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Old 29.06.2020, 14:42
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Creepy neighbour upstairs... how to de-escalate with Crazy Karen?

Hi, yesterday I had a relatively minor incident with the crazy old lady upstairs. It was nothing serious, but I suspect she's a bit mental, so I'm wondering what's the best way to deal with her before the situation worsens.

I am a single 30-sthg guy living at the ground floor of a building rented by Livit in a central area in Zurich. I moved here last December. I'm a quiet guy at home and never had problems with neighbours before. I have two balcony-gardens (basically the garden ground level is raised over the balcony's border). One of them is for my private use while the other is part of a large communal area in the inner yard of the building (but in practice it is only me and another guy also from the first floor that use it). I use this communal space for growing some vegetables just on a small patch in front of my balcony, I got written permission from Livit for this. Yes, I'm such a Buenzli XD

The Swiss lady in question lives alone in a super tiny flat basically just above my bedroom. She is prone to rage: at random times she starts stomping feet and objects and slamming doors and screaming, either alone or yelling at the window (the last day she started shouting "RUHE" at a neighbour who was playing normal-volume radio at the balcony on Saturday at 6 PM). She makes noise: more than once I had to shout at her because she was making loud noise like moving furniture and loudly opening and closing what I think is a sofa-bed and shouting at 2-3 AM (as I said all this just above my bedroom). A couple of months ago, after a particularly unruly night, I decided to confront her: in the morning I went upstairs and rang at her doorbell. I could hear her approaching the door and spying from the pinhole but she pretended not to be there and didn't answer. I didn't insist and I left, because I thought she got the message, and in fact the midnight noise mostly stopped, now she's just super noisy when she wakes up during weekedays at 7:30 AM, which is a bit annoying but I guess I can't do much about it.

I had never met her directly until yesterday. I was doing gardening work on the communal side, putting mulch around my tomatoes, watering, etc. Then I stood silent for a minute, checking my phone on the balcony. Her balcony is just above mine, so she couldn't see that I was still there and she thought I had left. I heard her on the balcony above saying something in German like "now, look what the man below is doing to the garden". So I leaned with my body over the border, looked upstairs at her and smiled "hello?"

She was taking a fu**ing video with her tablet and, gosh, the view of her was uncanny.

She looked like 60-sthg but could have been younger. Long yellow-white unkempt hair, wrinkled sicklish skin, excavated bony face with mad eyes. Basically a hag, or the typical meth-addicted crazy cat lady of the movies. She was startled by my appearence but didn't stop recording. After a second of uncertainty she pointed the tablet at me and started to repeat "Wo wohnen Sie?". I was super pissed and told her to stop recording. She insisted asking the same question. "What do you think? I live here, in this flat". "Here where? Which apartment?". I decided it was best not to give her attention and just leaned back in my balcony. She kept going on shouting something upstairs which I couldn't translate and shortly after she retired.

Basically, Crazy Karen lives above me.

So, I'm undecided what to do now. A proper Buenzli would probably call the SWAT and sue her in a court for recording me while having my feet inside my own property, but I would like this to de-escalate, also because otherwise I would probably have to expect her Toxoplasmosis-infected feces to land at night on my vegetables. I have no problems ignoring her for now, but I'm considering to notify Livit of the situation just so they have a record of facts. Also, I'm not 100% sure she is a renter. I don't recall exactly when these episodes started, it was not like this when I moved in or at least I don't remember. I think Crazy Karen either moved in lately, like March/April, or the forced confinement imposed by the lockdown took a harsh toll on her mind.

What Should I do?

Thanks in advance for the replies!

Last edited by italo; 29.06.2020 at 17:28.
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Old 29.06.2020, 15:16
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Re: Creepy neighbour upstairs... how to de-escalate with Crazy Karen?

Just contact Livit as soon as possible and good luck! Poor you!

We had the same situation happen to us once when our new tenant below us lied to the landlord & turned it into a full time Airbnb for any random to come move in and out of. One of the longer term Airbnb renters frequently attacked myself/other neighbors with random accusations and sang/shouted drunkenly from her window at all hours. Collectively, the building wrote a letter to our landlord and she was out within 24 hours. Perhaps if it continues after your initial complaint to the landlord, you can get together with your neighbors and do the same. I'm sure they are annoyed too.
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Old 29.06.2020, 15:37
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Re: Creepy neighbour upstairs... how to de-escalate with Crazy Karen?

