Noise complaints are the biggest & most common complaint property managers have to deal with. For most property managers, this issue can almost be an afterthought; something you don’t prepare for at first because, well, most of us expect the best out of our residents. Unfortunately, it’s a part of the property management business and it’s best to be prepared. When you first get that complaint and hear about how loud the culprit is, you may get the urge to just evict them. But that’s a little harsh and could actually be illegal. Instead, here are the 5 best solutions to noise complaints from residents living in your properties.
Pay a Visit
The first thing you can do as a property manager, which may douse the fire completely when it comes to noise complaints, is pay the noisy resident a visit. Nine times out of ten, asking a resident to be courteous with their noise levels does the trick. If after one visit you are still receiving complaints, it’s not a bad idea to take a hard look at whether or not the complaints are overblown. If you observe the noise to match the complaints then you may want to continue on to our other tips.
Holding a Meeting
If you’re getting complaints from one resident about another and you already paid the noisy one a visit, then it may be time to hold a meeting with the residents to clear things up. As a disclaimer, you’ll want to really understand their personalities before embarking on something like this to ensure that tempers don’t get out of hand. Having a meeting with both parties can help to establish property guidelines and remind everyone to respect common courtesies since it’s a shared property.
Establish a Dispute Resolution Policy
If you don’t already have one for review then it’s certainly time to establish a dispute resolution policy. If you issue clear rules for every resident and create a contract for everyone that outlines noise policies then you can activate the property rules to reach a resolution on the noise issues. Having a dispute resolution policy also acts as a guide for property managers to review when circumstances may throw them a curveball of an issue that isn’t easily resolved like a noise complaint about a resident whose medical equipment may be too noisy. An already established policy can make finding what to do far easier.
Window sound-proofing is another tip. It may not be something you thought you’d be signing up for when becoming a property manager and you may even feel like you don’t have enough time to deal with something as seemingly trivial as a noise complaint. When it comes to noise complaints you need to be hands-on. If your residents are complaining about outside noise like dogs, traffic, car music etc., then it’s time to consider sound-proofing windows on your property. This will ensure that you never have to worry about that yearly parade or new construction popping up outside your property causing high noise levels.
Move The Noisy or Complaining residents
Finally, if all else has failed and you don’t want to give the noisy resident the boot then it’s time to offer that noisy residents to over to a floor-level unit or to move offended residents to a different vacant unit.
Noise complaints can be a curve-ball in the day of the life of a property manager. They’ll happen, and you’ll need to address them. It won’t always be easy at first, but if you have patience and apply the above tips you should have a far easier time!