8 Replies Latest reply: Jun 25, 2012 8:39 PM by tommywa RSS

    Noisy renters bothering neighbors

    New Member

      After SXSW, I've only had two weekend rentals.  Both to bachelor parties.  Both times I had calls from neighbors at 3:00 am because the renters were in the backyard drinking, laughing, talking.  On one hand, they weren't being real rowdy.  On the other hand, it was definitely loud for being so late at night.


      For both renters, I explained no partying late at night.  Come home from the bars at 2am, and keep it inside.  Both times, all that went out the wi


      So what do I do?  I figure I'll ban bachelor parties.  Past that, I'm thinking of offering to replace my neighbors old, single pane windows with new, double pane windows.  I'll switch to taking a security deposit and charge them for late night disturbances.  Add quiet time enforced after 10p.m.  Should I just automatically call the cops?


      I want to stress that the naighbors are great and in their position I'd do the same thing.


      Thanks for any response.


        • Re: Noisy renters bothering neighbors
          carol Premier Contributor

          I would be careful before calling the police on your own guests.  You may find yourself in trouble as the landlord. 


          It sounds like you're not screening your guests properly. It's always scary when you turn someone away -- you worry about whether someone else will fill the hole in the schedule.  But sometimes it's better to have no one in your place than a group of troublemakers.   I would never dream of renting to a bachelor party -- it's just asking for it.  While there certainly are exceptions, a group of twenty-some single guys is not likely to treat your place with respect or follow your rules. 


          It's odd that you have had two bachelor parties in a row -- maybe you should look at how you are marketing your property and try to appeal less to the party animals and more to grandmothers!

          • Re: Noisy renters bothering neighbors

            Hi Frank, the other thing you have to understand is that if you (or your neighbors) call the police you may find out that you are in violation of zoning laws in residential neighborhoods that don't allow transient leases. Perhaps you are already informed about this and it is a non-issue for you. Because of situations precisely like this, suburbs, HOA's, and Neighborhood associations are now being vigilant and not allowing owners to use their properties as short-term rentals and you may end up with a fine. They can get away with these rules because of zoning. Hotels are not allowed to build in areas zoned for single family dwellings so if your leases are less than what ever they stipulate as the minimum timeframe, you could be considered a hotel.

            If you are trying to fly "under the radar" then it is imperitive that you do damage control with your neighbors and be willing to sacrifice a booking that is obviously a "party booking" that might land you in hot water.

            My property is in Miami Beach so I have to weed through similar types of guests but there are plenty of people that want to come and rent for a quiet holdiay and won't cause you grief. I manage it with the wording on my lease and my trusty gut-o-meter.


            Good luck!

            • Re: Noisy renters bothering neighbors
              Active Contributor

              Definitely do something nice for your neighbors (new windows seem extreme) to make it right with them and do not rent to these types again.  They will never follow your "quiet" rules!

              • Re: Noisy renters bothering neighbors
                thaxterlane Premier Contributor

                Are there local noise ordinances?  In my rental agreement I have a clause that outlines the local noise ordinance to warn my guests that there are restrictions on their outdoor behaviors between the hours of 10 pm and 7 am. 


                I have also included a clause that restricts guests from entertaining beyond a certain number of guests.   EDITING TO CLARIFY:  the location of my home is a popular wedding destination and I am often asked questions that lead me to believe the renting guests wish to entertain guests of their own that may be staying at other houses or in local inns and hotels -  I don't rent to these families or groups - my house is not equipped to be "entertainment central" for pre- or post-wedding celebrations.


                But, if you are renting to groups of young men (or women, for that matter) you need to communicate noise and gathering restrictions when you talk about the makeup of their party and their interests (interests being a euphamism for "what exactly are you planning to do in my house?"). 


                And, keep in mind you don't want your neighbors resorting to calling the police when the noise level is high.  You'll wear out their good will and the good will of the police very quickly unless you gain some control of late night noise.


                Offering to replace their windows is generous, but what if they wish to open their windows for air at night?  I don't think this is a practical solution.


                You'll do better to exert more control over your guests' behavior by asking questions of potential renters, and by communicating your house rules and whatever rules are in place in your community. 


