Author Topic: Renting out a downstairs unit with noisy upstairs neighbors  (Read 799 times)

jeromedawg

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3408
  • Location: Orange County, CA
Hey all,

For those of you who may own a bottom-floor unit(s), how do you go about renting it out when you know that the upstairs neighbors are noisy or the walls/ceilings are thin? Do you only disclose about the noise if inquired? Or are you supposed to disclose it in the listing or via agent remarks if using a realtor etc? 

oneday

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3934
  • Location: SF Bay Area, USA
  • Knit, bike, breathe. Repeat. - 94
Re: Renting out a downstairs unit with noisy upstairs neighbors
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2020, 01:29:54 AM »
My experience is as a renter and always from corporate run apartment complexes.  Nobody ever answers a question like that negatively (if they even know-not everyone complains to the leasing office).  They may say "it's a quiet neighborhood" or "Upstairs is carpeted to help reduce sound transfer".  It's a chance that renters take.

SunnyDays

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1361
Re: Renting out a downstairs unit with noisy upstairs neighbors
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2020, 09:18:49 PM »
Since you're renovating anyway, is it possible to do some noise remediation?  Maybe some blown-in insulation or even some batting on the ceiling with another layer of drywall?  Otherwise, if you can tell prospective buyers what the noise pattern is, in terms of times of day it's worse or better, that might be helpful.

jeromedawg

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3408
  • Location: Orange County, CA
Re: Renting out a downstairs unit with noisy upstairs neighbors
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2020, 10:54:48 AM »
Since you're renovating anyway, is it possible to do some noise remediation?  Maybe some blown-in insulation or even some batting on the ceiling with another layer of drywall?  Otherwise, if you can tell prospective buyers what the noise pattern is, in terms of times of day it's worse or better, that might be helpful.

Good idea - we actually had a contractor come out and I didn't think to ask about this. I'll check with him on that to see. We have fire sprinklers in the ceilings so not sure how much that would impact any sort of insulation for noise remediation. Anything will help though.

Wrenchturner

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1260
  • Age: 32
  • Location: Canada
Re: Renting out a downstairs unit with noisy upstairs neighbors
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2020, 11:37:55 AM »
I've heard that a lot of noise transference can be structural and difficult to eliminate sometimes, too.

Agreed that this is a risk renters take.  No one likes noise from neighbors and no one wants to declare this when showing a suite.

gaja

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1415
Re: Renting out a downstairs unit with noisy upstairs neighbors
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2020, 12:07:11 PM »
Advertise at the local deaf community? Bonus: deaf people are often among the most loud people you can find, so the upstairs people might calm down when they hear how well the noise travels in the building.

jeromedawg

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3408
  • Location: Orange County, CA
Re: Renting out a downstairs unit with noisy upstairs neighbors
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2020, 12:52:46 PM »
Advertise at the local deaf community? Bonus: deaf people are often among the most loud people you can find, so the upstairs people might calm down when they hear how well the noise travels in the building.
That's a good idea actually. I'll ask my realtor his thoughts on that. Although, I wouldn't want to face any potential legal issues/lawsuits at the chance of some sort of discrimination issue that could potentially arise.

I've heard that a lot of noise transference can be structural and difficult to eliminate sometimes, too.

Agreed that this is a risk renters take.  No one likes noise from neighbors and no one wants to declare this when showing a suite.
Yea, I think this might be a big part of the problem. Obviously hardwood floors don't help either - not sure why our HOA doesn't have anything in their CC&Rs to address this.

Wrenchturner

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1260
  • Age: 32
  • Location: Canada
Re: Renting out a downstairs unit with noisy upstairs neighbors
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2020, 04:19:04 PM »
Yea, I think this might be a big part of the problem. Obviously hardwood floors don't help either - not sure why our HOA doesn't have anything in their CC&Rs to address this.

Too difficult to quantify and prove, I think.  One of my current upstairs residents walks around heel-first, it's a bit annoying.  Luckily she isn't "large" so it isn't too bad.  Many people don't know how much noise they make--walking, banging on the countertop, yelling at the spouse, etc.



jeromedawg

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3408
  • Location: Orange County, CA
Re: Renting out a downstairs unit with noisy upstairs neighbors
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2020, 04:34:07 PM »
Yea, I think this might be a big part of the problem. Obviously hardwood floors don't help either - not sure why our HOA doesn't have anything in their CC&Rs to address this.

