Ceiling Fan Hum in Apartment

HewnHewn Registered User regular
My girlfriend and I moved into an apartment in Minnesota a few months ago. Our lease ends in 9 months. The neighbors below us have a ceiling fan that creates a distinct humming noise when operating.

This hum is not very loud or easy to measure, but it is akin to the hum of a refrigerator or speaker. Our phones have noise canceling mics, which obviously don't pick it up. You know, the kind of the thing you don't immediately notice, but after days and days of exposure, it slowly becomes intolerable. It is difficult to drown out the noise due to the frequency. We can run fans loudly or wear ear plugs, but that's obviously not a sustainable way to live in your apartment all weekend. Even then, due to the frequency, it can be difficult to mask the hum.

The apartment below us is owned by a different landlord than our landlord. They agreed to meet to hear the noise, and while they could hear it, they felt it was subtle enough that neither was willing to incur any expense to fix it. The fan is also apparently required to be run due to the heating situation in the loft below us. Both claimed they were losing money on their properties (and talked at length about all the fees and such they are getting screwed by) and that they were not willing to invest money to fix an issue they felt was something we could manage with earplugs, fans, or as their landlord stated "meditation exercises." They both were unwilling to spend money on something that is our issue alone and that previous tenants had not heard. Of course, this ignores that the fan is 15 years old and perhaps it's a new issue, but she's convinced the fan is in perfect operation.

My girlfriend is a research scientist with a background in neuroscience, and attempted to present the peer reviewed literature on low frequency noises and the subsequent health impacts, but both turned an ironic deaf ear to this plea. I'm a registered nurse with tinnitus, and I attempted to leverage that this causes more distress with that, but again, no fucks to give. We tried.

So we asked if the fan cannot be fixed, and must be run, then we be released from our lease due to the nuisance it creates for us. However, our landlord is very reluctant to this and basically said he's unwilling to even consider that until the spring. In the meantime, the fan runs, we're being driven crazy by it, and we hate our apartment. We both have appointments with the doctor to for sleep medication and are genuinely anxious to return home and spend time in our humming apartment.

Our options are as follows:
1) Suck it up buttercup.
2) Pay for 100% of repairs ourselves. A new ceiling fan and professional installation could run $500 or more, as the landlord below us will only accept the highest level replacement. That's over half our rent for the studio apartment. This is the simple solution, but feels unethical that we must pay to repair her property.
3) Create a case that this low frequency hum is indeed a nuisance and thus we are not obligated to the terms of our remaining lease.

We genuinely favor option 3, because the way we've been treated is like WE are the nuisance. Our landlord has been very disrespectful, slow to respond, and very defensive, often citing how "above and beyond" he's been regarding this issue. He owns several properties, this one is obviously a loser for him (by his own admission), so we're kind of low on the totem pole. Being met with such resistance and defensive tone, often raising his voice at us like we are children, means we're pretty over negotiations right now. Even if we fix this fan, at our expense, what happens with the next issue down the road?

If anyone can advise us on what we can do, that would be great. Obviously our lease is tremendously landlord friendly, tethering us to obligations for leaving without proper clause. However, we very firmly believe that the low frequency hum is indeed a nuisance and that it is negatively impacting our lives. If this is an impossible fight, what are our rights regarding the noise? How do we proceed appropriately?

TLDR: Neighbors ceiling fan creates low frequency hum driving us slowly insane. It is required to run, even in winter. Landlords saying we must pay for all repairs, as they are unwilling to accommodate issues that only impact us.

Steam: hewn
Warframe: TheBaconDwarf

Posts

  • Skull2185Skull2185 Registered User regular
    I don't know if it would be more expensive than your option 2, but if your girlfriend can provide proof of the negative effects that the humming can have, perhaps a lawyer is in order? They may be able to provide you with a way to get out of the lease.

    Everyone has a price. Throw enough gold around and someone will risk disintegration.
    Smrtnik
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    check with your local tenants association and a lawyer

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
    143999Shadowfirechrishallett83
  • HewnHewn Registered User regular
    Skull2185 wrote: »
    I don't know if it would be more expensive than your option 2, but if your girlfriend can provide proof of the negative effects that the humming can have, perhaps a lawyer is in order? They may be able to provide you with a way to get out of the lease.

