Some people are just a little noisier than others. They may have a louder voice, they may walk more heavily, they may forget their kitchen cupboard doors aren’t soft closing and slam them once in a while, but generally, these people are not too much of a problem. They might cause some annoyance or irritation every now and then, but it’s nothing anyone’s really going to complain about. After all, these things happen.
But some people are noisy in a different way. The ones who get into screaming matches with their partner or children regularly, the ones who have loud parties every weekend, the ones who can’t seem to enjoy their music without the volume being so high everyone in the street can sing along. These are the problem noisy tenants because they are interfering with their neighbours’ quality of life. This is a serious issue, but is it the landlord’s responsibility?
What Is A Loud Noise?
In general terms, a noise is considered loud when it disrupts the general lives of those around. The noise itself can be anything from dogs barking to motorbikes revving to heavy footsteps to piano practice. If it’s too loud and it means that neighbours can’t enjoy their own homes, it’s a nuisance issue.
What The Law Says
When it comes to excessive noise, the good news is that the law is on the side of the person who has to suffer from it, not on the side of noisy tenants. Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, it states that noise can be considered a statutory nuisance if it “unreasonably and substantially interfere with the use or enjoyment of a home or other premises”. Of course, this can be somewhat subjective, but it’s a start; there is assistance out there.
What About Landlords?
So we know what loud noise means in terms of the law, and we know that there are avenues to go down when you’re on the receiving end of things, but what about landlords? Is the noise down to them to sort out? In short, the answer is no. Unless the landlord is a direct contributor to the noise, it’s not their fault, and they are not responsible – after all, you can’t control your tenants’ lives (and nor should you try), so what they do to make noise isn’t your problem.
Except… although it might not technically be your responsibility, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to do something about it. After all, people are upset, and if noisy tenants mean they all start to move away, your property suddenly becomes much more undesirable. Prices can drop, and that includes how much you can charge for rent. It’s in your best interests to get the issue sorted ASAP.
What Can A Landlord Do About Noisy Tenants?
If you are made aware that you have noisy tenants, there are various things you can do. The first, and easiest, is to ask the neighbours to sort it out amongst themselves because, technically, it’s not your responsibility. Of course, as easy as this is to say, it’s not always going to be easy to do, and the truth is that the neighbour has probably already tried this before taking their complaint to the landlord. Or they might feel intimidated and don’t want to do this, hence they have come to you.
The next step is to speak to your noisy tenants directly. The tenant might not have any idea that their neighbours have a problem with them, especially given that very often, no one will want to say anything to their face. If the talk goes well, hopefully the tenant will pay closer attention to the noise they’re making, and that will be that. If they are less helpful, it’s good to check the tenancy for a noise clause (there will usually be one). Let them know it’s in there and that they signed agreeing to abide by the rules, and if they can’t be quiet, they may have to go. Ask the neighbours to gather evidence in the form of recordings and notes just in case you need them later on.
If no one is getting anywhere, then a complaint to the local environmental health department may have to be made, either by your or the neighbours, about the noisy tenants. These complaints will be kept confidential too, so you can take this step without any worries.
If you need to evict your noisy tenants, you can start this process even while the noise complaint investigation by the local authority is taking place. After the eviction, you’ll need a full inventory, so contact Looksy Inventories to find out more.