When managing your rental home, you’ll be exposed to different kinds of personalities. Some renters are bound to be loud and this can result in complaints from neighbors or other tenants. If you’re renting out a unit in your building, you may also get a warning from an HOA member or building supervisor about noise levels.
You can follow the procedure detailed in the post to help in handling a noise complaint:
Review first if the complaint is valid. Then check the gravity of the situation before addressing the complaint. As a landlord, it’s best to refer to the city’s authority on the matter and ask if there is a set limit on the noise levels.
It’s not recommended to approach the accused renter before you have conducted a study of the situation and the complaint. You need to be assured that one of your tenants is in fact to blame for the noise. You should also take time to approach the other tenants to check whether the noise disturbed them, too.
If you discover that the source of the noise didn’t come from one of your tenants but rather another neighbor, you must meet with whoever placed the complaint and tell them to speak with the correct offender.
It should also be noted that renters are allowed to make noise, to a certain degree. That said, there may be things that can lead to a noise complaint from other people, such as:
Celebrating over dinner at home or gathering people for a party with fun music occasionally does not merit a complaint. But if it’s a regular event and excessive noise is created during late hours, this requires disciplinary action.
When you live in a multi-unit building, hearing the footsteps of the tenants above yours is nothing out of the ordinary – even if it’s late at night. But if the noise transforms into a thudding sound from jumping around or dancing, then complaining can be justified.
If you welcome pets, you might hear occasional noise and this is acceptable. But if a dog barks, cat meows, or bird chirps, without a break throughout the day, keeping people from sleeping well, then it’s not normal anymore. Communicate with the renter and ask if their pet is doing okay.
For landlords with a no-pet policy, but who received a noise complaint related to a barking dog, this requires further investigation.
Disagreements are common and there may be loud exchanges from arguments now and then. But if you keep hearing shouting daily then the involved parties should be notified of the noise they’re creating.
If, after conducting an investigation, you find out that the noise complaint is valid, then you need to take action. But make sure that the step you’ll take is equal to the seriousness of the issue.
If, for instance, it’s the first time the renter has hosted a party and the event got a little too loud then a simple warning is enough. If this happens often and the tenant continues to ignore the warnings, then an eviction process may be due, but this should only be the final resort.
If upon your independent investigation you find out that the noise complaint is not valid or a person other than your tenant is the culprit, then you should inform the person who filed the complaint. Be thorough with explaining to them the details of your inspection. Then, conclude that you can’t find proof that the complaint issued was valid.
To limit the issue of noise complaints, you can protect yourself by including a clause in your lease that’s specific to noise. This allows you to create terms and conditions that tenants must comply with. They’ll know what the consequences are and will be better able to prevent excessive noise from their end.
There are several kinds of noise clauses you can include in your lease. Consider the following:
The tenant is expected to stay within a reasonable noise decibel range to avoid creating a disturbance in the neighboring units and buildings. Under this clause:
In the clause the tenant is deemed responsible for overseeing the conduct and actions of their guests The tenant is allowed to entertain guests on the premises, provided these conditions are observed:
Upon receiving a noise complaint pointing to your renter, you must perform research first. Be objective when reviewing the complaint and check if it’s valid or not. Then you can apply the right disciplinary action that matches the degree of the offense. If no changes occur following warnings, document the situation and keep records so you can provide evidence if you decide to let go of a tenant.
If you need help managing your rentals, consider working with the expert property managers at Suncastle Properties today!