Noisy renters are one of the worst problems that landlords must handle. Specifically, with multifamily properties such as quadplexes or apartments, the noise issues on-premises are even more severe due to proximity.
However, landlords can handle noise complaints with the help of local authorities and act against the bad tenants who are creating a nuisance.
Here are a few tips on understanding the nature of noise complaints along with tackling noise complaints in your Norfolk apartment building.
What Qualifies as Noise?
Noise is any unwelcome sound that causes annoyance and disturbance to unwilling listeners. The following are the most common reasons for noise complaints.
Loud music or Television
Excessively loud behavior at late-night parties
Arguing or fighting
Walking heavily or running at odd hours
Noise from tenants’ guests
Children playing and running in the corridor
Noise caused by pets such as barking dogs
If any of the abovementioned occur, the other tenants in the building have the right to lodge a complaint against the person responsible.
Handling Noise Complaints in Your Norfolk Apartment
Noisy tenants are a real problem for landlords but, as a landlord, you must listen to the complaints of your tenants carefully and find the necessary solution. Here is a guide on resolving the noise complaints of tenants in your Norfolk rental apartment.
1) Examine the Complaint
If your tenants bring noise complaints to you, it is your responsibility to enquire whether it’s a valid complaint or qualifies as noise. It is better to have a meeting with those who have made the complaint and the tenants it is made against. Sometimes, some tenants are over-sensitive to noise and lodge unreasonable complaints. For example, complaints about the occasional barking of a dog, banging on doors, friendly discussions in common areas, or family events can’t be considered valid.
On the other hand, complaints such as loud music or late-night parties can be considered valid. There is a possibility of tenants creating noise deliberately to annoy their neighbors. In such cases, a landlord needs to communicate with both parties, and investigate the type of noise, when it happens, whether it is frequent, and the reasons behind it. Once you enquire thoroughly, you can proceed with legal actions, such as processing the complaint.
2) Issue A Formal Notice
Once you enquire thoroughly and confirm all details of the complaint, have a discussion with noisy tenants and try to understand the reason behind causing frequent noise. Sometimes, noise complaints may seem invalid to you, but as a landlord, you should address those and try to find a solution to the issue at your level. You may warn about the inconvenience they cause to other tenants. Also, give your tenants a formal warning notice if they repeat the same mistakes over and over.
3) Check If the Problems Persist
Landlords may approach the people who have lodged the complaints and ask them whether there is an improvement in the behavior of noisy tenants. If the problem persists and tenants continue to make noise, you can use the lease agreement and deal with the problem.
If the noise is unbearable for all the tenants, landlords have to take legal action against the accused tenants and serve them a Notice to Quit.
4) Add a Clause in the Lease Regarding Noise Violation
Landlords should add rules and clauses regarding noise nuisance in the lease agreement. You can add clauses regarding excessive noise, the consequences of causing it, and community quiet hours in your apartment. Be sure you comply with federal laws, state laws, and stick to the code enforcement of Norfolk's nuisance ordinances while drafting a lease.
Doud Realty Services can help landlords to understand their legal rights and obligations regarding noise and nuisance complaints. Our team can also assist you in drafting a lease agreement for your Norfolk Apartment that incorporates all rules and terms related to noise nuisance. For more details, connect with us at Doud Realty Services.