Noisy Tenants

When you hear frequent loud music, parties, or fights in your tenant's apartment, it's a nuisance for you and your neighbors. You don't have to put up with it. You can legally terminate a tenant who behaves unreasonably.

If your tenant makes a lot of noise, first let him know that you have received complaints about the disturbances. (Document when and what the complaint was.) Then talk to the tenant. Be courteous and friendly; listen to what he has to say and try to solve the problem. Afterward it's a good idea to send a letter saying, “As we discussed earlier…” Keep a copy of the letter for your records.

If the problem continues, send your tenant a copy of the lease rules and regulations and/or a written reminder that the lease prohibits disturbing others. Ask the tenant to cease the disruptive behavior and keep noise down. Do this twice, and if the noise still doesn't stop, then send a Notice of Breach with Right to Cure form, also known as a Cure or Quit notice. It, too, gives your tenant a time frame in which to correct or cure the behavior, but it also serves as notice that if the problem is not resolved, the tenant must move or will be evicted. (See the sample form in Appendix B.)

Your job is to document everything said by neighbors and your tenant that demonstrates how he is violating the lease. Ask your neighbors to sign their complaints and date them.

If you have to go to court for an eviction, your documentation will show the judge that you gave your tenant three chances to comply with terms in the lease before you began the eviction procedure. (See Chapter 21 for more information about evictions.)

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