What is the name of your state? CA
My wife and I (both work 12 hour days, as in we're not home all that often) have lived in an apartment complex for past 3+ years with no complaint either by or against us during that time. 3 months ago a group of people moved in downstairs from us. The type of people who you can guess that trouble was coming. The first day they moved in they complained about me and my wife banging at 4am. The front office called us and I responded that I have no idea what they mean because no one was up at that time.
Over the next couple of weeks they began slamming doors at all hours (waking us up at 3am, 4am) and yelling profanities at eachother. The front office called us to say that the new neighbors called us to say that we're slamming doors. I laughed and said that maybe it's another adjoining unit since I was going to call about it too. More yelling, slamming follow over several weeks. Another call or two against us by them and I state that it's them that are causing the noise. I recommend the front office ask adjacent neighbors if they need to clarify.
In the meantime, one of their friends begins to stand outside the front entrance and intimidatingly stare at both of us as we enter our unit. By the looks of them we decide that don't want to start any grudge match.
We casually speak with neighbors in 2 other adjoining units. They share the exact same complaints as us. In fact, they get woken up more often than us because of the unit layouts. They tell us that they have mentioned to the front office but they both have small chidren and they fear for safety if they increase the stakes. I don't blame them. More noise, drug use, intimidation, and banging on our floors ensues.
My wife and I make a formal appointment with the front office to discuss our fear of safety and intimdation going on. They state that there's nothing they can do because downstairs has complained about us. I'm told that the downstairs people have said that we have told them that we will get them kicked out because of how they look. Neither of us have said a word to them, ever. The office manager says that they've received no complaint from adjacent neighbors so it's one vs. the other. I relay the fear of safety and they advise us to get written anonymous letters from them. I decline because if they want to stay out that's their choice. I don't want to drag anyone else into this beyond what they feel safe doing.
Three days ago, the downstairs people begin shouting and swearing absurd comments to me about being too old to have kids, etc. I'm 33. LOL. This goes on for 10 minutes after I walk by them without a word from me. I decide that enough is enough, a letter got written to the front office and HQ explaining that this harassment is in violation of our lease and we want out on our terms.
Next day, they bang on our floors and then an hour later the police show up on our door saying that they've complained about us banging. Unreal. We speak to the police for 30 minutes about it and they're very understanding but couldn't do much. They recommend we call them if need be. I fire off another letter about this.
So. After all the drama, here's my question. A residence free from harassment, disturbance and noise are specific entitlements according to our lease. After complaining about all three with no effort on the owner's part to stop it ("it's them vs you"), we feel that we're entitled to remittance of rent for 3 months in addition to moving expenses. Prior to this we had no plans to leave when our lease was up in January. Today I requested this in writing and I received verbal notice that they wil not comply. They do agree to let us out of our lease one month early (end of Nov) but that's it. We have found a place and will move in mid Nov.
I have to admit that we've been outsmarted by the neighbors. By complaining about us and lying about us saying we'll get them kicked out, any complaint we then have becomes suspect. We had no idea what we were dealing with and we didn't want to turn the whole place into a gangster war.
I appreciate any advice.