Please read the whole thing. Sorry, its too long but I have explained as much as I can.
I am a 25 yr old Indian female and I reside in an apartment [1HK] in Mumbai (2nd floor) along with my father of 66 yrs old who is a Parkinson's patient (parkinson affects something like this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPCQCjpDrB0
). We are living in this building since it is built i.e from 1992 etc. Close to 2(+) years back a tenant moved in the flat upstairs (3rd floor). Initially, the guy was alone (anyway we didn't pay much attention) but at night at 10 PM and all we used to hear hammering like sounds. It was from the house above because I can surely differentiate between a sound coming from afar and sound coming from upstair flat. I assumed he might be a single and cooking and stuff. Later on after few weeks I could hear hammering sounds.Even then we ignored. He was later on joined by his wife and a small kid(less than 2 years for sure as of today) as well. As time progressed, we observed that the sounds (sometimes hammering, sometimes banging heavy stuff, sometimes dragging of heavy objects) kept occurring at day times as well (Maybe when the tenant was in the house, upto now we weren't really paying much attention). I am in my office from around (but not fixed) to 12 noon to 8-9 P.M and my dad is alone in the house. I think this went on for many months and we just ignored. When I used to come from office I used to hear it too and it was very disturbing.
There has been leakage issue in my bathroom ceiling from this same above flat for many years and for that I wanted the owner's number for discussion. So I approached the tenants and while I was asking about this I also asked his wife that I keep hearing hammering etc. sounds from your flat. Her first reaction was even I hear sounds from above like someone is dancing and all. I told her in that case we can both approach the house above(4th floor) and ask them politely to be careful since it's causing us disturbance.She said she will think over it.Now that I recollect, that was really dumb of me to think that the sound disturbing us is from the 4th floor. Anyway, I left it at it and she told me that her husband will keep the number ready since she doesn't have it. Now the noise and all kept happening as usual and we kept ignoring (or so I thought, but they were actually slowly making us disturbed) . The next weekend I was sleeping at 3-4 and I heard hammering sounds, woke up and realised I had yet to take the owner's number, so I went to them. They were not there but his/her parents were(they don't reside there but had come for few days) the mother obviously had no clue about the owner's number. I asked her that I hear hammering sounds from the room if you are doing anything please keep enough padding so as to not to disturb us. She brought a big block of jaggery which her husband was hammering (I noticed him when she brought the jaggery) and said it is because of this. I again politely asked her to pad and carry on. Next weekend, I meet the husband(tenant) and he gives me the owner's number.I ask him about the sounds too and he says he doesn't know about it.His wife says whatever she used to hear has stopped.I inform them that I still hear whatever I used to.
Weeks passed by, I used to come at home and my father used to complain everyday about all this hammering/dragging/heavy walking. Initially, I used to console him saying they might be leaving in some months etc. The couples say that they work as nurse and go for work early, leaving the child for babysitting. But, I have observed many times that they are there even till 11 AM n all. Of course it is their own life and I cannot say anything about it. The wife usually is back in noon. I called up the owner after 1-2 weeks to complain about all this sound, I think I had approached the secretary/chairperson who had suggested me to do this. The owner was like we can't do anything. It's their floor they can do whatever they want. She was absolutely adamant and ketp saying daily chores make noise.I was like daily chores don't need hammering,dragging etc. And anyway I hear daily chore sounds as well.But, she was adamant that they can do as they please. The tenant even asked me to come up immediately the next time I hear the sound. I did that a couple of times, and I think they realised what was casuing the issue. But, even then they were adamant that we don;t do anything. After some more confrontations he started saying that daily chores make sound and he cannot avoid it. He even asked me to not come and disturb him(as if I enjoyed doing it) Now, these dsiturbances kept happening and one fine day I realised my father was getting confused by sounds coming from far as that coming from upstairs too. His Parkinson's symptoms(its a neurological disorder particularly characterised by uncontrollable movements of the hands etc. but it has other symptoms too) had increased because of all this. Aprt from this, He used to feel a motor is running upstairs. I was scared so I approached them again to please take care not to disturb us. They didn't stop.
