When is noise from children considered excessive?

By Exasterpated

I have lived in my ground floor unit for over 3 years without issue.  I am a courteous tenant who most think is never home because I take great pains not to be an annoyance to the other people in the building.  Because of anxiety, PTSD and social phobia issues, I finally have a job that allows me to work from home so I can focus on the work I am doing and not get overwhelmed by anxiety.

Now, however, it’s all in jeopardy because a family with hyperactive children moved in above me.  I’ve raised kids, I know they make noise, throw tantrums, trip & fall, etc.  If that’s all that was going on, I could deal with that.  These kids scream, run, jump off furniture and I have had things get broken down here in my unit due to the vibrations. Pictures have fallen, the globe has been shaken off the ceiling fan twice now.  The bedrooms have large glass plate covers that are only held in place by a bolt and plastic cap and I live in fear that one could be shaken loose and fall, injuring me, my Emotional Support Dog, or a guest.  The other option then is to take the glass fixture covers off everything and just have bare bulbs, as well as take my pictures and the like off my walls. This could potentially cost me my job, as my employer and co-workers have been able to hear the noise through the phone on conference calls and my supervisor is concerned it could be affecting my concentration and therefore my ability to perform my work.

The apartment management has told me that they receive numerous and nearly daily complaints from many other tenants in this building regarding the noise from the unit above mine. They have said they will not renew this family’s lease when it runs out, but that’s not until October and I feel I may have a nervous breakdown before then.  By this point, I’m sure you’re thinking "well, why don’t you just move?"  I honestly wish that were an option but I don’t have money for a new deposit, truck rental or to hire movers.  I would also need a co-signer on a new lease due to my credit score, and I don’t have someone to sign for me.  I am stuck here, paying full rent on a unit I no longer feel comfortable or even safe in. The police have been here and even called management to complain on my behalf after hearing the extent of the noise.  The mother of this brood is very young and feels that she has every right to disturb the rest of the building if she wants, yet calls police on the people above her because they "walk too loudly" and the 5 month old baby laughing up there "is irritating" to her.  She is not willing to work with anyone to come to a happy medium here and has basically told everyone "you can’t make me."  

So, when "kid noise" is causing damage in the unit below, and disrupting so many other tenants in the building, what can be done?  At what point does it go from being "normal" to "excessive"?  Is there ANYTHING the rest of us can do to be able to have some peaceful enjoyment of the units we pay rent for, and avoid having our property damaged by things being jarred off the walls and ceilings?

I’m not a kid hater, I just hate the sounds of small bodies hitting the floor with the force of a falling meteor above my head every few minutes day in and day out. And I’m still sad that my late mother’s beautiful crystal angel was shattered by a falling picture when they were slamming doors upstairs.

Edited on: Wednesday, February 25th, 2015 4:53 pm

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