I need your advice...please

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by WorldFalls, Apr 26, 2003.

  1. WorldFalls

    WorldFalls New Member

    This is kind of off topic for this board...but this problem is making my health worse. I come to you with this because there are some very bright people here. Please help me if you can.

    Last month, our neighbor rented his house to two 17 year old boys and a 16 year old girl. I was pretty surprised when the landlord told us he was renting to kids this young, but we decided to withhold judgement of the situation until we saw how the kids handled it.

    Eeeek! Our quiet little neighborhood is now a nightmare! We have dozens of kids in and out at all hours of the day and night. Their cars are clunckers and therfore make a LOT of noise. To add to this problem, they BLAST their car stereos so loud that the whole block is awakened by the thumping base everytime one of them drives by. Nobody is sleeping anymore. I just got back from my evening walk and an elderly lady TWO BLOCKS AWAY came out of her home as one of them roared past in their loud music filled car (at 11:30 pm). This poor woman states that these kids wake her up all the time and she's ready to put her home up for sale to get away from it!

    Does anybody have any advice for me? We just purchased this home 18 months ago. It's my dream home and USED TO BE in a quiet area. We don't want to move, but can't live like this, especially with summer (and open windows) around the corner. Before you suggest we talk nicely to these kids, my mom, who is currently staying with us asked them to please quiet down last night (at midnight). She got mouthiness and louder music in return. I don't know the landlord well as he only ever rents and I'm not sure how to contact him anyway. Does anybody have any experience with CPS? Can they get involved in underage kids living in a situation like this?

    The stress of this has my muscles tight and sore. I'm not sleeping and I'm starting to get really grumpy from being tired. Please...any advice is welcome.
  2. Kathryn

    Kathryn New Member

    Almost every town has a noise ordinance. Explain to the dispatcher (please don't use 911) exactly what is going on, document dates and times to the best of your ability, and try to observe the comings and goings of their company (possible drug sales). Get vehicle license numbers and descriptions, but only if you can do so without endangering yourself. Be as observant as possible, and please do agree to testify in court if an arrest is made. Good luck!
  3. leokat

    leokat New Member

    so sorry to hear about your problem. Noise and disturbance sure does effect FMS and cfs I know.

    I don't know that what I'm going to say will actually be of much help to you.

    For seventeen years I lived in a noisy neighbourhood. Outback was a garage and cars revved up outside my bedroom window from 8am in the moring and went on for most of the day. Sometimes the garage was called out to an emergency in the night and I'd be woken by noise. The burglar alarm at the garage went off (often for no good reason) frequently as did other car and house alarms in the area. Behind the garage was a school playing field and that was noisy too. Worst of all was that I had a small wall - just right for sitting on - right outside my daughter's bedroom. Teenagers would congregate there and chat - loudly - for hours.

    In addition to worrying about the noise I worried about the polution from the garage.

    However, I am a single parent and have not been able to work full time since I had my daughter. I live in rented accomodation and wasn't in any position to dictate where I live though I asked my housing association to find me better accomodation on loads of occasions.

    When I had my last major relapse just over two years ago my sister came to my rescue and found me privately rented accomodation nearer her. She even paid my deposit. I now live in a lovely quite area about thirty five miles away from where I was living.

    I did have some qualms about moving. I've had to leave many old friends behind - as has my daughter. :-{ Because I am sick I haven't made new friends since I moved. However, my health has greatly improved. I now sleep better than I had for years and have less really bad days.

    I see from your message worlfalls that you own your own home and have a partner. Also that you don't want to move. You need to do something about the problem though cos it will undoubtedly not help your health.

    I don't know who the appropriate people to complain to officially in the US are but I'm sure others will. Would it be possible for you to have a word with your landlord so he is aware of your situation and maybe think before he lets the house out next time? (I'm hoping here that the young people living near you now won't want to stay long).
  4. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Has done a very stupid thing by renting to these kids. First, the lease, if he has one, is not legal unless signed by someone of legal age. Second, this is probably a drug dealer. Third, these kids are breaking the law by disturbing the peace.

    You and your other neighbor should be calling the cops every time this happens. Someone should be taking license plante numbers of all the "visitors," and this should be given to the cops. Even if the cops don't do much each time they have to come out, there is a record. Eventually, the supervisor will notice when there are four or five calls to the same address. They may start watching suspecting it to be a drug house. This advice was given to us by a NYC retired cop because we are having a similar problem in our neighborhood.

    Love, Mikie
  5. pam_d

    pam_d New Member

    I have NEVER minded paying dues to a homeowners association because of this very thing!!! If you belong to one, your problem is solved. They will not tolerate such behavior, and will lean (heavily) on your neighbor.....

