Hoboken Legal Beagle – 7/15/2008
The Hoboken411 Legal Beagle is back from a relaxing break (and it seems to have had an effect!)
Squeaky Mattress Neighbors
“I’m a long time reader, first time writer. I couldn’t figure out how to ask a question of the legal beagle, but also figured you might have had this question asked before. I have lived in Hoboken for a while and been in this most recent apartment uptown for nearly a year. Recently it seems that the tenant upstairs has built a relationship with a boyfriend or girlfriend. I don’t know them and I’m not really in the building enough to know many of the other tenants, but over the past few weeks while I’m trying to sleep, I can hear them upstairs (and I don’t mean just walking around).
It doesn’t go on for an exhorbitant amount of time, usually about 15-20 minutes. But they have what sounds like a spring mattress on a box spring on one of those metal frames. So a few times a week while I’m trying to sleep I am treated to the incessant squeaking of the spring mattress. If I was very well off, I’d love to just send them a new mattress with a more solid frame to prevent the constant squeaking, but I am not. I’m not looking for any sort of legal action, but do you have any suggestions of things I can do? After how many times of asking them to please do something to quiet the sounds should I go to the management company of the building (if at all)? I’m used to settling things on my own, but since this is my first apartment with a real management company, I don’t want to take any actions that might effect my ability to renew my lease.”
411 Legal Beagle says:
Situations like this, when the noise at issue is not loud enough to be a nuisance but clear enough to be disturbing must be handled in a delicate manner since the management company and the courts cannot force the situation. I say go with your first instinct to try and handle this on your own but do it anonymously. Basically, hand write a one page letter explaining your problem and asking the person to try and do something to alleviate the problem, maybe getting a carpet, maybe moving the bed, maybe just a new box under the mattress, most likely the tenant is aware of the noise but does not realize anyone else can hear it.
Put some suggestion like I mentioned in the letter and make the tone of the letter almost apologetic on your end for having to bring up this issue. After you write the letter make a copy for your records and slip in under the door. Most likely the tenant will make some changes. Of course, if all else fails, there is the old banging on the ceiling with a broomstick method, maybe a little coitus interruptus will get their attention
Now if that does not work, it after a week or so you are still bothered you can try going to the management company or landlord but if the tenant above you doesn’t have the goodwill to solve the problem the management company and landlord cant really help.