Home > Can Tenants Be Evicted For Being Too Loud? Landlord-Tenant Attorneys Weigh In

Can Tenants Be Evicted For Being Too Loud? Landlord-Tenant Attorneys Weigh In

by Kevin

Noisy tenants can be extremely irritating for landlords and neighbors alike, and trying to evict them can be even more frustrating.  Can a tenant be evicted for being too loud?  According to our team of legal experts, the answer is yes, but there are a few measures that should be taken to ensure that landlords are on the up & up when evicting a noisy tenant.

One of the reasons evicting noisy tenants is difficult is because the definition of what is “too loud” is inherently subjective.  As in many areas of the law that require an subjective judment, the reasonable-person standard applies – if a "reasonable person" would find the noise disruptive, then it is too loud.  As attorney Alisa Levine explains, “It is all about what is reasonable and how that is defined by the parties.  Most people would agree that loud music at 2:00 AM is unreasonable; however, a baby crying at 2:00 AM is probably fine.”

Attorney Jim Surane suggests including a solid noise provision in the lease agreement, along with a solid indemnification provision and default clause.  The noise provision should detail exactly what is unacceptable and the consequences for breaching this lease clause.  It is also important to include that the noise provision extends to the tenant, as well as any family members, invitees or guests.  To support the noise provision, the rental agreement should include a default provision explaining that violating the noise provision set forth by the landlord (or any other part of the lease agreement for that matter) is a breach of the lease contract and can be grounds for eviction.  Elizabeth Powell, an attorney specializing in landlord-tenant law explains that one way property owners address this issue is by specifying "quiet hours."  For example, a landlord could stipulate that the hours of 10PM to 7AM are designated quiet hours and during that time frame any noise that can be heard outside of the rental unit is prohibited.

However, not all tenants are noisy at night time and technically a “Quiet Hours” provision would not be sufficient to protect against a tenant that blasts the Spice Girls every day at 5:00 in the afternoon.  For instances that fall outside of the quiet hours time frame or if the lease did not detail a noise provision, the landlord may still have enforcement options, for example if the tenant’s noisy tendencies violate a local law or ordinance a landlord or staff member would be justified in calling the police or making noise complaints to authorities.  Usually noise complaints can lead to police/legal fines and landlords can often use violations of law on their property as a basis to evict.

If all else fails, there is always the “Right to Peaceful Enjoyment:” all residents are afforded basic rights to live in peace.  However, as attorney Alisa Levine points out, how "peace" is defined may vary from place to place.  “But in general if there is a verifiable nuisance or noise that is bothering a neighboring tenant to the degree that they might move, then the landlord may have an obligation to deal with it.  Or else face the tenant leaving, breaking the lease agreement, or suing for breach of the warranty.”  Neighboring tenants can also use a claim such as "constructive eviction" – meaning the landlord did not do anything to help them and they felt forced to move out.

Attorney Zach Jex explains further: “One of a tenant's conduct-related duties is to conduct him or herself or require other persons to conduct themselves in a manner that will not disturb his or her neighbors' peaceful enjoyment of their premises.  If neighbors were to complain to the landlord that the tenant or his/her guests were being too loud (i.e., disturbing their peaceful enjoyment), the landlord would have a statutory basis for evicting that tenant.”

Related Reading:

Eviction Notice Has Been Served… Now What?

Landlords, Tenants & Domestic Violence: Many State & Province Laws Now Involve Landlords

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Summer Rachelle
Summer Rachelle
2 years ago

I had a one-time incident that occurred last night, in which my friend was in fear of her life with her 2 month old baby from her BF and came over around 930 PM, Of course I let her in not knowing the BF had any clue where I lived. Within in 5 mins of me letting her in my home, the BF arrived trying to kick my door down causing neighbors to complain. I myself called the cops on this person. Now the President of the community is telling me I must leave or be evicted? This was an unpredicted incident in which none of the parties reside in my home. I was trying to help a friend in fear. I do not know what I can do?

Chelsea M Morey
Chelsea M Morey
2 years ago

I recently had a situation, where my dad brought me my dresser at 845pm and I thought we did a pretty good job getting it up the steps quietly, well one of my neighbors called the landlord and said theres alot of up and down on stairs.. so I got one noise complaint.. now yesterday my daughter 3 almost 4 was hitting the screen moving it out with her head from second story, at 945 at night my mom just brought us home from mothers day dinner.. my mom yelled from the car get down quite a few times loud and the cops came.. my landlord said she received a few calls and she heard it too so now I am stressed wondering if I am getting evicted. I was on a probationary period as well due to having to get a restraining order on my kids dad and boyfriend because I didnt want him at my house since hes abusive… so the cops came to remove him.. that counts as a strike I guess.. and she said no more cops now cops came cuz my mom yelled thinking my child was going to fall from second story window. But she wasnt her feet were on the ground the window has always scared her though. Should I just ask my landlord straight up if I have to move? I know a different tenant who had a friend overdose on drugs and die in her apartment she didnt get kicked out. But ended up leaving that month anyhow due to not able to pay rent.

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