Author Topic: What Kind of Note Should I Leave?  (Read 3769 times)

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dirtyweasel

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What Kind of Note Should I Leave?
« on: February 03, 2013, 04:26:59 PM »
For the past few months, my husband and I have been dealing with a car alarm that goes off at the drop of a hat across the street from us.  This alarm goes off at least once a day and wakes me up at least three times a week early in the morning when it goes off.  This only happens when the owner of the car parks his car on the main thoroughfare in front of our house (which is most of the time), but he doesn't turn the alarm off when the car goes off so we have to listen to it for a good thirty seconds each time it goes off. 

I've tried noise-cancelling machines and I have my fan at full blast, but the car alarm still cuts through the white noise and wakes me up.  I've tried ear plugs at night, but they give me a horrible headache and I can't hear my alarm when it goes off in the morning.

I would talk to management about this car, but the owner of the car lives in a different apartment complex then us so I'm not even sure that I can lodge a complaint against the car owner.  I talked it over with my husband and we've decided to leave a polite note for the car owner, but the thing is we don't even know what to say.  I want to be polite, but I also want to let the car owner know that I mean business.

Any ideas?



TaurusGirl

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Re: What Kind of Note Should I Leave?
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2013, 04:33:53 PM »
I grew up in a rental area, and have dealt with this many times. If it is someone whose unit/apartment number you know, go to their door while the alarm is going off, and ask them to turn it off. It's a pain in the derrière, but it works.
If that isn't an option, I have had success with notes along these lines:

Dear owner of this vehicle,
You may be unaware, but your car alarm goes off X times per week between the hours of 00h00 and 05h00 (or whatever). This of course disturbs your neighbours greatly. Please see to this, as it is disruptive for all in the area.


Where I used to live, car alarms did constitute noise violations after 23h00, and unfortunately the police did have to get involved with a few repeat offenders.

TaurusGirl

camlan

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Re: What Kind of Note Should I Leave?
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2013, 04:41:53 PM »
There are other options you can take before you try leaving the note. In some areas, the police will contact the owner of a car if the alarm is set off too often by random things. Or you could try contacting the management of the building--just because you don't live there doesn't mean you can't try to resolve this through their management.

It's entirely possible that the owner of the car doesn't realize what's happening. If their apartment or even just their bedroom is on the other side of the building from the car, they may just not be able to hear the noise.

So any note I'd leave would take that into consideration.

"Dear Car Owner,

You probably aren't aware that your car alarm goes off frequetly--two to three times a week, for XX minutes/hours at a time. It is waking us up very early and causing us problems.

Please take any steps possible to remedy this. We would be most appreciative."

Then sign your names and leave a cell phone number.

If you want the owner to know that you mean business, you have to have a next step ready. "If the problem isn't resolved within a week, we will be forced to contact the police about this matter. The noise is in violation of City Regulation #123." "If the noise hasn't ceased within the next seven days, we will be contacting the manager of your apartment complex." You can go online to see if the complex has any rules about quiet hours or the like.

Although now I'm wondering if the owner knows about the problem, and by parking on the public street instead of in the complex parking lot, he/she is technically not violating any complex rules.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


snappylt

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Re: What Kind of Note Should I Leave?
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2013, 05:04:53 PM »
I'd just like to add this suggestion (if you haven't already done so):

Start now keeping a record of exactly when the alarm goes off.  If it gets to the point of you filing an official complaint, your case will look better if, instead of saying something like"three times a week" you can provide a list of dates and times.

Good luck!

Knitterly

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Re: What Kind of Note Should I Leave?
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2013, 05:20:35 PM »
I grew up in a rental area, and have dealt with this many times. If it is someone whose unit/apartment number you know, go to their door while the alarm is going off, and ask them to turn it off. It's a pain in the derrière, but it works.
If that isn't an option, I have had success with notes along these lines:

Dear owner of this vehicle,
You may be unaware, but your car alarm goes off X times per week between the hours of 00h00 and 05h00 (or whatever). This of course disturbs your neighbours greatly. Please see to this, as it is disruptive for all in the area.


Where I used to live, car alarms did constitute noise violations after 23h00, and unfortunately the police did have to get involved with a few repeat offenders.

TaurusGirl

This wording is excellent!!

baritone108

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Re: What Kind of Note Should I Leave?
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2013, 02:54:36 PM »
Car alarms can be set for varying levels of sensitivity.  It sounds like the car in question needs to be turned down one notch.

We had a similar, slightly worse, situation some years back when a new renter of a house across the street had his car alarm set to the lowest possible sensitiity.  An airplane going overhead could set it off and we live near an airport.  That alarm went off at least 3 times a night every single night and it would take a couple of minutes for the owner to turn it off.  After about 3 weeks, during which various neighbors talked nicely to him about the probalm, I left a note on the car which said, "If you don't turn down the sensitivity on your car's alarm I am going to give it a good reason to go off."  We never heard the alarm again.

I'm not necesarily recommending that approach unless the situation gets desperate.  I believe the wording provided by others such as Camlan and TaurusGirl are a better way to start out.

Giggity

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Re: What Kind of Note Should I Leave?
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2013, 02:56:19 PM »
People still have car alarms? Wow. I thought those went out in 1987.
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Kiwichick

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Re: What Kind of Note Should I Leave?
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2013, 02:59:33 PM »
Car alarms can be set for varying levels of sensitivity.  It sounds like the car in question needs to be turned down one notch.