From your description I fail to see where the "escalation" is in order for it to be de-escalated. I also don't see what makes her Karen. Doing nothing, almost by definition, would be the way for the situation not to escalate.
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Old 29.06.2020, 15:52
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Re: Creepy neighbour upstairs... how to de-escalate with Crazy Karen?

Call the manager

I once had a crazy lady living above me, who loved vacuuming and shouting in the middle of the night. Luckily I really don't care about a ton of noise at night.
(I grew up at less than 100 meters from one of Europe's leading punk centres, and a Harley gang clubhouse with over 50 members in the 70's)

Got some months of silence after we heard a loud thump followed by screaming, turned out she jumped out of the window naked and was laying bleeding and moaning on my pavement, after coming home again she probable was drugged as can be since she was so calm, so silent. So there is hope OP
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Old 29.06.2020, 16:43
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Re: Creepy neighbour upstairs... how to de-escalate with Crazy Karen?

Filming you in general and against your declared will is a criminal offence. I would report this to Livit. If it's just in case it gets worse or something else happens. If it has been reported before, it has more weight than if you then say: "and she was filming me too back in June ...".
Not sure if and what Livit is able to do. They might tell you to report it to the police (which then will still be your choice to follow on or not). But the thing should be documented, now that it's happening.

And totally off topic but I'm curious: Why do you put mulch around your tomatoes?
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Old 29.06.2020, 16:45
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Re: Creepy neighbour upstairs... how to de-escalate with Crazy Karen?

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Call the manager
turned out she jumped out of the window naked and was laying bleeding and moaning on my pavement, after coming home again she probable was drugged as can be since she was so calm, so silent. So there is hope OP

Thank you for your kind words, they fill me with hope
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Old 29.06.2020, 16:50
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Re: Creepy neighbour upstairs... how to de-escalate with Crazy Karen?

There are mentally ill people in every country. I guess the close-living here makes them more visible and more audible.
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Old 29.06.2020, 16:52
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Re: Creepy neighbour upstairs... how to de-escalate with Crazy Karen?

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Filming you in general and against your declared will is a criminal offence. I would report this to Livit. If it's just in case it gets worse or something else happens. If it has been reported before, it has more weight than if you then say: "and she was filming me too back in June ...".
Not sure if and what Livit is able to do. They might tell you to report it to the police (which then will still be your choice to follow on or not). But the thing should be documented, now that it's happening.

And totally off topic but I'm curious: Why do you put mulch around your tomatoes?

Exactly what I thought, at least for the record! I will notify Livit immediately of the event.


Regarding mulch: it is not necessary of course, but it helps to retain moisture and to avoid weed growth (that compete with the tomatoes for soil nutrients). The main reason is that I'm planning to leave for a couple of weeks soon, so I installed a timed watering system. The problem is that, since I don't have a tap nearby, I had to resort to a water tank. From my experience, just the few vegetables that I have are so water-hungry in summer that even the largest tank I could fit (120 liters) would not last more than 2 weeks without proper water retention. So: dripping system to save water, and mulch to keep the soil moisture as long as possible.


Plus, mulch looks nice
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Old 29.06.2020, 23:32
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Re: Creepy neighbour upstairs... how to de-escalate with Crazy Karen?

Let's drop the crazy Karen bit. I find it offensive.

Sorry to hear about your neighbour. She may indeed have mental issues, as well as financial ones. Listen to the advice here and good luck.
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Old 30.06.2020, 05:03
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Re: Creepy neighbour upstairs... how to de-escalate with Crazy Karen?

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Hi, yesterday I had a relatively minor incident with the crazy old lady upstairs. It was nothing serious, but I suspect she's a bit mental, so I'm wondering what's the best way to deal with her before the situation worsens.
As other have said, call the letting agency. She can't just randomly shout at and video you but at the same time there is nothing you can do to her in return other than go the proper route and register complaints. Hopefully she will get the message after some warnings and quieten down.

Just put it down to one of these times in life where you have to maintain a strong sense of humour and you will have some funny stories for your friends.

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Let's drop the crazy Karen bit. I find it offensive.
Oh dearie me, you find a bit of light humour from the OP in a bad situation offensive? What a shame.

OP, please don't listen to the occasional outrage-monger on this forum, people will any excuse to be offended whatever the situation.
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Old 30.06.2020, 07:04
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Re: Creepy neighbour upstairs... how to de-escalate with Crazy Karen?

