As property managers in Woburn MA, we receive complaints about noisy or difficult neighbors quite often. Sometimes, it’s barking dogs, sometimes late night music or plain old drunken partying. Whatever the reason, as an individual or family residing in Woburn, you are entitled to the quiet enjoyment of your residence by Massachusetts law.
One of the tenants at a Woburn property that we manage called our office at 3 am and told us that her neighbor was trying to kill her. When we got to the place, we learned that the neighbor had just bought a pair of snakes as pets and our tenant was sure they would get into her house and kill her. The neighbor was astounded when we rang their doorbell and explained the situation but refused to get rid of the snakes. They were well within their rights to do so.
Bad neighboring works both ways. Sometimes the complainant is the one making unreasonable demands; other times it is the other way around. How should you deal with a situation where your neighbor is causing distress and obstructing your quiet enjoyment of your house? Here are a few steps.
1. Talk to the Problem Neighbor
Sometimes, people turn out to be perfectly ignorant that their activities are disturbing you. So, the first thing to do is to inform them of the particular activity that is causing problems for you and politely suggest how it might be removed.
Similarly, if it is you feeling harassed due to the neighbors constant, unreasonable complaints about you, try talking to them and reaching a mutual consensus about how best to deal with the issue.
If this doesn’t work, move on to step two.
2. Talk to Landlord or Property Manager
If you are a tenant in a rented apartment, house or condominium, you should contact the condo association, your landlord or the company that manages your property. It is their job to take care of such situations and they are the best people to talk to since they are also well aware of Woburn and MA laws regarding these issues.
3. Sue the Landlord
You have the choice to sue the landlord for not providing you with the quiet enjoyment that MA law dictates if you live in one unit of a multi-unit building.
“…any lessor or landlord who directly or indirectly interferes with the quiet enjoyment of any residential premises by the occupant, or who attempts to regain possession of such premises by force without benefit of judicial process, shall be punished by a fine of not less than twenty-five dollars nor more than three hundred dollars, or by imprisonment for not more than six months. Any person who commits any act in violation of this section shall also be liable for actual and consequential damages or three month’s rent, whichever is greater, and the costs of the action, including a reasonable attorney’s fee, all of which may be applied in setoff to or in recoupment against any claim for rent owed or owing.”
4. End Your Tenancy
As a last resort, talk to your landlord about ending your tenancy contract due to bad neighbors. A bad neighbor is something you have no control over and you can discuss this with the landlord, or threaten to sue them, depending on what works best.
For any questions or advice regarding property management in Woburn or MA, you can contact JB Property Management and we will be glad to be of service.