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I am beside myself. My homebound, physically handicapped mom got a "3 day notice to vacate" because her tv has been too loud at night and I guess a neighbor complained one too many times.


I have no clue what to do. Moving my mom, who can't do much for herself, is a time consuming, expensive process. Finding an ADA accessible apartment in her budget in 30 days would be impossible unless public housing has a miraculous opening. Neither of us, nor my extended family, have the funds to help, and I know from experience there are no charities around her that could help.


I'm so livid. The landlord has my info and said she'd contact me with any major concerns. I just don't know what to do. Obviously get lawyer but then what? They can't just shove a woman who can't walk out onto the street. Nursing homes are out of the picture because of covid. Eviction in this town means you're never getting another apartment.


Should she just refuse to leave?

You and your mom should go to the Manager and fix whatever the problem is!
If it's the TV being too loud, she needs to get a listening device Ike a pair of headphones to use while she's watching TV as not to bother the neighbors.

I wouldn't get a Lawyer.

Juse Fix the Problem!
You need to talk to the Landlord and tell them exactly what you said here about not being able to find a new place and that ya'll can work this out.

After the 3 Day Notice, on the 4th day, the Landlord can go to Court, pay a Fee and File an Eviction.

They will be given a Court date approximately 2-3 weeks at which time your mom will have to show up in Court and then the Judge will ask both parties what is going on.
Then whatever the Judge decides goes.
But, if you call the Landlord, tell them you're getting a headset for your mom to watch TV and let him know it won't be a problem any more, he'll probably reconsider and not go forward with the Eviction.
Your mom should also have her ears checked for wax and to see if she needs hearing aides.

You may also Move your Mom's TV away from the wall she has it up against to a wall where it is an outside wall instead of a neighbors wall to help with the loudness.

If your mom gets anything in the mail from the Court, All your mom has to do is make sure she shows up if she doesn't then the Judge will have no other choice than to make the Judgement for the Plantiff and against your mom and she'll have another week or so to move but only after the Landlord Files a Writ at the Courthouse and a Constable serves mom with a Notice to Move Out within 72 hrs but really she would have a week or so because it takes time to do the paper work and to actually get served by the Constable.
Then legally after the Writ is served and the 3-5 days is up, the Constable will show up with the Landlord and all your belongings will be put out to the curb.

Prayers you can get this worked out.

I would even talk nicely with the neighbor on both side if her to find out what exactly is going on and let them know your plans to fix the problem.
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Compassionate5 Apr 26, 2021
This is outstanding advice. Wow!!!
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My husband and I went thru a noise problem in our neighborhood. All single family homes with large lots. Elderly lady across the street played he TV so loud that everyone on the block could hear. It 24 hours a day everyday. My husband spoke with family members and they said she’s old we’re not doing anything. It went on for 5 years. In the end a policeman on patrol heard the racket and went to the family. They refused to help. Code enforcement took it to court. Subsequent investigation found that she couldn’t live by herself. She was put in Nursing home where she was not allowed to have tv because of the extreme noise. It was sad but no one could enjoy their home.
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Reply to Bridger46164
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Presumably she received prior notices about loud TV. Could she or you not have done something to alleviate this issue before it came to this? Frankly I would be livid if a person continued to destroy my sleep because they were too selfish to turn down their TV after they had been advised it was a problem. Could you apologize to landlord, promise that problem would be resolved and then go ahead and do it? I think a sincere apology and resolve to keep TV quiet might work. But your mom really does not have a right to disturb the peace of other tenants.
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Reply to rovana
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I have to think some ADA rules would prevent this from happening. Between that and the federal moratorium on evictions having been extended to June 30, I doubt Mom's going anywhere.

However, I think you should do what you can to alleviate the problem. Talk to the apartment manager and find out the reason for the eviction. If it's the TV, get her those TV Ears things that amplify the TV in a headset while the TV is silent in the room. She needs to be considerate of her neighbors as much as possible, because they have a right to live in peace.
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KimberlyB480 Apr 26, 2021
Moratorium only applies for nonpayment of rent not behavior issues. I would take the eviction notice seriously and take action.
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1) Educate yourself about the eviction process in her location. You can start with these links, but don't neglect contacting any available landlord tenant mediation services or, as always, working with an appropriate attorney.

https://consumer.sd.gov/fastfacts/landlordtenant.aspx
https://www.landlordguidance.com/eviction-notice-forms/south-dakota-eviction/

2. Try to figure out if plugging something into the headphone jack will disable the speakers, then see if you can hide the fact that headphones are there so she won't remove them. If possible, take the TV to a repair shop and have the speaker(s) disabled. Get her a set of TV ears or bluetooth headphones. While you are at it, check for similar noisy appliances: radio, speakerphone, etc. It also wouldn't hurt to see if you can find a remote noise monitoring device that would work with an app on your phone. (https://noiseaware.com/ is one for landlords, but I suspect it is expensive.)

