Location in question: Ohio
The Landlord of the apartment building where my mom and I rent had recently visited today to drop off a letter requesting us to leave the premises by July 30th. The reason listed is for yelling and pounding.
We do not pound at all. Once in awhile there are small, short outbursts of yelling associated with tourette syndrome, anxiety, ADHD, and depression mostly during the afternoon. Every tenant occupying an apartment space in the building have criminal records of theft, disorderly conduct, assault, and much more. We are the only ones with 100% clean record. Police have been called before due to neighbors stealing things, use of illegal drugs, and disturbing the peace. The Landlord has been called about them as well. Every time, they say there is nothing they can do. One time when police were called for neighbors smoking illegal drugs, the officer said "everyone smokes pot" and shrugged it off.
The neighbor in the apartment upstairs directly above us is constantly stomping across the floor, pounding, and making noise all day and all night even at 2am. He is recording all of our normal-tone conversation and then claims it to be disrupting his peace and keeping him awake. The other tenant upstairs has drug dealers and pimps visiting and making noise all day and all night even at 2am. She was given an eviction notice several months ago but is still here with the Landlord not doing anything about it. The neighbors in the apartment downstairs are always partying, blasting music at full volume, stealing things from my porch, and smoking illegal drugs that we have to smell, always trying to break into our apartment, and stealing our mail. So in my opinion, no one in this building has any right to complain of noise. We make a little noise yelling, with legitimate disability excuse of tourette syndrome and anxiety, for only a few seconds or so, and are now being evicted. When we make noise, it is during the daytime in the work hours when people are usually off to work. When they make noise, it is past curfew and people are sleeping. Unlike my noise only being a natural few seconds at a time once or twice here and there occasionally, their noise is constant hours at a time with no change in volume level (ie: Hearing a radio for extended times compared to a short outburst of yelling for a few words and then back to normal tone). But it is ok for them to do it? Besides, this building is horribly insulated with paper thin walls. There is nothing between the downstairs and upstairs except thin wooden planks and the very thin floor tiling or carpet, so even normal tone conversations can be heard throughout the entire building and passed off as yelling. In fact, the childish stomper upstairs cries every time a noise is made whether it is water from the shower being turned on, a motorcycle being started and revved up from someone up the street, the sound of our car door being shut, the vacuum cleaner running, or even flushing the toilet, every day normal things.
Tonight my mom and I were outside on our porch discussing the eviction notice with each other. The neighbor upstairs who stomps all night, the one that cried to the Landlord, comes out and uses some pretty insulting words. Basically he is bullying us. He threatened to come down here and beat us up and told my mom to go molest her son again and said he has us on recording. He had also mentioned the recording he gave to the Landlord that he was the one pounding and stomping but it was our voices heard. That goes to show that we are being kicked out for something he did. Later on around 10pm, the neighbors were bringing guests over to party. Illegal drugs could be smelled and they were being very loud and noisy, so the police were called at 10:03pm, and the Landlord was contacted as well. I could not understand the Landlord and never can (he has throat cancer with a hole in throat and can't really talk), just wanted to let him know of the situation since we were evicted for the same noise issue. It took the police 27 minutes to show up (at 10:30pm), just 4 blocks away. The police just asked the druggies if they were smoking "wacky tobacco" again and the response was no, of course. Who would confess to officers of a crime? So the police leave as usual.
Furthermore, I feel unsafe and feel my life is threatened from the partying neighbors. I was assaulted with a deadly weapon back in March 2012 by someone. The tenants here are always having this offender come over to their parties. I have a protection order against the person in question that the local police refuse to enforce and say there is nothing they can do and the Landlord doesn't care either. He violates the protection order and makes sexual gestures at me every time, calls us things like cop calling snitches, and says the judge told him we're at fault for being narks. I could honestly believe the judge here would say something like that, wouldn't surprise me and wouldn't be the first.
I feel we are being wrongfully evicted for noise. If we get evicted, everyone else in this apartment complex should be evicted for the noise as well or neither of us get evicted. What goes for one should go for all.
