In ost cases, there is no way to avoid noise pollution in your rental properties, especially if the property is in the city center or other densely populated and trafficked areas. You can, however, mitigate and manage it.
In order to get the first-hand information about this issue, we talked to property management experts from La Jolla, Lofty Property Management. They shared some of the basic issues of noise pollution, as well as some effective mitigation options that they apply to their own rental properties.
Sources of Noise Pollution
Before you can tackle the problem of noise in general, you first need to determine where the noise is coming from. Broadly speaking, there are two locations where noise can originate from. It is either on property or off property.
If noise is being generated off property, the mitigation options are fairly limited. Common examples of off property noise include traffic, construction, other properties, or public events. Generally speaking, you as a landlord are not really responsible for managing offsite noise.
On the other hand, if the noise is coming from the property itself, this gives the landlord or property manager a bit more leeway (and responsibility) to act. Determining the source and cause of the noise is the first step.
On Property Noise Sources
Even once you’ve determined that the noise is coming from the property, the job of the manager is not done. You now need to figure out if the noise is coming from common rooms, such as the laundry room, elevators, or hallways, or if the source of noise is coming from one of the units.
Noise coming from individual living units is the most common source of noise and the most reported noise complaints that property managers need to deal with. Whether it is loud tenants, excessive music, or even just loud appliances, the job of the property manager is to resolve the noise complaint as best as they can.
Prevention Is the Best Option
You’ve probably heard some version of this sentence before – better safe than sorry, prevention is always better than the cure, etc. The reason why people repeat it is because it is true.
When it comes to the noise generated by appliances, and just general normal living, one of the best things you can invest in is improved sound insulation. Not only will your tenants not hear each other so much, your energy bills might be reduced as well. Most materials that are good sound insulators are also great heat insulators – your units will be cooler in the summer and retain heat better in the winter, too.
Create Noise Rules and Enforce Them
When it comes to the tenants themselves, they are always the unknown in the equation – they can be model citizens who pay on time and respect other’s privacy, or they can be wanton and disregard anyone but themselves. You really can’t tell sometimes. But you can protect yourself, and your other tenants from such eventualities.
You can do that by including a noise clause into the tenant contract and require everyone to follow those rules. Generally speaking, warnings, fines, or even eviction warnings tend to be pretty effective against overly noisy people. It may be annoying and tedious to enforce the rules at first, but eventually, you will have tenants who respect both the rules and other tenants.
Generally speaking, it is always better to come to an understanding with your tenants, rather than impose rules and sanctions. But if that is what it takes to have a peaceful and relaxing home for all of your tenants – you need to do what a property manager does: manage your property.