Even the most thoroughly-vetted tenants can sometimes end up causing problems.
Unfortunately, excessive noise is one of the most contentious issues landlords have to deal with - especially if tenants are annoying long-established neighbours.
But is a noisy tenant really a landlord’s responsibility?
In reality, the answer is no, as a landlord can’t actually be held responsible for the actions of their tenant.
However, at Garness Jones Residential we know how important it is to do all possible to ‘keep the peace’, and that is why we work to resolve any issues before the neighbours (or local authority) take action.
Here’s some advice on how to best manage a problem with noisy neighbours;
Adopt a neighbourly approach
Complaining to a landlord about noisy tenants is not uncommon. Should you receive a complaint, it is best to politely explain that you’re not liable for the noise, but as a responsible agent, you will personally request they reduce noise levels. It is also worth advising the neighbours to try and establish a friendly relationship with the tenant over time, as this makes raising any neighbourly concerns much easier to do.
Remind tenants of their responsibilities
As mentioned, a quick chat between a landlord and tenant to remind them of their responsibilities can often do the trick and prevent the situation escalating. Adopt an understanding approach and try to find out what activities are causing the noise. Usually this will establish whether a suitable solution can be found.
Make things more formal
If the above steps fail and the problem persists, things might need to get a bit more formal by writing to your tenant to outline the terms of their tenancy agreement. Most contracts stipulate that tenants must not do anything which is viewed as being a nuisance to the neighbouring community.
It is also worth making tenants aware that should complaints be made by neighbours to the local authority, and excessive noise levels persist, eviction is a possibility under Schedule 2 (Ground 2) of the Housing Act 1985 in England and Wales.
Councils can often ask complaints to supply evidence of regular noise and make a timeline of events and use this to enforce eviction.
I have even known a local authority to remove every item that was creating any noise, making the tenants pay a fine to the council to release the items back after a certain time.
Councils, housing associations and the police also now have the power to tackle anti-social noise from residential properties under Part 1 of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.
This includes excessive noise from:
Unreasonably raised voices
Barking dogs or animals
Car and burglar alarms
Preventing problems before they arise
At Garness Jones, we believe prevention is better than cure – and we ask all our tenants to be mindful of other residents.
As a responsible letting agent, we also advise tenants to avoid placing appliances like TVs, radios or speakers next to shared walls as this limits the potential for noise disturbance, particularly at inconvenient hours.
Before agreeing to rent out any property, the first thing we do is insert a noise clause into the tenancy agreement stating that the tenant must agree not to make unnecessary noise or cause a nuisance which may distress any neighbours. We believe this approach acts in the best interests of the tenant, the landlord and the wider community.
In the unlikely event that a problem does arise, we’re happy to act on behalf of landlords and will take every step possible to resolve any issues caused by noisy tenants.