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Walking noise from condo above is unbearable
Old 02-13-2019, 08:59 AM   #1
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Walking noise from condo above is unbearable

Howdy,



Recently bought a condo. Realtor who sold us our second floor condo owned and sold the unit above us. She showed us it and matter of factly told us she replaced the carpet with a floating vinyl plank floor without Condo Board Approval. There are ratings for impact isolation of 60 in the Regs that I am positive were not met.



We can't retire here. The entire condo shakes when the owners are there. Thankfully it is only every 4 weeks or so but wife wants out. We are stuck for 4 years.


New owner is nice and trying to get her kids to wear slippers all the time.

Can we file suit?


Any advice would be appreciated. Can't live like this.,...


ALSO ADDED IN A POST BELOW FOR CLARIFICATION:


The unit above us was sold by our realtor (to a friend of hers) the week after we closed on ours. She no longer owns a unit in the building but told us she did it without approval....She is also friends with the President of our Board...


Thanks,


Wally

Thanks as always,


Wally
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Old 02-13-2019, 09:12 AM   #2
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3 rules if real estate : Location, Location, Location, Lakewood's 3 rules of real estate : Don't buy a Condo , Don't buy a Condo , Don't buy a Condo .

Advise to have a consultation with an atty who specializes in real estate law. Filing suit is very expensive , don't wait ,get an atty to handle this , hopefully without a lawsuit.
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Old 02-13-2019, 09:18 AM   #3
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Does the Condo have rules for carpeting in upper units? I would bring it to the attention of the Management company / Condo board and demand it be fixed.
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Old 02-13-2019, 09:27 AM   #4
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If the condos have rules regarding flooring and if she replaced the floor without permission, go to the condo board and file a complaint.
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Old 02-13-2019, 09:34 AM   #5
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+1 that is your best recourse. They have standards for soundproofing flooring for the exact reasons that you describe... so lower unit owners are insulated from excessive noise. If the owner of the upper unit replaced the flooring and didn't adhere to the standard then the condo board can respond to your complaint.

We didn't have any standards for upper floor units and recently amended the declarations to include sound absorption.
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Old 02-13-2019, 10:08 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by SheitlQueen View Post
If the condos have rules regarding flooring and if she replaced the floor without permission, go to the condo board and file a complaint.

The unit above us was sold by our realtor (to a friend of hers) the week after we closed on ours. She no longer owns a unit in the building but told us she did it without approval....She is also friends with the President of our Board...


Thanks,


Wally
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Old 02-13-2019, 10:10 AM   #7
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Never buy a bottom unit.
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Old 02-13-2019, 10:32 AM   #8
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It could get very messy, especially considering the friends relationships.

Technically, the HOA should force the owner of the unit above you to remedy the situation. And in turn, the owner of the unit above you may have a cause for an action against the former owner who didn't get approval for the flooring.

However, lawsuits are expensive. Perhaps the best solution might be for you, the owner of the unit above you and the former owner to agree to split the cost of taking up the vinyl plank, installing soundproofing and then putting the vinyl plank back in place. One of the attributes of the vinyl plank that I have seen is that it can be taken up and put down again.

Not that you should have to pay for any of the remedial costs, but I'm guessing that 1/3 of the cost of remedying the problem is cheaper than suing or moving.
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Old 02-13-2019, 10:40 AM   #9
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Unfortunately, even if they did comply with sound proofing, etc etc...if you have kids that live above you, its going to be loud. You're pretty much screwed. Im not sure how old the kids are but you cant expect kids to tip toe around. Its never going to be silent. Jumping/stomping is one thing...but you cant control a heavy walker (which kids are.)

Heck, we travel frequently...whenever we're in a hotel and cant get a top floor...I pray to baby jesus that the person above is traveling on business, or a single adult who is quiet. Its rough when the walls shake when someone is walking around above you.

We lived in an apartment for 12 years. Our last year, the tenant below us had a kid who would stomp and run around. We talked to the parent constantly, it didnt help. They didnt care. One of the best days of my life is when we moved out of their for good...and moved to a single family home surrounded by 10 acres. No neighbors, no sound.
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Old 02-13-2019, 11:04 AM   #10
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Try contacting the Realtor (former owner) who sold the unit to you and the lady upstairs. Tell her about your plan to bring in an attorney. Also tell her you plan to file an ethics complaint with your state real estate board AND the local Multiple Listing Service.

1. Her E&O insurance will most likely not cover the claim since she admitted she did not adhere to HOA rules and she owned the unit.
2. State RE board can hold her license hostage. MLS can fine and discipline her.
3. Any press or social media attention created will ruin her reputation in real estate.
And we have not even touched on a lawsuit yet...

