M.S. from outside of Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
An older couple (70ish) that lives on the same floor as me (but we share no common wall) is loitering next to my front door multiple times a day. I suspected that they had an issue with me for a while now as a few times I saw them in the hallway in close proximity to my door and they look really flustered. I’ve said ‘Good Morning” and they just look down and shuffle off.
If I see them in person they typically avoid me. If they go out of their door to go to the elevator around the same time as I do and they hear me coming down the hall they will go back in to their condo. Could be coincidence but has happened a few too many times for me to feel that way.
So, they obviously have an issue with me but I’m unsure what they hope to get by listening to my door which I have video evidence of them doing multiple times a day (I bought a wifi door peephole camera after suspecting this happening for weeks).
The camera has motion detection and only records when it senses activity. They walk past my door sloooowly in one direction and then 30 seconds later pass by again in the direction back to their condo, and on occasion they’ll pause in front of my door and act like they are looking for something on their phone and stand there for about 30 seconds. They even look intently at the door as one tends to do when you are trying to listen for something. This happens during the middle of the day and later at night around 10 and sometimes even after midnight when I’ve usually gone to sleep.
My gut tells me they have an issue with me and would prefer it if I were no longer their neighbor and want to catch me breaking some HOA rule. However, I don’t know what rule I could be breaking that they could hear through the door at 4 pm, can’t get a noise violation at that time. Especially if they have to loiter in front of the door and listen intently to hear anything. Also, I own my condo so even if I did get a noise complaint it’s not going to get me thrown out of the building.
I guess my question is what do I do with this evidence? How do I get this annoying activity to stop? I’m reluctant to go to Security with it because they too do the slow minute walk past my door and loiter routine. So, it feels like I’m the bad kid on the block that everyone hates.
Full Disclosure: I’m in my 30s and the majority of the tenants seem to be in their 70’s and up. I did not know this when I bought the place or I might have reconsidered. When I first moved in I wanted to enjoy my nice new condo and had a ‘few’ parties. However, I never got noise complaints from those absolutely bonkers parties and I got tired of things breaking in my new condo and gave up that practice. I also got a girlfriend in November and haven’t had anyone over accept her since. All we do is make dinners and watch Netflix.
Mister Condo replies:
M.S., you’ll pardon me if I tell you this story made me grin and chuckle. The idea of neighbors loitering outside of your front door is amusing. The fact that you have added a video security doorbell system that records them doing so is also amusing. I have a similar video doorbell myself and I have videos of neighbors inspecting the unit which features giant pictures of their faces as they place their eyes within inches of the unit. As long as neither you nor your neighbors are violating and/or reporting any violations of association rules, I really don’t see that anything needs to be done. Nosy neighbors are often part of living in a high-density housing community. You may have found the ultimate in nosy neighbors and I think you have deduced what their “issue” is with having you as a neighbor. Neither you or they are under any obligation to like each other. If you find the complexion of the community is not desirable to you, you may think about selling and buying somewhere with more folks your age. Other than that, enjoy your condominium if not your neighbors. Their antics are likely to keep you entertained for months to come. One serious note: you might want to check to make sure that video recording of folks in the HOA common area (the front hall of your shared entrance condominium) isn’t considered an invasion of privacy issue and that your condo doesn’t have rules against such a device. That could put you at odds with your association and could lead to fines. Other than that, I wish you all the best!