them.  That said you can keep the curtains over the window area even when it is open so the cats don't stare at each other. there are small pressure rods you can put in the window with light cotton curtains on them.   Don't let this neighbor get the satisfaction of knowing she is getting to you or even seeing you can her. 

Colleen, 

Thank you for your reply. I was starting to think that I was being over dramatic about this situation. I have literally never said a word to this woman she started making all the extra noises when the landlord told her that I said something about her cat. I don't bother anyone else, my kids don't bother anyone else, I just want to be able to live in peace. Thank you for the suggestion of the sheer curtain over the opened portion of the window bc with the weather changing I would like at least one window open. I literally can't open any of them without kids looking in or that cat pushing against the screens. I definitely haven't let her see me get upset and I don't say anything when I hear her talking about me outside my window. Because I know she is going to try and use it against me, Im not losing my place over a cat and a bitter women. 

@Account Closed

Hi DeAndra,

When cats are outside in many areas they are legally considered a free being (for lack of a better term). 

A free being like a squirrel or a Robbin vs a dog which is considered to be "Loose" from its owner and still its owners responsibility. When the cat is outside it may be no ones responsibility.

Your solution to keeping your indoor cat calm and your children relaxed and happy might be to use one of the "Cat Boundary Sprays" you can buy online or in a pet store.

Try spraying it on the window ledge inside and outside (it needs to be reapplied every so often) and some cats can "Hold Their Breath" and cross it, but not sit their while they smell it.

It's cat repellent that when it dries they don't like the smell, though you probably won't be able to smell it.

Spraying it AT THE CAT doesn't work, it only wastes it, it needs to be sprayed on an area you want them to avoid and then it needs to dry (it's not bug spray, it's a stink that cats want to avoid).

Also here is a link to The Feliway Cat Comfort plug in diffuser, it helps keep indoor cats calm and happy (its a love phermone that only cats can smell) https://www.feliway.com/us/Products/FELIWAY-CLASSIC-Diffuser

Good Luck!

(Pets are tenants  too)

I am sorry you are going through this. It seems almost everyone has one of those neighbors. I would suggest that you move to a house instead of an apartment if noises affect your child. I know you will have to wait until your lease is up but it will be better long term. In the mean time I would try to explain in a very nice way to your neighbor about your child’s autism and ask nicely if they can try to not be extremely noisy. But if their place is above yours it will be impossible to not hear them moving around in just normal living situations.

Begin a paper trail. Submit all complaints in writing and dated each time she violates the quiet hours to the landlord.

Since you get enough documentation, make a demand to your landlord that since they are unwilling to enforce the lease EQUALLY you will be breaking your lease and relocating in 30 days.

See what happens then. Fair housing and such...gotta enforce equally.

@Account Closed

If the outside cat is pushing against the screen, it wants to get inside and possibly fight the inside cat.

Knowing this, the inside cat might push the screen out to get at the outside cat to fight it (I have seen this before).

If they do that, both will probably be hurt and may need expensive vet trips.

It might be best to keep the possible fight window closed 100% and put up a piece of cardboard of cat height on the window for a while so they can't see each other until both cats forget about each other.

Then your kids can go back to being relaxed and happy.

And your cat might not be the Coward of the County in this window thing eitherhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5NTQX8TYOI

Good Luck!

@Scott Mac 

Thank you for your reply and all the information! I was told by the landlord/manager that the cat shouldn't be outdoors so that is what I was going by. I had no idea about the cat repellent being used outdoors. I will definitely try that in hopes that it works. As well as getting the spray for the indoor cat. She did receive some meds from the vet for her so there was an diagnosis given. The thing that is so heart breaking is that my oldest daughters cat is an emotional support pet so now she shakes so much that she doesn't want to be held by her anymore. Thank you again for your response I will try these methods and hope they work. 

 

@Craig, Thanks so much for your reply! 

