Tenant noise over landlord

29 Replies

I have a situation, I am house hacking a 3 family house and I am living on the 2nd floor. My 3rd floor tenant keeps to himself and is a older gentlemen. However, most mornings I am woken up by him walking and the floor is really creaky! And most mornings he will start moving/walking at 2:30am-6am and it’s so loud it wakes me up and I continue to toss and turn and not get much sleep.

What can I do? What should I do?

P.s. his rent is low for the market, only paying $625 a month. His unit is outdated b/c he’s been there for 15 years!

Seems to me you pretty much have 3 choices:

1. Get ear plugs to use at night to dampen the noise and help you sleep

2. Deal with the noise as is

3. Update the floor/subfloor upstairs to get rid of the creaking 

You own the property so if the creaking is impacting your quality of life that much it's up to you to fix it.  The tenant isn't doing anything wrong so there is nothing to change in regards to their habits. You could even ask him if the creaking bothers him and perhaps if it does, maybe discuss updating the flooring and a subsequent rent increase for the new updated flooring in the unit?  I would just be careful how you approach it because having a good (presumably) tenant for 15 years is a blessing so don't chase them off over some creaks in the floor. 

Us old guys gotta get up to pee several times a night & we don't have those old chamber pots under the bed anymore. 

Good luck on solving the creaking, we have one & both the old floors & stairs creak like crazy. When we tore up the old carpet (3 layers of it) I spent time screwing down the old 3/4 plywood but it did not work, so we sill have creaking. When we rehabbed another unit I put down heavy 5/8 OSB screwed & glued it to the floor joists, yet we still have one area that will squeak as you walk over it. I am convinced its a sistered floor joist moving against each other that were not property secured.

Even if you get rid of him there is no guarantee that the next tenant doesn't get up early.

Until you're hard of hearing like some of us Ear plugs maybe your only solution.

I agree with Scott.  I'd also add move your bedroom to another area of the house as an option.  The problem is the floor, not anything that he's doing.  Another option is who is on the first floor?  Once they move out, you  could ask if he wants to move down there.  What about getting a white noise machine for yourself?

@Theresa Harris yes I agree it’s not his fault but the damn floor haha his rent to extremely low and I need to renovate to get market value to get more cash flow but also improve my house value but may be hard with a tenant living there... but yes I’ll have to figure out something for myself for now.. thank you!

Originally posted by @Travis Oakes :

@Theresa Harris yes I agree it’s not his fault but the damn floor haha his rent to extremely low and I need to renovate to get market value to get more cash flow but also improve my house value but may be hard with a tenant living there... but yes I’ll have to figure out something for myself for now.. thank you!

 Is it multiple places or only a few?  You could try fixing the floor in a few spots (secure it to the subfloor) if it is only a few spots.

Scott offered the best advice for this thread. In the future always try to be next to or above a tenant to avoid this kind of noise. I know its not always possible but it does help. 

@Travis Oakes you can install carpet with a good quality pad on his floor and you can have insulation injected in your ceiling. This will be a continuous problem, regardless of who lives on the second or third floor. When I lived in apartments, I would only live on the top floor for this reason.

@Travis Oakes I bought my second property in September and it is a side by side duplex that I'm occupying. I was stoked to not have to worry about much tenant noise. I didn't realize until I had my new tenant move in that there's zero insulation between the common walls and the closets are only separated by "sound board".

There's a ton of information online about techniques and products to use to mitigate this and I have a plan together I'm going to execute over the next few months that involves STC rated drywall and channels. I'm also going to inject cellulose into the stud bays.

This is an issue that I can personally live with but I know it will be something that will come up once I move out and fill with a tenant so I'd rather address it now. I already deal with noise complaints from my other property as it is!

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

We hate spam just as much as you