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#1
Old 04-29-2007, 01:55 PM
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I'm so sick of a neighbor's bass. What recourse?

In short, the county ordinances state:
Currently, the County ordinance addresses certain noise restrictions in residential areas, with an emphasis on amplified music. The ordinance prohibits any person from operating a radio or similar sound device, as well as a machine, tool or similar device in a residential district where the sound generated by the device can be heard at a distance of 50 feet from the device.

A person who is found in violation can be ordered by a police officer to cease the activity. If the person refuses or fails to comply with the order, he/she will be found guilty of a misdemeanor and will be subject to a fine not exceeding $500 or imprisonment not exceeding 30 days, or both.


The problem is, we live in a townhouse that we own (hooray overpriced housing market pricing everything freestanding out of our range by a good bit), though most neighbors, including the people who perpetually piss us off, rent from private owners who live elsewhere. The townhouses in our block are each approximately 15 feet wide. So, from one far wall of ours, to the far wall of the jerks who cannot listen to anything at a sane volume, is no more than 45 feet.

If you play with levels of the two-story townhouses and diagonals, you can get over 50 feet, but for most purposes of "within our own home, we can't avoid these jerks," it's not within the letter of the ordinance for us to even have the gall to register a complaint, because we're not over 50 feet away.

The music, or rather, the incessant and insipid droning bass that we feel more than we hear, gives us headaches, puts us in sour moods, makes it so that we can't concentrate on work (if it's during the day, and I often work from home) or sleep (if it's during the night). In other words, it has a very real impact on our emotional and physical health, as well as our ability to normally function with work and socializing.

I would hope that some recourse should exist for us, living two houses away, and within the privacy of our own home, to not have to suffer because of the selfishness of neighbors who don't have any stake in the neighborhood not going to hell, because their renting asses can just move on and ruin a new place.

It seems we're out of luck with the county. We're going to try going to to Homeowners Association (of which we are members, but the renters that are giving us headaches are not), but in conversations with the Association manager, I've basically been told "if the cops can't stop it, there's not much we can do." I have the name and a PO Box for the property owner (courtesy of the state tax assessor's public website), but I don't imagine that will do much more than make an enemy. I've tried politely asking the renters to stop their music in the past, and met with various levels of assent from "Absolutely, I didn't know it was that loud" to "Fine. (With dirty "screw you" looks)." These people have a fairly ill-tempered dog, and often there are at least two or three people at a time just loitering in front of the house. In other words, I'm intimidated from continuing to deal with them directly, especially since they so clearly care from my past attempts.

What is there left to do?

Last edited by Only Mostly Dead; 04-29-2007 at 01:56 PM.
#2
Old 04-29-2007, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Only Mostly Dead
If you play with levels of the two-story townhouses and diagonals, you can get over 50 feet, but for most purposes of "within our own home, we can't avoid these jerks," it's not within the letter of the ordinance for us to even have the gall to register a complaint, because we're not over 50 feet away.

I doubt the officer is going to come out with a yard stick to determine the exact distance. Give the police a call anyway and explain the situation and see what they can do. Even if they can't do anything, you'll be no worse off than you were before.

I have a few additional questions as well.

1) Can the music be heard outside their house? If so, how far?
2) How late do they keep the volume up? If it's past 9 or 10pm, then they certainly have a problem.

Last edited by Red Barchetta; 04-29-2007 at 02:10 PM.
#3
Old 04-29-2007, 02:13 PM
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1. Write the owner- send certified mail
2. Call the police. It is Ok if the police do not arrest them.
3. Complain to homeowners assoc each time, it is Ok if they do nothing.
4. Document.