    She's absolutely creating a lengthy list of literature. We're both in the research sciences, so this is kind of our thing, fortunately.

    Honestly, if the price is about the same, we'd rather simply leave. At least leaving we have some assurance we won't have to deal with these landlords again, you know? Also, we wouldn't be sinking money into fixing someone else's property.

    But on that point, we are getting in touch with a lawyer. A work colleague heard of our issue and gave us a reference to a lawyer friend of his. He says the fee would be reasonable, so we'll see. I'm not entirely aware of what that cost will be, so it might not be a financially smart option.

    As a bit of extra context, the tenants below us have engaged in parties and loud music repeatedly. Every Friday/Saturday/Sunday the month we moved in. We asked them to stop several times at 2AM, and they didn't. We brought in the landlords into that, too, and eventually things calmed, but it was a very tenuous situation. If everyone was peachy and cooperative, sinking some cash to stay here wouldn't feel all that bad, but given our fight to have rules upheld and their dismissal of our noise issues, it's less appealing.

    I know the easy option is pay up and move on with our lives. That's pretty undesirable, though, given we're going to keeping negotiating leaving ASAP regardless of outcome.

    Steam: hewn
    Warframe: TheBaconDwarf
  • HewnHewn Registered User regular
    bowen wrote: »
    check with your local tenants association and a lawyer

    See, we were not aware this was a thing. Thank you. I found a link on the local city website which lead me to several services which hopefully can help. We're in St. Paul, to be more specific. Here's what was pulled up.

    https://www.stpaul.gov/departments/planning-economic-development/housing/tenant-landlord
    Resources for Tenant/Landlord Issues:
    Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Assistance at 651-222 - 4731 (300 Minnesota Building, St Paul)
    Dispute Resolution Center (DRC) at 651-292 - 7791
    Homeline, a statewide service or at (612) 728 - 5767.
    Minnesota Attorney General’s consumer line at 651-296 - 3353.
    Receive a free booklet which spells out the law in simple terms.

    I guess I'll hit up the first three tomorrow! See what they say.

    Steam: hewn
    Warframe: TheBaconDwarf
    bowenSkull2185zepherinchrishallett83
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Good luck!

    If you're an especially annoying pain in the ass he'll likely let you walk, but this kind of stuff takes several months.

    Have you tried drowning out the hum with some white noise generators or something with some bass?

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • Skull2185Skull2185 Registered User regular
    Awesome! Those should help greatly!

    Thought that last one said "Receive a free booklet of spells" which was like... woah... last resort I guess!

    Everyone has a price. Throw enough gold around and someone will risk disintegration.
  • JusticeJustice Registered User regular
    I would certainly read your lease closely and have a legal aid lawyer let you know what provisions might be unenforceable and whether there are any holes you could use to get out of the lease. But it might be less psychically consuming to see if you can strike a halvsies deal with the other landlord to replace the fan. After all, she gets a new fucking fan out of the deal.

    Also, anticipate your landlord being a dick about the security deposit, so take careful photos of the apt to dispute any claims.

  • FoomyFoomy Registered User regular
    Does your lease specify that this fan must be run 24/7? Unless your lease says something about having to run it I would just turn it off.

    Steam Profile: FoomyFooms
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Oh.

    If this fan is in your unit, yeah, just turn it off.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • CauldCauld Registered User regular
    Perhaps just talk to the tenant below about turning off the fan when its not needed. Maybe even offer to buy a standing fan for them if they really just want a fan or whatever.

  • BasarBasar IstanbulRegistered User regular
    The fan is in the unit below them.

    Do not pay for someone's broken fan because they are being a dick and want you to suck it up.

    1. Find out if you are eligible for legal aid. I am not sure how it works in the US.
    2. Get them to draft 2 letters.
    a) One for the owner of the unit below you, presenting why its their obligation to fix the nuisance, for example as it may present danger to the tenants due to mechanical failure. Trust me, lawyers will find a way to word that properly.
    b) One for your landlord as s/he clearly has no idea about how unnatural sounds can seriously affect one's well being, especially at home where they rest and sleep.
    3. You sound like a reasonable person, don't let them take advantage of that.

