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The fight against NOISE.

17 years ago

I first want to say that I sympathized with anyone who has been a victim of noise, especially chronic noise from inconsiderate neighbors. To be sleep deprived over and over again is like living in hell. You find yourself using over the counter products like Nyquil to help knock you out and sometimes not even that works. I don't know if anyone has done any studies of the long term effects of being exposed to excessive noise and being sleep deprived. Someone depriving you of your sleep isn't just messing up your night; they are messing up your day too. When this becomes a chronic problem, it begins to affect your family life because you're just so tired and you're quickly irritated, suddenly you have very little patience with your children or spouse, or everyone in the household is cranky and upset due to the lack of sleep. It also affects your performance at work, your social life, your health, your well-being and the thought of having peace in your own apartment or life just seems unreal. You're tired all the time, you're unhappy, you're upset and all you want is some peace and quiet. It shouldn't be that much to ask. To those who know the damaging effects that excessive noise has on one's life, I think you can agree that this should be viewed as a serious problem and that there should be serious legal penalties and consequences for anyone deliberately making noise as a form of upsetting, retaliating or not allowing others to sleep.

I am a single mother of two teens and I can tell you that this has been a problem that has turned my life upside down to the point that I ended up losing my job because my landlord was also my boss and he did not want to deal with complaints. I was also threatened not to get the city involved and that my lease would not be renewed. Why is it usually the person who is placing the complaint viewed as the person with the problem? It's so unfair. I wonder about how many people suffer silently instead of placing valid complaints because they are afraid of retaliation and matters getting worst. I'll give you a brief description of what I have endured. I live on the first floor of a two-family home. There are no words to describe the couple residing in the basement. They have a surround sound system, 60in home theater system and all this equipment (they don't pay for light) I mean there's nothing wrong with any of those things except for the fact that this house is small and old and the floors and walls are thin. But still they decided that it would be a good idea to place all their speakers a large base on their ceiling throughout their apartment, some of the speakers were right underneath the floor of my daughter's bedroom and because they are just such considerate people, they thought it would be a good idea to blast their system at full volume Fridays, Saturdays and also on Sundays until 2 and 3 in the morning, sometimes later. On top of this, they would have their front door opened, which happens to be on my floor, and both the front and back gates opened so the music would just come from everywhere. Since the first incident I waited till about 2 am and asked them politely if they could lower the music. They did for about 15 minutes and then blasted it again until about 3:45. This was an every weekend thing. The worst was on Sundays when I had to get up early and my kids had to go to school. Now, I have a 16 year old daughter, who suffers from depression and is on medication but still she is a junior in high school, manages to work part-time after school and during the summer and keeps very good grades. The lack of sleep and noise was sometimes very overwhelming and it would have a negative effect on her well-being, which was very difficult for me as a mother because of course all I wanted was for my daughter to get better not worst. Our home life became a living hell along with the constant disputes with the landlord/boss and trying to make the tenants understand the harm they were causing. I think we can all agree that a tenant maybe blasting the music once in a blue can be something we can overlook. But when it becomes an all the time thing, it's just impossible to ignore. The more I voiced my complaints, the worst things got for myself and my kids but I couldnt just stay quiet and continue to suffer and let my daughter suffer. So I thought that explaining my daughter's situation to the downstairs tenants might actually help them be at least a bit more understanding. BIG MISTAKE. Now when they were loud, they would use the excuse that my family takes sleeping pills and that we're crazy and that they were not playing the music loud. It wasnÂt till I aggressively continued stating that I would take the case to court, that the landlord finally had the basement tenants remove their speakers and they were told to be quiet or to move. Finally I thought my noise problems were over. But no such luck. I started getting dirty looks from one of the female tenants from downstairs, which just happened to be one of the landlordÂs ex girlfriends or girlfriend. I began noticing that every time they came into the house they would slam the front doors which are on my floor. Then the stomping over my room started and loud thuds at night until about 2 am or later on weekdays. In the year that the upstairs tenants had lived up there I had never experienced such constant noise. It got to the point that I could hardly function and at first I remained silent afraid of the position that also complaining about the upstairs neighbors was going to put me in. I thought they would get tired; obviously she's a woman with a mission because she did not stop. The best part about all this is that when I finally complained about the noise, she claimed to be sleeping and said that we're crazy and just hearing things. And as soon I wrote a written complaint to the upstairs tenants, the downstairs tenants once again began to blast their music and they lower it. After a month and a half of dealing with the consistent loud thuds from upstairs it started affecting me--I couldn't function, I was so tired that I could hardly be there for my kids and our home life was so stressful. Even on several occasions, the noise was so excessive that I woke up feeling so tired and so sick, that my nerves felt shattered and I could hardly breathe and found myself throwing up. I had never felt that tired in my entire life, at least not to that point. I think the breaking point for me was when I saw this little old man in McDonalds and he was talking about how these young teens in his building would blast the music till 3 am and he could not sleep. The moment I heard that, my heart just broke and I had to stop the tears from falling. I knew the effects of what lack of sleep can do but to know that there are old people also going through the same thing just killed me inside.

I have been told time and time again that people have the right to do whatever they want in their apartment which I agree up to a certain extent. But where does it say that people have the right to disturb others and not let them sleep? And what about the right for people to sleep or to able to have peace in their own apartments? I mean sleep is one of the most important things we need in order to keep going in life. I believe that if landlords do not want to deal with complaints then they should take the responsibility of sound proofing apartments for why should people pay rent in an apartment that they canÂt even sleep in? Since it is recognized by officials that NOISE is a problem, then why canÂt there be laws or building codes put into place? For example everyone who has lived on a first floor know that the first floor apartment usually gets the most noise from outside so why canÂt there be a building code requiring landlords to place soundproofing windows on first floor apartments? Or that the floors of apartments that are over other apartments be insulated with a noise barrier material and carpeted, at least over bedrooms? Or that the wall separating apartments also be sound proof? Landlords, after all, profit from the rent they collect. Then why should tenants be deprived from their natural right to sleep or having peace in their apartments? I mean it would be wonderful if everyone was considerate and had common sense and common courtesy but one can only dream. The inconsiderate neighbor next door will most likely always be the inconsiderate neighbor next door. Though I strongly feel that people who deliberately make noise in an effort to cause harm to others should be slapped with a hefty fine or perhaps even a night in jail. Maybe then keeping people up at night wonÂt be as much fun as it had been. The truth of the matter is that we canÂt change people, but if laws and codes were put in place to protect the tenants who are quiet those who do not disturb others, those who just want to be able to sleep at night, then we wouldnÂt have to worry about inconsiderate neighbors? Right?

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