I moved into a ground floor apartment a little over a year ago. No long after two young men moved in above me. Within the first week I was constantly being awoken by loud stomping, heavy items being dropped, etc. They were pretty quite during the day and only made these types of noises after midnight. I kept giving them the benefit of the doubt, rationalizing that they were still getting settled, that they were young and out on their own for the first time and unaware that they were disturbing anyone.
After a few weeks I thought maybe they were getting drunk on a nightly basis. From previous experience with noisy neighbors (which I handled as poorly as could be imagined, only escalating it into a war that ended with police and my car being vandalized twice) I came to believe it was smarter to alter my habits that try to have strangers, who held me with low regard, alter theirs. I bought a white noise machine for the bedroom and eventually earplugs. It was not a great hardship on me and I thought another possible drama avoided.
About a month in I had water flooding into my bathroom. The apartment that butted up against my bathroom was vacant and being remodeled. I tried to call the emergency maintenance number on my lease and, of course, it was not a operating number. It was 11 pm. I heard the men walking around and I thought there was a chance that the water might be coming down the wall from their bathroom. I also needed to ask someone if they had a correct emergency number.
I knocked on their door and apologized for disturbing them and explained why I was there. I wouldn't say they were rude but there was definitely a coldness there. They couldn't help me. They had the same lease and no water was running in their apartment. Clearly they were annoyed at my late visit and I could understand that. I made my way to the next neighbor and thankfully they had a correct number.
The next day I wanted to mend any hard feelings I might have caused so I bought the guys a six pack of beer and left it at their door with a note on the bag saying that I was sorry to bother them last night. This wasn't how I had hoped to meet my neighbors. I also bought the young couple, who were able to assist me a bottle of wine, and left them a similar note.
In a day or so I say the young married couple in the parking lot and they thanked me for the wine and appreciated the thought. I also saw the two men who walked their dog regularly and they never mentioned the beer or note. I didn't bring it up but thought that it was strange that they didn't acknowledge anything. I remember being that age, about mid-twenties, and I often felt unsure about how to deal with people I didn't know. I just forgot about it.
Over the next 10 months there were instances when the guys were being loud during the day but not so much that I had any great concern.
I don't know what happened about mid December but suddenly they were stomping when they heard any sound from me at all. When I ran the vacuum they went nuts. When I had a phone call or friends over talking in my living room. Music from my Google speaker at the same low level I had played it all year sent them into rages of stomping and jumping up and down on the floor. They even followed me to different rooms if the heard me move.
Foolishly, I didn't approach them immediately, thinking that it would just blow over. I even became very conscious of any noise I might be making. The quieter I tried to be the more aggressive the stomping and door slamming became. I did not respond or clap back in anyway. I know when someone is picking a fight. After a month of this I began keeping a log and audio recordings of any noise I could capture, plus I made recordings of my activities and recorded my television volume, music volume and working late on the computer.
At this point, anyone could see it was deliberate, relentless and just plain harassment. I also had passed the point where I thought I could deal diplomatically with them. I went to the Property Manager with my problem and was told that all they could do was send a letter and perhaps talk to them. But if the tenants denied it or just ignored them there was nothing they could do. I probably should talk to the police. I knew this was most likely going to be their response. I decided to not officially make a complaint because I wanted to have all of my ducks in a row before I took action that, I am sure, is just going to escalate the problem.
At least Management knows of my concern and if there is property damage to my new car I hopefully can count on them to back me up to the police.
All this to ask...I am not sure how I should approach the police with a problem that hasn't happened yet. I don't know that they will be able to just take a complaint about harassment on my word alone. I'm also sure that they are going to ask if I have spoken to the neighbors about the problem. Something I know I'm going to have to do before I take many more steps.
Any advice on how to speak to people that you know are not going to be open to any conversation? It would be asinine to act like I didn't know what is going on. Now I have to rein in every impulse to fight back. It won't help me in the end if I have to take it to court. I don't think I'll have any quick resolution so I'm going to have to live with my decision to remain mum.
If anyone has been through something like this and was able to find a peaceful way to resolve it I would very much like hear any suggestions. Also, thanks to anyone who took the time to read this to the end even if you have no advice.