I even submitted a written complaint to the society about this. A face to face discussion was held between the owner, tenant, us and the chairperson. As expected the owner justified the tenant infact she kind of encouraged them to go ahead and do whatever they want. So all these efforts bore no fruit.
In the meanwhile, my father used to feel(altered perception) they are having some shady business and he approached the chairperson who stays in front of us. Sometimes, it so happened that my father used to tell the chairperson that he can hear motor sounds and to go and see what they are doing and the door used to be locked. It might be father's auditory confusion. Even at 2-3 at night he used to feel there is a motor sound. He has never ever suffered from anything of this sort. Also, he was fully aware of other things finance etc. The chairperson approached the tenant asking them if they do all that sort of noise. Of course he denied and he thought we have something against him since my dad told him I hear your motor sounds at night as well. Because of all the stress by this his parkinson's worsened. He had increase in physical symptoms. He used to feel prickling and all which is observed by many parkinson patients. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/info/parkinsons-disease/symptoms-of-parkinsons-disease.php
. Some patients also feel internal trembling i.e. they feel the legs tremble they have a real sensation but for an outsider the legs are not moving. My father was even more confused and he used to feel they have some involvement in this(via electromagnetic field affecting his body). He had even told the same to the chairperson. I agree he was in a state of confusion back then and his parkinsons motor symptoms had increased, but I don't have any such issues and being a adult my word can surely be taken into account regarding their disturbances, if not his.
Once again, I approached the tenants asking them to consider and even told them that my father is having troubles because of all this. He started (in a mocking way) telling me that your father hears sounds at 2-3 as well. We don't do anything. It's all in your father's head.I was very angry at this because I have myself heard all the disturbance they create.He even asked me to record the sound in my phone and show him as a proof that it is not in our head. (All this happened in Oct/Nov/Dec 2015). I was shattered completely as on one hand my father's health was of major concern and all this on the other hand.As usual, the owner blindly sided and justified him. My father had an upgrade on his Parkinson's medication. As my father's health was of utmost priority to me, I had to take 1 week leave from office to be with him. Infact, it had become impossible to stay in this house since even if my father had to recover these people would continue to make all this noise. I started looking for places to stay on rent. Imagine my plight when I despite having a house have been brought into a situation where I have to look for house on rent because of adamant tenants upstairs.
The secretary was least concerned about all this. She had only seen the episodes where my father used to say he heard sounds despite the door being locked and assumed my father was mentally ill from the beginning. Infact, it all happened because of these people's irritating activities. The chairperson kept dilly-dallying sometimes agreeing with us sometimes not. I myself had got very tense and worried because of which one day I observed that the tenant had placed the Dish TV on the window grill instead of the terrace. I may be wrong in my assumption but I was so scared at that time about my father's health that I thought maybe a defect in the waves migth be affecting his health. In desperation, I went to ask the tenants if he can shift it on the terrace. As usual he thought, I have something against him. Mine was a humble request to him, like a straw to someone drowning. He told me to call a technician and do it and pay from my own pocket. I agreed. Then he said that make sure the signals are clear. I said obviously. Then he again started(mockingly) that first your father said he hears sounds, now you have come demanding this. I got very angry because when I approached him about this DishTv, not even once did I mention about all the hammering and stuff because I realised they are not going to do anything about it even though they were still doing it. My priority was my father's health. I got angry and raised my voice. I said if anything happens to my father you will be responsible. Their neigbour (the secretary) opened the door to see what is happening and as I was explaining to her he slammed the door on my face. He has done this previously as well. I used to talk to him and he used to be like 'we don't do it' and slam the door on my face. In a fit of anger, I gave a slight kick from my toe on his outside door (metallic door outside wooden). He had anyway closed the door both inner and the outer was never opened. I didn't do it to injure anyone or anything just venting out the frustation. The neighbours saw this and were horrified apart from that they didn;t do anything to intervene and help. She just said that they are good people and come after a long day at work and are tired and won't hammer and all. I said I never told they are bad or anything. I am just begging them to co-operate. She obviously cnanot know what is transpiring in the opposite house. She asked me to cool down and did nothing after that ( there is almost 4-5 feet distnace between rooms on each floor in our wing and the face directly to each other. No sharing of walls except with the other wing. My house is on extreme end of building so we dont share walls with anyone and same goes with the 3rd floor and above).
