Roof tent is no circus for tenants in Glendale

Hovhannes Markaryan removes his shoes when he enters his Glendale apartment to reduce the amount of movement his neighbors downstairs hear. 

He's especially careful because he knows what it's like to live under noisy neighbors, even though the 80-year-old Markaryan has no apartment above him on Cypress Street.

Rather, the noise he hears almost nightly comes from an illegal cabana perched on the roof above his apartment. He got so fed up with the noise that he pleaded last week with the City Council for help.

Now, the neighbor has to remove the 120-square-foot tent that he's had for more than three years because it's a fire code violation.

“It must come down,” said city spokesman Tom Lorenz. 

The neighbor, Art Karapetyan, said he'd rather not take down the tent, where he relaxes after work and eats with family and friends. However, he said he will comply with the city's request.

“I don't believe that [the tent is] dangerous,” Karapetyan said.

His apartment has a long balcony that extends over Markaryan's roof. There are no other balconies over any of the other roofs in the complex. The former tenant, the building's owner, built the balcony, Karapetyan said. 

He said he understood Markaryan and his 80-year-old wife are old and they don't like it when he hangs out in his cabana, but just because the tent must come down, that doesn't mean he'll stop using the terrace. 

“I understand they are old, but I have my life,” he said.

Markaryan, who has put up with noise from the cabana for four months, said he and his wife can't afford to move to another apartment. They live on a combined income of Social Security benefits of $1,500 a month and pay under $500 for the apartment because they receive subsidized housing assistance.

“We can't stay here, but there's nowhere else to go,” he said.


Follow Brittany Levine on Google+ and on Twitter: @brittanylevine.


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