    Good luck.

    i live in a country with a batshit crazy president and no, english is not my first language

    143999bowenHewnBouwsTchrishallett83
  • tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    Is it possible for the tenant below to live without the fan for a couple weeks? Fans in rental units are generally pretty poorly made, perhaps it could suffer a 'mechanical failure' and need to be replaced.

    How do you spell Justice?B D S Non-Violent Resistance to Israel Apartheid & Occupation.
  • HewnHewn Registered User regular
    edited December 2016
    Quick hit info:
    1) Fan is in the unit below us. The landlord claims it MUST be run to distribute the heat. There's reasons she cited, so OK, just run with the idea the fan MUST be run, because that's what I'm told.
    2) The landlord of the unit below us is in fact a lawyer. Fun, right?
    Justice wrote: »
    I would certainly read your lease closely and have a legal aid lawyer let you know what provisions might be unenforceable and whether there are any holes you could use to get out of the lease. But it might be less psychically consuming to see if you can strike a halvsies deal with the other landlord to replace the fan. After all, she gets a new fucking fan out of the deal.

    The only "out" here is if we can establish it's a nuisance, thus violating our right to a nuisance free environment. The landlords, both of which don't want to pay for repairs, feel it's not a nuisance. Obviously I think they are biased, because admitting it's a problem or nuisance would cost one or both of them money.

    We told our landlord we could give him 2 months to find a new tenant, we'd happily arrange to show the place, and be responsible for returning it to the exact condition we got it in so he didn't need to do any maintenance between tenants. He's not agreeable to this due to winter rental leases being undesirable for him financially.
    Basar wrote: »
    The fan is in the unit below them.

    Do not pay for someone's broken fan because they are being a dick and want you to suck it up.

    1. Find out if you are eligible for legal aid. I am not sure how it works in the US.
    2. Get them to draft 2 letters.
    a) One for the owner of the unit below you, presenting why its their obligation to fix the nuisance, for example as it may present danger to the tenants due to mechanical failure. Trust me, lawyers will find a way to word that properly.
    b) One for your landlord as s/he clearly has no idea about how unnatural sounds can seriously affect one's well being, especially at home where they rest and sleep.
    3. You sound like a reasonable person, don't let them take advantage of that.

    Good luck.

    Yes, thank you. We don't feel like we should pay for their fan making noise, even if they don't find it inhospitable after a few minutes.

    We absolutely know the sound is affecting our health and well-being, but how do you create that case after they listen to a light hum for a few minutes? Their landlord claims even if she repairs the fan, we probably would still find some issues. Yes, we're being labeled as fussy, basically thus her recommendation we use meditative exercises to not focus on the noise. Of course, this ignores we lived in various metropolitan apartments, one near a hospital with sirens going 24/7, without issue. It's very different than your floor humming for weeks.

    REGARDING CEILING FANS!

    The fan below us is, according to the landlord, 15 years old. Motor warranties on good fans typically run 20ish years, so it's not crazy to think this is a new issue. Our landlord and her both positioned their case as basically, "No other tenants have complained before, and it doesn't sound loud, so what can we do?"

    So when we asked her to put it to the "high" and "low" settings, she stated it was on a slider switch, like a dimmer. However, she also said it was a 3 speed fan. Upon reading ceiling fan documentation, this is very likely an improper way of wiring the fan. Fans want specific switches that provide appropriate power and dimmer switches used with ceiling fans can create an audible hum and strain the motor. Prolonged usage in this configuration kills the fan motor eventually.

    The other alternative is it may not be mounted properly. But again, nobody but their landlord, not a repairman by any degree, has done any checks other than to look at it visually.

    I'm convinced a properly mounted and wired fan shouldn't hum the apartment, as there is space between our floor and their ceiling. However, she maintains any repairs will likely not fix the issue.

    AND ANOTHER UNFORTUNATE SCENARIO

    The building had a dying compressor fan in it when we moved in. We notified building maintenance and our landlord we could hear a pulsing hum. Our neighbors next door could hear it as well. Our landlord, again, didn't really hear it, so he just kind shrugged it off. But once the compressor was repaired, the noise stopped. Then came the neighbors ceiling fan...