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Hi, yesterday I had a relatively minor incident with the crazy old lady upstairs. It was nothing serious, but I suspect she's a bit mental, so I'm wondering what's the best way to deal with her before the situation worsens.

I am a single 30-sthg guy living at the ground floor of a building rented by Livit in a central area in Zurich. I moved here last December. I'm a quiet guy at home and never had problems with neighbours before. I have two balcony-gardens (basically the garden ground level is raised over the balcony's border). One of them is for my private use while the other is part of a large communal area in the inner yard of the building (but in practice it is only me and another guy also from the first floor that use it). I use this communal space for growing some vegetables just on a small patch in front of my balcony, I got written permission from Livit for this. Yes, I'm such a Buenzli XD

The Swiss lady in question lives alone in a super tiny flat basically just above my bedroom. She is prone to rage: at random times she starts stomping feet and objects and slamming doors and screaming, either alone or yelling at the window (the last day she started shouting "RUHE" at a neighbour who was playing normal-volume radio at the balcony on Saturday at 6 PM). She makes noise: more than once I had to shout at her because she was making loud noise like moving furniture and loudly opening and closing what I think is a sofa-bed and shouting at 2-3 AM (as I said all this just above my bedroom). A couple of months ago, after a particularly unruly night, I decided to confront her: in the morning I went upstairs and rang at her doorbell. I could hear her approaching the door and spying from the pinhole but she pretended not to be there and didn't answer. I didn't insist and I left, because I thought she got the message, and in fact the midnight noise mostly stopped, now she's just super noisy when she wakes up during weekedays at 7:30 AM, which is a bit annoying but I guess I can't do much about it.

I had never met her directly until yesterday. I was doing gardening work on the communal side, putting mulch around my tomatoes, watering, etc. Then I stood silent for a minute, checking my phone on the balcony. Her balcony is just above mine, so she couldn't see that I was still there and she thought I had left. I heard her on the balcony above saying something in German like "now, look what the man below is doing to the garden". So I leaned with my body over the border, looked upstairs at her and smiled "hello?"

She was taking a fu**ing video with her tablet and, gosh, the view of her was uncanny.

She looked like 60-sthg but could have been younger. Long yellow-white unkempt hair, wrinkled sicklish skin, excavated bony face with mad eyes. Basically a hag, or the typical meth-addicted crazy cat lady of the movies. She was startled by my appearence but didn't stop recording. After a second of uncertainty she pointed the tablet at me and started to repeat "Wo wohnen Sie?". I was super pissed and told her to stop recording. She insisted asking the same question. "What do you think? I live here, in this flat". "Here where? Which apartment?". I decided it was best not to give her attention and just leaned back in my balcony. She kept going on shouting something upstairs which I couldn't translate and shortly after she retired.

Basically, Crazy Karen lives above me.

So, I'm undecided what to do now. A proper Buenzli would probably call the SWAT and sue her in a court for recording me while having my feet inside my own property, but I would like this to de-escalate, also because otherwise I would probably have to expect her Toxoplasmosis-infected feces to land at night on my vegetables. I have no problems ignoring her for now, but I'm considering to notify Livit of the situation just so they have a record of facts. Also, I'm not 100% sure she is a renter. I don't recall exactly when these episodes started, it was not like this when I moved in or at least I don't remember. I think Crazy Karen either moved in lately, like March/April, or the forced confinement imposed by the lockdown took a harsh toll on her mind.

What Should I do?

Thanks in advance for the replies!
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Old 30.06.2020, 07:37
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Re: Creepy neighbour upstairs... how to de-escalate with Crazy Karen?

Have you perhaps considered that the lady needs help and not the threat of criminal charges or to be ganged up upon by neighbours so she can be thrown out as one poster suggested.

Perhaps it is the onset of dementia or some kind of nervous breakdown. Who knows, but if her behaviour is so far beyond what would be considered normal then you should indeed report it to Livit for the lady's welfare. Give an accurate report of what has happened and tell them you are concerned for her. Perhaps there is an emergency next of kin listed on the lease they can contact who can step in to resolve the situation/get the lady the help she may need.

EDIT BTW I would tone down the rather unkind Basically a hag, or the typical meth-addicted crazy cat lady description or the crazy Karen tag if you do file a report to Livit.