5. If steps 1-3 do nothing, then sue- the owner. Use documentation of complaints for evidence.

IANAL.
#4
Old 04-29-2007, 02:15 PM
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Is there parking, or a street out in front? Perhaps a cop with a noise meter could pause for a few minutes, fifty feet from their door. If the county cops aren't interested, and if your county councilperson is in the same party as you, perhaps you can ask for a little nudging to get the law enforced. All these perhapses are because I'm not much more optimistic than you.
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#5
Old 04-29-2007, 02:15 PM
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You could try doing what a friend of mine in college did. Neighbors used to blast loud music all the time. He would try to do the same but nothing worked until the night he decided to try some bollywood. For some reason, the singer's voices travel and seems to drive most people nuts. He said after that the music blasting was never a problem.
#6
Old 04-29-2007, 02:19 PM
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For a second, I thought you were talking about a fish.

"Stupid neighbor, always lording it over me with his pretty fish"
#7
Old 04-29-2007, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Only Mostly Dead
In short, the county ordinances state:
Currently, the County ordinance addresses certain noise restrictions in residential areas, with an emphasis on amplified music. The ordinance prohibits any person from operating a radio or similar sound device, as well as a machine, tool or similar device in a residential district where the sound generated by the device can be heard at a distance of 50 feet from the device.

A person who is found in violation can be ordered by a police officer to cease the activity. If the person refuses or fails to comply with the order, he/she will be found guilty of a misdemeanor and will be subject to a fine not exceeding $500 or imprisonment not exceeding 30 days, or both.

dude the ordinance states they are in trouble if it can be heard 50 feet away, it doesnt say jack about how far away you live.

call the cops, then when they turn it back up call the cops again

repeat steps one and 2 as needed.


there is nothing in there about the location of the person who calls it in and I seriously doubt that the sound thats driving you crazy magicly stops at the 50' mark
#8
Old 04-29-2007, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Barchetta
1) Can the music be heard outside their house? If so, how far?
This is an excellent question. The ordinance does not say that complainant must be 50 feet away; only that the noise must be heard 50 feet away.

On preview, what Critical1 said.

Last edited by Contrapuntal; 04-29-2007 at 02:25 PM.
#9
Old 04-29-2007, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDeth
3. Complain to homeowners assoc each time, it is Ok if they do nothing.
I second this idea. You should check your rules & regs, which may go beyond what the county ordinance provides. If by "Assocation manager" you mean the property manager hired by the association, he has no backbone. If your association has a board, go to the president.

The owners are members of the association, and the association can level fines on the owners for allowing such behavior by their tenants. (AFAIK tenants are never members of the association.) This is a very real penalty in that the owners cannot sell the house until such fines are paid.

There's always the fight-fire-with-fire approach but that usually ends badly.

Quote:
...but I don't imagine that will do much more than make an enemy
Here's what you need to remember: The owners have already made an enemy of you. Do not shy away from getting them involved. It's their responsibility.

BTW are you the only one bothered by this? There is strength in numbers. If you enlist support from at least two other owners it makes a bigger statement to the HOA, and the police, and will discourage retalitation.

(I used to live in a condo on the third floor. The guy under me would barbecue on his balcony. I tried to ask him very nicely not to because of the fire hazard, plus the smoke was coming in through my window, but he wouldn't even answer the door. Fortunately for me the law was very clear on this and the fire department was only too glad to come out the next time it happened. Which was the last time it happened.)
#10
Old 04-29-2007, 02:30 PM
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I prefer catfish myself but bass can be delicious if cooked properly. I suggest a local local guide guide teach him how to prepare it.
#11
Old 04-29-2007, 02:33 PM
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Generally there is a system in place where you can file a complaint against someone else. You would charge him with the local ordinance with you as the complainant. Don't expect cops to come around with noise meters and measuring tapes.

The Association manager is wrong. The association can have greater powers under the law than the police when it comes to such matters. In this case they are choosing not to (there are some cases going through the system now that might limit their power but they have not been heard yet)
#12
Old 04-29-2007, 02:41 PM
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Until then;

There are some very effective, and quite comfortable, earplugs out there.
I mean, you can't shoot them. The offenders, that is.
Peace, (and quiet)
mangeorge
http://earplugsonline.com/
#13
Old 04-29-2007, 02:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CookingWithGas
(I used to live in a condo on the third floor. The guy under me would barbecue on his balcony. I tried to ask him very nicely not to because of the fire hazard, plus the smoke was coming in through my window, but he wouldn't even answer the door. Fortunately for me the law was very clear on this and the fire department was only too glad to come out the next time it happened. Which was the last time it happened.)
Don't mind me. I just love a good username/post combo.
#14
Old 04-29-2007, 02:51 PM
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It's against the law to BBQ on your balcony? Really!
The smoke thing I understand.
Peace,
mangeorge
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#15
Old 04-29-2007, 03:13 PM
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In response:

They play it both inside (in which case it travels through the joined structures very well), and outside (which rules out us opening our windows, and can usually still be heard quite well inside our house.)

