It’s not uncommon for South Florida rental property owners to require their tenants to follow the rule on quiet hours. This applies particularly to the owners of multi-family properties, such as townhomes. In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into why quiet hours are important in real estate investments, and what you can do to deal with noise complaints today.
What Are Quiet Hours?
As the landlord, you are not required to impose rules and regulations regarding quiet hours, however, you do have the power to – as long as they are fair and written in your lease agreement, of course. (If you don’t know how to write the requirement of quiet hours into the lease agreement, get a property management agent to do it for you).
Quiet hours are times during the day (generally the night and morning, such as 10 PM to 5 AM) when excessive noise is discouraged. Excessive noise refers to sounds that are too loud or disruptive, such as noise from the lawnmower, vacuum, and more.
If your rental contract contains quiet hours, your tenants need to be constantly of aware the noise they are producing during these times. This is because a violation of these rules could potentially be the cause of eviction.
Why Should You Worry About Noise, Anyway?
Renter retention is the answer to ensuring that operating costs consistently stay low. After all, without your tenants, how would you be able to pay the bills? That is why, when you find responsible tenants, you need to do your best to ensure they don’t leave. To do this, you need to provide your tenants with exceptional customer service, and that includes the control of excessive noise.
When your tenants agree to rent your property (i.e. they sign the rental agreement), they assume the implied right of “quiet enjoyment”. Just as the name suggests, “quiet enjoyment” is the right to the undisturbed use of a rental property.
When you require tenants to follow quiet hours (on a multi-family South Florida rental property), you’ll get to mitigate the noise. You won’t be able to guarantee your tenants that their neighbors will be 100% quiet, but you can enforce reasonable measures to safeguard their right to quiet enjoyment.
How Can Quiet Hours Help With Quiet Enjoyment?
Quiet hours are by far the best strategy to reduce noise-related disputes and disagreements among tenants. You will be able to lower the possibility of tenants doing disruptive things, such as mowing the lawn, at inconvenient hours. By doing so, you can steer clear of complaints from tenants that are angry about their neighbors being too loud.
However, while property owners, with the guidance of their property managers, are allowed to require tenants to follow their own quiet hours, it might be better to tweak the quiet hour requirements on weekends. On the other hand, you may want to begin quiet hours earlier on weekdays when your occupants would probably want to go to bed early.
When Should the “Quiet Hours” Be?
Where your property is located can dictate the duration of the required quiet hours. This is because it’s possible for local ordinances to prohibit excessive noise above a certain decibel level. And because quiet hours are required to be reasonable, establishing your own quiet hour regulation based on current local laws can be a good idea, as it’s one way to avoid objections.
By incorporating local legislation on quiet hours into your lease agreement, you can reduce the need for intervention by law enforcement in the event of a violation.
In general, quiet hours fall between 10 PM to 7 AM on weekdays, and 10 PM to 8 AM or 9 AM on weekends. Ask your property management company to check when your city’s quiet hours are, so you can set your requirements correctly.
Should Tenants Be Quiet Only During Quiet Hours?
No, tenants shouldn’t follow the requirement of being quiet only during quiet hours. They should be able to respect their neighbor’s right to quiet enjoyment at all times. With that said, even if it’s still 5 PM, that doesn’t mean your tenant can blast music for the entire neighborhood to hear. They should not be allowed to disturb the quiet enjoyment of their neighbors, even if the requirement of “quiet hours” hasn’t started yet. Excessive noise at any time should be prohibited and may be the cause of that certain tenant’s eviction.
Who Should Follow Quiet Hour Rules?
If you own a multi-family rental property such as a townhouse, every tenant must follow the quiet hour requirement. This also applies to guests that they may have over. However, if there is local legislation on quiet hours, it would also apply to everyone around your rental property – even the people that aren’t your tenants.
When Can a Tenant File a Noise Complaint?
What’s noise to your tenant may not be noise to you, so it’s best to know how to tell if a complaint passes for an actual noise complaint (in other words, if it can be considered a disruption).
“Normal” noise includes everyday noise such as conversing. Excessive noise, on the other hand, is unnecessary and unusual noise, such as cranked-up music, drum-playing, guitar-playing, and more. If you aren’t sure how to classify your tenant’s complaint, it would benefit you to partner with a South Florida property management firm.
Can You Impose Penalties on Tenants That Violate Quiet Hours?
Your property manager should impose certain penalties for tenants that violate the quiet hour requirement. While law enforcement can get involved and impose their own penalties for one-time violations, you should also consider what to do in case of repeated violations.
When multiple tenants complain about another tenant, you have to review their complaints very carefully. If you find their complaints to be accurate, you may be able to evict the problem tenant, as they are already violating their neighbors’ rights.
However, be sure that the problem tenant is served a written warning to give them the opportunity “right their wrongs”. It’s possible that the tenant had no idea they were being bad neighbors.
Impose Quiet Hours With Luxury Property Care
If you’re having a hard time getting your tenants to follow the quiet hour requirement in your lease agreement, get in touch with Luxury Property Care. Our experts will educate your tenants on the importance of quiet hours, and make sure that they’re aware of the consequences in case they fail to follow it.