I have tried to ignore the noise, but when its late at night (midnight, sometimes until 2am) My landlord/manager instructed that I call the cops. Which I have done before, I don't know why the neighbors on either side of her haven't called the that has to be noisy for them aa well. I just renewed my list a couple of months ago so I am going to have to stay put for the time being. She is aware that my baby has Autistic bc I have a sign on my door saying that an Autistic child lives here. I will reach out to the landlord/manager again to let them once again know my concerns. 



@Dennis, 

I didn't even know that cats could get anxiety. But this other cat (a male) has scared her so back she has become so skidish. It breaks my daughters heart. 

@Bill, 

Thanks for the reply. The only way I have spoken to the manager is via email so I will have that paper trail and proof of the dates and times these events have occured. I just renewed my lease a couple of months ago so I am in it until next year. I have forwarded these emails exchanges to the corporate office for the property and they have reached out to the property as well. 

Originally posted by @DeAndra Pierson:

@Craig, Thanks so much for your reply! 

I have tried to ignore the noise, but when its late at night (midnight, sometimes until 2am) My landlord/manager instructed that I call the cops. Which I have done before, I don't know why the neighbors on either side of her haven't called the that has to be noisy for them aa well. I just renewed my list a couple of months ago so I am going to have to stay put for the time being. She is aware that my baby has Autistic bc I have a sign on my door saying that an Autistic child lives here. I will reach out to the landlord/manager again to let them once again know my concerns. 

I have a 16 year old with non verbal autism so I understand. I also know that most people don’t really know what autism is. I would still reach out maybe with a nice well written letter about your child, what types of things sets off your child and how their late night behavior is affecting your child negatively. Have a third party read it first to make sure it is not negative at all and then tape it to her door with a peace offering like a restaurant gift card. That might help out. If not ask the landlord to let you break the lease and rent a house from now on.

Good luck!

 

Originally posted by @Bill Kramer :

Begin a paper trail. Submit all complaints in writing and dated each time she violates the quiet hours to the landlord.

Since you get enough documentation, make a demand to your landlord that since they are unwilling to enforce the lease EQUALLY you will be breaking your lease and relocating in 30 days.

See what happens then. Fair housing and such...gotta enforce equally.

That’s the funniest interpretation of Fair Housing I’ve ever heard. I bet Landlord will be happy to do that.


I have a situation with my tenant but the difference is - it's a condo in HOA. So, her neibors upstairs and next unit are owners and they live their 20+ years. I advise my Tenants call police not me - I'm not going to enforce quiet times in whole building. HOA also is not responsible for the relationship among residents. Woman upstairs move in a wheelchair and couple my Tenants moved out breaking the lease just in a month - they couldn't sleep in any room of the condo.

So, I have to find a problem Tenants, who otherwise have problems renting - let’s say, with eviction etc. These tenants have to live with that and I feel sorry for them but you can’t solve that problem just complaining. There is nothing you can do about it.

As for Fair Housing, my tenant’s neighbor will be protected by ADA - she has the right to move in her own house on wheelchair even after 11pm if she needs to. Besides, Fair Housing doesn’t tell to treat everyone equally, i prohibit discrimination on the basis of protected classes.

Not healthy children and cats with anxiety are not protected classes.

You can't be held to upholding the lease you had your tenants sign equally?

So when this woman moves out, and you try to hit her with charges, you will win in court even though she has proof you refused to uphold your side of the contract?

@DeAndra Pierson. I would start saving up the cost of moving and a security deposit. When your lease is up for renewal, do not renew and move out.

@DeAndra Pierson. I doubt if she is doing this things on purpose it may feel like it but it’s just either the landlord didn’t use insulation in between the units and the cat you can’t really control a cat it’s not like she is sending the cat on a mission to harass your daughter cats play together her cat probably want to play with your cat. I think you should move IMHO nothing she is doing sounds outta the ordinary for an upstairs tenant they will drop stuff probably a cell phone.