13 Nov Dealing with Tenant Noise Complaints
When you are a landlord, tenant issues can arise from time to time. One common issue is tenant noise complaints from other tenants. How to deal with this issue depends on the specifics of the situation, depending on whether your tenant is the one complaining or the one being complained about.
If your renters are the ones getting complaints filed about their loud music or noisy parties, you will have to deal with this situation carefully. Depending on how the lease agreement was set up, they may be permitted to receive a couple of warnings for issues like this before any action is taken. Other lease agreements are very strict and outline eviction for just one noise complaint.
As a landlord, this is something you will have to decide upon long before you rent the property. Take into consideration the type of neighborhood it is and also the type of neighbors. One way to remedy some noise issues in communities and neighborhoods is to set aside certain hours as quiet hours. By designating times that tenants must remain quiet, you can help create boundaries that they can stick to. Check with the homeowners association to see if such quiet hours are in place. It may be just as simple as distributing the HOA guidelines to tenants who weren’t aware of the rules when they moved in.
If your tenants are the ones complaining about another neighbor, you will have to take action as well. If the loud neighbors are owners, you will have to speak with them directly. If they are also renting, it’s best to go to their landlord and try to come to some agreement. They may have rules in their lease that specify quiet hours and just aren’t following them. Perhaps their landlord isn’t aware.
According to Janet Portman, attorney who specializes in landlord/tenant law, if the situation becomes intolerable for your renters, they are entitled to break their lease with no responsibility for future rent. This is even if you are doing all you can to make things better. Portman defines an intolerable situation as one in which “a reasonable person could not live peacefully in his home.” She goes on to say that night after night of loud parties next door would classify as that type of situation.
Most cities have noise ordinances so it may be possible to have the noise measured. Then the city can send out notices of violations and fines if the noise continues. This could help get the results you want, especially if the landlord receives heavy fines.
If none of these methods work, it may come to filing a lawsuit in small claims court. This will require describing the situation as a public nuisance and asking a judge to order the noisy neighbors to stop as well as pay damages to your tenants. Hopefully, the situation won’t require this type of action, but it is an option that you might have to consider if all else fails.
Here at MPS, professional property management is our specialty. We have the expertise and experience to settle problems such as noise complaints while saving the landlord undue stress and worry. You can give us a call at (310) 220-4495 or visit our website to learn more about Metro Property Services. We are always happy to consult, free of charge to offer you advice about how to proceed with your professional leasing and management needs.