Too difficult to quantify and prove, I think.  One of my current upstairs residents walks around heel-first, it's a bit annoying.  Luckily she isn't "large" so it isn't too bad.  Many people don't know how much noise they make--walking, banging on the countertop, yelling at the spouse, etc.

Yea the new neighbors who just moved in are LOUD - I don't know if it's the husband or wife who walks on their heels but it's driving me crazy; on top of that they have a toddler. But between the loud heel-walking, toddler, and freely throwing/dropping things into place up there, it's become unbearable. Every neighbor we've had in the past we've had to eventually knock on their door and talk to, which we will probably have to do soon but my wife wants to wait more to let them "settle in." We have been here since 2007 and we've had 4-5 different individuals/families above us - the owner, who occupied the place for years, had the hardwood flooring installed and their contractor sucked so I think that was also part of the problem too, but I'm pretty sick and tired of it all (I'm surprised I've been here for so long LOL) and am trying to accelerate our move - we're already planning to move to another area for schooling for our kids but COVID threw a wrench in things. But now I'm more motivated than ever to get out of here. I'm just concerned about potential difficulties with renting the unit (either before or during renting) once the potential tenants start hearing the foot traffic.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2020, 06:20:02 PM by jeromedawg »

SwordGuy

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7362
  • Location: Fayetteville, NC
Re: Renting out a downstairs unit with noisy upstairs neighbors
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2020, 04:56:54 PM »
*ALL* upstairs tenants are assumed to be loud until proven otherwise.   Any renter who doesn't know this is someone who's never rented a downstairs apartment.

oneday

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3934
  • Location: SF Bay Area, USA
  • Knit, bike, breathe. Repeat. - 94

Wrenchturner

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1260
  • Age: 32
  • Location: Canada
Re: Renting out a downstairs unit with noisy upstairs neighbors
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2020, 06:20:17 PM »
Yea, I think this might be a big part of the problem. Obviously hardwood floors don't help either - not sure why our HOA doesn't have anything in their CC&Rs to address this.

Too difficult to quantify and prove, I think.  One of my current upstairs residents walks around heel-first, it's a bit annoying.  Luckily she isn't "large" so it isn't too bad.  Many people don't know how much noise they make--walking, banging on the countertop, yelling at the spouse, etc.

Yea the new neighbors who just moved in are LOUD - I don't know if it's the husband or wife who walks on their heels but it's driving me crazy; on top of that they have a toddler. But between the loud heel-walking, toddler, and freely throwing/dropping things into place up there, it's become unbearable. Every neighbor we've had in the past we've had to eventually knock on their door and talk to, which we will probably have to do soon but my wife wants to wait more to let them "settle in." Either way, I'm sick and tired of dealing with living under people (have been here since 2007 and we've had 4-5 different individuals/families above us - the owner, who occupied the place for years, had the hardwood flooring installed and their contractor sucked so I think that was also part of the problem too) and so I'm trying to accelerate our move - were already planning to move to another area for schooling for our kids but COVID threw a wrench in things. But now I'm more motivated than ever to get out of here. I'm just concerned about potential difficulties with renting the unit (either before or during renting) once the potential tenants start hearing the foot traffic.

Oftentimes I think it's people who haven't had the experience of an upstairs neighbor themselves--people that have moved out of a house, for instance.  If they stay renters/apartment dwellers, they will learn eventually!  At least as a renter you can move.

Everyone's Upstairs Neighbors

This was hilarious and I almost spit out my tea several times, thank you!

My next apartment, if I can find one, will be a garage loft suite.  Not sure if there are many disadvantages there, I haven't looked into it much.  But it's probably the only way to not share walls as a renter.

jeromedawg

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3408
  • Location: Orange County, CA
Re: Renting out a downstairs unit with noisy upstairs neighbors
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2020, 06:41:15 PM »
Yea, I think this might be a big part of the problem. Obviously hardwood floors don't help either - not sure why our HOA doesn't have anything in their CC&Rs to address this.