    So I think the idea is they think we're fussy. It's unfortunate we had 2 sources of hums going at the same damn time, because it was kind of hard to tell which was which at one point. The pulsing compressor hum is gone, and now the ceiling fan hum is all that remains. When the neighbor below turns it off intermittently, it's beautiful silence we long for.

    Hewn on
    Steam: hewn
    Warframe: TheBaconDwarf
  • BlazeFireBlazeFire Registered User regular
    Fan on a dimmer could definitely be causing a humming sound if the fan isn't designed for that.

    bowenHewnNobodyDarkewolfeMaguanospool32chrishallett83
  • HewnHewn Registered User regular
    BlazeFire wrote: »
    Fan on a dimmer could definitely be causing a humming sound if the fan isn't designed for that.

    Absolutely. But even if this is the actual cause, I have no idea how to convince her to get an electrician in there to fix it. And even if I did, it's at my expense.

    Steam: hewn
    Warframe: TheBaconDwarf
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    If you were aware of the noise BEFORE taking the property and only discovered it's something you can't handle after living there a bit, you may be out of luck. It looks like noise laws don't "protect people who voluntarily and knowingly choose to live near the source of the noise disturbance. In short, the law does not allow you to follow the nuisance and then expect to be able to take legal action to stop it or recover damages as a result of it – no matter how annoying or disturbing the noise might be."

    Reference:
    https://www.gottrouble.com/noise-law-legal-limits-and-nuisance-law/

    What is this I don't even.
  • CreaganCreagan Registered User regular
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    If you were aware of the noise BEFORE taking the property and only discovered it's something you can't handle after living there a bit, you may be out of luck. It looks like noise laws don't "protect people who voluntarily and knowingly choose to live near the source of the noise disturbance. In short, the law does not allow you to follow the nuisance and then expect to be able to take legal action to stop it or recover damages as a result of it – no matter how annoying or disturbing the noise might be."

    Reference:
    https://www.gottrouble.com/noise-law-legal-limits-and-nuisance-law/

    It sounds like that isn't the case though. OP described the noise as something you do not "immediately notice" and that it's caused by a fan required for heating, when they moved in a few months ago, so around September, which isn't a time when you've really got your heat on all that much. (Even in Minnesota.)

  • HewnHewn Registered User regular
    Creagan wrote: »
    It sounds like that isn't the case though. OP described the noise as something you do not "immediately notice" and that it's caused by a fan required for heating, when they moved in a few months ago, so around September, which isn't a time when you've really got your heat on all that much. (Even in Minnesota.)

    Yes, exactly. The fan wasn't on when we toured the apartment. Even then, how long is a studio apartment tour. 10 minutes? Coincidentally, their landlord did try to say "the fan was probably on when you were here touring the place" trying to create that buyer's remourse scenario from us. Except there's zero ways to prove that, and during the tour we were walking around, talking, and you know, you wouldn't know the hum wasn't from the refrigerator or something immediately. Also we didn't hear the hum during the first few weeks of our stay, so there's also that.

    We aren't protesting about the road noise living downtown. Or the helicopters that fly to the hospital at all hours. The planes landing at the airport. That's on us for living downtown and next to a major freeway and on a plane route. All that? Peachy. No, our floor suddenly started humming like a speaker pulsing a bass tone 24/7.

    Steam: hewn
    Warframe: TheBaconDwarf
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    So what is your penalty for breaking the lease, specifically? I might be willing to lose a security deposit and a month's rent to be rid of the headache.

    143999
  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    If you find someone willing to take over your lease, would your landlord let you out of it? It sounds like the kind of issue that wouldn't bother everyone.

  • CreaganCreagan Registered User regular
    If you find someone willing to take over your lease, would your landlord let you out of it? It sounds like the kind of issue that wouldn't bother everyone.

    Be careful with this. Some leases have conditions about sub-letters and whatnot, not to mention if a subletter leaves, you're responsible for whatever they've done to the apartment and any money owed on the lease.

    143999Hewn
  • HewnHewn Registered User regular
    Alright, I got some advice from two legal resources I posted earlier. Both gave me similar solutions to varying degrees, with none of them being cut and dry.

