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Home » HOA » What Landlords Can Do About Nuisance Tenants: The Ultimate Guide

One of the most common complaints you will receive as a rental property owner is related to noise or nuisances. It’s also not that easy to control, as you can’t always keep an eye on what your tenants are up to. You can’t always be absolutely certain, either, as the complainant might’ve been overly sensitive to the nuisance.

In case another tenant or neighbor files a complaint against your tenant, we’ve put together a couple of tips on how to handle the situation professionally.

Can Landlords Be Held Liable For Noisy Tenants?

Are landlords liable for nuisance tenants? The short answer is no. There’s no way to tell what your tenant will do, and it would be pretty unreasonable to be held liable for what another person decides to do. In case your tenant creates noise, your tenant’s neighbors won’t be able to point their fingers at you unless you agreed to the noise. You will also be held liable if, at the time the noise commenced, you were around yet you did nothing to deal with it (e.g. you were at your tenant’s party and you didn’t tell your tenant to stop the noise).

In addition, you won’t be held liable if your tenant creates noise that you were not aware of. For instance, if you had no idea that your tenant played the drums, you won’t be held responsible for the noise. However, if you were made aware of the noise, yet you failed to inform your tenant about the complaints, chances are that you will be held liable.

Determine If the Noise Complaint Even is Valid

Every time you receive a noise complaint, carefully evaluate the circumstances to determine if the complaint is valid, or if it’s the result of oversensitivity. Some noise levels are inevitable, but the problem is when it becomes way too excessive.

If one of the tenants plays the guitar at midnight, it would be understandably upsetting to their neighbors, and therefore would most certainly be considered excessive noise. But if tenants complain about the chatter from their neighbors, this is a commonplace noise that can’t be considered “extreme”. In short, it can’t be avoided, but it can be prevented through certain property improvements.

What to Do If the Complaint Is Valid

What to Do If the Complaint Is Valid

If the complaint is found to be valid, you should resolve the problem as soon as possible. You or your property management company could contact the concerned tenant to discuss the complaint. If your lease agreement contains a clause on nuisances and noise, remind your tenant that in the event the noise continues, you’re free to legally file for eviction.

Below is a step-by-step breakdown of what you need to do in case a tenant causes a nuisance in your South Florida rental property:

#1 Get the Neighbors’ Side of the Story

Before you confront your tenant, find out if the complaint is even true, or if it was filed by an oversensitive neighbor! Every time you receive a complaint, ask the next-door neighbors if they were disturbed by the “noise” or if they found it excessive, as well. If they tell you that they weren’t disturbed, the neighbor likely filed a false complaint. On the other hand, if their side of the story aligns with the complainant’s, get ready to confront your tenant.

(If you don’t want to confront your tenant, don’t worry – you can ask your South Florida property management company to deal with this for you).

#2 Talk to the Noisy Tenant

“Noise” is one of the most common tenant complaints. It’s possible that the problem tenant had no idea they were the cause of a nuisance. That’s why you should talk to your tenant in a non-confrontational way. Inform them of the complaint, but do not tell them the name of the neighbor that complained. Your goal should be to get their side of the story, as it’s possible that the person who complained was exaggerating, when in fact, the tenant did nothing illegal.

In the event that the tenant does not dispute the complaint, tell them to control the noise in the future, otherwise, you will be forced to evict them. If you’re a long-distance landlord, get a property management agent so you can have someone on-site to deal with noise-related concerns on your investment property.

#3 If All Else Fails, Evict the Tenant

If All Else Fails, Evict the Tenant

You can issue your tenant a notice to quit if they regularly violate their lease agreement regarding the nuisance. A notice to quit requires tenants to stop violating the lease agreement, or else they will face eviction. If the noise continues, you may have no other choice but to evict the tenant – remember, if you fail to take action, you’ll likely be held liable as you were aware of the problem. Besides, if their conduct affects other tenants’ peace (particularly in a multi-family property), it would be preferable to evict them than to lose other respectable tenants.

Dealing With Noisy Visitors

Let’s say your tenant’s roommates are the ones who are noisy. As soon as you receive the complaint, contact your original tenant. You should inform the renter about the noise complaint and request that the problem is resolved, or else they will have to ask their roommate to leave, or they themselves will be required to move out.

Tenant Screening Is the Solution to Noisy Tenants

To prevent renting your property to renters who have a history of noise complaints, it’s important to screen your tenants strictly. Review a tenant’s application as part of the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and, if possible, contact their previous landlord to find out if they had difficulties with the tenant. If you discover that the tenant was evicted due to noise, think twice about renting to them – screening tenants can be time-consuming, but it’s better than renting to the wrong individual.

Partner with an expert property management company such as Luxury Property Care to ensure you don’t rent to nuisance tenants today. And in case your tenant does create noise, we’re here to deal with them promptly and professionally. Contact us at (561) 944 – 2992 or complete our contact form for more information.

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