Last edited by Mr Dog; 30.06.2020 at 08:55.
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Old 30.06.2020, 07:59
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Re: Creepy neighbour upstairs... how to de-escalate with Crazy Karen?

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Hi, yesterday I had a relatively minor incident with the crazy old lady upstairs. It was nothing serious, but I suspect she's a bit mental, so I'm wondering what's the best way to deal with her before the situation worsens.

I am a single 30-sthg guy living at the ground floor of a building rented by Livit in a central area in Zurich. I moved here last December. I'm a quiet guy at home and never had problems with neighbours before. I have two balcony-gardens (basically the garden ground level is raised over the balcony's border). One of them is for my private use while the other is part of a large communal area in the inner yard of the building (but in practice it is only me and another guy also from the first floor that use it). I use this communal space for growing some vegetables just on a small patch in front of my balcony, I got written permission from Livit for this. Yes, I'm such a Buenzli XD

The Swiss lady in question lives alone in a super tiny flat basically just above my bedroom. She is prone to rage: at random times she starts stomping feet and objects and slamming doors and screaming, either alone or yelling at the window (the last day she started shouting "RUHE" at a neighbour who was playing normal-volume radio at the balcony on Saturday at 6 PM). She makes noise: more than once I had to shout at her because she was making loud noise like moving furniture and loudly opening and closing what I think is a sofa-bed and shouting at 2-3 AM (as I said all this just above my bedroom). A couple of months ago, after a particularly unruly night, I decided to confront her: in the morning I went upstairs and rang at her doorbell. I could hear her approaching the door and spying from the pinhole but she pretended not to be there and didn't answer. I didn't insist and I left, because I thought she got the message, and in fact the midnight noise mostly stopped, now she's just super noisy when she wakes up during weekedays at 7:30 AM, which is a bit annoying but I guess I can't do much about it.

I had never met her directly until yesterday. I was doing gardening work on the communal side, putting mulch around my tomatoes, watering, etc. Then I stood silent for a minute, checking my phone on the balcony. Her balcony is just above mine, so she couldn't see that I was still there and she thought I had left. I heard her on the balcony above saying something in German like "now, look what the man below is doing to the garden". So I leaned with my body over the border, looked upstairs at her and smiled "hello?"

She was taking a fu**ing video with her tablet and, gosh, the view of her was uncanny.

She looked like 60-sthg but could have been younger. Long yellow-white unkempt hair, wrinkled sicklish skin, excavated bony face with mad eyes. Basically a hag, or the typical meth-addicted crazy cat lady of the movies. She was startled by my appearence but didn't stop recording. After a second of uncertainty she pointed the tablet at me and started to repeat "Wo wohnen Sie?". I was super pissed and told her to stop recording. She insisted asking the same question. "What do you think? I live here, in this flat". "Here where? Which apartment?". I decided it was best not to give her attention and just leaned back in my balcony. She kept going on shouting something upstairs which I couldn't translate and shortly after she retired.

Basically, Crazy Karen lives above me.

So, I'm undecided what to do now. A proper Buenzli would probably call the SWAT and sue her in a court for recording me while having my feet inside my own property, but I would like this to de-escalate, also because otherwise I would probably have to expect her Toxoplasmosis-infected feces to land at night on my vegetables. I have no problems ignoring her for now, but I'm considering to notify Livit of the situation just so they have a record of facts. Also, I'm not 100% sure she is a renter. I don't recall exactly when these episodes started, it was not like this when I moved in or at least I don't remember. I think Crazy Karen either moved in lately, like March/April, or the forced confinement imposed by the lockdown took a harsh toll on her mind.

What Should I do?

Thanks in advance for the replies!
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Old 30.06.2020, 09:06
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Re: Creepy neighbour upstairs... how to de-escalate with Crazy Karen?

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Oh dearie me, you find a bit of light humour from the OP in a bad situation offensive? What a shame.

OP, please don't listen to the occasional outrage-monger on this forum, people will any excuse to be offended whatever the situation.

Light humour is all well and good and can give a pass on the "Crazy Karen" tag but the unpleasant description of "Long yellow-white unkempt hair, wrinkled sicklish skin, excavated bony face with mad eyes. Basically a hag, or the typical meth-addicted crazy cat lady" I found to be in very poor taste when OP knows nothing about the circumstances and health of the lady.
People are very quick to throw around the "a bit mental" and "crazy" tags without considering that perhaps the behaviour of a woman in her 60's might be due to a deteriorating illness and instead show more compassion. One day it could be a loved one of theirs in that situation
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Old 30.06.2020, 09:12
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Re: Creepy neighbour upstairs... how to de-escalate with Crazy Karen?

