Handling Apartment Noise Complaints
Managing an apartment complex can be a rewarding experience, but every so often there are some challenging circumstances that must be confronted head-on. One of those circumstances is a noise complaint. If you don't confront a noise issue immediately, you set the standard for other tenants to also generate excess noise and that can create an untenable living situation for some of your best renters. Here's how you can start handling apartment noise complaints without creating an extra level of drama.
1. Notify the Tenant That They Are In Violation of Their Lease
Most apartment noise complaints, if founded, are a violation of the leasing agreement. If you have investigated the noise complaint and found it to be valid, then give the tenant an official notice that they are out of compliance. This notice will give you the foundation of starting an eviction if necessary. Make sure to include how the tenant can become compliant once again and give them a deadline.
2. Don't Just Take the Word of the Complainer
The primary reason why landlords or apartment managers get into trouble with noise complaints is that they make an assumption that the tenant filing the complaint is telling the 100% truth. Many tenants do give the complete facts, but only from their own perspective. Sometimes a tenant will file a noise complaint out of spite. It is important to investigate every complaint thoroughly before sending a notice that could get you into trouble.
3. Outline All of the Events That You've Discovered During Your Investigation
Discuss the specifics, including the date and the time, of when the tenant became in violation of the noise stipulations that are in the lease. Make sure to include the details of the noises as well if they can be determined, like if there was a party going on or the television was turned up to a maximum volume. This will let the tenant know the precise issue and give them a chance to correct it.
4. Do You Have Paper Thin Walls in Your Apartment Complex?
Sometimes a noise complaint is legitimate, but it is because of the structure of the apartment building itself and not the fault of the tenant. A television that is on volume #10 is set at a reasonable level, even if the tenant next door can hear the television. Take this into account as you're investigating the complaint and speak with those who are making complaints to make sure they understand the structural components of the building.
5. Always Follow-Up This Notice
If the tenant complies with the notice of the noise complaint and rectifies the issue, then give them another notice that says they have done so. If they have not, then follow-up with another notice of violation that may include a notice to vacate the premises or the start of the eviction process. Landlord/tenant laws often dictate what can and what cannot be mentioned in circumstances like these. Follow these tips and the expectations of your local laws and you'll be able to handle this situation appropriately.
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