Tenants Complaining About Noise – What to Do
6 January 2017

Tenants Complaining About Noise – What to Do

Tenants often complain about noise; a complaint that landlords are often tasked to deal with. The answer depends on whether the noise comes from your rental property, or if it comes from an external source. In either case, solutions are available.

Persistent noise is very frustrating. We don’t need to be a tenant to understand how disruptive it can be – particularly if you happen to have young children. Tenants expect, and are paying for, a reasonable level of noise at all times. This brings us to our first point.

Have you, as the landlord, inspected the property to determine possible noise levels? Are you aware of how insulated your property is? Knowing these facts can a) help you inform tenants before they sign the lease and b) give you an opportunity to rectify these problems.

Most times, however, the source of the noise is beyond structural factors. The two main sources of noise that tenants complain of come from:

  • Noise internal to your property
  • Noise external to your property

Let’s go through each of these sources in turn and examine possible solutions.

Noise internal to your property

You might have more than one tenant in your rental property. It’s not uncommon for one or more of your tenants to complain about noise levels of another tenant. If you, as the landlord, receive a complaint about noise, there are several avenues you can pursue.

First, you need to determine whether the accusation is valid. Some tenants are hypersensitive to noise, beyond any reasonable measure. Should this prove to be the case, inform the tenant that their complaint is unreasonable and that such noises are to be expected.

You could also ask the tenant to talk with the accused. Some tenants are blissfully unaware that they’re causing disruption to other tenants. You should also recommend to the tenant that they should approach the accused in a calm and measured and sensitive manner.

If the noise is unreasonable though (for example, playing loud music after 10pm), the offending tenant should be informed that they’re in breach of the lease agreement and that, if the noise does not stop, they may receive an eviction notice.

Local ordinances also demand that noise levels be kept to a minimum at certain, defined periods. But sometimes these noises are external to your property, in which case a different strategy needs to be pursued.

Noise external to your property

Yes – your options are more limited, but there are productive steps you, as the landlord, can take.

Offensive levels of noise can come from many a source – from television and music, to parties, shouting and even children running rampant. Whatever the source may be, instruct your tenant to confront the offending party – which may include the landlord of that property.

As above, this should be done in a calm, measured and sensitive manner. You never know what mood disposition the offending tenant may hold. By approaching the manner in a somewhat diplomatic manner, the tenant is more likely to achieve the desired result.

If the tenant (or occupying landlord) does not comply, it may still be possible to determine whether they’re in violation of a local ordinance (as mentioned above). Should this prove to be the case, the landlord can pursue the matter via legal means.

By taking these positive steps, you can alleviate the stress of your tenants – whether the source of the offending noise is internal or external to your property.

Check back to our Triumph blog for even more entries that help landlords deal with tenants and their properties.

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