I have a duplex where the tenant occuping the upper unit is being too loud at late hours of the night. She’ll have people over at 1am and do laundry at 3am all the while the lower unit tenants are trying to sleep. I’ve had conversations with her about the noise and the lower unit says they’ve noticed a slight difference but it’s still bad at times.
What else can I do to rectify this situation??
Do you have something like this in your lease?
10. NOISE: RESIDENT agrees not to cause or allow any noise or activity on the premises which might disturb the peace and quiet of another RESIDENT and/or neighbor. Said noise and/or activity shall be a breach of this agreement.
How would you normally go about enforcing something outlined in your lease?
This is a constant problem in multi-unit buildings. It is very difficult for people to live in close quarters without disturbing each other. In this case, your upstairs tenant is clearly in the wrong. What I usually do is have one talk with them. I bluntly tell them that the other tenant has a LEGAL right to quiet enjoyment of their property and that they are violating that right. I also tell them that they are being RUDE by disturbing their neighbor. I inform them that this will not be tolerated further. Further violations will result in the police being called and the tenant being evicted.
This exercise will usually not work, but it is necessary to show that I am taking reasonable steps to rectify the situation. Give them a written copy of what you tell them and put it in their file. If the noise problems continue, have the lower unit tenant call the police each time it occurs. The police showing up MAY fix the problem, but not usually. When the problems continue, you will be forced to evict the tenant. Gather as much evidence as you can. If legal in your state, you might have the lower unit tenant tape record the noise.
Having tenants in multi-unit buildings is a lot like dealing with a bunch of 3rd graders.
Thanks for the responses.
Unfortunately, I don’t have anything in my lease about noise. I have updated my future leases w/ a section on noise though.
How would I go about evicting them if I don’t have anything in the lease about noise? When I give them a written copy of what I tell them should I have them sign it and should I give a copy to the lower unit tenants just to cover my bases on possible discrimination.
I would like for this to be my last talk with them on the noise. I’m in Ohio and I can’t find any tenant laws that requires non disturbance of neighbors but I’m going to keep looking.
I’m in Ohio also. Regardless of what your lease says, every tenant has a right to quiet enjoyment of their rental unit. In addition, there are numerous laws against disturbing the peace. Having wild parties at all hours of the night and disturbing the neighbors IS against the law. Your upstairs tenant is violating the law and the rights of the downstairs tenant.
Does your lease say the the tenant will not conduct illegal activities on the premises?
You may need to talk to your lawyer. In addition, you need a better lease.
I would not have the tenant sign the notice I give them, but you can try if you like. The most important thing is that you document that you gave them notice to stop the noise.
There is a section on unlawful activity it reads, “Lessee shall not use, not permit to be used, the premises for any unlawful purpose; not perform any unlawful act in or on the premises.”
I see where I can evict them on that premise. I have also re-wrote the portion of my lease to include a section on noise.
Here is my letter for the tenant after I speak with them. Do you think this is strong enough.
I regret to inform you that I received another complaint about noise level and disruptive activity during the early morning hours. Your neighbors XX and XX have a legal right to quiet enjoyment of their rental unit and you are violating that right. You are also violating your lease and the law. In addition it is rude and disrespectful to disturb them and I can not tolerate it further.
•Noise level after 1:00am; parking violations; vehicle driving in yard; 03/01/07
•Noise level 1:30am; 3/12/07
•Noise level 1:00am; parking violations; visitors hit neighbors vehicle w/o leaving notice; 3/13/07
•Doing laundry; yelling upstairs from basement 2:30am; 3/14/07
This warning will be placed in your personnel file. Your failure to correct this situation will result in having your lease terminated. If you would like to discuss this situation further please do not hesitate to call.
I would replace “Your neighbors XX and XX have a legal right” with “Your neighbors have a legal right.” Basically I would not name names as to who complained, etc.
And the reason I say that of course is if noisy attacks the narc the narc might sue. You wouldn’t want noisy retaliating against the other tenants.
That’s my next concern. It’s a duplex so there is no other option of who the narc is. I just want to get the point across that she is in the wrong and needs to fix it.
Oh, gotcha. Even though its obvious I wouldn’t spell it out on paper. Your letter seems to me like it is fine, send it out and see what happens.
I think your letter is just right (with the correction that Rich suggested).