Tuesday 9 April 2013

Dealing with Noisy Tenants

Just came across this very useful article from HomeLet the Landlord and Tenant insurance people.

Sometimes no matter how thoroughly you vet your tenants, they can become the tenants from hell. One of the biggest gripes landlords have is when their tenants start to annoy their often long-established neighbours.

Whilst landlords aren’t actually responsible for the noise their tenants make, it’s always a good idea to try and ‘keep the peace’.

So, what can you do if your tenants are disturbing the neighbours?

Firstly, include in your tenancy agreements a clause that your tenants must agree not to make unnecessary noise or nuisance that may result in stress being caused to neighbouring residents.

Tenancy Agreement Service has compiled a list of best practice when it comes to advising your tenants about noise:

· Monitor the level of sound being emitted from radios, televisions and stereos at all times of the day.

· Place music systems and televisions on rubber mats or carpet to help absorb sound.

· Avoid placing sound emitting appliances next to shared walls.

· Consider the time of day chosen to carry out housework, DIY and gardening.

· Limit noise at inconvenient hours.

· Look after any pets properly and clean up after them.

· Avoid leaving dogs barking and disturbing the neighbours.

· Inform neighbours if they are to carry out disruptive DIY work such as drilling, hammering etc.

· Let neighbours know if they intend to have a party or bonfire.

· If going out or returning home late at night take extra care not to disturb neighbours through loud voices and slamming of car doors.

· Make sure their children are playing in a way that is considerate to neighbours and not causing a disturbance.

If your neighbours have complained about your tenants being too noisy, then there is advice you can take heed of;

Initially always encourage your neighbour to take it up with your tenant, you are not legally liable for your tenant’s noise. If they have tried this approach, or are unwilling to try, then you should try and communicate with your tenant regarding the noise complaint.
Approach the tenant concerning the noise complaint and ask them what activities caused the disturbance. Be understanding, listen to their story, and try to help them come up with a solution.

If this hasn’t made a difference then send them a copy of the tenancy agreement highlighting the noise clause (if included) and the repercussions of if they breach that clause (possible eviction).

If they persist, enlist the neighbour’s help. They will need to keep a diary of days and times that the noise is occurring, any patterns and what they feel is the main cause of the noise. If they are willing to use audio recording equipment to build evidence, they should do this which will help their argument in the long run.

The next step is to present all the evidence to the Environmental Health Department in the Local Authority. By law, the local authorities have a duty to deal with any noise that they consider to be what’s known as a ‘statutory nuisance’. The EHD are obliged to keep your/your neighbour’s identity confidential.

The EHD will then assess the situation with all the proper evidence to hand, if they too decide the noise is too loud and the tenants aren’t willing to do anything about it, you can take the necessary steps to terminate the tenancy. That will involve serving notice on the grounds of too much noise and anti-social behaviour.

Source HomeLet

See also feature at "Tenancy Agreement Service" Noise and nuisance issues

I recently came across a tenancy agreement that had the following clauses in it.

Nuisance and Noise

Not to do or allow to be done on or in connection with the Premises anything which shall be or tend to be a nuisance or annoyance to any person residing, visiting or otherwise engaging in a lawful activity in the locality.

Not to make or allow any unreasonable noise and in particular: -

1) Not to hold or allow to be held any social gathering;

2) Not to sing or allow singing;

3) Not to use or allow to be used any vacuum cleaner or other mechanical appliance;

4) Not to play or allow to be played any musical instrument or sound reproduction equipment such as a television, radio or stereo system in the Premises in such a manner as to cause or be likely to cause any nuisance or inconvenience to the occupiers of any neighbouring, adjoining or adjacent properties or so as to be audible outside the Premises between the hours of 23.00 and 07.00 on any day.

For more information on Landlord Insurance - Tenant Insurance from HomeLet follow this link