Neighbor complaining about tenant dog. Looking for advice.

15 Replies

Here is the situation.  I just wanted to get some other opinions on this.

I have have a condo that I rent to a tenant with a small dog and the neighbor has contacted me a couple times complaining about my tenants little dog barking for extended periods of time. The first time the tenant had just moved in so I didn't think much of it since the dog was in a new space. Still I contacted the tenant and let them know about the complaint. Now it's a couple months later and the same neighbor just sent me another text message complaint. This time she notified the HOA and is saying I need to resolve the barking dog issue and that it is solely my responsibility to resolve.

Ironically the neighbor also has a dog that barks on a regular basis.  It's a small condo and they share walls.  It's also in downtown Denver so there are sirens and things going on throughout the day and night anyway.

I'm sure there are some people out there that have had similar experiences and I am just wondering what you would do in this situation.  The only thing I have done so far is to recommend the neighbor address the issue with the tenant directly.


Also I now see why many guests on the podcast say they would avoid condos.

I would ignore them. Some people are going to complain regardless.

Send tenant a notice that you have received complaint about barking. If you've received a complaint or fine from HOA, pass it on to tenant and insist they resolve it. If there is no HOA rule about pets and barking, however, then I would also send a written reply to the neighbor stating you have sent notice to tenant that a complaint has been received, but that neighbor should be contacting proper authorities about noise disturbances in the future.

Is the tenant also complaining, about the neighbor's dog's barking?

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Usually complaints about dogs barking have to come from multiple sources before they will take action. The best case scenario is if you can just solve the issue with cordial conversations between your tenant and neighbor. 

Haha @Anthony Dooley that's really what I want to do and if there wasn't an HOA I probably would do just that.

Thanks @Lynn M. I notified the tenant via text. The HOA has a clause doesn't have any specific info related to barking dogs. Just a generic nuisance clause. My thought were just like you had said to have the neighbor contact the authorities about noise complaints.

@Steve Nowak yes the tenant is saying the neighbors dog barks all the time.

@Steven D. thanks and yeah that is my goal.  I'm not trying to create a horrible situation with the neighbors.  I mean the situation is somewhat laughable considering they came to me instead of addressing it with their neighbor first.  It's like dealing with children.

Originally posted by @Zac Newell :

@Steve Nowak yes the tenant is saying the neighbors dog barks all the time.

Then it sounds like a "he said/she said" situation. I would try to let them work it out themselves, but encourage the tenant to keep a log of the noise issues in case things get escalated, and let the HOA know that there are two sides of the story (if you haven't already).

As the landlord you don't want to get in the middle of this situation. You are a professional landlord, not a babysitter. I would advise the neighbor to call the police and file a report and give you a copy. Without that, there is not much you can do. 

Thanks @Marc Cunningham and @Steve Nowak . Good advice and that's essentially the path I took. I asked the neighbor to work it out with the tenant and let the HOA know they are both complaining about each others dogs.

Originally posted by :

...It's like dealing with children.

Possibly the most accurate thing ever said about tenants... 

As advised let them fight it out and wait to hear from the HOA. Push comes to shove you may have to let them out of their lease. At the end of the lease they will likely leave (hopefully). Next time make sure you have a no pet clause.

It's not your issue. I would advise the complaining neighbor to call Denver Animal Control (311 in the City of Denver). Have them deal with it. Animal control will deal with it appropriately and determine if it's really an issue. If the HOA fines you, pass that on to the tenant.

Originally posted by @Thomas S. :

As advised let them fight it out and wait to hear from the HOA. Push comes to shove you may have to let them out of their lease. At the end of the lease they will likely leave (hopefully). Next time make sure you have a no pet clause.

There is absolutely no reason to let the tenant out of the lease for this issue. The neighbor needs to take it up with the tenant and they need to resolve it. Point them toward each other and make it clear to both you will not be caught in the middle. The next step is for the offended party to bring in animal control since it seems the HOA is basically silent. If animal control won't / can't act then they (tenants and neighbors) will have to live with it. If animal control acts against your tenant then your lease should allow you to take action. The action should be a notice of lease violation. If it happens again then you notice them for repeat violation and file for eviction if they don't move. It's pretty straight forward.

I am in exactly same situation as you in Chicago condo. The community president has sent me a text to take care of dog barking issue. Same complaint was sent a month back. And I did notify tenant and he took care of it. This is my first tenant and I wouldn't want to make them leave because of pet. Many other home owners have pets as well. Looking for some help here.

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