Whether you’re a property manager or landlord, you’ve probably received a Noise Complaint from one of your renters. Dealing with noisy renters isn’t fun, and it’s definitely not a situation you’re trained to diffuse. Unfortunately, it comes with the job, and if you don’t make strides to fix the problem, you might be fined on behalf of your renters. To handle a noise complaint from one of your own renters, take these 4 steps and your renter will sing your praises, just not too loudly.
1. Listen to Your Renter
Just like we mention in our post about resolving the most common renter complaints, the first step you should take in this situation is to simply hear out your renter. When one of your renters files a noise complaint, that means either their sleep or downtime has been interrupted, and that can be frustrating. Listen to your renter and allow them to get their frustrations out. Let them know they’ve been heard and validate their concerns. Here are some common reasons that might trigger a noise complaint:
- Loud music
- Upstairs neighbors stomping/walking loudly on floor
- Children crying, screaming, or yelling
- Late-night parties
2. Get the Facts
After you’ve heard their side of the story, ask the renter filing the noise complaint specific questions to better understand the problem. A renter can easily get caught up in an in-depth explanation of how the noise is affecting their life, leaving out details that are important for you to know before you speak with the loud renter. Try starting with these questions to understand how you can help:
- What does the noise sound like?
- For how long does it carry on?
- What time of day does it happen?
- Does it happen on a particular day of the week?
- Is it constant?
Once you’ve gathered all the information, reassure your renter that you will speak with the noisy neighbor and resolve the issue.
3. Speak to the Noisy Renter
Carve out time as soon as possible to talk with the noise maker. Explain to them that another renter has made a noise complaint. Give them a summary of what has been claimed, without naming the renter (we don’t want to cause any more tension between these two), and give them an opportunity to respond. Hear them out, just like you heard your other renter out.
The noisy neighbor might be aloof or unaware that they were even bothering anyone else; or, they might be well aware and shrug it off. It’s important to go in without expectations and make it clear that you’ve received a noise complaint, even if they dispute it. If they deny the claim that they’ve been a noisy neighbor, it might be a good idea to ask around and see if your other renters have noticed anything to get a better understanding.
4. Take Action
Give the noisy neighbor a warning if it’s their first offense. Make sure they know what’s written in their lease, and bring a copy to point out any noise restrictions or quiet hour clauses. Remind them that they’re breaking their contract by distributing the neighbors with excessive noise, and tell them you’ll give them a warning this time.
If the noise continues, evicting your renter might be an option, depending on how you’ve written up their lease. A Notice to Cure or Quit will be the best route to go, giving the tenant three days to fix the problem or vacate the premises. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you notify both the tenant who filed the noise complaint and the tenant making the noise so everyone is informed.
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