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TOPIC: Tenant complaining about noise & causing problems

Tenant complaining about noise & causing problems 2 years 11 months ago #6407

I have a tenant that is causing me a lot of problems and I'm not sure how I should handle this. Just some quick background on my property..I have 40 units with most units having families with kids.

The people above him have a 2 year old daughter. He is constantly complaining about how loud she is. She is extremely small and I really don't think she is making that much noise. He said she constantly runs up and down the halls and it prevents him from sleeping. He works wacky hours and will be trying to sleep during the day. He called me after hours to complain about the noise and the person above him wasn't even home. He has also has cursed at several children for riding their bikes through the breeze way. He also has stopped people in the parking lot and told them where they can and cannot park. We do not have assigned parking. He thinks that if you don't live on that side you shouldn't park there. I have tenants that park on his side so they can see their cars from their windows.

I have spoke with him 3 separate times about these issues and I have sent him a letter stating that this is not allowed.

Do any of you have any ideas on how to handle this issue? Its getting to the point where I'm worried about the safety of the person upstairs, he goes up there when she is home alone with her daughter, and the safety of the cars outside.
  • Keri
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Re:Tenant complaining about noise & causing problems 2 years 11 months ago #6412

I have experienced that situation one too many times to count. Basically, the best way to handle the situation is to inform the "complaining resident" that he needs to call 911. The Police respond to excessive noise complaints and if there is any legitimacy behind his complaints, the Police will sort everything out and issue noise disturbance citations when necessary.

While being a Property Manager, we wear too many hats at times, but Police enforcement of after hours noise complaints is not one of them. I have instructed Residents that I would be more than happy to look into the noise complaint during business hours, but after business hours, they must call 911.

As far as this Resident engaging any other Resident and creating havoc, I would give him a Lease Violation. All in all... isn't that what he is expecting, remedies to his complaints? If he is the creation of complaints, then he should be treated just the same.

You may want to call the Local Police Department as well and ask their advice on how they would handle this situation and what advice they may have for you. Each Department is different and they usually are more than willing to help.

Hope this helps!
  • Chris Hyzy
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Re:Tenant complaining about noise & causing problems 2 years 11 months ago #6415

I concur, with having him call the police - so that it is documented. I have had a complaining neighbor call me when the noise starts up - and I go immeidately visit, just so that I can "hear" exactly what he considers unacceptable.
If, the noise is not excessive, but a fact of normal apartment living. Offer the unhappy resident the option to trasnfer to an upstairs apartment immeidately and you waive the transfer fees (except for excessive wear and tear damage if any)or accept the intent to vacate effective at his lease end. If he chooses to move prior to lease expiration - he is still responsible for all costs associated with early termination.

Some residents will never be entirely happy with apartment style living. However, by checking out and expriencing for yourself what he calls "excessive" - and trust me, a 2 yr old could produce that kind of noise, if unsupervised.. . you have given him the respect every resident deserves. But it may come down to - he made a bad choice by not selecting an upstairs unit - due to his fluctuaing sleeping periods and the need for quiet. If he pays well, and isn't disruptive in any other ways. . . try to work with him. If he feels his lot in life is to point out to others around him that they are in the wrong. . .let him move somwhere else and wish him the best for the future!
  • Cary Krix
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Re:Tenant complaining about noise & causing problems 2 years 11 months ago #6417

Quick note: If you do instruct him to call the police, I would give him the number for the police, rather than 911. They probably won't consider a 2 year old running around an emergency...

Re:Tenant complaining about noise & causing problems 2 years 11 months ago #6433

I agree with Cary on this one. Unfortunately, you can't disregard complaints from someone just because they are an excessive complainer. In this business there is no such thing as "business hours" and if it is a concern for the resident it should be a concern to you as their property manager. Taking ten or fifteen minutes of your day to go and hear the problem should not be that out of the ordinary in this business. If you look at it as a "time issue" then you are probably wasting more time listening to the complaints, writing letters, and having no resolution then taking the few minutes after hours to investigate the issue. This way you have the knowledge to move forward.

Calling the police (agreed not 911) only resolves the issue if you have a positive relationship with your police department. In the end, it is not the residents fault that they live next to someone noisy it's yours.. you rented to that person and you should do everything that it takes to make it right. In regards to a two year old not making that much noise... Let me tell you I have a three year old and a five year old and depending on the day it can sound like I have 100 kids in my house... They pound their feet, they scream instead of talk, they cry at the top of their lungs, they slam toys on the ground, the run... they rarely walk... so I can see it being an issue. Transferring a resident may not be the most economical choice but you may want to have an open conversation with this gentleman and advise him of the negatives of living in a close proximity to others and perhaps living in an apartment community isn't the best solution for him. You may gain a vacancy but you'll gain his respect and probably a good reference from him and that could pay off in the long run.

