Thursday, May 20, 2010

Day in - Day out

I’m sure everybody has been wondering/worried about the events that have been happening in my life and would like a status update concerning my ordeal with the downstairs tenant.

I really don’t have much to tell. Part of this deals with the nature of my blog. I’m not really into telling people about the bad situations in my life. I try to stay away from that unless it makes a funny story or I’m posting a chapter from my memoir, The Big M. I suppose the reason why I had given so much detail in the previous posts dealt with my own fear and stress. I needed release, and my blog allowed me to voice that release. Now, I just want to move on with my life.

Yet I do realize your curiosity about the tenant relationship. I’ll make this post brief and just deal with the main aspects as to how they transpired from the very beginning. Here is the entire recap in a very concise/brief manner. Forgive my style of writing for the following entries. I’m getting down to the nitty-gritty of it and throwing grammar rules out the window.
- New tenants move into apartment below mine.

- Tenants complain about noises I make such as: flushing toilet, taking shower, flipping the pages in the books I read, walking around apartment, farting, belching, washing dishes, playing music, typing on laptop, and whatever else a normal person does inside their apartment to have a life.

- Tenants complain to Landlord, saying I don’t have job to pay rent if I’m there during the days. Tenants sleep during the days, work (I don’t know what) during nights and need their beauty sleep.

- I was downsized from previous company but started training for a new job. Also, I was hired to do freelance article writing. Technically, I have two jobs. When I am not at my outside work, I’m at home writing. When I’m not writing, I’m sleeping. Most of my awake hours involve work.

- Landlord doesn’t care what I do so long as I pay the rent on time. I do, two weeks before rent is due. Always. And I have never bounced a check on my account. Ever.

- I talk with someone about getting rid of old laptop. Tenant sees/overhears conversation. Tenant talks loudly about stealing the computer. He waits until dark, checking to see if light is on in my apartment, going back into his place LOUDLY saying that I’m still awake and that he can wait all night if he has to before breaking inside. It never occurs to him that if he can hear everything I do inside my apartment, then obviously I can hear HIM talking in his.

- Duh!

- I write note and hang it on my apartment door. Then I go to bed.

- Tenant sees light off and pops open downstairs door after I triple-checked to make sure it was locked. I hear him come upstairs, listen to silence, then hear him quietly go back downstairs and close door. Then he shouts, “FUCK HER,” before slamming close apartment door. He informs wife about the nature of the note he read - about how I can hear them talking. Then there is silence for the next few days.

- I take that as guilt for the attempted crime and that the tenant was the one who tried to commit it. If he never read my note, he would have no reason to quiet down while talking in his apartment.

- I tell handyman about attempted break-in. He informs Landlord. Deadbolt is placed on bottom door. Landlord talks with the both of us, but can do little more than tell the Tenant that he doesn’t want any trouble started.

- A day later, two teens are found climbing on fire escape getting into different apartment building adjacent to the building where I live. Neighbors are alerted by the sounds on squeaky steps and dog barking. Someone contacts Landlord. Landlord has lock for entrance door leading to fire escape fixed. He relocates teens and family living in adjacent building.

- Tenant can no longer pop open downstairs door. He talks about using fire escape to get into apartment. Since he can’t pop lock on entranceway door leading to fire escape, he has to climb the fence. Yet the dog barks every time he goes back there: 5 times, to be exact. Dog owner opens backdoor to see why dog is barking so much. Tenant gives up, enters his apartment, blares his radio with some gangsta rap, and makes enough noise trying to piss me off. I ignore him even when he punches the wall and screams, “BITCH.” I have a high tolerance for sound, unlike him.

- At the prodding of friends/co-workers, I finally went to the police station and told them the story. They, being police, could only relate my options and what they can/cannot do concerning the situation. I return home with no justice done.

- Tenant continues to talk with his friends concerning noises. It seems like more of a scare tactic now, wanting me to be afraid for my life so that I will break my lease and move. I don’t have $4000 to break my lease - that’s how much I would have to pay up-front to the Landlord. Tenant still acts all innocent to Landlord, saying I’m the one causing problems with false accusations. Yet I could care less about them to cause trouble.

