False noise complaints and an eviction threat
January 9, 2014 12:44 PM Subscribe
My 80-year-old grandparents live in subsidized housing in New Jersey. The neighbor in the apartment next door has been repeatedly making false noise complaints about them, saying that he can't sleep because they play the radio loudly all night (completely untrue). They were even visited by the property manager to tell them to stop. Now they've received a "notice to cease," saying that they'll be evicted if they don't stop.
How can we deal with this without a lawyer? More details below.
posted by lolichka to Human Relations (21 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
The most recent accusation, which is outlined in the letter, is from January 7th, and it says that they were playing the radio at a loud volume all day and all night. In this case we can prove that they were not home for most of the day because they went to their adult daycare center. (The letter says that this has been going on in the middle of the night since April. My grandparents go to bed around nine or ten PM every night.)
My mother wants to write some kind of a letter to the county's Housing Authority (who sent this notice) telling them that this neighbor's harassment is causing a lot of distress to my elderly grandparents and that the property managers are complicit in this harassment. I don't think threatening to sue them would do any good, but there's no way it can be legal for them to do this without some kind of corroborating evidence. After all, if my grandparents genuinely were making that amount of noise, wouldn't everyone else in the apartments around them be complaining as well?
I intend to call the person at the Housing Authority who signed the letter, but we definitely need to send something in writing as well. My mother thinks there's no point in talking to the neighbor, and I agree, since he's either having hallucinations or hates my grandparents (or both). For the record, my grandparents have never had any dispute with any of their neighbors, and barely know them besides saying "hello" in the elevator.
You guys are not (my) lawyers, I know, but please give me any advice or suggestions that you can! My grandmother won't stop crying because she thinks her crazy neighbor is going to get them evicted.