Too difficult to quantify and prove, I think.  One of my current upstairs residents walks around heel-first, it's a bit annoying.  Luckily she isn't "large" so it isn't too bad.  Many people don't know how much noise they make--walking, banging on the countertop, yelling at the spouse, etc.

Yea the new neighbors who just moved in are LOUD - I don't know if it's the husband or wife who walks on their heels but it's driving me crazy; on top of that they have a toddler. But between the loud heel-walking, toddler, and freely throwing/dropping things into place up there, it's become unbearable. Every neighbor we've had in the past we've had to eventually knock on their door and talk to, which we will probably have to do soon but my wife wants to wait more to let them "settle in." Either way, I'm sick and tired of dealing with living under people (have been here since 2007 and we've had 4-5 different individuals/families above us - the owner, who occupied the place for years, had the hardwood flooring installed and their contractor sucked so I think that was also part of the problem too) and so I'm trying to accelerate our move - were already planning to move to another area for schooling for our kids but COVID threw a wrench in things. But now I'm more motivated than ever to get out of here. I'm just concerned about potential difficulties with renting the unit (either before or during renting) once the potential tenants start hearing the foot traffic.

Oftentimes I think it's people who haven't had the experience of an upstairs neighbor themselves--people that have moved out of a house, for instance.  If they stay renters/apartment dwellers, they will learn eventually!  At least as a renter you can move.

Everyone's Upstairs Neighbors

This was hilarious and I almost spit out my tea several times, thank you!

My next apartment, if I can find one, will be a garage loft suite.  Not sure if there are many disadvantages there, I haven't looked into it much.  But it's probably the only way to not share walls as a renter.



Yea, I agree - half the time people are oblivious and think "Oh I thought it was just garage space below us!" or something dumb like that. The prior family had a toddler as well, and there were times she would absolutely storm the living room or master bedroom - they actually had her sleeping in the master bedroom (my wife knew because she went up there to check it out when the prior owners listed the place to sale while the prior tenants were still occupying it). A few weeks after moving in, I was woken up like at 6am to what sounded like a little kid climbing up and jumping off her bed repeatedly for a period of 20 minutes. I had to ring their doorbell to talk to them and the guy more or less said "you guys have kids right? So you know how it is? I'll try to tell her to stop" LOL...
Anyway, despite that they still were inconsiderate about it - the husband actually tried to be more quiet and considerate but the wife didn't seem to care, and they were very lax with their kid just letting her do whatever and then coming up with excuses "oh you know how kids are" - yea, I do but I don't let my kids go nuts like that for extended periods of time and we're not even above anyone!

Hilarious video though - it actually is pretty confusing the sounds that come from certain neighbors. Earlier my wife heard someone running up there and it definitely wasn't a kid... she asked "I would like to know the *justifiable* reasons why someone would run like that inside their house, ever?" I told her "hopefully it wasn't because they left the kid unattended in another room and they hurt themselves" LOL

I've seen those over-garage units - they seem way more ideal. Here I think there are more units that are hybrid either partially over-garage but if over-garage likely you still have a shared wall. We have people above us and also one shared wall - the neighbors whom we share a wall with would have parties like every weekend and they'd blast techno rave music or something ridiculous past 10pm. I finally caught the mom pulling out of the garage one day and told her we could hear it - I think she had a talk with her son and it hasn't happened since hahahaha.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2020, 06:48:22 PM by jeromedawg »

Wrenchturner

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1260
  • Age: 32
  • Location: Canada
Re: Renting out a downstairs unit with noisy upstairs neighbors
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2020, 01:20:10 PM »
I've seen those over-garage units - they seem way more ideal. Here I think there are more units that are hybrid either partially over-garage but if over-garage likely you still have a shared wall. We have people above us and also one shared wall - the neighbors whom we share a wall with would have parties like every weekend and they'd blast techno rave music or something ridiculous past 10pm. I finally caught the mom pulling out of the garage one day and told her we could hear it - I think she had a talk with her son and it hasn't happened since hahahaha.

Definitely something to be said for maintaining a line of communication with those that live around you.  Most people are reasonable and will behave better when confronted.  Not all, though.