3. Contact the landlord and see if an eviction can be postponed since the TV has been removed and/or the sound disabled. Your research on eviction procedures should give you an idea on what timeframe is reasonable.

4. Continue to look into housing alternatives. Maybe an Independent Living place? Also make sure that she gets vaccinated for Covid. Be aware that the problem is likely to recur in one form or another since something made her let it go this far this time.
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rovana Apr 21, 2021
I don't know if this would help, but could you check if the TV is against the bedroom wall of the complaining neighbor? Might moving is be one step to correcting the problem?
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I assume you meant she was given 30 days notice to vacate.

Your profile states, Caring for my mother who is a stroke victim, alcoholic, memory impaired, and incontinent. Being that your mother is an alcoholic with memory impairment, could it be there is more ruckus and noise going on in the apartment than you or the home health aides are aware of, or that she herself even realizes? Being you don't live there, you cannot answer the question accurately, I don't think. As a rule, landlords don't like to evict orderly tenants who pay their rent on a timely basis.

Does the lease say that more than 30 days notice must be given to a tenant before eviction? Or is the landlord within his rights? That's an important question to have answered, first and foremost.

I think you need to speak to the landlord to get to the bottom of what's going on over there that they want your mother gone. Can this be fixed? What will it take? Put your anger aside for the moment and listen to what's being said to you by the landlord.

If, in reality, she's being given 3 days to vacate, I believe that's against the law and you can fight it.

Good luck!
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rovana Apr 21, 2021
Excellent post! Talking to the landlord may clarify some of the problems, which may be fixable. If you take a reasonable, cooperative attitude, the landlord may be willing to meet you partway, at least allowing you to alleviate the problem
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There are some good suggestions here for you. I would start with a meeting with the landlord and go from there. You may hear about other problems that you may not believe or that you are not aware of regarding your mom’s behavior that need to be addressed. Be prepared to be surprised.
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Reply to Ricky6
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Get mom a set of TV Ears and tell the landlord you think you have the problem solved. You can order them from amazon
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AliBoBali Apr 21, 2021
It would be great if this works, and this TV noise is the only real complaint from neighbors. I'm sympathetic to the neighbors and sympathetic to the mom. We need more adaptive technology in society to help people stay functional in their homes in place, if that's what's best for them.
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Did your mother get any notices about problems behavior? Did you?
Talk to the landlord. Please consider having your mother's hearing tested for hearing aids. If she gets hearing aids and uses them consistently, maybe she can avoid an eviction. If hearing issues are a problem, it might help to talk to your mother's neighbors and let them know you are handling the issue. Give them your phone number as well.

Is there a clause in her rental agreement about eviction? Read her rental agreement before contacting a lawyer.

Landlords do not have to keep tenants just because they have disabilities. If your mother refuses to leave, then the authorities will be notified. The authorities will then have to evict your mother and maybe serve her with papers - not a pretty sight.

If your mother's TV - or other activity - is causing problems for others, start looking for new housing options. Please consider assisted living, ADA compliant housing, and nursing homes. She may have to live with family members until you can locate other housing for her.
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Reply to Taarna
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To answer everyone's questions,

I talked to a lawyer. 3 day notice to vacate is correct. South Dakota is a state where that is legal. From there it can go to eviction court.
My mom is on a month to month lease which makes her even harder to defend because she could be asked to leave anytime for any reason really. She's not protected by a 1 year lease or anything.

I talked with the landlord and she did receive multiple warnings verbally and written. I offered solutions like y'all mentioned and they agreed to extend her notice to leave for 30 days. She has to be out May 22nd. I don't think my mom fully understood the warnings. I don't know why she didn't tell me except that i know she didn't want to bug me.

The lawyer i spoke to said she likely would not have won in eviction court because from what I described, the landlord is within their rights and my mom isn't protected just because she's disabled. Losing in eviction court would mean paying the landlords legal fees, and it would put a massive stain on her record and THAT is something I could not risk ever.

The lawyer also recommended to move her asap anyways because even if the issues is resolved, something else is likely to come up in the future especially since the neighbors are prone to complaining anyways.

So, I was able to find a new place for my mom that is for low income elderly people. It only took me two weeks of chaotic searching, crying, begging, and frantic panic attacks, but I did it. It's not the nicest place or on the best side of town, but it's good enough.

I could have fought this but every instinct and everyone I talked to said to move her asap. The eviction stain is just not worth it especially going up against a big corporate landlord that has no qualms about someone's living situation.

So, if you ever get a 3 day notice to vacate, it is legal but you can send a rebuttal to the landlord and ask for an extension.
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jacobsonbob Apr 28, 2021
aj6044--I'm happy to read the situation is working out favorably. However, I have one question--will the TV be an issue in the new location, or do you have a solution for that?
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