Dealing with Loud Music Issues
Renters and music go together like bread and butter. Most renters play some sort of instrument, and a good portion of them will be in some kind of band during the college stay. Renters that live off campus have an exceptional tendency to play their instruments because they are not living in the confines of a dorm or their own home where someone will keep them in line. In fact, some students even seek out their housing based on their ability to practice an instument. That's all well and good, but what does this matter to you?
Well one of your jobs as landlord and property owner is to keep the peace not only between the tenants living in your property, but between the neighbors as well. Even if the neighborhood is made up of all students, they may not be happy to hear drums beating until 1AM every night. Other tenants living in the house may have other interests such as reading or watching television. If the distractions continue, they may end up regretting renting your property. The load music may disturb their peaceful enjoyment of living in your house and cause them to look elsewhere next semester, or even break the lease.
There are several things you can do to help things run smoothly when you rent to tenants who may play loud music. First, discuss the rules of your property with the tenants before they move in. Include terms in your lease when music can be played and that being courteous to fellow tenants is required. Let them know that music heard outside of the property after 10pm and before 8AM is not permitted. This includes stereos, televisions or other instruments. This will send them a signal that you are concerned about noise issues. Even consider asking them if they plan to play instruments while at the property, so you can have an open discussion about your concerns before they move in.
Next, avoid allowing students to cover rooms or a basement with mattresses or other articles that are intended to block the sound. These may cause fire hazards, or a dangerous situation because windows or doors are blocked, and could get you in trouble with the city. Be observant of tenants who seek out the basement or attic of a home. Find out what their interest is and remind them of the music rules. Check up on your tenants by driving or walking by at night to make sure there is no loud music late at night. Let them know if any music is too loud.
Another idea is to ask your neighbors to let you know if your tenants are disturbing them. It is better if they let you know about a problem before they call the city to complain. Also, if you do confront your tenant about this or any violation, follow up with them in writing so you have documented your conversation. This will help them understand that you are serious and wil serve as proof of your actions in case you consider eviction or are required to go to court for a violation. Your best solution to avoiding issues with tenants who play loud music is to prevent them before you rent.
Make sure your tenants know that you do not want any issues with loud noise or music and that you will be checking up on them. When issues arise, deal with them immediately so they don't continue in the future. Establish a good relationship with your tenants so they respect your wishes and know when they are crossing the line.