Finding the perfect tenant for your property can be a long, involved process that includes many different interviews, tours, and rounds of paperwork. Once you’ve secured your tenant, your responsibilities as a landlord are far from over. There are many important duties that landlords are obligated to oversee for their tenants and properties. One of those is ensuring the existence of rental property quiet hours to make sure your tenants have a sense of peace in their living quarters and feel that they have a high quality of life while living on your property.
What Are Rental Property Quiet Hours?
Quiet hours for a rental property are the hours of the day when tenants are expected not to make noises loud enough to bother neighbors or other tenants in the same building. Depending on the situation, quiet hours can be enforced on the honors system for your neighborhood, or they can be included in a specifically outlined requirement in your tenants’ lease agreement.
Generally, it’s much more doable for landlords who own apartments, condos, or townhomes to strictly enforce quiet hours than it is for landlords who own a single-family home in a residential neighborhood.
That’s because neighborhoods with individual properties are under different jurisdictions than buildings with connected units. A landlord who owns a home cannot set quiet hours for neighborhood residents who are not their tenants.
However, landlords who rent an individual property to tenants can still require and enforce quiet hours for those on the lease. Most landlords in this situation develop working relationships with neighbors living near their property so they can be kept aware of nuisances while they’re not around, like loud noises at inappropriate hours.
Why It’s Important to Set Quiet Hours for Your Rental Property
Setting quiet hours for a rental property is crucial for multiple reasons. Rental tenants benefit from the enforcement of quiet hours in all of the units around theirs just as much as the landlords benefit.
Knowing that you won’t have to deal with noisy neighbors at all hours of the night can be a significant selling point for potential renters on your property. Additionally, the renters that you already have will be able to enjoy peace of mind and comfortable living conditions.
Quiet hours are also important for a landlord’s ability to maintain demand for their units and a positive image in the community. Let’s say a tenant of yours is noisy enough for long enough during an inappropriate time of day that a neighbor calls in a noise complaint to the police.
Though the tenants will face immediate consequences when an officer comes knocking, the existence of a noise complaint on the unit will count as a strike against the landlord. This could affect your relationships with neighbors and even your ability to find high-quality tenants in the future.
What Is a Tenant’s Right to Peaceful Enjoyment?
It isn’t just courteous to ensure that your tenants are able to enjoy guaranteed quiet time. Rental tenants have a legal right to “peaceful enjoyment” of their homes at all hours.
While it may not be fair or reasonable to expect all tenants in a shared building to be completely silent at all hours of the day, it is reasonable and lawful to expect tenants to abide by certain quiet hours. However, it’s important to note that excessive loudness shouldn’t be tolerated at any hour of the day.
How to Enforce Quiet Hours with Your Tenants
The best way to approach any potential issue with rental property tenants is to set up a safeguard against it in your lease agreement before the tenants even move in. If the hours that your tenants are expected to be quiet are clearly outlined in the lease, there won’t be any room for argument or confusion about the consequences.
It’s important to be as specific as you can in your lease agreements regarding what “quiet” means during these hours. Generally, observing quiet hours means not disturbing any other tenants or neighbors.
However, if you have specific nuisances that you want to avoid, such as disallowing the use of loud TVs or stereos at night or having large gatherings past a certain hour, you should include them in as much detail as possible in your lease.