Dealing With Noise Complaints
Tenant complaints about noise are a frequent problem that landlords must handle. Although all renters have the right to peacefully enjoy their property, this right could be interpreted differently by different people. Naturally, people are entitled to make some noise in their homes, that said when it impacts other people's enjoyment of their space that’s when it crosses a line.
To deal with noise complaints, it's vital to understand where they come from, and how to write a solid noise clause in your lease and reduce them from occurring in the first place. Let's look at how to address these noise issues and ensure that both tenants and neighbourhood residents enjoy peace inside and outside their rental property.
What Counts as a Legitimate Noise Complaint?
Before discussing how to handle noise disturbances, it's critical to comprehend which types of noise necessitate taking action. What’s more, noise disturbances are difficult to manage, as context is always crucial.
For example, while most people wouldn't mind if a neighbour is mowing their lawn on a Saturday afternoon, doing it in the middle of the night might be considered intrusive. Here are various scenarios where a noise complaint might occur:
A house party with music on holiday or having a few guests around for supper one night do not necessarily warrant complaints. However, disciplinary action should be taken if a renter regularly hosts loud parties that occur at all hours of the night and day.
While occasional barking or meowing is acceptable in a pet-friendly property, continual noise at all hours of the day and night is not. Pets rarely make noise without a reason, so check in with your tenants to make sure everything is alright with their pets.
You must also take swift action if you hear complaints of animal noises in properties that have a not-pet policy in place.
Families and couples will inevitably disagree, but loud yelling that occurs every night is inappropriate and could result in a noise complaint.
What Can Tenants Do?
There are several steps tenants can take when dealing with noise issues from neighbours. They are as follows:
Record the Problem
They should start by noting the noise, what is it, and how frequently it’s occurring. The more information they can give on the problem, the better. This will make it easier for a landlord to address the issue.
Talk with Neighbours Directly
The ideal situation is the tenant speaks with the neighbour directly and they offer an apology, and the problem is resolved. Perhaps they weren't aware they were being so loud and all that was required was a conversation.
Ask for Help from the Landlord
The renter should write to their landlord for assistance if they have spoken to the neighbour, but the noise issue still persists.
What Actions Can a Landlord Take?
There are also steps that you, the landlord, can take when addressing noise complaints:
Recognize the Noise and Communicate with the Tenant
The source of the noise must be determined, and you must assess the complaint. Check if the complaint is valid and keep the tenant informed of the steps you’ve taken to investigate and remedy the issue.
Have a Noise Clause in the Lease
A landlord can enforce noise rules by having them expressly stated in the lease. Setting guidelines for tenants to follow and providing information to reference in the event of a noise complaint. Specify certain quiet hours or restrict the number of overnight visitors permitted in a unit.
Even if the landlord does not consider the noise to be excessive or in violation of the lease terms, the landlord should notify the tenants of this. If further action is required, the landlord must be able to show that they have made steps to address the problem.
As a landlord, you have the right to evict the renter if you frequently receive noise complaints about them. This may only be the case if the tenancy agreement contains a noise clause, and you can demonstrate that the clause has been repeatedly broken.
Consult Nearby Residents and Tenants
Before taking any action, confirm any complaints of excessive noise with any other parties who might be impacted. If you receive a complaint, think about asking the neighbours if they have also been bothered by the same instances.
Speak with the Noisy Tenant
If your rental agreement already contains a noise restriction, taking this step will be simpler because you may remind the renter of the noise clause and reaffirm that they are currently in violation of the lease agreement. Remember to be polite and professional and give them a chance to express themselves because there can be another side to the story.
What to Do If the Noise Complaint Isn't Valid
Even if you've done your due diligence and determined that a noise complaint is unjustified, you can still reassure concerned neighbours and assist them in finding a resolution.
Inform the renter that you have investigated the noise issue to the best of your ability. Describe your assessment of the noise complaint and your conclusion regarding its justification. Make sure to explain if there was no supporting evidence for the complaint.
It's crucial that you investigate a tenant’s noise complaints. Determine the validity of the complaint and depending on how serious the incident was, implement proportional disciplinary action. You might be able to evict the tenant if the problem doesn't get fixed.
Property owners may find it difficult and time-consuming to handle these problems, which is why Leenan Property Management is here to assist you with them and provide other property management services you might require. Contact us today to find out about our property management services!