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Handling Disruptive Tenants

All Property Management Staff
noisyneighbors
Tenants who make too much noise or are disruptive can become issues for landlords.

Whether they're throwing weekly parties that last into the wee hours, having angry disputes with their roommates, practicing the trumpet for eight hours every Saturday or failing to control their barking dog, noisy tenants can make life miserable for their neighbors - and miserable neighbors make for miserable landlords.

Tenant Laws

Most communities throughout the country implement regulations and laws pertaining to what property owners and managers can legally do about noisy tenants, Move.com states. Moreover, the police tend to be sympathetic to tenants and landlords who complain about noise.

If an owner or manager can effectively plead their case to an officer with evidence showing a tenant is being too loud or disruptive - such as another renter who can confirm the loud noise of a neighbor or a written diary of when and how often a tenant has been disruptive - then they should be able to get the police to do something about the situation, LawInfo says.

Rental Lease Agreement

While there's a number of ways to deal with tenants who are noisy or disruptive, landlords can help themselves out substantially by putting in a clause in a rental lease agreement regarding loudness and disruptive behavior. NoLo states owners and managers would be wise to place detailed language in the agreement saying exactly what constitutes being loud or disruptive so renters know what is expected of them during their stay in their unit.

A common inclusion in these agreements is to state that all renters at a property have the right to "quiet enjoyment." In other words, all tenants should be respectful of one another.

Additionally, landlords should include sections in the contract in relation to other disruptive behavior, such as illegal activity or health concerns, to ensure tenants don't become a nuisance to them and other renters living at or near the property.

"Cure or Quit"

Though these inclusions in contracts are meant to deter any kind of loud or bothersome behavior, NoLo states landlords need to be prepared for the worst and be ready for the possibility of a disruptive renter causing issues by knowing the ins and outs of "cure or quit" notices.

These notices, according to the source, are given to tenants who have been problematic in the past and have been warned about their behavior. In the notice, it should clearly state the landlord is giving the renter a certain amount of time to shape up and cease from disruptive actions. Should they fail to do so in that span, owners and managers will have legal recourse to evict them.

Eviction

Should the time come when a tenant has been given fair notice and has yet to improve their behavior, the next-best course of action to take, NoLo states, is to evict the renter in question.

Most states, the source says, allow landlords to serve renters with "unconditional quit notices," which orders tenants to leave a property ASAP due to one or more serious violations, including noisiness. If a tenant doesn't abide by this mandate, NoLo states they can be served with summons to leave, which basically says that if they don't vacate the premises, law enforcement will be called in to make them leave a property.

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October 12, 2011