                Good luck! 

                • Re: Noisy renters bothering neighbors

                  I would definitely stop renting to the party crowd if you are in a standard Texas suburb.


                  I don't know if you have priced windows, but even double-paned windows will not keep out the noise of a party. True sound reducing windows are very expensive, and heavy, and if you have studied sound, then you know that noise comes in from all sides, and through cracks in doors, etc. I have priced high-end windows for road noise.


                  Your neighbors may be great, but I would guess they will only put up with so much before they escalate. They have lives and kids and schedules, and if they are calling you at 3:00AM, I am guessing that your renters are severely disrupting their lives and they will escalate however they need.


                  Perhaps rent to families.

                  • Re: Noisy renters bothering neighbors

                    Very simply - no parties.  Not only is it ******* the neighbors, but it is ******* your house. 


                    You know where most people go when they've had too much to drink and are feeling a bit ill but not really sick?


                    No, not the bathroom - they go to bed.  Yup.  THEN they get sick.  Now you need to not only clean the carpet, but also the comforters, replace the pillows, etc.  I know it's gross imagery, but it's reality.


                    Taking a deposit doesn't help things much.  Sure, it might cover the cash layout to have everything cleaned - but WHEN will it be cleaned?  Before the next guests arrive?  Not if it takes a day or two to schedule someone to come clean - end even then there can be leftover remnents in places you didn't think to look (What - under the couch?  Ewwwww!)


                    And of course, it's not just people getting sick.  It's the torn curtain when two guys were roughhousing, or even the dining room table leg that is wobbly now. 


                    Parties nearly always being out the extreme in one or two people.  Extremes that are immensley ******* your house (as well as your neighbors of course).


                    No parties.  No bachelor parties, no bachelorette parties, no reunion parties.  Anything that might involve heavy drinking will inevitably be a problem - if not this group, then the next.

                    • Re: Noisy renters bothering neighbors
                      anja Senior Contributor

                      Yes --- it's simple:  screen your prospects before you rent to them;  restrict / limit parties.  My reasoning goes beyond what has already been mentioned here {although I agree with the previous comments}.  


                      What you've described is serious for your neighbors and your business future....and there is a much wider concern.


                      This is the kind of behaviour that can get your business shut down as well as every single other owner's business in your community - and even in your State!


                      A major reason for rental strife between owners with "transient vacation rentals' and their nearby neighbors and in their wider communities - is because of noise violations [causing disturbances, etc..]. This is detrimental to the future of our trade. Transient Vacation rental businesses -TVR- [property rented for under 30 nights] are under attack across The States. Local governments are shutting TVRs down!  It starts with "neighbor" complaints and ends with rental closures. Rental closures hurt both travelers and owners.


                      It is the responsibility of every single TVR owner renting their home in any area zoned for "residents" {non hotel- zoned}  -in the USA-  to be very, very careful with our rental business disturbing neighbors. We put not only our business at risk, our property rights at risk...but also other owners'. 


                      Owners need to think about the wider consequences to the entire private rental trade...not only our small business. Legislation is being imposed all around the USA right now against private rentals. And, it starts with "complaints"...as innocent sounding as an occasional "party" on the property. 


                      And, for travelers: that great place you want to return to for a week, again, next year may be gone due to the owner's forced closure caused by too many "disturbances" {your's and other traveler's} when you violate the location's  "laws", "local ordinances, "by laws", Home Owner Association-HOA rules, Neighbor Watch ordinances.


                      Owners of TVRs who do not do their job to rent to responsible people, and rules being broken by travelers who disregard them, are ruining the trade for everyone else.

                      • Re: Noisy renters bothering neighbors
                        New Member

                        I had unreasonable neighbors.

                        I did everything including adding to contract noise ordinance and putting up signs around the pool. Kids will be kids around the pool. All my renters told me the neighbors were being overly sensitive. I told the neighbors that if we had to move into our rental home that we would play music from 7 am to 10 pm which is not against the ordinance. And the music we would play isn't something they would like to hear at all. Also our lights at night would be directed in a way that they would not like. We haven't heard from our neighbors in 2 years. I guess they didn't want us moving into our own rental property.