    Options:

    1) Leverage a Rent Escrow at the local courthouse. This is a $75 fee upfront, plus the money we put into the escrow. Basically we would be using this to pay for repairs of the fan and that money would be deducted from our rent to our landlord. This is very cut and dry when it's a broken water heater, but it becomes muddy when we're talking about low frequency vibrations as a nuisance. If he were to fight us on this, a judge would review our evidence, determine if the hum is indeed a nuisance, and make a ruling. If found in the landlord's favor, we're potentially responsible for any possible legal fees he spent fighting it.

    2) Just leave and fight the claims for rent. Cite the landlord's unwillingness to repair the noise, stop paying rent, and just go. This is absolutely a risk, but I was told the hassle of the landlord collecting damages and fighting us for months in court over the rent... basically it's far cheaper and faster for everyone if he plays ball and lets us leave in 2 months rather than try to collect the remaining 8 months rent.

    3) Suck it up and pay for the repairs. Hopefully not all of it. We were advised to use our own repairman. The tricky part is we do need her approval for any work done. There are free mediation services to help negotiate this solution between parties, but the landlords would need to voluntarily partipate.

    The crazy part is this could end up being a $75 repair. All this fuss over an hour from a handyman. I also, in a fit of determination, called the Hunter ceiling fan company (the claimed make of this fan) and asked one of their support staff is any noise, even faint, should be audible from a ceiling fan properly mounted a floor below. His answer was there should be no noise. I wish I would have recorded that crazy call. The guy didn't exactly understand why I was calling about a fan I didn't own, so that was fun.
    Enc wrote: »
    So what is your penalty for breaking the lease, specifically? I might be willing to lose a security deposit and a month's rent to be rid of the headache.

    We're responsible for the rent through the months we signed. That's until the end of August. If he were to find a new tenant at the same rent, we'd be off the hook from that point forward. If the rent was less, he could charge us that difference for the remainder. He could also potentially collect any listing fees from us and lawyer fees.
    Creagan wrote: »
    Be careful with this. Some leases have conditions about sub-letters and whatnot, not to mention if a subletter leaves, you're responsible for whatever they've done to the apartment and any money owed on the lease.

    There is no sub-letting. So, yeah.

    Thanks for hanging with me everyone through the fan saga. Isn't this stupid? It feels stupid. But holy shit is that hum driving us insane.

    Steam: hewn
    Warframe: TheBaconDwarf
  • Mr KhanMr Khan Not Everyone WAHHHRegistered User regular
    Depending on the laws in your state, i'd just walk. What the landlord would have to fight to get their money back would be a *lot* less than what they would stand to collect by winning, especially as the months tick by. Of course, it might be hard to find a new place if you have to explain to the new landlord that you defaulted on your old lease due to what a lot of people would call a non-issue.

    The escrow option seems like the best one, make your landlord pay the repairs to restore your place to non-nuisance condition.

  • BasarBasar IstanbulRegistered User regular
    Hewn wrote: »

    We're responsible for the rent through the months we signed. That's until the end of August. If he were to find a new tenant at the same rent, we'd be off the hook from that point forward. If the rent was less, he could charge us that difference for the remainder. He could also potentially collect any listing fees from us and lawyer fees.

    Crazy lease terms. Is this the norm nowadays or what?

    I'd call the landlord and tell him that he either has to get the other landlord to fix it and they can share the cost or I'll be leaving the apartment in 2 months.

    It's seriously shocking to me that a landlord would be unwilling to spend $100-$200 on fixing something that is nuisance to other people. I think this is more on your landlord than the other one. He should be the one convincing the other landlord to fix it because either that or he is going to be the one spending time and money trying to collect the rent due when you leave.

    i live in a country with a batshit crazy president and no, english is not my first language

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    edited December 2016
    Basar wrote: »
    Hewn wrote: »

    We're responsible for the rent through the months we signed. That's until the end of August. If he were to find a new tenant at the same rent, we'd be off the hook from that point forward. If the rent was less, he could charge us that difference for the remainder. He could also potentially collect any listing fees from us and lawyer fees.

    Crazy lease terms. Is this the norm nowadays or what?

    I'd call the landlord and tell him that he either has to get the other landlord to fix it and they can share the cost or I'll be leaving the apartment in 2 months.