The fact that the building is also not up to code should be noted as well. There is only one thermostat for the 4 apartments to control the heat. One apartment has control over all other apartments. There is only 1 hot water tank to handle 4 apartments plus laundry appliances in the basement. There is no fire escape for the apartments. The upstairs porch or balcony has railings that aren't very stable. One just has to very lightly lean on it and it will break. The electric breaker switches are on the outside with public access. There is nothing to stop anyone from opening up the breaker box and turning off any one of these apartments' electric.
Also, the Landlord provides different rules everytime someone is moving in. We weren't given any lease or anything. We were told that it could only be my mom, the dog, and myself. We are aware that one tenant was informed that they couldn't have any pets. We are aware that the partying tenants were informed at one point after complaints that he could no longer have anyone else in his apartment living with him, only him, and could not have parties anymore. Still does and still brings homeless friends in to live with him. We are also aware of another tenant being told he couldn't have pets but had an exception made since he made a false claim saying he had a disability dog due to seizures. The Landlord had also charged different rent rates to newer tenants. One was told the price was $400 while others (us) were told $385. He just recently increased our rent around 7 months ago to $400. This is fine, but I'm just disappointed that he would charge the others a higher rate while we were paying a lower one. That isn't equal opportunity. People were charged the $400 for 3 years before ours was increased.
Additionally, when the Landlord came today he said that he had to deal with the complaints from these neighbors for 3 years. That is false because they have only been living here for about 1 year and we have been here for 5 years with no problems until the thieves and partiers came. If we were that bad, then why was there no eviction or request to keep the noise down 3 years ago? Because there was nothing wrong. My neighbors are all against us because they're all into theft, illegal drugs, and partying while we're not. They can't act out illegally with us here. If the police had done their job, neither of the other tenants would be on this side of a jail cell to be able to make complaints anyway.
Heck, when we had trouble of the neighbors stealing our cable by putting a splitter in and running a line to their apartment the police always said we have to contact the landlord and the cable company. The cable company was refused access by the thieves and said we had to contact the landlord and police. The landlord wouldn't do crap. The police wouldn't do crap. The cable company wouldn't do crap. My service that ** I ** paid $140 for was being interrupted by their theft. I have to constantly wait by the mailboxes for the mail to come so it won't get stolen. I have to constantly watch my vehicle so they don't mess with it. I have to constantly be home to make sure they don't break in or steal my stuff. I have to constantly stay inside and avoid enjoying the outdoors due to fear for my life because nobody is doing their job. I have to constantly whisper to avoid having every conversation in my own home being tape recorded by a criminal who has no reason to be recording other than to be nosey (stalking, invasion of privacy, etc) so he can share my life with the public at the downtown McDonalds every morning. Everytime he threatens my life, saying he's going to come down here and beat the hell out of me or wait until he catches us outside and see what he doesn't do to us. The police just say that isn't a threat as he didn't actually come down and do anything. Really? The last I checked, a threat is an expression or statement of intention to cause bodily harm, injury, or damage. When they actually come and do something it is an ACTION. I suppose someone should inform police who arrest school students for making threats that it isn't a threat until they actually do it. The police are fully aware of the history of our neighbors and their recent crimes but still nothing they can do about anything and one said they can't reference the past criminal charges with future ones. So I guess there is no increase in punishment severity if one is a repeat offender? The last I saw, there have been people going to jail for 14 days on the first offense, 30 days the next time, etc.. Some people get it and some don't?
My mother and I are both not physically capable of moving. I have severe chronic back pain and she has severe asthma, COPD, and breathing problems. I am also not mentally capable of moving as I suffer from tourette syndrome, ADHD, severe anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and depression. And we certainly aren't financially capable of going anywhere else.
What are my options to fight this? I would hope something free or that can obtain income based assistance. We can barely afford our living now let alone the additional cost of lawyers for something that was wrong.
Note: I am able to acquire full documentation on my disabilities from professional expert specialists (psychologist, back specialist doctor, Ohio Bureau of Rehabilitation Services Commission (BVR/RSC), Stark State College Disability Office/Program, Creative Rehab, etc). As you can see, I am even seeking assistance to deal with and resolve my disabilities so it isn't like I'm not trying to fix anything. We also have some neighbors who even say that we aren't the problem and these other tenants in this apartment building are the problem.