What do you think? Will she pay to have the unit properly carpeted? I think so.
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Old 02-13-2019, 11:31 AM   #11
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Thanks for reminding me why condos dont work for me
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Old 02-13-2019, 11:35 AM   #12
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Never buy a bottom unit.
Now you tell me. I suffered, really suffered, from 2008-2016 in a horrible condo. It was cheap and I was unemployed/underemployed for a while so I stayed but so glad I left and wish I had done it sooner.
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Old 02-13-2019, 11:36 AM   #13
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Are you allowed to rent the unit out? That may be your best solution until you can sell.
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Old 02-13-2019, 11:41 AM   #14
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Now you tell me. I suffered, really suffered, from 2008-2016 in a horrible condo. It was cheap and I was unemployed/underemployed for a while so I stayed but so glad I left and wish I had done it sooner.
I never could understand why anyone would buy a lower floor condo. I have stayed in hundreds of hotels in my life, and my #1 rule was ALWAYS TOP FLOOR! Thankfully, when I was a "Diamond Platinum Exclusive Preferred" member (from spending thousands a month in hotels) I almost always got my request honored. The only exception seems to be the older Hilton/Marriott Hotels close to airports that are build with 4 trillion tons of concrete..those bad boys are quiet!

Anyway, enough short stays in noisy hotels made it very obvious that I would NEVER live in a lower floor condo/apartment.
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Old 02-13-2019, 11:49 AM   #15
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I never could understand why anyone would buy a lower floor condo.
Also, security concerns. Much more difficult to access a non ground floor condo/apartment. But yeah...id rather have my place robbed (without me being in it at the time of robbery) than dealing with a stomping neighbor overhead every single day!
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Old 02-13-2019, 12:26 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by brucethebroker View Post
Try contacting the Realtor (former owner) who sold the unit to you and the lady upstairs. Tell her about your plan to bring in an attorney. Also tell her you plan to file an ethics complaint with your state real estate board AND the local Multiple Listing Service.

1. Her E&O insurance will most likely not cover the claim since she admitted she did not adhere to HOA rules and she owned the unit.
2. State RE board can hold her license hostage. MLS can fine and discipline her.
3. Any press or social media attention created will ruin her reputation in real estate.
And we have not even touched on a lawsuit yet...

What do you think? Will she pay to have the unit properly carpeted? I think so.

Awesome thoughts. THANK YOU!
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Old 02-13-2019, 12:32 PM   #17
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I never could understand why anyone would buy a lower floor condo. I have stayed in hundreds of hotels in my life, and my #1 rule was ALWAYS TOP FLOOR! Thankfully, when I was a "Diamond Platinum Exclusive Preferred" member (from spending thousands a month in hotels) I almost always got my request honored. The only exception seems to be the older Hilton/Marriott Hotels close to airports that are build with 4 trillion tons of concrete..those bad boys are quiet!

Anyway, enough short stays in noisy hotels made it very obvious that I would NEVER live in a lower floor condo/apartment.

No proof but she lied through her teeth the entire process claiming unit was worth $40k more than the asking price. I offered to buy her unit for $200k she said she would never let it go for less than $225k when she already had a buyer at $200k. She had friends I see and they congratulated me on my great deal.


1. We were living in 300sq ft for 2 months and needed out.
2. My MIL appeared to be dying and my wife was not here for weeks at a time.
3. it gave us the resources to get to 59.5 and get ROTH money and decide where to go.



We screwed up and didn't do our due diligence so I take some of the blame. We can suffer for 4 years and sell or rent...
But I couldn't rent it to anyone long term in good conscience and not sure I want the hassle of a weekly rental situation.





But she was a liar plain and simple. Another caveat is she frequents the bar I work at and I see her friends often..



UGH!


Thanks Again for the opinions..


Wally
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Old 02-13-2019, 01:33 PM   #18
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But she was a liar plain and simple. Another caveat is she frequents the bar I work at and I see her friends often..
She's a salesperson. You cant believe anything salespeople tell you. Thats common knowledge. It stinks that you have to approach any deal with that mentality. But you need to take care of yourself first and foremost.

She hook/line/sinkered you. You're not going to be able to do anything about it now. Its a he said/she said ordeal. It wouldnt even surprise me if you had the condo appraised...and it came back less than you paid.

4 years is a long time to deal with this issue. I would put that baby on the market, take the loss and move on with your life.
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Old 02-13-2019, 01:39 PM   #19
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I never could understand why anyone would buy a lower floor condo. I have stayed in hundreds of hotels in my life, and my #1 rule was ALWAYS TOP FLOOR! Thankfully, when I was a "Diamond Platinum Exclusive Preferred" member (from spending thousands a month in hotels) I almost always got my request honored. The only exception seems to be the older Hilton/Marriott Hotels close to airports that are build with 4 trillion tons of concrete..those bad boys are quiet!

Anyway, enough short stays in noisy hotels made it very obvious that I would NEVER live in a lower floor condo/apartment.
We have friends who live in a condo and he is also a member of the HOA board. He said all the complaints related to neighbor issues are from lower level owners.
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Old 02-13-2019, 01:40 PM   #20
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My apologies if you have stated this somewhere, but why are you "stuck for 4 years."? Sounds like you bought the condo knowing you would be there only 4 years. Then what?
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