Quiet Enjoyment Rules

One of the last things a landlord or property manager wants to deal with is noise complaints. The larger your rental building and the more tenants you have the more likely you will have to deal with tenants complaining about the noise level of other tenants. Noise complaints can quickly escalate into major disputes between tenants and can lead to tenants threatening not to pay rent or breaking a lease if the issue is not dealt with. Therefore it is important to ensure that you and your tenant’s understand the rules and entitlements regarding noise issues and how to handle them.

One entitlement that a tenant receives with their rent is quite enjoyment. According to NOLO implied covenant of quite enjoyment is a legal doctrine that a landlord or property manager must maintain in their rental premises. It is the promise that a tenant’s right to use their rental property peacefully and reasonably will not be violated. In addition, the implied covenant of quite enjoyment is the freedom from unreasonable recurring disturbances from a landlord, property manager or neighbor.

One issue with the implied covenant of quite enjoyment is that this rule is subjective. For instance, what can be disturbing to one individual main not be disturbing to another. One way to judge if the rule has been broken is will the noise or disturbance prevent an average tenant from reasonably enjoying or accessing their rental property. If the answer is yes and the landlord or property manager continue to break this rule a tenant may be able to act by not paying rent or even terminating the lease. In addition, another tenant may also not violate another tenant’s right to a habitable residence or a tenant can also potentially not pay rent or terminate the lease if the landlord does not act on the issue.

As a landlord you can prevent implied covenant of quite enjoyment issues by creating basic rules or expectations about noise and inform your tenants of them

  • Include in your lease agreements that apartments need to be 80% carpeted. This can prevent one of the most common noise complaints which is tenants complaining that the people in the apartment above them walk or run to loud.

  • If tenants complain about noise first ask them if they have made a friendly request yet and have tried to work it out with the other tenants. When tenants go straight to management about noise complaints without giving the other tenant a chance to correct the issue the tenant who is getting the complaint against them may be less open to addressing the issue.

  • As a landlord or property manager, keep a record of noise complaints, what time the issue took place and how often they happen in your property management system. There have been cases of tenants complaining about the noise of other tenants when they are not even home.

  • Inform tenants of local noise ordinances. The most common noise ordinances are no excessive noise between 10pm and 7am. Make sure to look up your local laws.

As a landlord you have a responsibility to enforce the implied covenant of quite enjoyment. Make sure your tenants understand that continual noise complaints by neighbors can lead to eviction. Like with most issues ensure that you track noise complains in your software for property management in case you need to refer to the information at a later date.

This post is provided by RISSOFT Residential and Commercial Property Management Software, specializing in innovative and cutting-edge property management software for all 50 states. Request a demo or contact us today to receive more information.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.