Author Topic: What do you think of my new lease clause? (Quiet Hours)  (Read 1063 times)

rothwem

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What do you think of my new lease clause? (Quiet Hours)
« on: May 19, 2017, 09:31:46 AM »
I own a duplex and rent out half of it to a pair of undergrads.  I live about 1.5 miles away from Campus, so I was surprised that undergrads wanted to live there, but they (more or less) have their shit pretty well together, they pay the rent on time each month, and they don't complain unless its warranted.  Overall they're pretty decent tenants. 

They really pissed me off when they first moved in (August 2016) though, because they'd have people over at all hours of the night, subwoofer going, smoking outside and yelling.  I had to yell at them on multiple occasions the first month they were in.  Finally, school started up, I guess they got busier, and they haven't been much of a problem.  There have been a couple relapses, but overall, if things stay on this pace, I wouldn't mind renewing their lease again. 

This year, I was going to add this clause to the lease:

Quiet Hours: The tenant may not disturb the quiet enjoyment of any other tenant in the building or surrounding neighbors. The tenant is responsible for adhering to the building’s quiet hours. Quiet hours are from 10pm to 6am on weekdays and from 11pm to 7am on weekends. If tenant violates the quiet hours policy, a $50 fine will be incurred, payment due within 5 days from the date of the initial complaint. If the tenant violates the quiet hours policy on three separate documented occasions, the tenant is in violation of the lease agreement.

It seems pretty solid.  Basically, if I have to ask them to be quiet, I get $50.  If I have to do it three times, I get $50 for the first two and then I get to start evicting them. 

The tricky thing is that I'm the landlord AND a neighboring tenant.  I would have a financial incentive to complain.  Does that undermine my lease statement?

Scortius

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Re: What do you think of my new lease clause? (Quiet Hours)
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2017, 10:03:24 AM »
It may or may not work out.  I would guess it's not actually enforcible and if you ended up in small claims court you would probably lose.  There is no quantitative measure on what constitutes too much noise in your clause, and it's not tied to any city regulation. On the other hand, who cares, the whole point would be to avoid the problem in the first place. 

Personally, I would look through your city ordinance on noise control and simply go over those regulations with your tenants when you renew the lease and let them know you intend to hold them to those regulations.  You could try and put something in about them breaking the city's regulations, but again that may not be enforcible depending on how you write it.

plog

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Re: What do you think of my new lease clause? (Quiet Hours)
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2017, 02:42:15 PM »
Quote
It seems pretty solid.

Speaking as an expert on watching Judge Judy, no, no it does not.  Scortius was correct that you haven't identified a measurable way to define an infraction.  If you can overcome that, then you might have something.  Perhaps a decimeter?

MsPeacock

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Re: What do you think of my new lease clause? (Quiet Hours)
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2017, 07:34:11 PM »
I have a similar clause but without a financial penalty - more of a "tenant agrees to......"

Just basically a list of "house rules" ( I rent out a room in my basement). I think my hours are the same as yours. Plus a few other things - no unattended candles or flame, no pets, no smoking, lock windows when not home, etc.

bender

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Re: What do you think of my new lease clause? (Quiet Hours)
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2017, 09:21:51 PM »
You may also want to be specific about weekdays vs weekends.  Friday and Saturday have extended hours, Sunday is considered a weekday.

human

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Re: What do you think of my new lease clause? (Quiet Hours)
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2017, 07:53:01 AM »
Do landlords really have jurisdiction to impose fines where you live? I'm guessing no.call the cops next time and wait for them to show up hours later like everyone else. Or take measures to kick these guys out.

rothwem

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Re: What do you think of my new lease clause? (Quiet Hours)
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2017, 09:29:37 AM »
Do landlords really have jurisdiction to impose fines where you live? I'm guessing no.call the cops next time and wait for them to show up hours later like everyone else. Or take measures to kick these guys out.

Maybe I won't call it a fine. I can call it a fee. And sure, I'm 100% allowed to impose fees. Pet fee, smoking fee, late fee, whatever. Pay up or your in violation.

And I don't really want to kick these guys out, like I said, if things continue on their current path, I'm peachy. They pay the rent, don't complain (and since it's an older house, there's always some minor thing that could be better) and overall they're not bad. I'm just trying to give them incentive to not have parties in the house. I thought 720sq feet was enough, but I guess it wasn't.

Quote
It seems pretty solid.

Speaking as an expert on watching Judge Judy, no, no it does not.  Scortius was correct that you haven't identified a measurable way to define an infraction.  If you can overcome that, then you might have something.  Perhaps a decimeter?

Ha, yea. I was thinking that might be an issue. If it's another tenant making the complaint, then it's easy--it's too loud when the other people in the building say it is. When the other people in the building are the landlord though, that changes the dynamic.

clarkfan1979

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Re: What do you think of my new lease clause? (Quiet Hours)
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2017, 09:01:45 PM »
I'm surprised that they want to live next to their landlord if they party. I think that would normally be a red flag for partiers. I would give them one warning and next call the cops for a noise violation. Make sure it's really loud before you call the cops, so the cops take you seriously.

One of my friend's is a cop in Boulder, CO. I occasionally do a ride-a-long with him. About 25% of the calls are noise complaints from undergrads being too loud.

rothwem

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Re: What do you think of my new lease clause? (Quiet Hours)
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2017, 06:42:46 AM »
I'm surprised that they want to live next to their landlord if they party. I think that would normally be a red flag for partiers. I would give them one warning and next call the cops for a noise violation. Make sure it's really loud before you call the cops, so the cops take you seriously.

One of my friend's is a cop in Boulder, CO. I occasionally do a ride-a-long with him. About 25% of the calls are noise complaints from undergrads being too loud.

"Party" is a loose term.  They're not exactly the cool crowd, I can count on one hand the amount of females I've seen over there.  They get 4-5 guys over there and they smoke weed, drink natty and play video games.  But its pretty surprising the amount of noise that 4-5 college age guys can make.

But anyways, the point is moot.  They decided not to renew.  I'm still going to put some sort of quiet hours clause in the next lease, but needless to say, the next tenants will not be undergrads.