Landlords play a crucial role in ensuring that their tenants have a peaceful and comfortable living environment. A common issue that arises in rental properties is excessive noise, which can disrupt the daily routine of tenants and cause disturbances in a residential neighborhood. Keeping noise to a minimum is essential in keeping tenants happy.
Therefore, it is crucial for landlords to know how to handle noise complaints effectively and efficiently while maintaining a calm and purposeful attitude with both involved parties.
When you receive noise complaints from your tenants or neighbors regarding excessive noise, the following guide can help you handle the situation effectively:
As soon as you receive a noise complaint from a tenant or neighbor, you should ask for as much information as possible. Ask the tenant or neighbor to provide the time and date of the occurrence, the nature of the excessive noise, and if they know where it was coming from.
Assess the Complaint
Before taking any action you need to assess the validity and severity of the noise complaints. You must verify with your local authorities whether there are any local noise ordinances on noise levels. In case such limitations exist, tenants must comply with the specified maximum decibel levels during their stay.
Determine the Source of the Noise
If the noise is not coming from your property or one of your lessees, you should advise the complaining party to talk to the source of the excessive noise directly.
Additionally, it would be helpful to inquire with other tenants or neighbors about whether they have heard anything and if they have been disturbed by a noise as well.
Investigate the Complaint
The landlord should investigate noise complaints and determine the cause of the noise. Typically, the most common things that may trigger a noise complaint are the following:
Occasional gatherings like having a few people over dinner is acceptable. In some cases, occasional house parties may also be allowed as long as the tenants handle their guests well and keep their noise low.
However, if the tenant always has parties with excessively loud music, screaming, singing, and loud talking after hours, other tenants have a right to file a noise complaint and landlords should take disciplinary action.
While it’s normal for tenants to have occasional arguments at home, anything that can cause consistent disturbance to the peace should be addressed promptly. If the arguments escalate to screaming or physical fights, landlords may need to intervene.
In a multi-level apartment, it’s quite normal to hear neighbors walking above. But, if an usptairs neighbor is jumping around, dancing, or running late at night or early in the morning, the tenant below them has the right to file a complaint about excessive noise.
If your rental property is pet-friendly, hearing dogs barking is normal. However, if the dogs are barking constantly, it is something worthy of a complaint.
If this happens, make sure your tenant understands how to teach a dog to stop barking. On the other hand, if your rental property has a no-pet policy and you received a pet-related noise complaint, this is something that you should investigate as soon as possible.
Address the Issue
After investigating the complaint, if you have determined that it is valid, you need to address it promptly. Depending on the severity of the complaint, you can first issue a verbal warning to the tenant responsible for the noise, explaining the noise issue and how it affects other tenants in the building.
If the issue persists, you should provide a written notice outlining the complaint and requesting the noisy tenant control and fix the issue immediately. It’s important to explain the possibility of penalties for failing to control the noise to the tenant, such as monetary fines or termination of the lease agreement.
In cases where the noise complaint is not justified, landlords should let the tenants know that no excessive noise was detected and assure them that they will continue to monitor the situation. It is essential to communicate this clearly to the tenant or neighbor complaining about the noise to avoid future confrontations effectively.
It’s a landlord’s responsibility to maintain records of noise complaints, including the tenant’s information, the date, the time, and the outcome of your investigation, as well as the actions that you’ve taken to address the noise issues.
This will ensure that there is a history of the issue and help you with future noise complaints.
Remind Tenants of Your Noise Policy
The next step is to remind all tenants of your noise policy, especially the specific noise limits at certain times. This policy should have been included in the rental agreement as a clause and signed by the tenant.
It’s also best to have a copy of this policy displayed in the building to remind your tenants of their responsibility to maintain peace and quiet within the community.
Landlords may also take steps to promote good noise management practices among tenants, including tips on soundproofing rooms. The adoption of these practices can help reduce future noise complaints and create a harmonious living environment.
Legally Handling Noise
If the noisy tenants refuse to cooperate, you may need to involve legal authorities to help you address the noise problem. In most cases, you may need to pursue eviction or seek a court order as a last resort. That’s why it’s important you familiarize yourself with the local eviction process.
Avoiding Noise Complaints
Noise complaints are an inevitable part of managing rental properties, and landlords should be prepared to respond promptly, diplomatically, and sensibly when such incidents arise.
Establish and enforce noise regulations, such as communicating effectively and tactfully with all parties involved, to avoid unnecessary disputes. Noise regulations create a peaceful and comfortable living environment for every tenant.
Hiring a Professional Property Management Company
If you don’t want to address noise complaints or noisy tenants on your own, hiring a property manager who is knowledgeable about landlord-tenant law can help.
The professional property managers at Blue Door Realty are equipped with the knowledge and skills to address excessive noise and handle noise complaints such as this. Working with a property manager means you won’t have to deal with such problems by yourself anymore. Contact us today to learn more!