    It's seriously shocking to me that a landlord would be unwilling to spend $100-$200 on fixing something that is nuisance to other people. I think this is more on your landlord than the other one. He should be the one convincing the other landlord to fix it because either that or he is going to be the one spending time and money trying to collect the rent due when you leave.

    Those are insane lease terms and are not the norm. First month, last month, and security is the norm.

    I'd check with a lawyer to see if that is even enforceable in your state, I know FL has protections against that kind of lease.

    Enc on
    Darkewolfe
  • BasarBasar IstanbulRegistered User regular
    Enc wrote: »
    Basar wrote: »
    Hewn wrote: »

    We're responsible for the rent through the months we signed. That's until the end of August. If he were to find a new tenant at the same rent, we'd be off the hook from that point forward. If the rent was less, he could charge us that difference for the remainder. He could also potentially collect any listing fees from us and lawyer fees.

    Crazy lease terms. Is this the norm nowadays or what?

    I'd call the landlord and tell him that he either has to get the other landlord to fix it and they can share the cost or I'll be leaving the apartment in 2 months.

    It's seriously shocking to me that a landlord would be unwilling to spend $100-$200 on fixing something that is nuisance to other people. I think this is more on your landlord than the other one. He should be the one convincing the other landlord to fix it because either that or he is going to be the one spending time and money trying to collect the rent due when you leave.

    Those are insane lease terms and are not the norm. First month, last month, and security is the norm.

    I'd check with a lawyer to see if that is even enforceable in your state, I know FL has protections against that kind of lease.

    Glad to hear that. Yeah, the OP should get some legal advice.

    i live in a country with a batshit crazy president and no, english is not my first language

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    The "I'm charging you the difference" is a thing that is common though.

    They, however, need to go to court to get it back and prove they tried to lease it at the previous price (they can't lower the price punitively), AFAIK.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
    AiouaShadowfireCauldNightDragon
  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    Those are incredibly common lease terms in New England, at least. Never seen a place without them.

    bowen
  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    Basar wrote: »
    Hewn wrote: »

    We're responsible for the rent through the months we signed. That's until the end of August. If he were to find a new tenant at the same rent, we'd be off the hook from that point forward. If the rent was less, he could charge us that difference for the remainder. He could also potentially collect any listing fees from us and lawyer fees.
    It's seriously shocking to me that a landlord would be unwilling to spend $100-$200 on fixing something that is nuisance to other people. I think this is more on your landlord than the other one. He should be the one convincing the other landlord to fix it because either that or he is going to be the one spending time and money trying to collect the rent due when you leave.

    The landlord probably thinks they are complaining about nothing, because it's a noise that only becomes annoying when the apartment is quiet. The sort of thing that drives you mad when you are trying to sleep, but if the landlord walks in in the day, he can barely hear it. The OP also complained about a humming compressor, which was repaired, and loud parties, which the landlord cracked down on, so the landlord probably thinks even if he repairs the ceiling fan, they will just start getting annoyed at the fridge, or the next door kid's piano practice or whatever is most loud after that.

    Not saying the landlord is in the right, but landlords generally aren't all that patient about repeated complaints. The OP needs to make sure that the landlord understands that this is *absolutely the last* noise complaint to get anywhere with this.

    The OP should very seriously never rent an apartment again because all of them have annoying sounds, and concentrate on renting only freestanding houses. My apartment has loud air conditioning, a heating system that sounds like indigestion, and a busy road out front. Doesn't bother me, fortunately.

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    a loud humming fan would drive me absolutely insane if it was bass-y enough

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
    EncNightDragonmRahmaniHewnchrishallett83
  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    I'd try getting an electrician to replace the rheostat/potentiometer switch with a 3 position switch (or on/off and they have to use chain on the fan to change the speed). The fan motor may still make noise though if it's damaged or too worn.

    If you have wood floors have you tried putting a rug over the floor under which the fan is to dampen it?