- Tenant begins talking LOUDLY about just wanting me to leave. He goes so far as to say he’ll stand outside and bum rush me when I open the door. He doesn’t even want my computer anymore. He just wants to “deal with me.” After an incident where he’s talking with girlfriend about where I sleep in my apartment, I get up early and leave. I’m sick of his games. I get video/tape recorder. I start taping them for proof he’s saying such things and I’m not making anything up

- Tenant still talks about getting at me, actually getting a gun to shoot me, and creating story for police to get out of trouble. I finally snap, getting fed up with his words. I scream at the wall for him to, “Shut the fuck up! I’ve never heard a more whiny-er bastard in my entire life!” Tenant shuts up. Then I talk on cell phone loudly so he can hear me, relating all I’ve gone through and how he’ll never get away with anything by the police. They'll still peg him with the crime.

- Tenant has kept his mouth shut since, but wife complains again to Landlord saying I don’t have a job to pay rent. Obviously I must since I paid it, yesterday to cover next month, but logic doesn’t dwell with those people.

- Today, Landlord pounds on downstairs door and yells at my window needing to get inside to show off a different apartment to a prospective tenant. He doesn’t have key yet from handyman for deadbolt. I tell him I already sent out the rent check and to expect it in his mailbox by Saturday. Landlord leaves and is confronted by Tenant, complaining about noises. Landlord says he’s trying to do the best he can to make arrangements.

- I hope those arrangements involve moving downstairs tenant.

- I wish I had thicker walls in my apartment.


  1. Good Lord! I feel so bad for you. What assholes. I'm glad you started taping them. Did you give those tapes to the police? Or is it the same where they don't care until they actually commit the crime? Who cares about crime prevention, right?

  2. I was hoping you were going to confess that this story is fiction. Now that I know it's for real...

    Why does this guy have it in for you? Did you do something to provoke him, or is he trying to get you to move out so that he can have your apartment?

  3. Screwdestiny: Technically, there's a Pennsylvania law which states that a person isn't allowed to audio tape someone else or use it against them as evidence in a court of law. But I'll be damned if I'm not going to tape what they are saying.

  4. Bruce: Sadly, this story is NOT fiction. Oh, how I wish it was...

    I seriously don't know what is with this tenant. I've never truly met him. And he can't move into my apartment because it is a one-bedroom, and he has a two-bedroom with his wife. Even if he did move upstairs, he's still going to have the same problems with hearing whoever moves into the lower apartment. There will remain the noise problems.

    If I had to speculate, he's not used to living in an apartment setting and he feels anything that encroaches upon his lifestyle is a personal affront to him, even if it is noisy water pipes in my bathroom.

  5. Suggestion: Gun permit "carry" class and new purchase. Remember, anyone coming inside is fair game.

  6. My God Love, what a living nightmare, I can't imagine how you must be feeling right now (hugs). Everyone deserves their home to be their sanctuary. I'm guessing these morons cause mayhem at every place they live (perhaps why they have had to move from their last place?). How long have you been living in your apartment? I assume you have a track record of never having been caught up in any trouble with your neighbours before? Your landlord is an ass, he is leaving you vulnerable and exposed simply for a quiet life. I am glad you are keeping a record of thier intimadation. I so hope this guy breaks in somewhere else and gets caught in the act - he should be inside a cell, not free to harrass you like this. ((x))

  7. Mushy: Yeah, that's been suggested before. But I'm not sure if I want the handyman more nervous than he is right now when around me. Yes, I know how to use one (my father taught me as a kid) but I just don't know when it comes to firearms. I've heard too many accidents happen from misuse.

  8. Shrinky: I'm just sort of tired of the whole situation. It's been two weeks dealing with this, and the fear has changed to a sort of... whatever. I hate to say that I've become emotionally detached, yet that is what it sure feels like.

    I moved in on Jan 15. So I'm only been here for 4 months. The bottom tenants moved out when they couldn't pay their rent (I believe - I never heard anything different). The landlord has never once come up to me with any noise complaints or anything else.

    I will mention something else, although it may be unrelated to the other tenant. About two days after the attempted break-in, a bar was broken into about a block away. They have a secondary room next to the bar where there is a stage for live rock venues, and some equipment was stolen: amps, soundboards, and the like. The police came and took a report.

    The following morning, the tenant got into a loud argument with his wife concerning putting gas into her car. He kept talking about just getting $1100 dollars for her and she's complaining about ten dollars worth of gas.