    In the absence of that, you and your fellow neighbors need to organize-----EVERYBODY needs to call the cops during EVERY incident that happens! I mean at least ten calls to the cops from you & fellow neighbors each time these kids do this. And make sure EVERY neighbor has this landlord's name & phone number at the ready to give the police. You need to get this information---make every phone call you can to find out the landlord's address & phone number. Also letters to the editor of your local paper about your formerly idyllic neighborhood now terrorized by underaged hoods, using the landlord's name wouldn' t hurt (yeah, BE overly dramatic). And call CPS! I have no idea what the law is regarding juveniles living in this situation, but it certainly wouldn't hurt to inquire......and make sure the cops know the ages of these kids, too, they might not look that young.

    Good luck to you, I can really empathize with your situation. My husband & I lived in a lovely rental condo years ago & were good tenants-----but noisy types moved in next door (also renters). We told our landlords we hated to leave but couldn't tolerate what was happening at the rental next door. Within two weeks, they were gone-----but our neighborhood had a homeowners assn. to handle those things, which really helped!

    I know how this stuff can ruin your health & sense of peace, hope it gets better!!

  6. layinglow

    layinglow New Member

    lol...Shazz...and Chainsaws make horrendous noises, too.

    I don't know what state you are in, but here in Texas, teens of that age can be emancipated.

    I think the route to go, is repeated calls to the local police force. We had a problem similar to this in one of our rental houses. Unfortunately the noise codes can only be enforced after a certain hour of the night, here. But on the stroke of that hour, I certainly would have all neighbors call, every night it occurs, if you have such city ordinances. You can contact your City administration for such codes.

    Also, if you will contact the tax appraiser-collector for your county, with the address of the rent house you can find the landlords name and address.

    Best wishes,
  7. JLH

    JLH New Member

    call your local Social Services Department. They are all underage and should not be living alone! The Social Services Department should take some action.

    If this doesn't work, call the Police every time there is a disturbance, like everyone else has advised!
  8. MemoryLane

    MemoryLane Member

    If a custodial adult, especially a relative, signed the lease or if the children are related and/or they constitute a family, then the Federal Laws of Fair Housing would be violated. I do not believe the tenant adult who signed the lease would be in violation of "leaving unattended minors at home alone". It depends on how the lease was negotiated or if lease provisions were waived or amended. It is illegal under federal, (Washington) state, county and city law to discriminate against a tenant on the basis of "familial status." Usually, this refers to the presence of children. To comply with the law, rules of tenancy should not impose an extra burden on tenants in a protected class. In this case, this means on families with children. Unfortunately, I think the burdens of proof would be on you. In the meantime, your best bet, as others have mentioned, is to get the police involved regularly for disturbance and contact Social Services about the children's welfare, particularly the girl. For all you know she could be held against her will there by the two boys.

    On the other hand - here are some provisions from the
    Washington State Landlord - Tenant Act for you to consider:

    RCW 59.18.030 Definitions.
    As used in this chapter:
    ...(10) "Gang" means a group that: (a) Consists of three or more persons; (b) has identifiable leadership or an identifiable name, sign, or symbol; and (c) on an ongoing basis, regularly conspires and acts in concert mainly for criminal purposes. (11) "Gang-related activity" means any activity that occurs within the gang or advances a gang purpose. [1998 c 276 § 1; 1973 1st ex.s. c 207 § 3.]

