One of the most common issues that many landlords must deal with when they have investment rental property is music. It is not uncommon for many renters to either play music quite loud or play an instrument. This can be disturbing to neighbors and as a result you may receive phone calls of complaint. How you handle these issues is quite important because it involves a fine balance of maintaining happy renters and yet ensuring that neighbors surrounding your property are not disturbed.
In the event that you own a multi-dwelling property this can be even more of an important issue as other tenants in the building may not appreciate being disturbed by loud music. If you fail to handle the issue properly they may decide to rent elsewhere; leaving you with vacancies and that can be expensive. Furthermore, your property may gain a bad reputation, making it difficult to rent to future tenants as well.
When you are facing this type or problem there are actually several different ways that you can handle the issue. First, it is imperative that you make sure you have discussed your property rules with tenants before they actually move in. This type of action can help to prevent problems before they even begin.
Ensure that you have included terms within your lease stating when exactly music may be played. You should also include in your lease statements indicating specific times when music may not be played so loudly that it can be heard outside the individual unit. For example, you might state that music may not be played before 8am and after 10pm. You should also make sure that these terms include not only music but also actual musical instruments as well as televisions.
In addition, make sure you check on your property periodically to ensure that your tenants are not playing loud music at night or early in the morning. If you find that they are breaking this rule, do not hesitate to let them know that they are violating the terms of their lease. If you allow the issue to continue unchecked you are sending the message that this behavior is acceptable to you and later on it could be quite difficult to stop when the complaints begin rolling in.
Sometimes, checking on a property early in the morning or late at night is not feasible; especially if you live a good distance away. In this case, consider asking your neighbors to advise you if your tenants disturb them with loud music or noise. Remember that it is always best for neighbors in the area to advise you about the problem so that you will have an opportunity to correct it before they contact the city or the police with their complaints. This will also assure neighbors that you are concerned about the neighborhood and maintaining a peaceful atmosphere for everyone.
Once you have contacted your tenant verbally regarding the matter, make sure you follow-up with a reminder in writing. This should help your tenant(s) to understand the severity of the situation and will also provide you with the documentation you need in the event the behavior continues and you must consider evicting them because of it.
Ideally, the best way to handle this type of situation is to prevent it before it ever begins. Explain to your tenants when they move in that you regard the issue as serious and that you will check up on the property from time to time. If you decide to rent to students, this is especially important. By making sure that you have established a cordial relationship with your tenants early on they will be far more likely to respect your rules and understand where the line is drawn so they will not cross it.
Properly managing a rental property means not only providing a pleasant living environment for your tenants but also ensuring that your rental property does not disturb others in the neighborhood.