Monday, December 12, 2011

I love my flat, but not the neighbours

Some of you might know, or even be fed up with my constant complaints about my upstairs neighbours; let me tell you one thing: if anyone has a right to be fed up, then it's me. Why?

Okay here's what happened:

In August 2009, two girls moved into the flat upstairs and from then on my life was filled with terror. One of the girls began to work in a pub around the corner and regularly brought her new friends home after work; bags filled with bottles banging against my door when they entered their flat at 2am, a herd of elephants stomping up the stairs and since they were drunk, they turned up the volume of the music, shouted, laughed loudly, etc. At the weekends, she would have parties with about 30 people, who constantly went up and down, past my flat, making it impossible to work, to read, to sleep, in short: to live. I tried talking to them, stood in their flat at 3am, then 4am and 5am to tell them to turn down the volume again and even asked her to come down to 'hear' from my perspective. It didn't help. When the other girl moved out in March this year (2011) my landlady, to whom I complained regularly, got rid of the noisy girl and I had peace for a month.

In April, the next pair of girls moved in. I'll never forget that day. It was a Sunday. We quickly said hello when I heard all the rumbling and stomping in the hallway and they said they'd come to introduce themselves properly. Okay, I thought, that's a good start. When I wanted to visit my friend I found the handlebar of my bike so heavily moved, that I couldn't use my bike. After trying to re-adjust it, I went upstairs to ask for help. Reluctantly, the one guy sitting in their living room came to help. Arseholes! was what I thought and I knew they woudn't be any different to the last girl. That bike is my property and if you don't tell me to remove it for the duration of the move, then, at least make sure, you won't damage it!

Only one week after they moved in, on a Sunday, I had to knock at their door heavily at 0.30am. Reason: they were wrestling upstairs, throwing each other onto the floor, shouting, screaming, etc. Everything in my flat vibrated. A guy came downstairs talking to me. Odd since it's girls who rented the flat. He apologised and said they'll keep it down. Yeah, right!
At 1.30 am I knocked again, this time I was furious. I knocked about fifteen minutes -- actually, I heftily banged my boot against their door. Finally, the guy opened again and I blew off. Then, one of the girls came down and told me I'm rude to ask them to go a level higher where I won't hear them. And if I couldn't bear the noise I should move out! Me? Rude? Okay, I didn't ask them friendly anymore, but then I don't think I needed to since I told them an hour beforehand that they're disturbing me with their behaviour.

From then on, I've been disturbed frequently, in fact, if they are at home, I'm always disturbed. They come home late at night, having people around and sit upstairs shouting, stomping, having everything in my flat vibrating. They also slam the doors daily. The concept of closing them without slamming is new to them, it seems.
This house was not build to be separated as flats, it was a family home, and was converted into two flats. What's really bad is that they didn't seem to sound-proof the house. It's a timber-framed house, which means every door slamming will travel through my flat. Even if they slam the door downstairs. I have no idea what they're doing upstairs, but Thursday I was ready to kill. For 12 hours one of them was stomping upstairs. Back and forth, back and forth. I felt like sitting in a carton and someone drummed on it constantly and I had no way to escape. When they are at home, they are constantly moving around. Okay, it's what they do, but can't you move around without interfering with other people's life? I have laminated flooring and even when I have visitors, nothing vibrates when they go to the loo or kitchen briefly. It feels as if they are stomping their barefoot heels on the floor, sending vibrations down to my flat. The glass in the vivarium is actually rattling. They even wake the iguana occasionally,  so do they wake me and I sleep with earplugs. One night was particularly bad. They thought it's funny to sing loudly at 4am on a Monday morning.

I've tried to explain it to them in a friendly way, I've complained numerous times to my landlady, who said she'd call them, I've been in touch with the council, who said they can't help me because it's not loud music/telly, I've spoken to anti-social behaviour who said there's nothing they could do. Frankly, I'm at the end of my tether. I have to call my landlady on a weekly basis. It'll be okay (ish) for a few days and then it begins again. I've been firm with my landlady because it's her responsibility, not mine, to make sure I can live in peace. All she does is ring them up and recently she sent a letter. They still don't change. I wish there was a law that landlords could be fined if they don't get their tenants under control. It's their flats and they make money, it's their job to keep it peaceful. But all she sees is her money. I told her it's also bad sound proofing, she doesn't want to know anything about fixing it and rather has me moving out, I think. That's the only one option I have and it saddens me. I love my flat; apart from being cosy, it's close to all shops, bus stop in front of the door. Quiet from below and to the left, mostly quiet to the right. It's just those upstairs idiots who can't graps the concept of respect. And that it's possible to be respectful shows that it's quiet from anywhere else. No parties around me, just them. And it was possible before, never had any problems until 2009 (I moved in April 2007).

What I hate the most are stupid suggestions by people who never experienced this kind of nuisance: just buy some earplugs or headphones. Yeah, so great. And you think after 2 years of terror, I didn't think of that myself? If it would work, I'd hardly complain, you get that? Or other suggestions like: just play loud music yourself at 7am. Yeah, right. Their bedrooms are a level up, above THEIR living room. It'll hardly do the job. Or: put some rotten meat in their flat or throw a stink bomb. Yeah? And how do I get into the flat? By crawling up the drain pipe outside? Very funny. Noisy and respectless neighbours aren't funny and if you don't know the situation, shut up!

After over two years of terror, I finally have to make a decision and it's a hard one, but the situation has taken its toll: my health is going downhill.

Okay, that was a very long post, I could have given more details on what I actually tried to do, but it would fill pages. Two years of pure hell isn't easy to put into a short text.

If anyone has had or still has the same problems, please feel free to comment.

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