Re:Tenant complaining about noise & causing problems 2 years 11 months ago #6442

I disagree with Chrissy. The two year old is a member of a protected class (familial status) and has the right to enjoy full use of her apartment home. Two year olds run, cry and scream. I feel it would be violating Fair Housing to transfer this gentlemen because he doesn't want to live underneath children. Just as it would be if he wanted to be transferred because he didn't want to live near someone of a different race or who has special needs.

I would even go one step further and 14-30 this gentlemen stating somthing to the effect of: TENANT shall not commit any act which shall interfere with or disrupt the livability of the premises or other tenants premises, adversely affect the health, safety, peaceful possession, quiet enjoyment or contractual rights of another tenant, interfere with the management of the premises or the duties of any employee of the LANDLORD, or have an adverse financial effect on the LANDLORD's property. And TENANT shall not be loud or use abusive language or create any disturbance on or about the premises. (That was taken right from our lease.)
  • Christa Burns
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Re:Tenant complaining about noise & causing problems 2 years 11 months ago #6447

This is not even close to being a fair housing issue and by transferring someone that WANTS to be transferred breaks no fair housing laws. Tenant/ Landlord law states EVERYONE has the right to quiet peaceful enjoyment of their homes it does not discriminate against anyone. If the two year old is making enough noise so that another resident cannot enjoy their home then the head of household or adult is in violation of their lease and in turn tenant/ landlord law.

Now turn the situation around and should the complaints have no justification and that they are not in turn breaking the lease by being a nuisance (from the investigation of the landlord) then it's always a suggestion to cut the ties with this individual which is not a violation of Fair Housing if both parties agree that living in close proximity to others is not suitable for him. Discriminating in regards to familial status means that you do not rent to people with families, or you purposely put families in a certain building, or you treat those with or without families differently or put rules and regulations on those families with children. Lets rationalize what you said for a second... If you have a group of 4 kids all under the age of 12 living in your community and they are being a nuisance to other residents but because they fall under a protected class (which all of us do fall under a protective class by the way including the bachelor who himself is a protected class) that you cannot demand them to follow the terms in their lease? Of course not.

This is not a fair housing issue... this is a "is there a noise issue or not" issue and to determine which path to take the manager needs to do some investigation to determine if the 2 year old is noisy or if the man just likes to complain. Just because the kid is 2 does not validate noisiness...

Re:Tenant complaining about noise & causing problems 2 years 11 months ago #6450

I see no Fair Housing issues here. Of course, you could always check with your company attorney to make sure. Families with children who make excessive noise and disrupt other residents ‘quiet enjoyment’ can be evicted without violating Fair Housing.

This is a case of a gentleman that probably should NOT be living in an apartment community. Transferring him may be the solution, but I suspect he will find other things to complain about!! If he continues to harass other residents, he is in violation of his lease. Documenting it as you did, with a letter to him, is the way to go. If, down the road, you need to evict him, you will need the documentation.

These are always tough situations. Kids make noise, what is excessive to me, may not be excessive to someone else. Good luck!!
  • Gerry Hunt
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Re:Tenant complaining about noise & causing problems 2 years 11 months ago #6480

Where could he be transferred to? If my understanding is correct, we cannot make any indication to the make up of households of other residents. So how could he be successfully transferred with out "steering" him ourselves? so to speak...

Are you saying that you will tell a leaseholder that their child may not run, cry, and scream? Or do you try to determine how much running, crying, and screaming is acceptable? What about a child just learning to walk? Is their guardian supposed to stop them when they pick up speed? How about a baby that has cholic? or a person with special needs?
  • Christa Burns
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Re:Tenant complaining about noise & causing problems 2 years 11 months ago #6481

Christa, the resident could be transferred to any top floor unit. But if he is a 'complainer' he will now hear and complain about the noise below him.

As for the cause of the noise (a child in this case), if it is determined to be excessive, a noise violation should be issued. Now the big question is WHO decides if it is excessive. To this particular resident it is excessive. To the Manager, it is normal apartment living kind of noise. Asking the resident to call the police~~non emergency number may help. Having a Police Officer tell him that the noise is normal would back up the office findings. Bottom line is that some folks should not live in apartments. And some folks are going to find things to complain about, no matter where they are.
  • Gerry Hunt
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