We had a similar, slightly worse, situation some years back when a new renter of a house across the street had his car alarm set to the lowest possible sensitiity.  An airplane going overhead could set it off and we live near an airport.  That alarm went off at least 3 times a night every single night and it would take a couple of minutes for the owner to turn it off.  After about 3 weeks, during which various neighbors talked nicely to him about the probalm, I left a note on the car which said, "If you don't turn down the sensitivity on your car's alarm I am going to give it a good reason to go off."  We never heard the alarm again.

I'm not necesarily recommending that approach unless the situation gets desperate.  I believe the wording provided by others such as Camlan and TaurusGirl are a better way to start out.

Yeah, not really the way etiquette demands the OP deals with it though.

Yvaine

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Re: What Kind of Note Should I Leave?
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2013, 03:08:07 PM »
People still have car alarms? Wow. I thought those went out in 1987.

Ha! Yeah, I don't think they've ever even alerted anyone to a theft, because they go off pointlessly so often that in the event of a real theft, I think people would just go right on ignoring them!

Shoo

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Re: What Kind of Note Should I Leave?
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2013, 03:12:37 PM »
I"d call the police and ask what they suggest you do.  Get it on their radar.  That's just ridiculous.

jedikaiti

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Re: What Kind of Note Should I Leave?
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2013, 03:37:03 PM »
I like the suggested notes, but instead of "Please see to this" or something similar, I think I would suggest something like "Perhaps you could have the sensitivity of the alarm adjusted, or leave it off when parking on <Main Thoroughfare>." That way, you're not just complaining, you're suggesting a possible solution.

Also, feel free to contact the local police for suggestions, or to call them when it's actually going off, if Neighbor seems disinclined to solve the problems themselves. And absolutely document every time it wakes you up - if you do need to get the police involved, it will help them to know exactly when and how often it happens. I keep my local police non-emergency number programmed in my cell phone for just such an occasion.

I had an occasion where someone parked a soft-top Jeep (with the top off) on the street outside my apartment building. It snowed that night, and something shorted out their alarm at 2am and it just kept going and going and going... And since I had no way of knowing if the car belonged to someone at the apartment building or the hotel across the street, I just called the police non-emergency line. I don't know if they found the owner or just pulled a fuse (which I was tempted to do myself) or what, but the noise finally stopped. Thankfully, it didn't happen again.
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camlan

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Re: What Kind of Note Should I Leave?
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2013, 04:33:52 PM »
People still have car alarms? Wow. I thought those went out in 1987.

When I bought my car in 2001, it came with a car alarm as standard equipment. It's a passive alarm, in that I don't do anything to activate it. It turns on when I lock the car. It takes a pretty sturdy bump to activate it, or someone trying to open a locked door. The only time it's gone off, to my knowledge, was when it was parked on the street and my neighbor backed into it while trying to park behind it.

I get an insurance discount because of it, so it's worth it in my book.

If the sensitivity of my car alarm needed adjusting, I'd have to take it to the dealership, as there are no instructions at all on how to deal with it, other than how to turn the alarm off.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


jaxsue

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Re: What Kind of Note Should I Leave?
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2013, 04:38:12 PM »
People still have car alarms? Wow. I thought those went out in 1987.

Car alarms are still common. In fact, when I recently got auto insurance I had to prove that I had a car alarm.

jedikaiti

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Re: What Kind of Note Should I Leave?
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2013, 04:41:20 PM »
People still have car alarms? Wow. I thought those went out in 1987.

Car alarms are still common. In fact, when I recently got auto insurance I had to prove that I had a car alarm.

I've never heard of HAVING to prove you had one, but sometimes there's a discount associated - especially if it's one like LoJack, that's more theft-recovery than noisemaker. I can see insurance companies REALLY REALLY wanting people to have them in high-theft areas, though.
What part of v_e = \sqrt{\frac{2GM}{r}} don't you understand? It's only rocket science!

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jpcher

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Re: What Kind of Note Should I Leave?
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2013, 06:23:18 PM »
People still have car alarms? Wow. I thought those went out in 1987.

Ha! Yeah, I don't think they've ever even alerted anyone to a theft, because they go off pointlessly so often that in the event of a real theft, I think people would just go right on ignoring them!

Sadly this is true! Last summer, about 1:00 a.m., I was dozing in bed having trouble sleeping. A car alarm went off that really woke me up. I rolled over (and, like the bold above, I thought to ignore.) Then I sat up and thought "Wait a minute. Is that my car?"

I opened my front door to investigate. Sure enough, my car door was open and the interior light was on. I called the police.

Turns out that there was a thief going up the street and he had already hit quite a few cars. The police did catch him.

Funny part? I don't have a car alarm. ::)

/end threadjack.


Or you could try contacting the management of the building--just because you don't live there doesn't mean you can't try to resolve this through their management.

I think this is the first step to take. It's possible their management has already received complaints. Getting an "outside" compliant might spur them to action.

I'd also approach your management. Can you talk to some of your neighbors? Are they bothered by this too? Ask several of your neighbors to mention the problem to your management. Suggest to your management that they contact their management.

I don't like leaving a note as the first step (especially with your cell phone or contact info.)