My father's relatives live in his native place and some of my (late)mother's relatives live in mumbai. Some of them ( 1 uncle+2 cousins) decided to ask the chairperson about it. The chairperson told flatly that they have a small kid and they may want to make food for the kid at night and that's why you are hearing noises at night. I was shocked by the reply and even more shocked when he suggested us to do some paranormal cleansing of the house. Since, my dad used to complain about prickling, crawling, trembling etc. (parkinson symptoms) he attributed those to paranormal activities. In short, the actual topic was completely skewed and the society basically washed their hands off the entire matter. Because of some constraints we were unable to move out on rent (despite having our own house). My father used to have several sleepless nights and used to feel very panicky indoors at 4 AM and all. I had to stay awake all night monitoring him. We had to go out for a walk as early as 4.A.M. (which is highly unsafe) because he used to feel panicky indoors which can make us understand the mental impact this issue had created on him. So much just because, the tenants didn't feel we were justified in asking them to be more considerate.
After the last confrontation between the owner and the tenant and me, the tenant informed us that they are going on vacation and will return in January
end or something. I remember that during that time we didn't have any issues abt this noise and all. When they came back everything started again. But, I did notice that their relatives used to come to their house spend 1/2 hour - 1 hr or so and then leave. Basically, the house wasn't really completely closed when they were on a vacation. When they returned a new pattern emerged, they used to hammer/bang at 6.30 - 7.00 in the morning and because of which I used to be jolted from my sleep. Sometimes, I used to wake up and not realise what happened and then hear the sound and realise why I woke up. From my society details I came to know their final date is 19th Feb 2016 (It was a 2 year contract). Since, it was matter of few days, I was really hopeful they will leave.
On 14 Feb 2016, thw owner had come for some other society related work and was talking to chairperson who lives opposite us. He asked the owner what she is planning to do she was like I am not removing them for their issue (pointing to our door). So I opened the door and asked her if plans to do anything since I have requested her so many times. She was ignoring me as I spoke as if I am some mad person babbling and turned her back against me and continued talking to the chairperson. I asked her repeatedly in a polite manner and she said if you are psychos doesn't mean we all are psychos. In all my interactions with the tenant, he repeatedly challenged me to go to the police and lodge a complaint and not bother him. I didn't want to increase the issue hence I avoided. However, this time I was very angry and hence I went to the police to lodge a complaint.
I explained the officer in duty entire story in short even the part where my father was confused. I even made him listen to the recording. It is clear enough when heard via headphones and speaker on the ear. Otherwise it can;t be heard because I recorded on my cellphone and not some costly recorder. I recorded it from my house basically around 5 feet below the ceiling. Its difficult to catch the actual experience in it. He sent another officer(constable) with me to fetch the tenant. When the police arrived at his home he called the owner (she lives nearby) by phone and she made a big ruckus about not coming to the police station. The officer was understanding so he handled the matter nicely. In the police station, as usual the owner started the usual story of my father getting confused and crazy. When I said that even I am crazy or what? she was like who knows maybe you are. She tried to miscontrue our statements - my dad had said 'do you guys do some karkana ka dhanda upstairs that you make so much noise?' - she removed the word 'karkhana' ( basically small home style factory) from the statement and said that we said it - which in local language means we accused them of dhanda (prostituition), which we didn;t of course. She told that cooking and all makes noise. I don;t understand what kind of cooking needs hammering and dragging etc for 1 hour+ sometimes. Not continuous 1 hour but intermittently in that period. Basically, they justify themselved hook or by crook. First they say we don;t do, produce proof and then they say household chores. This is not the first time some tenant is living upstairs prior to them a family of 5 (3 college going daughter + couple) used to stay( and even before them single boys had stayed) and we never had any issues. She also brought her very old mother to the police station(I have never even met her and she probably didnt even know the whole story) unecessarily. She told me that I am a psycho since I record the sounds. Now, this was very funny because when initially I used to tell her about the sounds, they (owner+tenant) told me please record and get it. So I did and now she is calling me a pyscho for doing it. Another thing is they ask for exact times. She asked me when did it happen today. It had happened between 6.30 -7.30 something but I wasn't sure about the timing. So I said 7 something the tenant was like we were not there at home etc. You guys just keep telling us we don;t do. There have been so many times when there is noise and they are there too what about that? Then they changed the tune and said that maybe the child plays with the doll and that is the sound. The child is barely 1 feet high and the last time I saw couldn't even talk and they say such a child playing with a doll (which is surely not hard material) is causing so much sound? I am not talking only about morning ones, infact even other hours of the day it happens and apart from that the usual rumbling and loud walking is there. Surely, the child doesn't do that and when they had gone on a vacation, intially the wife and child had gone and the man was alone for some days. Even then there used to be noise sometime surely he must not be playing with dolls then.
