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How to get my neighbors to STFU?
February 22, 2011 8:14 AM   Subscribe

The Super and his family in the apartment next door are way too loud. Three kids in a one bedroom, running, screaming, jumping. The apartment and his salary is paid for by the coop. What recourse as an owner/share holder in my coop do I have?

I own my apartment in a brooklyn coop and live next door to the super, his wife, their two kids and, frequently, the wife's sister's kid. The kids are often out of control, running and jumping and screaming. It's an old building and the gaps in the walls and in the floors make it so that we not only hear every sound but feel it as well. Our ceiling shakes when they jump.

On weekends, the super often has company, which we also hear.

Additionally, the wife smokes out of her window, which we smell in our bedroom.

The neighbor on the other side of this apartment also has noise issues with them. We have both complained at various times to little end. When I've talked to the super's wife, asking her to to address the issue, she has made some effort and it's quiet until the next time. But it's quite clearly a learned thing as the Super's wife screams as loudly at the children as they do and as a long term solution I don't know how effective my complaints will be.

When I moved in, years ago, another super lived there and we had no problems. I sublet for a few years and was told by my tenants of the noise coming from them. In fact, two of my tenants over those years moved as a result, costing me a month or two in missed rent.

As an owner, what recourse do I have aside from continually asking them to be more considerate? It's gotten to the point where it's making me angry. Do I have any legal options? I am not going to move nor can I afford to insulate the shared walls and floors.

Please help!
posted by ranunculus to Home & Garden (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
(IANAL, but I live in a Brooklyn Coop and am on its Board)

First thing I would do is bring it up with the Board. There should be an employment contract between the building and your super in which the terms of his living arrangement are spelled out, which should explicitly refer to adhering to building rules (which, in turn, should cover noise). The Board is really the only entity able to actually deal with this.

Now, the reality is that you're dealing with a Coop, so expect any and all of these pitfalls:

- No formal contract
- Poorly worded contract
- No noise issues in your House Rules
- The Board simply doesn't want to do anything about it

The last one is the biggest potential problem- if you're getting the super for a song the Board may not be inclined to take any kind of action against him. Are any board members directly affected by his noise? Start with them.
posted by mkultra at 8:27 AM on February 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


How about getting together with the neighbor on the other side to price out a variety of options for soundproofing/insulation? Maybe the Coop would chip in enough of the costs to make it affordable if you could make the case that it would raise quality of life as well as apartment values.
posted by paindemie at 8:38 AM on February 22, 2011


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