Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Too Much Drama

So, it's been an interesting past few days. We live in a two-flat, which means we have upstairs neighbors. One girl signed the lease and moved in about two weeks after we did, along with an "official" roommate that's not on the lease, but technically needs to be. And then it began.

It's her first apartment. Her first place on her own, away from mom and dad. And it feels like it's a freshman dorm. Loud music at any given hour of the day or night. People coming and going all day, even when the actual tenants (official or not) aren't around. And some of these people have their own keys. Smoking when the landlords and the lease expressly says no smoking.

All of this is annoying, but we can deal. Not ideal by any means, but we've tolerated stuff like this before. However, one of the reasons we chose this place is because it was in a nice, quite neighborhood and not an apartment complex of any sort. Maybe we were being naive. I just don't know.

But the landlords, who were completely burned by their last tenants, have a right to know what's going on. We've talked, and determined that pretty much half of the stuff the tenant says is a bald face lie. She must think we're stupid or something. Most of it is just minor stuff, usually trying to be the moderator and smooth things over, but if she's constantly being caught in a minor lie, it is likely that she has no problems lying about more important stuff. It's not hard to be honest if you have nothing to hide.

And then things escalated. Music was being played so loud that one of our neighbors could hear it in his living room, windows closed, tv on. So on Friday, he called the landlord to complain and the landlord called and asked me what was going on, and I filled him in.

He was furious. He came straight over, marched up to the door, and knocked, twice. Then he let himself in to find the pseudo-roommate who had just arrived a mere 15 minutes prior to his arrival, the two friends that arrived with her, and (I assume) her boyfriend, who had been there all day long. They had locked themselves in the back bedroom, smoking and playing video games, and claimed not to hear the knocks. I think they've taken to hiding when they know they aren't suppose to be there, so they know what they're doing is wrong. Otherwise why would four people lock themselves into a room during the middle of the day?

But anyway, the landlord loses his cool. I could hear him yelling perfectly, clear across the house. He says his piece, and then under the premise of fixing a faucet (which he does need to fix) come and fills me in. Nothing I didn't already know or suspect.

However, after he leaves, things get even more interesting. I'm in the kitchen, making up a batch of cookies, and I can hear them in the farthest back bedroom talking. And from the snippets I hear, they're talking about me. I didn't feel comfortable and just had to get out of there. So I re-introduced myself to one of my neighbors I had only met in passing and we hit it off and ended up talking for 4 hours, so at least there was one positive thing coming of all of this drama.

The weekend comes and things are surprisingly calm. Of course it helps that we were gone most of Saturday, and she was gone Saturday night and most of Sunday.

I was just thinking that things could be calming down for good. And then three big black guys, perfect strangers that I have never seen before, yelled something at me while I was in a neighbor's back yard, talking to her and her two little kids. This was after they had walked up, strutting across our front lawn (we're responsible for the lawn care, so it is indeed our lawn, not the other tenants by any means) like they owned the place and went in to the apartment above, apparently to see the boyfriend of the pseudo-tenant. I'm not sure what they yelled, since it took me a moment to register that they were yelling at me, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't a "hello, and welcome to the neighborhood" sort of thing.

So I've reached the breaking point. I'm not comfortable in my own home. Brent's not comfortable with me being here by myself. Other neighbors aren't comfortable with the situation and have offered me a safe haven if I feel I need it. It's a gorgeous day, and I don't feel like I can sit out on the deck and read a book. I've become hyper-aware of other people's comings and goings. I've even taken to writing down the plate numbers of what cars are outside. I don't trust these people. Since half of what comes out of their mouths is a lie, trying to be civilized adults and talking things through makes no sense at all. I feel like an annoying nosy neighbor, but I feel like I have to be on my toes.

The landlords are not approving the application of the pseudo-roommate, so that's one step, but they may have a harder time getting the other tenant, the one with the lease, out. But even with one gone, I don't think things will change that much until they're both gone since they're friends and I don't know how well our landlords will be able to enforce things.

I love the house, I love the location, I love the rest of the neighbors...if we wouldn't be moving in two years, we'd probably be buying this place (oh, it's currently for sale, which means that there's showings, and that is a whole different story in itself). But if things don't change, we're going to be moving. It's getting to the point that it's us or them.

And once again, cookies and gold stars to all that read this far. And yes, I will owe people a bunch of cookies, and I want you to know I'm good for them. But as of right now, you have to come and collect. Or maybe we'll seriously have to plan a weekend reunion thing or something. I'm only 4 hours away...


Blogger Robert said...

4 hrs from WHERE exactly? and don't worry about the cookies, I have lots in the cupboard. but the star is another story. ( and what about the points? am I now up to 20? 10 for the first, 10 for this one? the points are what i'm really after.)

3:14 PM  
Blogger Jake said...

Yep, you owe me a cookie for this one and the last one.

And isn't logical that since you are the one promising cookies, you should bring them to us? I think so. And if you can't deliver them, how do I know that you are really good for them unless you prove it?

I will expecting cookies soon in the mail.

4:25 PM  
Blogger Anne said...

Wow, what a story! I hope your landlord does something about it soon, if he can. Just so you know, you have a safe haven at my place too, in case it gets so bad you feel the need to drive 5 hours(?) away!!

4:36 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

That's crazy Dana. I just told Jamie that we are fortunate that the only issues we've been having with our downstairs neighbor is about noise. (Which has been bad enough since the guy, a big black man, cused Jamie out one night and told him that if he heard the noises again we would have to call the cops)

8:23 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home