I have a tenant that reminds me of all my passive aggressive ex-boyfriends combined.

It goes without saying but let me say it anyhow- he really pushes my buttons. I try to be professional and compassionate. He is struggling with health issues which combined with his medications exacerbate what I find to be his normal proclivity towards being a drama queen. Most days he’s harmless and we go about our business but then something shifts and when it does? It’s like a torrential down-pouring of shit and I am without an umbrella.

He plays his music loud. REALLY LOUD.  As in I am standing on the corner outside the building and I can hear it. As in I knocked on his door one night for three minutes straight and he could not hear me until I yelled his name. The music was that loud. No one else in the building has a consistent noise problem. There really is no need to play music so loudly that it can be heard from the street. Not if you are a singer or you had a bad day or you really love the song. You live in an apartment building and there are rules and neighbors.

Right now I am trying to rent the apartment above him. This is by far the hardest apartment I have had to rent in my year of being an apartment manager- and it’s a sweet, one bedroom, corner unit with great light. I had one guy come look at it who works from home. That will absolutely not work. I need someone who is not home a lot and who owns a lot of rugs to block out sounds. And see? I’m going out of my way to try to mediate a situation that hasn’t even happened yet because history is doomed to repeat itself where this tenant is concerned. I’ve been trying to work out the noise issues between both apartments since I moved in and frankly, it’s exhausting. There are 28 units in this building and only two have this on-going drama that I have to mediate.

It is ridiculous.

I am fed up.

Oh! But there is more. . . He does things like- uses his own money to buy flowers for the entryway. In most circumstances this would be seen as nice except he’ll take them away when he’s pissed off about something. Like this week he is mad that he is being written up for his outrageously loud music, so, gone are the flowers.

Folks, this is what we call passive aggressive behavior. (Exhibit A)

He leaves me these messages that go on and on and on to the point that 75% of them are cut off because he’s over the allotted time limit. I don’t know from day to day if he will be pleasant or a bitchy. In his messages he will go on about some pleasantry or other and then slip in barbs. Like the message I received last night which had a few doozies. Apparently when we were looking in his file the other day he saw that there were greeting cards in there. He sometimes leaves thank you cards which I think is really sweet. I am personally a fan of mail and after displaying them for a time, I tuck them away in a keepsake box. He assumed that the cards in the file were from him to me and in his message asked me to rip them up, not put them in a file and stated he would not be giving me cards anymore. (Exhibit B)

That really puts the ass in assume, doesn’t it?

The kicker? Those were cards he gave to the former managers that were in the file when I took over. But yeah, don’t bother asking me that or anything. So he takes away his nicety because I have somehow wronged him. Again.

Here’s the thing: I don’t give a shit if he puts flowers in the entryway or gives me a thank you card. Sure, it’s lovely but NO ONE ASKED HIM TO DO IT so he does not get to lord it over me like he went out of his way to be nice. That is not being nice! That is being passive aggressive!

It is making me aaaaaaaannnnnnnnggggggggrrrrrryyyy.

It is not the end of the world that he has to turn his music down to a respectable level and abide by the rules that every other tenant does. If I let him get away with it, then other people will think it is okay. This is a quiet building and I want to keep it that way.
I am not an un-compassionate person but just because someone is sick or home all day does not mean you get special rules to live by in my book. My job is to ensure ALL tenants of my building are happy renters, not one who wants special treatment.

42 thoughts on “Volume

  1. I’m moving into a 68 unit condo building in April and it’s situations like this that have me a little concerned. I haven’t lived in an apartment building in over 7 years and I really don’t want to deal with other people’s rudeness when I come home. I could think of a few passive aggressive things you can do in return, but that’s just bad karma…

  2. You are much more patient and accommodating than me. Which is no surprise.
    But rules are rules and that guy is out of line pushing them like that. He’s acting like a child, if treat him like one.

  3. Aren’t there noise ordinance laws in WA? You’re much nicer than I am. I’d print out the law and write “First warning of three before eviction process is started” and slip it under his door or something. You have to turn away what could potentially be a GREAT tenant because of someone doing something illegal? Or at least, un-neighborly?

  4. i am consistently amazed at your level of patience around this. really. and you know how well i know you. you are an uber trooper.

  5. is there something in the lease about making changes to the property without prior approval? I think his gardening would fall under that and combined with noise complaints you might have cause for eviction.

  6. Isn’t there some point when you can call the cops in? Not that you want to do that. But, at least in my city, I’m pretty sure there are decibel limits and if people go over them, they deal with city fines and whatnot. If your own mediation isn’t working, call in the higher powers (or just choose not to renew his lease when the time comes).

  7. Not that this is an excuse for his behavior, but if he’s struggling with health issues (mental health?) he might not be “aware” of half of the passive-aggressive things he’s doing.

