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Being Harassed: The neighbor has been vandalizing my car and apartment

This is a discussion on Being Harassed: The neighbor has been vandalizing my car and apartment within the Landlord vs Tenant Issues forum, part of the REAL ESTATE & PROPERTY LAW category; The neighbor directly across the hall from me has been vandalizing my car and my apartment for over a year...making ...

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Old Aug 18th, 2010, 07:34 AM   #1
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Unhappy Being Harassed: The neighbor has been vandalizing my car and apartment

The neighbor directly across the hall from me has been vandalizing my car and my apartment for over a year...making false police reports and telling everyone that will listen horrible things about me. She has taken my mail and the apartment managers are aware of all these things. A community police officer came to investigate and the management stated they weren't getting involved. Nothing has been done to this women because I can't catch her doing it. I want out of my lease NOW...the complex has done absolutely nothing to assure my safety. What are my leagal options...if any??
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Old Aug 18th, 2010, 08:38 AM   #2
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Default re: Being Harassed: The neighbor has been vandalizing my car and apartment

I want to inform you that you can serve a written notice to your landlord regarding the harassment being faced by you from your neighbor. If the landlord does not resolve the matter then you may file a lawsuit. You may inform the court your car and apartment are being vandalized by your neighbor for over a year. Further, false complaints are being filed against you and a community police officer had visited you. The complex had failed to provide you with adequate security. Therefore, you can request court to terminate your lease. The court will consider all the facts and decide the matter.

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Old Aug 18th, 2010, 06:34 PM   #3
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Default Re: Being Harassed: The neighbor has been vandalizing my car and apartment

MOVE.
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Old Aug 18th, 2010, 06:58 PM   #4
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Default Re: Being Harassed: The neighbor has been vandalizing my car and apartment

Okay...

You want out of the lease, right?

You're afraid that if you just move out, they will come after you for money.

Thus, you need to get them to break the lease.

Try the least expensive option first - Notify the management in writing (via certified mail, return receipt requested) that you have informed them that you are being harassed by your neighbor, that they have failed to take action, that you fear for safety, and demand that they evict the neighbor or let you out of your lease or you "will take legal action."

They will evict the neighbor (least likely), offer to let you out of your lease (less likely), or ignore you (most likely).

Assuming they ignore you, hire a lawyer ($200 or so for an hour of the lawyer's time) to send them another certified letter demanding that since they have taken no action with regard to the neighbor after your first communication, they let you out of the lease. Make sure the letter threatens a lawsuit (you're bluffing, but they won't know that) if they fail to comply. The lawyer will know which grounds apply.

At this point, the management will likely realize you are serious and let you go in peace.
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Old Aug 20th, 2010, 12:41 AM   #5
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Default Re: Being Harassed: The neighbor has been vandalizing my car and apartment

No, no, and no. The management is not responsible for any action taken by the tenant. They are not the police nor are they security guards. If you have a problem with the tenant, you need to get the police involved, put a hidden camera in your car if necessary to catch her in the act, then file charges. Management is not responsible for this and you may not harm them monetarily (by breaking your lease) because of something that is not their fault. They are not liable nor obligated to take any action. Management is not your security guard. You are responsible for this. They merely provide you a place to live with locking doors and windows and working heat and water. Your security is only guaranteed within the 4 walls of your unit. Nothing more. If you fear for your safety, you need to get a restraining order, not demand that management take action in a tenant vs. tenant dispute. They have no idea or proof of which of you is lying. They can no more take action against the other tenant without proof than they can against you! They cannot legally evict that other tenant without proof of some wrongdoing or illegal activity. (Should they try to evict the other tenant without proof, that tenant could sue them!) So don't believe for a minute that they will evict the other or even get involved.

They will know that any attorney letter is bluffing. They know that they have done nothing wrong, that they must protect both your rights AND the other tenant's. They know they have no proof of anyone doing anything illegal and thus cannot take any action of any kind. They also know a court would never hold them responsible for lack of action unless you have some proof. This is all bad advice!

Your best bet course of action is to get proof of harassment. Audiotape every conversation with the woman, get witnesses of her actions, put hidden cameras in someone's window that faces your car or in the car itself, file police reports continuously if necessary. You need to document and build a case. If you are in fear, you would be expected to get a restraining order (otherwise a court will assume you are not in fear!) If you can't wait that long, negotiate a lease break with the management. You may have to pay a fee to get out, but it will be worth it in the long run to avoid being pursued for rent, advertising, agent fees, and any other non-reimbursed costs they have to re-rent your unit.
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Old Aug 20th, 2010, 07:12 PM   #6
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Default Re: Being Harassed: The neighbor has been vandalizing my car and apartment

I'm the one who suggested the attorney and after reading the next response, I have to agree with the better advice.
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