The earliest I've ever noticed the music playing for any considerable length of time has been about 10am on the weekends, which usually we're up by then, but a few times, it has been the cause of us waking. The latest has been about midnight, which I damn well call the police without a second's hesitation. Now that the weather is nice, they like to hang out in front of the house almost every weekday between about 5 and 8, and on the weekends pretty nearly all day, so it's more that the music is coming from outside.

Yes, CookingWithGas (and I second the amusement over the username/post content juxtaposition), I do mean the property manager hired by the association. I have not yet contacted the Association board regarding the problem, but I am going to do so soon. Also I'm going to take "The owners have already made an enemy of you," to heart. Damned good advice.

I refuse to retaliate in kind, because that's just petty and stupid, and I really don't want to be dragged down to their level.

And, unfortunately, earplugs won't help because this is bass. It's not that I hear it. It's that I feel it. That and I may still wish to watch my own TV or listen to my own music and perfectly reasonable volumes.
#16
Old 04-29-2007, 03:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caffeine.addict
You could try doing what a friend of mine in college did. Neighbors used to blast loud music all the time. He would try to do the same but nothing worked until the night he decided to try some bollywood. For some reason, the singer's voices travel and seems to drive most people nuts. He said after that the music blasting was never a problem.
This is generally the worst recourse - can't fight fire with fire.
#17
Old 04-29-2007, 03:24 PM
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Then maybe, in addition to what you're already doing, you and the other neighbors should totally shun them. You know, no "cup of sugar" etc. Nothing.
#18
Old 04-29-2007, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mangeorge
It's against the law to BBQ on your balcony? Really!
The smoke thing I understand.
Peace,
mangeorge

In many cities, yes, it's illegal to use a grill on a balcony or patio in a multi-family unit. Stray flames or sparks can light the overhanging balcony and put many people out of house and home.
#19
Old 04-29-2007, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mangeorge
It's against the law to BBQ on your balcony? Really!
This goes county to county, and sometimes town to town, and occasionally neighborhood to neighborhood. I don't know of any states where it's a statewide law, but in Maryland you can be enjoined by your county, your town, or your homeowners' association. The reason is ostensibly that it's a fire hazard, and that in multiple-family dwellings (e.g. apartments, townhouses) the risk to everyone is too great to allow any one person to endanger everyone.

That said, I lived in a complex where the neighbors didn't care that it was against the law. Those who grilled did it carefully, brought water or fire extinguishers with them, and everyone walking in or out of the place saw that they were being careful, so nobody ever called the cops or fire department.
#20
Old 04-29-2007, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jurph
This goes county to county, and sometimes town to town, and occasionally neighborhood to neighborhood. I don't know of any states where it's a statewide law, but in Maryland you can be enjoined by your county, your town, or your homeowners' association. The reason is ostensibly that it's a fire hazard, and that in multiple-family dwellings (e.g. apartments, townhouses) the risk to everyone is too great to allow any one person to endanger everyone.

That said, I lived in a complex where the neighbors didn't care that it was against the law. Those who grilled did it carefully, brought water or fire extinguishers with them, and everyone walking in or out of the place saw that they were being careful, so nobody ever called the cops or fire department.
Anecdotally (yes, I will join in hijacking my own thread, because I got some good advice already, and was in no small part just ranting a bit), when I was renting an apartment in Laurel MD, the lease specifically stated that grills could not be operated on the apartment balconies (stating county fire code) but could be brought into the grass in front of the building.
#21
Old 04-29-2007, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Only Mostly Dead
In short, the county ordinances state:
Currently, the County ordinance addresses certain noise restrictions in residential areas, with an emphasis on amplified music. The ordinance prohibits any person from operating a radio or similar sound device, as well as a machine, tool or similar device in a residential district where the sound generated by the device can be heard at a distance of 50 feet from the device.

