law advice regarding neighbor complaints

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law advice regarding neighbor complaints

Postby pilihp2 » Mon May 18, 2015 9:03 pm

Hey dudes. I have no access to free legal tenant advice locally so I'm hoping I can pick some brains here. Figured i'd bring more personal issue questions to the car forums. I tend to do that.

About a month or two ago my friends and I moved into a new house that we're renting. Since the day we moved in, the neighbors have had a dislike for us. Having 5 20 somethings living next door I can see the general idea for dislike, but I think it's unwarranted.

So far we've received 2 complaints that the landlord has notified us of. She informed us that if they receive a third nuisance related complaint they will begin eviction proceedings because that is a violation of our lease. I have yet to find anything in our lease that says we can be evicted for complaints.
The first "nuisance" complaint was because we had a move in party and had some friends over. Our friends parked in the street, in front of other neighbors houses because we had ran out of space in front of ours. From my understanding, the street is public domain, and we can park in front of others homes, as much as they might dislike that. During that complaint they also said we parked in front of their driveways, impeding their access to their driveway, which is 100% un-true, I just have no proof of it, they also have no proof of this.

The second complaint was just this past weekend. The complaint this time was that we were running a motorcycle in our garage late at night. According to them it was around 10PM. We were working on my roommates bike and trying to get it running right, Revving was kept to a minimum and it was before 10:00PM. Between 10:00PM and 6:00AM is the noise ordinance cut off time. They complained we did it two weekends in a row, last weekend and the one before that. This past Saturday we pulled it into the garage at 8:30pm from going out on a ride. If we can't drive it into the garage past 8:30 then what the heck can we do? It was not being worked on so they lied again saying we did it two weekends when it was only one. The landlord asked to keep noise down past 9PM in her complaint email. That's totally fine, but we were never given anything regarding noise rules for the neighborhood or any HOA rules regarding where to park or how to park.
They also complained our garbage cans blocked their driveway, which we have picture proof it was nowhere near their driveway. Our cans were on our side of the property line, in the street.

so, TL;DR, our neighbors hate us, they complain about anything they can whether its legal or not, our landlord doesn't ask our side of the story, just says we're guilty.
I'm wondering if there's anything we can do to defend ourselves, or if we're SOL and stuck with their word against ours with us being guilty without trial.


Gotta learn to not move into the nice neighborhoods. Stuck up people are awful
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Re: law advice regarding neighbor complaints

Postby PRY4SNO » Mon May 18, 2015 9:12 pm

Document this stuff. Write a journal with details. Take notes in the future.

The landlord can't count either of the first two, as they're not actionable claims of complaint, toward your terms of your lease.

Stand pat. Good luck.
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Re: law advice regarding neighbor complaints

Postby Mcstiff » Mon May 18, 2015 10:09 pm

Yep, unless they made an official complaint and the cops wrote it up it should be hearsay. I'd start by reading this from end to end http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src ... nantrights
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Re: law advice regarding neighbor complaints

Postby pkw » Mon May 18, 2015 10:14 pm

every state is different. is your lease up or is it currently in effect?
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Re: law advice regarding neighbor complaints

Postby Sparkyjack » Tue May 19, 2015 6:24 am

Dig around you might be able to find free legal aid in your area, possibly through a government agency that controls housing rentals etc.

If there is a HOA ask for a copy of the rules so that you can comply.

Eviction is easy to put in an email, but probably a much harder one to make happen.

It sucks that your neighbors are miserable people with nothing better to do than use your landlord as a proxy to make your life miserable.

Did you find this property through a real estate agent? You might want to find one that specializes in rentals to see if they point you towards free legal help and your next place.

The journal thing while it sucks up your time is a good idea, but at the end of the days it's your word against theirs and what your landlord is willing to believe.
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Re: law advice regarding neighbor complaints

Postby pkw » Tue May 19, 2015 10:14 am

I got out of the mechanical design biz a few years back and now I am a landlord. A very good one. This sounds pretty straight forward compared to all the things that can happen. If you want to pm me your number I can tell you what I have seen in Mi. There should be some parallels to draw on.

it is illegal for non lawyers to give advise but that may be only if someone is getting paid. I am not sure. Shockingly things are pretty silly when it comes to legal stuff.
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Re: law advice regarding neighbor complaints

Postby jretal » Tue May 19, 2015 12:17 pm

Do you know which neighbor it is? Are they calling the police, or just emailing the owner?

I had this issue when living w/ my cousin, where the neighbor was calling the police on him b/c of music through the wall (townhouses w/ paper thin walls), which then morphed into the police/fire department on me when I was working on the car in the garage.

She was the VP on the HOA board, and it became evident that she was going around the president w/ her personal HOA related issues (i.e. my cousin and I) and sending them straight to the management company. So she got slapped (figuratively) for that... but we also got busted b/c I wasn't using the garage per the HOA rules. That being said, there were also other neighbors who weren't as well - so if I wanted to get into a legal battle w/ the HOA, I could have. Wasn't my house/issue, so I just moved the car and later moved myself as well.

She and her husband were the entitled DC type who didn't take kindly to the 20 something yr old cousin who bought a condo they just barely afforded themselves, nor me and my car habit. Despite trying to talk with them/reason with them, there was no changing their mind. We had zero issues with any other neighbors... just them. Thankfully, it wasn't my issue b/c I moved to my own house/garage and no HOA (and awesome neighbors).

I suggest that you a) make sure to search the lease for anything regarding eviction notices, and educate yourself on what that process is in the state you're living (i.e. what info needs to be provided, etc). b) if there are no police reports filed, who are a 3rd party witness to breaking the rules, you need the landlord to prove legally you were making this vs. he said/she said. I highly doubt that will stand up in court, honestly. c) If you know which neighbor it is, try to go talk to them. Take them some coffee/flowers/etc and have a nice conversation and see what the issues are and try to come to an understanding. Give them your contact info so if they have issues, they call you first to fix the issue. This seems like a clear cut case of passive-aggressive "I like it how it used to be, and they're not letting it be like the old days" type thing.

If you don't know which neighbor it is, canvas the surrounding neighbors and do the same thing. Hey, here's who we are, we've been getting complaints and we want to make sure you know we're good people and not trying to be disruptive, etc... here's my phone number if there's an issue, blah blah blah.

Good luck! Glad I don't have to deal with this anymore, that's for sure!
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Re: law advice regarding neighbor complaints

Postby pilihp2 » Tue May 26, 2015 6:40 pm

Hey guys, appreciate the advice. Had a good talk with the landlord last week about things. I explained how the complaints were essentially very minor and illegitimate complaints that were overhyped with fake complaints tacked on to seem legitimate and like a bigger issue than they really were. We're going to start keeping track of anything we do regarding trash cans, friends coming over, parties, parking, or pretty much anything they can complain about.

All of the complains are from our neighbors right next door. Family of 4 with 2 kids around 5-ish it seems. I guess I can understand them not liking us, probably see us as poor role-models or some other assumed stereotype of young adults. I asked about going over and speaking to them and my landlord loved the idea but was nervous how they might handle a confrontation, she recommended a letter explaining who we are as well as letting them know to give us a call or a text if they see any issue or hear any issues that they might dislike so we can help correct the issue.

The very first complaint they sent was directly to the homeowner, bypassing my landlord entirely, she couldn't even let us know before the landlord knew...
So I guess we'll see how the letter goes.
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Re: law advice regarding neighbor complaints

Postby chaloux » Tue May 26, 2015 7:13 pm

Meh. Face to face would probably work better. People hate confrontation and will probably be super nice to your face, lol. Whatever though, landlord prefers a letter so it's a start. Good luck.
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