    Iruka
  • CogCog Registered User regular
    I might try keeping music or something on during the day and a box/oscillating fan or white noise machine at night, to see if you can at least drown it out with something you can stand.

    bowen
  • HewnHewn Registered User regular
    edited December 2016
    The landlord probably thinks they are complaining about nothing, because it's a noise that only becomes annoying when the apartment is quiet. The sort of thing that drives you mad when you are trying to sleep, but if the landlord walks in in the day, he can barely hear it. The OP also complained about a humming compressor, which was repaired, and loud parties, which the landlord cracked down on, so the landlord probably thinks even if he repairs the ceiling fan, they will just start getting annoyed at the fridge, or the next door kid's piano practice or whatever is most loud after that.

    Not saying the landlord is in the right, but landlords generally aren't all that patient about repeated complaints. The OP needs to make sure that the landlord understands that this is *absolutely the last* noise complaint to get anywhere with this.

    The OP should very seriously never rent an apartment again because all of them have annoying sounds, and concentrate on renting only freestanding houses. My apartment has loud air conditioning, a heating system that sounds like indigestion, and a busy road out front. Doesn't bother me, fortunately.

    I'm glad you took this stance, because it's the stance I'm required to face.

    As to the compressor, that was being planned for replacement BEFORE we brought up the noise. Neighbors were able to hear the noise as well. We brought it up to our landlord, who contacted building maintenance, they said there was a loud compressor due to be replaced and it has gone away since.

    The parties persisted after we talked to them three times face to face. It wasn't until we involved the landlords and the building association that any traction was done. Additionally the TV (hooked up to a large surround sound system) was loud enough we could identify the specific movie or song they were listening to. Their landlord tried to stonewall us claiming "they could play their TV as loud as they want." Building management disagreed. HOWEVER! Since we escalated the situation, the neighbors have been very respectful, we don't hear the TV, no loud weekday 3AM parties. We have thanked them for that, because they clearly put in an effort to change, but it took more than a few friendly meetings to get results, unfortunately.

    As for our tolerance to apartment living, well, that's pretty presumptuous as this is our first difficulty. But again, their landlord brought up the same thing you did. We just aren't apartment livers! Sure. Except we lived in downtown Minneapolis between 3 separate construction zones in a block radius and next to the trauma hospital. And the building had a shared deck space outside each bedroom that had people constantly about. So there was lots and lots of noise. In fact, this new place was considered moving to "quiet building" compared to our old one. But honestly, the construction noise, random people talking on their deck, and ambulances all day didn't bother us one bit. Before that we lived in shared housing, before that the dorms, and so on. I've never registered a sound complaint in my 12 years of community living until this unit.

    There's a difference between road noise and your floor being a humming speaker for weeks on end. And that's the case we're required to make if we aren't going to be required to pay for the fan.
    bowen wrote: »
    a loud humming fan would drive me absolutely insane if it was bass-y enough

    So we think it's the motor humming and there's air space between their ceiling and floor. What does air space with noise do? Creates a very speaker-like effect. Ugh.
    Djeet wrote: »
    I'd try getting an electrician to replace the rheostat/potentiometer switch with a 3 position switch (or on/off and they have to use chain on the fan to change the speed). The fan motor may still make noise though if it's damaged or too worn.

    If you have wood floors have you tried putting a rug over the floor under which the fan is to dampen it?

    I think you're right about the fan motor and/or the switch. Could be both. If it's been wired wrong for 15 years, it's probably giving up the ghost. We have an area rug where it is most concentrated, but it really does resonate throughout the entire apartment, including an enclosed space like the bathroom.
    Cog wrote: »
    I might try keeping music or something on during the day and a box/oscillating fan or white noise machine at night, to see if you can at least drown it out with something you can stand.

    Yes, we have got into the routine of making more noise. It's difficult, though, because of the low frequency of the hum it kind of penetrates. We run fans at night and also wear ear plugs. That basically gets you through sleep alright. We're working around it, because right now we have no options, but the idea of keeping this routine another 8.5 months... oh boy. I'll come out looking like Daryl after a few more rounds of Easy Street. Life is but a treat!

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  • tastydonutstastydonuts Registered User regular
    bowen wrote: »
    a loud humming fan would drive me absolutely insane if it was bass-y enough

    Yeah, I'm really curious as to what type of hum is going on. Is it an arrhythmic hum?

    “I used to draw, hard to admit that I used to draw...”
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