A person who is found in violation can be ordered by a police officer to cease the activity. If the person refuses or fails to comply with the order, he/she will be found guilty of a misdemeanor and will be subject to a fine not exceeding $500 or imprisonment not exceeding 30 days, or both.


The problem is, we live in a townhouse that we own (hooray overpriced housing market pricing everything freestanding out of our range by a good bit), though most neighbors, including the people who perpetually piss us off, rent from private owners who live elsewhere. The townhouses in our block are each approximately 15 feet wide. So, from one far wall of ours, to the far wall of the jerks who cannot listen to anything at a sane volume, is no more than 45 feet.

If you play with levels of the two-story townhouses and diagonals, you can get over 50 feet, but for most purposes of "within our own home, we can't avoid these jerks," it's not within the letter of the ordinance for us to even have the gall to register a complaint, because we're not over 50 feet away.

The music, or rather, the incessant and insipid droning bass that we feel more than we hear, gives us headaches, puts us in sour moods, makes it so that we can't concentrate on work (if it's during the day, and I often work from home) or sleep (if it's during the night). In other words, it has a very real impact on our emotional and physical health, as well as our ability to normally function with work and socializing.

I would hope that some recourse should exist for us, living two houses away, and within the privacy of our own home, to not have to suffer because of the selfishness of neighbors who don't have any stake in the neighborhood not going to hell, because their renting asses can just move on and ruin a new place.

It seems we're out of luck with the county. We're going to try going to to Homeowners Association (of which we are members, but the renters that are giving us headaches are not), but in conversations with the Association manager, I've basically been told "if the cops can't stop it, there's not much we can do." I have the name and a PO Box for the property owner (courtesy of the state tax assessor's public website), but I don't imagine that will do much more than make an enemy. I've tried politely asking the renters to stop their music in the past, and met with various levels of assent from "Absolutely, I didn't know it was that loud" to "Fine. (With dirty "screw you" looks)." These people have a fairly ill-tempered dog, and often there are at least two or three people at a time just loitering in front of the house. In other words, I'm intimidated from continuing to deal with them directly, especially since they so clearly care from my past attempts.

What is there left to do?
I guess I don't understand the law. the way I read it, a person living in a residential areas can't generate music or noise from any machine that can be heard 50 ft away. It doesn't say the noise has to be audible outside their residence, or heard off their property, the rule is 50 ft. period. I assume the county felt safe writing that on the assumption that if no one can hear the noise off the property there would be no complaint. It seems amazingly strict and easy to enforce. If anyone can hear the noise 50 ft away, the generator is in violation. The idea that your townhouse is physically 50 feet from theirs seems to be irrelevant. Perhaps you have paraphrased the law, since as posted there is no audible limit. But as posted, you look like you have only to call the police a few times and the noisy neighbors will either get the hint or a fine.
#22
Old 04-29-2007, 04:03 PM
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The OP is mainlyl looking for informed opinions. So, moving this to IMHO.

samclem GQ moderator
#23
Old 04-29-2007, 04:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mangeorge
I mean, you can't shoot them.
Mountain bike shop on one side of the alley. Hoodlums on the other side.

The hoodlums liked to play their stereo loudly, with the speakers in the second floor window sill.

One of the mountain bike shop owners connectd a copper tube to a compressed air tank, loaded it with wheel bearings, and opened the valve.

Problem solved.
#24
Old 04-29-2007, 04:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Only Mostly Dead
What is there left to do?
Um...call the cops. We have the same problem with our annoying upstairs neighbors. A couple anonymous calls to the cops complaining about the noise shut them up right quick.

Quite simply, if they know that the cops will come everytime they have a bunch of people over and start playing music real loud (and presumably they are drinking as well), eventually they, and their friends will realize that their place isn't the best location to have a party.



