House Calls: Quiet Enjoyment
Dear Edith: Recently, a man with a toddler moved into the apartment next door to me, and since then, I haven't had any peace. I've tried to be understanding, but the plain fact is I don't want to live next door to this noisy kid and I was here first. Do I have any rights in this situation? -- S.
Answer: You can certainly make a fuss to your landlord. I'm not sure there's much he or she could do, though. Except for designated senior residences, landlords are not allowed to discriminate against tenants on the basis of children.
Perhaps you have an artistic quilt or rug you could hang as a decoration on the adjoining wall to deaden some of the noise. Beyond that, it's either live with it or move.
You didn't say whether you're bound by a lease. A lawyer might have advice about whether your not receiving "quiet enjoyment" would justify breaking a lease without any penalty.
Edith: We need your opinion/advice/wisdom on the following dilemma: We have been working with a Realtor for the past year to help us find a smaller home. He has been terrific and attentive. Recently, our nephew joined another real estate company and is now selling real estate. We feel that we should stick with the person who has spent so much time with us. On the other hand, a family member is a family member. The sale and purchase will be a substantial amount. In your experience, which way should we go? -- X. X.
Answer: You do have a dilemma there, and there's no simple answer. You might stick with that terrific agent to find your next home and then, when it's time to sell that home, list it with your nephew.
At that point, you might even explore the possibility of co-listing it. If both brokerage firms are willing, it is possible for two agents to share the marketing and the commission. That way, you'd have the benefit of experienced service, and your nephew might learn something along the way.
Ms. Lank: To settle my grandfather's estate, the lawyer says I need to get an appraisal of his house. Can't we just use the tax assessment figure? -- P. I.