Author Topic: Tenants complaining about other tenants  (Read 3523 times)

exceljunkie

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Tenants complaining about other tenants
« on: August 27, 2014, 02:59:08 PM »
So, I have a great tenant (reasonable and easygoing--we lived upstairs from him till one year ago) who recently complained about loud arguing coming from upstairs. It seems it has been going on for some time but most recently there has been screaming and crying and he almost called the police (I think more out of concern than annoyance). So, as the landlord, what do I do? There are 3 ppl upstairs, one couple (mid 20s) and a third room-mate. Do I email them all? What do I say? The lease for upstairs is up in October, and we have just discussed renewing for the next year but have not signed new leases. What would you do?

usmarine1975

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Re: Tenants complaining about other tenants
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2014, 03:05:14 PM »
I recently had a tenant complaint about a new tenant with a dog.  I just simply approach them and ask them what's going on.  In most cases the individuals are more likely to comply and change their ways.  If not you may want to take possession again.

RichLife

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Re: Tenants complaining about other tenants
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2014, 03:08:26 PM »
Call them up and state neutrally that you have received a complaint. That's enough for a first warning. Hopefully they mind their arguing. If not then you can call again and mention that police might get involved if this does not resolve. Also ask the upstairs tenants if they agree and feel there is a problem so they feel they are listened to rather than accused.

exceljunkie

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Re: Tenants complaining about other tenants
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2014, 03:24:32 PM »
Thanks for the advice. It's the first time I'm dealing with a complaint like this; I guess it won't be my last.

arebelspy

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Re: Tenants complaining about other tenants
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2014, 09:21:35 PM »
Call them up and state neutrally that you have received a complaint. That's enough for a first warning. Hopefully they mind their arguing. If not then you can call again and mention that police might get involved if this does not resolve. Also ask the upstairs tenants if they agree and feel there is a problem so they feel they are listened to rather than accused.

That's a great approach.  Be professional, and realize that it is a business, so you may need to be firm.  Do you have a noise/disturbance statute in your lease?  It should be for any multiplex.

This is one major reason I deal with SFRs - no tenants complaining about each other.  ;)
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Kriegsspiel

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Re: Tenants complaining about other tenants
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2014, 09:32:38 PM »
Do you have a noise/disturbance statute in your lease?  It should be for any multiplex.


Do you guys have one of these? What does yours look like?

arebelspy

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Re: Tenants complaining about other tenants
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2014, 09:26:59 AM »
Do you have a noise/disturbance statute in your lease?  It should be for any multiplex.


Do you guys have one of these? What does yours look like?

I don't, because like I said, SFRs.  But essentially you should have a lease provision that provides for "quiet enjoyment of the premises" so it's a lease violation if they're being too rowdy, and if it happens too often you have recourse to evict, if necessary.

Quiet enjoyment is a legal term, and typically refers to non-interference from the landlord, but also applies between tenants.

If you want some legalese, here's an example: http://www.sitenet.com/toolkit/lease/database/squiete.htm

But you can also google it.
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Rezdent

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Re: Tenants complaining about other tenants
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2014, 09:58:16 AM »
ARS,
We use a PM for our leases, also SFH, and have similar clauses.  I don't have it in front of me but it's language about no excessive noise or disturbing the peace or something like that plus no illegal activity.

This turned out to be helpful as once we had a couple with domestic violence issues.
A neighbor called the police, the hubby was arrested, and the pm termed the lease immediately for violation.   I'm very thankful for that clause.

arebelspy

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Re: Tenants complaining about other tenants
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2014, 10:04:16 AM »
Yeah, I have an illegal activities prohibited and public nuisance clause in my SFR leases, I just meant I'd go extra above and beyond to make it clear when there's a multiple tenant situation.

Extra probably wouldn't hurt though if you want to throw it into your regular lease.
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Daleth

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Re: Tenants complaining about other tenants
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2014, 10:25:14 AM »
I second (third? fourth?) the advice about neutrally telling them you've received a complaint, cops may get involved etc. And then watch how they behave--let the tenant who complained know that you're looking out for him and you want to know if the behavior improves (and that you totally condone his calling the police next time). A huge red flag, obviously, would be if they complain to your other tenant or make nasty remarks about him having complained.

And then see if they behave themselves. Noisy fights would not be the only problem to be on the lookout for. Give it until it's time for lease renewal. You've got a "great tenant" vs. some new folks who get in screaming matches, and a golden opportunity to avoid the hassle and expense of eviction by simply not renewing the lease. Pay close attention over the next month and see if these are really people you want to keep renting to, vs. if they are making things so annoying for your "great tenant" that you risk losing him. A great tenant in a multi-unit can become almost like a free on-site property manager, letting you know about problems ASAP so you can fix them.