Quote:
Originally Posted by mangeorge
Then maybe, in addition to what you're already doing, you and the other neighbors should totally shun them. You know, no "cup of sugar" etc. Nothing.
I'm fairly certain that they don't care about their neighbors and couldn't care less about being "shuned". Generally, young people who rent and have loud parties have little interest in the older homeowners who happen to live in their building.
#25
Old 04-29-2007, 04:39 PM
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That hasn't always, or even usually, been my experience, msmith537. My younger neighbors always bugged me for all sorts of stuff. And besides, I didn't realize there was an age difference between the OP and the ruffians. Could be, though.
Anyway, I merely suggested that action in addition to all the other advice presented.
Can't hurt, eh!
#26
Old 04-29-2007, 04:49 PM
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Have you asked your neighbours to tone it down? It doesn't say so in your OP.

It might work to ask them to come over to your house, so they can hear what you hear.
#27
Old 04-29-2007, 05:06 PM
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He has.
Quote:
I've tried politely asking the renters to stop their music in the past, and met with various levels of assent from "Absolutely, I didn't know it was that loud" to "Fine. (With dirty "screw you" looks)." These people have a fairly ill-tempered dog, and often there are at least two or three people at a time just loitering in front of the house. In other words, I'm intimidated from continuing to deal with them directly, especially since they so clearly care from my past attempts.
. And agreed, these people probably wouldn't respond to anything other than (law-enforcement) force.
#28
Old 04-29-2007, 05:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msmith537
Um...call the cops. We have the same problem with our annoying upstairs neighbors. A couple anonymous calls to the cops complaining about the noise shut them up right quick.
What planet do you live on? I want to move there. My own experience with noisy next-apartment-neighbors (electric guitar through amplifier, screaming on telephone at 2 a.m., parties with noisy music) was that the police couldn't be arsed to do anything because it "wasn't important", and the management openly laughed at me when I reported it.
#29
Old 04-29-2007, 05:17 PM
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"I mean, you can't shoot them."

Okay, I take that back.
#30
Old 04-29-2007, 05:31 PM
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I hate to bring this up, but if people would interview landlords/sellers and talk to neighbors before committing to a move-in, you might have a little better luck with your surroundings. Also, go meet new neighbors.
[b]Only Mostly Dead[b];
RE post #5
Have you ever heard music? Might work.
Peace,
mangeorge
#31
Old 04-29-2007, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sattua
What planet do you live on? I want to move there. My own experience with noisy next-apartment-neighbors (electric guitar through amplifier, screaming on telephone at 2 a.m., parties with noisy music) was that the police couldn't be arsed to do anything because it "wasn't important", and the management openly laughed at me when I reported it.
Well, I think it's incredibly arrogant on your part to assume that the police behave the same in every jurisdiction across the country. And that's another thing you might want to consider when you're looking at a place to move to.

I'd be a little concerned about living in a community where the police couldn't be bothered to respond to noise complaints. That would likely mean they are either grossly incompetent and lazy or they're too busy dealing with real crimes. Either way, not a place I'd want to live.

The OP has not even tried the cops yet so maybe start there.
#32
Old 04-29-2007, 06:37 PM
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Not really an age difference. El Perro Fumando and I are in our mid 20s. This is the first house either of us has owned, and was the best we could get on two start-of-career salaries.

The house in question appears to be a single mother with (I think) two kids, a girl about 16 and a boy about 20. But it might as well be the mother and twenty kids, for the large social group that the children (especially the son) have.



msmith537, I do call the cops. About once a week, when I'm really at my last nerve. And it might give them the idea for a day or two, maybe three or four max, but in the end, they always start back up with it. I try to call the cops only when there are a fair number of cars parked around the neighborhood, so it's not too obvious who could be calling, because I really don't want any stupid retribution. But the cops are just a stopgap when these people just don't care.