The officer heard the entire matter but then these guys started telling things like my dad being crazy and all and they appear as decent people(which even I thought initially) the officer told us that since there is no offence anywhere and there is no proof about it I can't lodge a complaint. In the short span of 1 min(in entire 5 min story) it was difficult to explain what is parkinson disease and the officer felt maybe it migth be a mental disease (which it is not). So he also advised us to get my father treated (he is on treatment for parkinson since 2011) and said he cannot lodge a complaint as our case is weak. He told me to get a photo if possible, I said wouldn;t it amount to me trespassing in their house? What if I am charged with spying. He was like what you say is true but I can't lodge a complaint just like this. He said if we bring other neighbours as witness he can do it. But then since the sound is not fixed I can't call the neighbour immediately. When we call him it might be a soft sound and he will think we are making a fuss for that. He has shown tendency to go back on his words at times. He appears as if he agrees with us but when owner arrives he starts saying yes happens even some other houses sounds happen etc. So I cannot rely on him, he will probably highlight my dad;s confusion period too. This was a very painful thing for me because their activities are sometimes random.Today its banging, tomorrow hammering, sometimes slow sometimes fast, sometimes thumping sometimes for 1 min sometimes less, sometimes frequenty in 1 hour etc sometimes in longer spans. We came home from police station and that day(2016-March-14) there was silence, no all these noises. Then again on Monday and Tuesday slight rumbling sounds were heard. Wednesday slight hammering started in smaller chunks ( hit 1-2 den stop fr 2 sec hit again ). Then again a new trend started, in the morning instead of hammering very loud banging used to happen. This is not a sharp banging sound but something like heavy object on a wider surface area kind of banging. More of a bass effect like banging I can say. It jolts you because it is like someone banging somethign on your head. On 25th Feb So I spoke to my chairperson on chat again(was very tired of going to him personally again and again) he asked me to approach the police station again. I asked him why society wasn't doing anything he didn't reply. And just couple of days back the tenant was discussing something with him and in the end he asked the chairperson if we still have issues. Instead of making use of the opportnity, he said he is not aware about what is going on about us currently (Even though I just told him my complain 10 days back).
Now I need to know these things,
1. What are my legal options?
1. Liability of society in this matter? What does the law say? They keep saying my father used to be confused etc. but what about me? I have myself experienced it and I know how disturbing it is.
2. It is clearly mentioned in their rent agreement that incase they cause issues to the society they can be removed. But our society is not doing anything, so I don't know where to go.
3. What are the hindrances in this for me? My dad's confusion can be a problem but isn't my statement sufficient?
4. The problem is the person doesn't understand he is living in an apartment building and not some ground floor or a bungalow where he can do all sort of things on the floor without disturbing anyone on his own will.
5. What can I get as a proof?
My problem with direct confrontation is these people might trouble my father in daytime with the noise when I am in my office. Since, my father has confusion issues sometimes they will sweep all the noise complaints under it. Note that it is just the sound direction confusion bascially he is 100% fit otherwise regarding finance etc. I am clueless what to do. Even today as I write they made some hammering etc at 10.45 PM. I don't even know if they do it in the day. Since past 1 week + the tenant is at home (contrary to him going to work) so I am scared they might be disturbing whole day and since my dad might be confused I can't confirm this. the tenant always takes this matter mockingly I don't understand why he just doesn't get it. He feels my dad had this confusion issue since long. When the truth is it happened after their matter started. So much trouble in my life all because some people don;t understand how to live and let live.