Q As I write this to you in my apartment, I am listening to another tenant's music. I live on the first floor and the moron lives on the third floor, and this is not the first time they have done this.
I've talked to them, and it does no good. I have asked my landlord to tell them to keep the music in their own apartment, but that doesn't accomplish much. I have called the police, but that works only for a couple of days.
I can't afford to move to a new place, but I don't feel I should be stuck listening to their music, either. Is there anything else I can do to get the moron to understand that he can't play his music in my apartment unless he is paying my rent?
A Every tenant has the right to quiet enjoyment and to live in a habitable unit. It's difficult when the noise problem is coming from another tenant in the building, because that tenant also has his or her own right to play music. There are city ordinances against noise pollution, but music coming from another apartment's stereo inside an apartment building doesn't always qualify, and as you have seen, is hard to stop.
I suggest that you speak to your landlord again, but this time see if you can be moved to another unit within the building, where the music cannot be heard. I also suggest finding out if other tenants are unhappy about the noise. Then maybe you and the other tenants could speak with the "music lover" to see if he/she could play music during a certain time period every day or at least keep the volume down.
You could try to file a rent escrow action, requesting that the landlord take action against the other tenant. Unfortunately, courts often won't get involved in a spat between tenants, so I don't think that is a viable option. However, a rent escrow action may get your landlord's attention.Lost certificate of rent paid
Q My grandmother rents and was provided with a certificate of rent paid (CRP) from her landlord a couple of weeks ago. She gets confused and lost the CRP form. I do her taxes for her and I asked the landlord for a new copy of the CRP. He wanted $50 to provide a new copy. My grandmother is on a very limited income and this is a significant amount of money for her.
Can a landlord lawfully charge for an additionally copy of the CRP?
A There is really no law governing the amount a landlord can charge for an additional copy of your CRP form, other than the law of reasonableness, which the landlord seems to have violated at $50 per copy.
Your grandmother can obtain a blank form, or contact the Minnesota Department of Revenue, or have a completed form sent to her by the department. You can obtain a blank form in the mail by contacting Minnesota Revenue at 651-296-3781 or 1-800-652-9094, or let them know the property address and they will investigate and make sure that you obtain a completed form.
The Department of Revenue can also be reached by writing to Minnesota Revenue, Mail Station 5510, St. Paul, MN 55146-5510. My suggestion is to tell the landlord that you can get a copy from the Department of Revenue, after they look into the problem, or the landlord can send you a free copy. My guess is the landlord will send a copy to you very quickly.
Kelly Klein is a Minneapolis attorney. Do not rely on advice in this column regarding a legal situation until you consult a qualified attorney; information provided by readers is not confidential; participation in this column does not create an attorney/client relationship, and no such relationship is created without a retainer agreement with Klein. If you have questions concerning renting, you can e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org, post your questions at www.startribune.com/kellyklein or write in care of Star Tribune, 425 Portland Av. S., Minneapolis, MN 55488.