Slightly off topic:
I know the mother is a bit of a winner on her own, because she bitched to some new renters that moved into the house between us and her about the parking, without any real justification except self-entitlement, and told the new neighbors to work it out with me. She brazenly made her first meeting with one house be an unjustified bitch, and has never formally made any acquaintance of us, but made sure we'd hate her all the same.
#33
Old 04-29-2007, 06:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sattua
What planet do you live on? I want to move there. My own experience with noisy next-apartment-neighbors (electric guitar through amplifier, screaming on telephone at 2 a.m., parties with noisy music) was that the police couldn't be arsed to do anything because it "wasn't important", and the management openly laughed at me when I reported it.
I guess that would depend on where you live. I used to be in a place where I had to call the police most weekends with a noise comlaint, and they always came to settle down the noisemakers. If they were busy, they might take over an hour to arrive, but they always came and quieted things. If my complaint was about noise from furniture being thrown or noise from a woman screaming in pain, they always came immediately and hauled the abuser off. (Once I came across one of these violent abusers in the holding cells the next morning, with his arm in a sling from having been stabbed in self-defence by his girlfriend -- I couldn't help laughing when he asked me to represent him, given that I am the one who called the cops on him).

I motivated the landlord by always calling him every time I called the police. This resulting in a lot of calls to him in the middle of the night. He would evict the troublemakers (one time getting in trouble with the police himself for getting in a fight during an eviction). Unfortunately, he had shit for brains when it came to selecting tenants, for he usually ended up renting to further noisemakers, drug dealers, and generally violent types.

Eventually, a quiet fellow moved in below me, but above the ground floor trash. The frequency of police attendance significantly increased without my having to pick up the phone, for the fellow below me had far less tolerance than me for the ground floor scum.

Things eventually improved for the second floor fellow, when a couple moved into the ground floor apartment where the boyfriend made the calls to the police on his girlfriend, rather than the fellow on the second floor having to do it.

As soon as I had the cash, I moved out of the slum and into the forest outside of town. Life is good again. Deer are not noisy.

Last edited by Muffin; 04-29-2007 at 06:41 PM.
#34
Old 04-29-2007, 06:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msmith537
Well, I think it's incredibly arrogant on your part to assume that the police behave the same in every jurisdiction across the country.
Huh?
#35
Old 04-29-2007, 06:51 PM
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Supposedly, a microwave cannon can be very effective at silencing a noisy stereo permanently. It is probably illegal to do such a thing, and it could potentially cause someone caught in the beam to have their testicles explode from what I've read, so I can't really recommend that you do that. Still, it's a wonderful fantasy.
#36
Old 04-29-2007, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuckerfan
Supposedly, a microwave cannon can be very effective at silencing a noisy stereo permanently. It is probably illegal to do such a thing, and it could potentially cause someone caught in the beam to have their testicles explode from what I've read, so I can't really recommend that you do that. Still, it's a wonderful fantasy.
Silenced music, and they can't reproduce? We have our winner!
#37
Old 04-29-2007, 07:49 PM
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From the OP: "The ordinance prohibits any person from operating a radio or similar sound device, as well as a machine, tool or similar device in a residential district where the sound generated by the device can be heard at a distance of 50 feet from the device."

So this says if it can be heard 50 feet away, that in itself is a violation. That's pretty restrictive. It doesn't say it has to be loud at 50 feet, only heard.

Nor does it say that's the only possible violation related to noise. There are almost certainly other ordinances about disturbing the peace which are being violated. I'd be inclined to have a chat with the police and maybe the prosecutor's office, to see if they'd be willing increase the legal pressure on these thoughtless clods (rather than view you as a whiner and start ignoring the complaints). If so, some fines might get their attention.
#38
Old 04-29-2007, 08:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shagnasty
I prefer catfish myself but bass can be delicious if cooked properly. I suggest a local local guide guide teach him how to prepare it.
[ Channeling Dan Aykroyd from SNL]
MMmmmmmm that's good bass !!
[ /Channeling Dan Aykroyd from SNL]



I used to live in a townhouse development with a Homeowner's Board, etc. etc. There were some true lunatics who preyed upon neighbors believing that as long as there was no physical evidence when the State Police showed up, they could continue to torture endlessly.