    RCW 59.18.130 Duties of tenant.
    Each tenant shall pay the rental amount at such times and in such amounts as provided for in the rental agreement or as otherwise provided by law and comply with all obligations imposed upon tenants by applicable provisions of all municipal, county, and state codes, statutes, ordinances, and regulations, and in addition shall: (1) Keep that part of the premises which he or she occupies and uses as clean and sanitary as the conditions of the premises permit; (2) Properly dispose from his or her dwelling unit all rubbish, garbage, and other organic or flammable waste, in a clean and sanitary manner at reasonable and regular intervals, and assume all costs of extermination and fumigation for infestation caused by the tenant; (3) Properly use and operate all electrical, gas, heating, plumbing and other fixtures and appliances supplied by the landlord; (4) Not intentionally or negligently destroy, deface, damage, impair, or remove any part of the structure or dwelling, with the appurtenances thereto, including the facilities, equipment, furniture, furnishings, and appliances, or permit any member of his or her family, invitee, licensee, or any person acting under his or her control to do so. Violations may be prosecuted under chapter 9A.48 RCW if the destruction is intentional and malicious; (5) Not permit a nuisance or common waste; (6) Not engage in drug-related activity at the rental premises, or allow a subtenant, sublessee, resident, or anyone else to engage in drug-related activity at the rental premises with the knowledge or consent of the tenant. "Drug-related activity" means that activity which constitutes a violation of chapter 69.41, 69.50, or 69.52 RCW; (7) Maintain the smoke detection device in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations, including the replacement of batteries where required for the proper operation of the smoke detection device, as required in RCW 48.48.140(3); (8) Not engage in any activity at the rental premises that is: (a) Imminently hazardous to the physical safety of other persons on the premises; and (b)(i) Entails physical assaults upon another person which result in an arrest; or (ii) Entails the unlawful use of a firearm or other deadly weapon as defined in RCW 9A.04.110 which results in an arrest, including threatening another tenant or the landlord with a firearm or other deadly weapon under RCW 59.18.352. Nothing in this subsection (8) shall authorize the termination of tenancy and eviction of the victim of a physical assault or the victim of the use or threatened use of a firearm or other deadly weapon; (9) Not engage in any gang-related activity at the premises, as defined in RCW 59.18.030, or allow another to engage in such activity at the premises, that renders people in at least two or more dwelling units or residences insecure in life or the use of property or that injures or endangers the safety or health of people in at least two or more dwelling units or residences. In determining whether a tenant is engaged in gang-related activity, a court should consider the totality of the circumstances, including factors such as whether there have been a significant number of complaints to the landlord about the tenant's activities at the property, damages done by the tenant to the property, including the property of other tenants or neighbors, harassment or threats made by the tenant to other tenants or neighbors that have been reported to law enforcement agencies, any police incident reports involving the tenant, and the tenant's criminal history; and (10) Upon termination and vacation, restore the premises to their initial condition except for reasonable wear and tear or conditions caused by failure of the landlord to comply with his or her obligations under this chapter: PROVIDED, That the tenant shall not be charged for normal cleaning if he or she has paid a nonrefundable cleaning fee. [1998 c 276 § 2; 1992 c 38 § 2; 1991 c 154 § 3; 1988 c 150 § 2; 1983 c 264 § 3; 1973 1st ex.s. c 207 § 13.] NOTES: Intent--Effective date--1992 c 38: See notes following RCW 59.18.352. Legislative findings--1988 c 150: "The legislature finds that the illegal use, sale, and manufacture of drugs and other drug-related activities is a state-wide problem. Innocent persons, especially children, who come into contact with illegal drug-related activity within their own neighborhoods are seriously and adversely affected. Rental property is damaged and devalued by drug activities. The legislature further finds that a rapid and efficient response is necessary to: (1) Lessen the occurrence of drug-related enterprises; (2) reduce the drug use and trafficking problems within this state; and (3) reduce the damage caused to persons and property by drug activity. The legislature finds that it is beneficial to rental property owners and to the public to permit landlords to quickly and efficiently evict persons who engage in drug-related activities at rented premises." [1988 c 150 § 1.] Severability--1988 c 150: "If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [1988 c 150 § 15.]

    RCW 59.18.500 Gang-related activity.
    Legislative findings, declarations, and intent. The legislature finds and declares that the ability to feel safe and secure in one's own home and in one's own community is of primary importance. The legislature recognizes that certain gang-related activity can affect the safety of a considerable number of people in the rental premises and dwelling units. Therefore, such activity, although it may be occurring within an individual's home or the surrounding areas of an individual's home, becomes the community's concern. The legislature intends that the remedy provided in RCW 59.18.510 be used solely to protect the health and safety of the community. The remedy is not a means for private citizens to bring malicious or unfounded actions against fellow tenants or residential neighbors for personal reasons. In determining whether the tenant's activity is the type prohibited under RCW 59.18.130(9), the court should consider the totality of the circumstances, including factors such as whether there have been numerous complaints to the landlord, damage to property, police or incident reports, reports of disturbance, and arrests. An absence of any or all of these factors does not necessarily mean gang activity is not occurring. In determining whether the tenant is engaging in gang-related activity, the court should consider the purpose and intent of RCW 59.18.510. The legislature intends to give people in the community a tool that will help them restore the health and vibrance of their community. [1998 c 276 § 4.]

    [This Message was Edited on 04/27/2003]
  9. WorldFalls

    WorldFalls New Member

    I knew I could count on you to help me out here. Thanks! I was surprised to see that several of you suspected drug use. Two of my neighbors had the same suspician. I must be very naive because I assumed it as unlikely because they are so young. But they do start young, don't they? It's sad, really, to think of kids so young out on their own dealing with such ugly things. When I was that age, my world felt so safe and secure. I can't even imagine being on my own at 16. They must have had one really bad home life to leave so young.

    Anyway, we've developed a game plan. My mom plans to have a nice "talk" with them tomorrow. If that fails, we consult the landlord (we've managed to get his number from another neighbor). Also, last night I wrote a letter describing the situation (I'll only send it if my mom isn't able to get these kids to see things our way!). Anyway, I addressed the letter to three places...CPS, the Sheriff's Office, and the Proscecuter's Office. If this doesn't get resolved, I will send copies to each office and make them aware of what is going on. From there, as many of you suggested, I will call the police every single time something happens.

    I appreciate all the help and advive. Also, somebody gave me info specific to Washington...thanks so much for finding that for me! It's very informative! I'll let y'all know what happens! Thanks again!