    I'm not saying he broke into the stage room, but...

  9. Tenants complain to Landlord, saying I don’t have job to pay rent if I’m there during the days.??????????? WHY is this their concern/business?

    I am SO glad you recorded them, at least you have proof even if the police wont do anything til there is actually a crime committed..

    Wait, you know who/what you should do? Write a letter to the editor of your newspaper and relate this story along with the police response ... an op-ed piece .. the sort of thing that makes people react to how poorly you are being treated.

    And where do you live that a landlord relocates tenants, surely its not NYC ...

  10. Daryl: It isn't any of their business what I do for a living. It was just that, when signing the lease, the landlord wanted information about people's work to make sure they can pay the rent. I think, by them suggesting to the landlord that I don't have a job, that they hope he'll kick me out.

    I've been thinking about making this into a writing piece. I might as well turn a bad situation into a paying one.

    As for the relocation, atleast when it pertains to the teens and the family, the landlord was very good friends with the father (this is what the handyman told me). It's just a sad situation because the father is trying to raise the kids right but works so much. The landlord moved them into a house. If looking at it from that prospective, the landlord is still making money (probably more now) from the father to rent the house, while able to rent the old apartment to new tenants. He doesn't lose any funds in the deal.

  11. Sorry, Michelle, I got nuthin'. . .

    Unless. . . How many brothers you got? Three or four would be about perfect. . . ;)

  12. Craig: I have one older brother, not living anywhere nearby and raising a family. We're not very close - he only calls to borrow money. Besides, this isn't something I want him involved in for his own safety and for his kids.

  13. Truly hideous situation. You've heard my thoughts on the matter from previous comments.

    What if you dropped an anonymous dime on the a-hole for the barroom break in? If he did, indeed, do it, and they find anything at the apartment - or his fingerprints or whatnot at the barroom - it could solve the problem. Might be worth a shot.

  14. Suldog: At this point in my life, I just want things to go back to when they weren't downstairs. I want to be able to listen to my radio without them complaining, or just walk through my apartment, or sit and type without them throwing out rude comments. I just want to feel safe and not look over my shoulder every five minutes worried someone is coming up behind me during the night or wonder if someone is standing on the other side of the door as I unlock it to leave for work.

  15. You don't seem to be very loud to me! What's wrong with them? You have to flush the toilet!

  16. Aubrie: Yeah, out of this whole situation, that part definitely goes into the "WTF?" file.

    I remember one Saturday when I got up and flushed at 9 in the morning. The tenant went off about it, saying that if I had a job I would sleep in. Uhhh... no. I do have a job, and if my bladder tells me to get up and go, then I get up out of bed at whatever time it tells me.

  17. Based on what I've just read, you have enough to press assault charges. When a person verbally says they want to or will hurt someone else physically is grounds for assault charges.

  18. Urban Cowboy: Unfortunately, I went directly to the police station and told them everything in person. They said I can call them if he says stuff like that and they would have a talk with him, but otherwise nothing more.

    I asked for a CCR number, as a friend suggested, but that is only for taking an actual police report and they won't do that until a crime has been committed. To them, it's a "he said/she said" argument. As for using the tapes as evidence, see my response above to screwdestiny's comment.

  19. Michelle has a LOT of followers, like you and me, who read her blog and really love her, as blogger, as writer, as person. Does someone have a connection to a lawyer who knows the basics in Michelle's state (PA?) who can provide any insight? I know most of us believe with Shakespeare that we might want to kill all the lawyers before we do anything else, but seriously, this is crazy. This demented person could possibly harm the least surly person (sorry, Michelle, but I gotta be honest) any of us know. Thoughts?

  20. Oh, Michelle...we all love and care about you so much!!!I'm with everyone else here...there's just got to be something you can do...some action that can be taken...I'm so anxious for you...I'll keep praying. Love you, Janine XO

  21. Angela and Janine: Thank you for your kind words. I really appreciate them. Really, I've been thinking of all my options on this. I'm just taking care of things and keeping safe. Most anybody can do nowadays.

  22. i'm glad you're on record as having spoken with the police and that you have deadbolts. i do worry for you.


People want to comment here?'s your two-cents, Bub. Spend it wisely!


Related Posts with Thumbnails

ESPN NHL Standings