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Light humour is all well and good and can give a pass on the "Crazy Karen" tag but the unpleasant description of "Long yellow-white unkempt hair, wrinkled sicklish skin, excavated bony face with mad eyes. Basically a hag, or the typical meth-addicted crazy cat lady" I found to be in very poor taste when OP knows nothing about the circumstances and health of the lady.
Jesus, you really are a delicate little flower. It's a comedically exaggerated and dark-humoured description and well-written too... lighten up.
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Old 30.06.2020, 09:18
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Re: Creepy neighbour upstairs... how to de-escalate with Crazy Karen?

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Jesus, you really are a delicate little flower. It's a comedically exaggerated description and well-written too... lighten up.

Having watched a parent die a slow death from dementia I see nothing comedic in the slightest but rather spiteful. Rather than me lighten up why don't you show a little empathy
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Old 30.06.2020, 09:24
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Re: Creepy neighbour upstairs... how to de-escalate with Crazy Karen?

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Having watched a parent die a slow death from dementia I see nothing comedic in the slightest but rather spiteful. Rather than me lighten up why don't you show a little empathy
Sure, we all have a personal story that means we are offended by this and that. Shall we all then walk on eggshells just because we might offend someone? Is that what the many thousands of the famous comedians in this world do when dealing with any similar material? No, it isn't.

My grandmother had dementia but that doesn't mean I either go around rubbing it in people's face to make them feel bad or that I can't still laugh at any humour related to any mental conditions, because it's called being a balanced person. We don't even know if the OP's neighbour does have dementia... you just made that up to suit your own sense of outrage at her words. That is not cool, regardless of your historical circumstances.

Last edited by Chuff; 30.06.2020 at 12:52.
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Old 30.06.2020, 09:34
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Re: Creepy neighbour upstairs... how to de-escalate with Crazy Karen?

Move:

https://www.englishforum.ch/housing-...ns-please.html
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Old 30.06.2020, 09:45
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Re: Creepy neighbour upstairs... how to de-escalate with Crazy Karen?

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Have you perhaps considered that the lady needs help and not the threat of criminal charges or to be ganged up upon by neighbours so she can be thrown out as one poster suggested.

Perhaps it is the onset of dementia or some kind of nervous breakdown. Who knows, but if her behaviour is so far beyond what would be considered normal then you should indeed report it to Livit for the lady's welfare. Give an accurate report of what has happened and tell them you are concerned for her. Perhaps there is an emergency next of kin listed on the lease they can contact who can step in to resolve the situation/get the lady the help she may need.

EDIT BTW I would tone down the rather unkind Basically a hag, or the typical meth-addicted crazy cat lady description or the crazy Karen tag if you do file a report to Livit.
But it's not down to the neighbours to try to help her. I with most others, report to the landlord, I'm sure there's been other complaints. And then it's down to the landlord to either move her on or seek help for her.

In the meantime, just try to ignore her, that's the only way to de-escalate.
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Old 30.06.2020, 10:01
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Re: Creepy neighbour upstairs... how to de-escalate with Crazy Karen?

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Sure, we all have a personal story that means we are offended by this and that. Shall we all then walk on eggshells just because we might offend someone? Is that what the many thousands of the famous comedians in this world do when dealing with any similar material? No, it isn't.

My grandmother had dementia but that doesn't mean I either go around rubbing it in people's face to make them feel bad or that I can't still laugh at any humour related to any mental conditions, because it's called being a balanced person. We don't even know if the OP's neighbour does have dementia... you just made that up to suit your own outrage-mongering and hand-wringing.

Besides being a miserable ascerbic old git, I assume you have the ability to use the scroll function and have mastered basic reading comprehension and understand the meaning of perhaps and who knows. If not, my original post below

Perhaps it is the onset of dementia or some kind of nervous breakdown. Who knows, but if her behaviour is so far beyond what would be considered normal then you should indeed report it to Livit for the lady's welfare.

BTW Laughing at the misfortunes of others especially people who may be afflicted with mental illness doesn't make you a balanced person

Last edited by Mr Dog; 30.06.2020 at 10:16.
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