If you’re a landlord or rental property owner, you’ve probably dealt with your fair share of noise complaints. While some noise complaints are legitimate, some complaints might be due to personal issues between your tenants. Learning to deal with noise complaints is an important part of managing your rental property.
You want to have a positive relationship with your tenants and allow them to live in their rental unit without worrying about loud disturbances. In this blog, the experts at Pinnacle Property Management will teach you how to deal with noise complaints effectively.
What Is a Noise Complaint?
A noise complaint is a complaint filed by an individual or group about excessive noise interfering with their life. In some cases, the complaint may be about a specific type of noise, such as construction noise or car alarms. In other cases, the complaint may be about general noise.
Noise complaints are typically filed with the local police but in some cases they may be filed with the city or county government. In most cases, the complaint will be investigated and the offending party will be issued a warning or citation if found guilty.
In some cases, the police may take more extreme measures, such as shutting down a business or issuing a noise abatement order. California does have a Noise Control Act under the state’s Health and Safety Codes that are relevant to rental property owners.
What Are Common Causes of Noise Complaints?
Many types of noise can be considered a nuisance, from loud music to construction noise. But what are the most common causes of noise complaints? They include:
Loud music or parties.
Construction or renovation noise.
Loud vehicles, such as motorcycles or excessively loud car stereos.
Neighbor disputes, such as playing instruments or loud arguments.
Commercial businesses operating late at night.
Significant events, such as concerts or festivals.
How to Avoid Noise Complaints
There are various measures to reduce the chances of getting a noise complaint, such as:
Make sure that any music or other noise is not audible from outside of the property.
Keep car stereos, and other loud devices turned down.
Avoid honking horns and revving engines.
Use quieter equipment when possible.
Follow city ordinances regarding noise levels.
How Landlords Can Assess a Noise Complaint
When you receive a noise complaint, it is essential to take it seriously and address the issue as soon as possible. You can take a few steps to investigate the complaint and determine the best course of action.
Check the Lease Agreement
The first step is to check the lease agreement. If there is a noise clause, it will outline the expectations for noise levels and quiet hours. This can help you determine if the tenant violated their lease agreement.
Speak with the Tenants
If the lease agreement does not provide enough information, the next step is to speak with the tenant. It is essential to have a calm and respectful conversation. Ask them about the complaint and see if they will work with you to find a solution.
Speak with Witnesses
If there are witnesses to the noise, it is also essential to speak with them. They can provide valuable information about what happened and when. This can help you determine if the tenant violated their lease agreement.
Check for Previous Complaints
If this is not the first noise complaint, it is essential to check for previous complaints. This can help you determine if the tenant violated their lease agreement.
Once you have gathered all of the information, you can take action. You can issue a warning or disciplinary action if the tenant violated their lease agreement. If the tenant is not violating their lease agreement, you can work with them to find a solution that satisfies everyone involved.
How Tenants Can Deal With Unreasonable Noise Complaints
All tenants have the right to the covenant of quiet enjoyment. Dealing with unreasonable noise complaints can be a little tricky. Following the given steps can avoid or resolve any conflict.
When someone makes a noise complaint, it can be tempting to start throwing around accusations immediately. However, this approach is rarely practical and can make the situation even worse. Instead, try to approach the situation calmly and rationally for an effective solution
Listen to the Complaint
It is essential to listen to and take seriously any noise complaints you receive. Even if you don't think you were being too loud or causing a disturbance, someone else may have a different perspective on the situation. Take the time to listen to their concerns and understand their side of the story.
Diffuse the Situation
The best way to resolve a conflict is to remain calm and try to see things from the other person's perspective. It's also important to remember that you're not alone in this situation - other people live in your building who are probably experiencing the same thing.
Educate the Complainant
One of the best ways to deal with an unreasonable noise complaint is to educate the complainant. Explain to them why the noise is occurring and what you're doing to mitigate it. If they understand the situation, they may be more likely to be reasonable about it.
Ask Them What They Would Do
If you're still struggling to resolve the situation, ask the complainant what they would do in your situation. This can help them see things from your perspective and make them more sympathetic to your situation.
Remind Them That You Want to Help
It's important to remember that the complainant is probably just as frustrated as you are. Remind them that you're both on the same team and working together to find a solution to the problem.
Find a Compromise
Sometimes, it may be necessary to devise a compromise to satisfy both parties. This could involve setting a noise curfew or finding a way to reduce the noise. A compromise can often be found if both parties are willing to work together.
Ultimately, landlords need to address noise complaints quickly and effectively. This can be done by clearly communicating expectations to tenants, setting rules and regulations, and taking appropriate disciplinary action when necessary.
In extreme cases, involving a mediator or even taking legal action may be necessary. But by following these steps, you can hopefully avoid and resolve conflicts with unreasonable noise complaints.
If you want to stop being that mediator, you should consider partnering with a property manager. The experts at Pinnacle Property Management are well-versed in tenant conflict resolution. Contact us today to learn more about our services!