They used to walk their dog RIGHT behind a neighbor's back sliding glass door. Now, like a lot of these communities, nobody individually "owns" the lawns, including the area just past the small cement apron adjoining the sliding door that passes for a "deck area". Their dog would drive my pal's dogs insane, causing loud barking and snarling at all hours of the night. Yes... they would wait up late, incredibly late, then walk their dog. My pal was up at 4:00 am because of his job. ( See below )

Eventually, the offending homeowners got caught out. The people they were torturing kept a video camera handly and taped the incidents whereby they would traipse along close to the door, allowing their dog to drive my friends' dog insane.

It went to court. We all showed up. Their attorney was as smug and abusive as the obnoxious homeowners. I will NEVER forget the interchange:

Lawyer: You seem very sure of what time each incident took place.
Pal: Yes, I am sure.
Lawyer: Why should we believe your accounting of these times?
Pal: I took notes, and have videotape that is clearly shot at night, and I know what I saw.
Lawyer: Yes, well why would we believe that you are telling the truth? You're under oath, you know- and yet there is no way to verify what you are saying. Do you know what perjury is?
Pal: Yes, I know what it is.
Lawyer: Oh? From watching cop shows on t.v.?
Pal: No, from having testified under oath before.
Lawyer: Oh, so you have a HISTORY of taking people to court???? ( he got himself very wound up at this point, indignant tone, etc. )
Pal. No.
Lawyer: Then why would you have testified under oath before?
Pal: I am a New York City Police Officer. I've had to testify under oath many times in the last 12 years.
Lawyer: Oh. I see. Um. No futher questions.

Applause broke out, and the Judge- while smiling himself- had to warn the people in the courtroom. The asshole lost, a restraining order was issued and commonly owned property or not, they were prevented from walking their dog anywhere near my pal's house.

Here is what I would do. Get on eBay, get a Decibel Meter with a recorder/ printer built in. Document the offenses. Videotape the Decibel Meter running so the shot CLEARLY SHOWS you are in YOUR home.

Do it for many days. Call the police and tell them you have proof of this behavior, and would they like to see it? If they refuse, sue the fellow AND tell the Homeowner's Board they are going to be named, since they are charged with enforcing the rule and are not doing so.

You may not get him to stop, but again you may. It is torture. I pity anyone living in anything akin to "apartment living" these days. Apparently decent manners and respect for the rights of others is a quaint concept whose time has gone by.

Cartooniverse
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#39
Old 04-29-2007, 08:33 PM
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You should do what this guy did:
http://delawareonline.com/apps/p.../ENTERTAINMENT

He should be an honorary Doper!
#40
Old 04-29-2007, 09:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuckerfan
Supposedly, a microwave cannon can be very effective at silencing a noisy stereo permanently. It is probably illegal to do such a thing,
I 'spect ball bearings and compressed air are, too.
#41
Old 04-29-2007, 10:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cartooniverse
You may not get him to stop, but again you may. It is torture. I pity anyone living in anything akin to "apartment living" these days. Apparently decent manners and respect for the rights of others is a quaint concept whose time has gone by.
I suspect, rather, that people have always been noisy and inconsiderate--but the advent of the hi-fi has allowed them to be so incredibly more so than ever before. Agatha Christie books from the twenties include dialogue about "phonographs next door."
#42
Old 04-29-2007, 10:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merkwurdigliebe
For a second, I thought you were talking about a fish.

"Stupid neighbor, always lording it over me with his pretty fish"
Ah yes, the constant blasting of Billy the Bass. That right there should be considered a war crime.
#43
Old 04-29-2007, 11:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Only Mostly Dead
Anecdotally (yes, I will join in hijacking my own thread, because I got some good advice already, and was in no small part just ranting a bit), when I was renting an apartment in Laurel MD, the lease specifically stated that grills could not be operated on the apartment balconies (stating county fire code) but could be brought into the grass in front of the building.
When I rented my apartment on the 4th floor of the building I was given a notice stating that it was illegal to operate a gas grill (using 25 pound gas bottles) above the 2nd floor. One pound bottles are ok, apparently, and that's what I use. Maybe they have had some of the large gas bottles explode or something.