    That doesn’t necessarily excuse it, but it might explain things a little better.

    It also doesn’t mean you have to stand his playing the music so loudly, but I would cut him some slack otherwise.

  8. I think my former apartment neighbor must have moved into your building. This sounds just like the guy that lived BELOW my apartment. What is it with the music? You are more patient that I am, that’s for sure.

  9. I’d so be finding tiny infractions and writing him up until I could get him out of there. Of course, I’m way more of a bitch than you are. 😉

  10. oh my hell – that would make my head melt

    maybe you need to spell it out for him very clearly – dude, you do not NEED to buy flowers or give me cards. you NEED to keep your music down. asshat.

  11. Wow, what drama. I can’t imagine having him as a neighbor much less being the one who has to enforce the rules. How long as he been in the building?

  12. He sounds like some of the people I work with. Throw a mood stabilizer in his water and call it good.
    I have some serious recommendations but I will email them.

  13. How many notices or warnings has he gotten? Have any other tenants moved out because of him? If so….and I know this sounds mean…..but I would think it’s time for eviction! A home should be a place of sanctuary, a place to go for peace and quiet after a long day at work. Not a place where you have to fight to hear yourself think while being forced to listen to music that one may not particularly enjoy.

    I would be irritated too. Extremely.

  14. How frustrating! I know people like that. People who do nice things for you just so they can take them away when they want to “punish” you. I thought we were adults now and could deal with things with words and talking but I guess some people haven’t gotten there yet.

    I do not understand living in an apartment and turning your music way up. How can anyone think that would be fine?

  15. There really is no excuse for him playing such loud music. As for his passive aggressive behavior, unfortunately some people are like that and perhaps it would be best to brush him off, don’t let him get to you so much.

    The loud music though…seriously unnecessary.

  16. Man, I would be so less patient that you. He sounds like a real drama queen, and personally, I’d be considering one last come to jesus with him, and if that didn’t work, laying out for him very clearly the eviction process. Good luck!

  17. Are you receiving complaints from his neighbors as well? If he’s breakign these rules consistently, do you have grounds to evict? In Hawaii, if they were paying their rent on time, it was pretty difficult to evict someone but as soon as that lease was up…

  18. He sounds like an undiagnosed sociopath. Careful he doesn’t shoot you or any one else in your quiet building. Seems to be going around….

  19. oh man. That just makes my head explode. Ugh.

    He probably should be cut some slack since he has health problems which are stressful and effect behavior simply by being , but I am betting that you already have cut him some slack because of it.

    I think behaving the way you would with any other tenant if they were agressively playing music too loud, and ignore the passive agressive phone call rants. Although, I bet you have to listen to them to make sure there are no pressing issues you must attend to. UGH. Lame!

  20. Seriously, I don’t mean to berate this guy because I don’t know him, but from what I can tell he’s a complete ass. And when he’s not a complete ass he’s just storing up niceties so he can use them against you. I mean, hi, are we in 8th grade? When is enough enough? When does he get his final warning?

    This drives me CRAZY about apartment living. I personally love it, but that’s because I don’t mind noise and smaller spaces, but we also don’t have anyone in our building blasting music so loud you can hear it from the street. If we did, that person would be gone pretty quickly, I think. Apartment living comes with noise, yes, but it also has to come with a hefty amount of respect, as you well know, or it just does not work at all.

    Oh, and passive aggressive behavior? I want to punch it in the face.

  21. Oh my God, talk about drama! No wonder you’re fed up. I so would asked him to move out, but I guess you can’t really do that, right?

  22. Yeah, I agree with whomever said print him out the City Noise Ordinance. If he’s cost the building even one tenant, that should be grounds for eviction right there. I’m about to move into a rental management situation, I think (much smaller scale than yours), and I hope I would have as much patience as you do. But I seriously doubt it.

  23. Oh lord. That is just insane. Is there anything you can do about it? If he is keeping you from renting out an apartment that is a HUGE problem. I would also see those long messages as harassing. That is way too much. You should NOT have to deal with that.

  24. I’m dealing w/ a personality such as his right now at work. Frustrating. I was thinking if he keeps on breaking the rules…can’t U get him outta there? I guess that sounds a bit harsh.

  25. Definitely look at noise bylaws, most cities have limits even during the day.

    In the meantime, you could go out and get your own flowers. Just saying. 😉

  26. i couldn’t do it. i would have served him his walking papers long ago. seriously, i would remind him he’s invited to live there but there are no guarantees in life. he has to make nice with others and if doesn’t want to, he should go and buy a house.

  27. why do annoying people get away with this kind of behaviour for so long? I’d be firm with him or else it’s just going to keep on happening.

  28. If you ever wanted to change professions, mediator comes to mind. This one sounds just a tad off his rocker. Maybe he’ll move out leaving two. Units to rent, but much nicer circumstances all the way around.

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