However, many people are simply ignoring the rules. Personally I believe that the apartment manager should police the building or there should be a fire inspection occasionally.

Bob
#44
Old 04-29-2007, 11:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msmith537
Quite simply, if they know that the cops will come everytime they have a bunch of people over and start playing music real loud (and presumably they are drinking as well), eventually they, and their friends will realize that their place isn't the best location to have a party.
Heh. Two years ago, after the third time I'd banged on their door after midnight, my new (apartment, and soon gone) neighbor said, "Noise is what happens when you have a party!"
#45
Old 04-29-2007, 11:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urban1z
When I rented my apartment on the 4th floor of the building I was given a notice stating that it was illegal to operate a gas grill (using 25 pound gas bottles) above the 2nd floor. One pound bottles are ok, apparently, and that's what I use. Maybe they have had some of the large gas bottles explode or something.
Yes, though I recall it as 5 pounds. Could be wrong. The idea is that if an accident happens, there is only limited fuel.
#46
Old 04-30-2007, 04:32 AM
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Not that I would suggest that you do anything illegal, but ...
  • Loud music players like this run on electricity, usually from a plug, not batteries.
  • Most townhouses each have their own electric meter, usually mounted on the back wall, outside the house.
  • Electric meters just plug in, with only a little wire serial number tag (easily snipped with a pliers). They are easily removed.
  • If a electric meter is removed after 5pm on Friday, when most of the electric company workers have gone home, it takes much longer for them to respond.
  • The electric company will replace the first missing meter (and maybe the second) without charge. After that, they add the cost of the meter to the electric bill.
  • If the resident happens to be behind on their electric bill (as some lowlifes often are), the electric company will NOT replace the meter until the bill is paid.
  • After several times, leave all 5 or 6 accumulated electric meters in back of the house or at the bottom of the electric pole. The electric company workers will be sure that there is something fishy about this townhouse, suspecting the residents have some kind of fetish about electric meters. They will note that in the record for this address, so all future workers know about the weird people living here.
  • Later, plugging in a direct-short plug (a plug with the 2 wires direct to each other) into an outlet in the back of their townhouse or maybe their garage will blow the circuit breaker, shutting off the electricity. Lazy lowlifes will just call the electric company, saying someone's stolen our meter again. When the electric company workers arrive, the meter is still there, and they will explain that it's just a blown circuit breaker. And that they will be adding an after-hours service call charge to the electric bill.

Between this and the constant calls to police & the landlord, who will be the first to break?
#47
Old 04-30-2007, 05:53 AM
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Get yourself a drum set.
#48
Old 04-30-2007, 05:56 AM
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Yanno, SDMB should write some kind of Compendium on Other Ways to Handle Neighbors of the Annoying Kind.


It would be a best seller.
#49
Old 04-30-2007, 06:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Only Mostly Dead
What is there left to do?
Buy similar equipment and play the same music as the annoying neighbours. We had the same type of problem with a neighbour who played loud music until about 4am on a regular basis. So we decided there must be some point at which he sleeps. That's when we turn our music on full bung, and go out for the day.

Strangely enough, after a couple of days of this, he stopped the late-night music.

Before you ask, yes we had politely asked him on more than one occasion to turn it down to a reasonable level, we'd had the police round, we'd called the environmental folks from the council who are supposed to deal with noise pollution and we thought we'd made every reasonable attempt to resolve the situation. Well, apart from the time we disabled his electricity supply, of course. And made sure the emergency engineer was "otherwise occupied".
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#50
Old 04-30-2007, 06:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank
"Noise is what happens when you have a party!"
That would have been hilarious if it wasn't happening to you !!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sattua
Agatha Christie books from the twenties include dialogue about "phonographs next door."
True. I cannot imagine one neighbor in Victorian England with it's thick plastered-walled mansions and townhouses exclaiming angrily, " By the love of the Queen I cannot tolerate another evening of their blasted harpsichord !! "
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